The excursion to the back country of San Diego from Vegas did not happen as planned. It could not be as easy as jumping in the car and arriving in a couple hours. Things have been running a little too smooth lately, until the upper pulley wheel of my.. timing belt (sure, let us go with that) spontaneously combusted. Taking a video of the explosion and using different filters such as slow motion make the repair look pricey, but the speed-up filter makes it not look so bad. Trying to make light of the situation and poor timing of this. Getting a tow from Cajon Pass down the hill and into San Bernardino and narrowly missing the repair shop closing time. “Hey man, just want to let you guys know this isn’t a good neighborhood” –The tow dude, unloading the car in front of the empty and now closed repair shop. This might have been the worst thing he could have said, except for your free tow cost “x” amount of dollars.

Now waiting patiently across the street in a 24 hour donut shop with James, exercising my will power. Taking a four hour shift watching the car filled with expensive bikes, laptops, and obviously the car itself. Having eagle vision over anyone walking near my car until the team’s director Rick rescued us. James took a quick stroll to the dollar store to grab a chess board made out of stiff newspaper that helped a large amount of time go by. Once Rick notified us that he was within five minutes, the feeling of relief came over us. Jumping in his RV as quick as I could, eventually arriving to our destination in Alpine six hours “late”. After rain, a rainbow appears. Yes, I just called my team’s director a rainbow.

Waking up and checking out the view that was masked by the darkness of last night. Absolutely stunning, day 1 of camp is another day filled with meeting new teammates and receiving new equipment (Bikes, clothes, and other various things). Jumping on the bike with the team and logging in a few miles shuffles everything into the back of my head. Everybody on the team is friendly and the chemistry is there. I couldn’t be more excited to step up to the line and pin a number on with the team. As we finish the 100 mile ride with over 10,000 feet of elevation gain we gather around the dinner table to shovel food into our mouths. Chat for a while and crack some jokes, then off to bed and get ready for another big ride before Saturday’s photoshoot.

Team camp was amazing. Everything was for the riders, I sort of geek’d out when I found out we had a personal Mechanic (Jose). He’s a ray of sunshine. The bike for this year is the JAVA Falco Pro2, with a custom paint job for the riders (which looks lovely). The bike handles really well is more than stiff enough for anyone on the team, but comfortable enough for the unmaintained back roads of Alpine. Outfitted with SRAM Force 22 gruppo, Quarq powermeter, Zipp cockpit, and the very welcoming Lizard Skin handlebar tape. I’m super pleased with the bike, it being an extension of the rider. Riding lots of miles and racing on a bike I stand behind is essential. “What bike is that?” or “How does it ride?” is a question I often encounter on the local group ride. I’m more than happy to enlighten and inform anyone who has questions about the carbon steed I get to throw my leg over every day!

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