Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentines from afar

Here I am in the hotel shuttle on the way to the Valencia airport to leave camp. It is sad and exciting. It was a great week of training, team building and learning. This last week I was able to really get to know my teammates and the staff. It was great. Perhaps the highlight of camp was beating Ekimov in a close, hard fought game of ping pong last night before dinner. Actually the whole camp was great.
From here I am flying to Barcelona from which I will catch a taxi with a few of my teammates to Girona where we will be based while in Europe. It is exciting but certainly nerve racking too because it is really the first time I am going to be on my own here in Europe. It is sure to be a learning experience.
What can I catch you up on from the last three days? We had some great training and managed to avoid the crap weather until the rain yesterday at the end of training. All togethr though it was great weather.
We did a long ride on Thursday that began with nearly two hours of ascent from the coast. It was certainly the coldest we had expeienced at about 6'C. After three hours we stopped for a coffee and some food to warm up. After that we were treated to warmer temps and beautiful roads. After 4.5+ hours we summited a climb and were treated to a most amazing view of Calpe, the coast and the Meditaranean. I really wished I had my camera. From that decent we came along a town sign named Pinos. Pinos! Yes I had ridden up this road from the other direction a few days prior but turned because I didn't need all the time and knew not where it would take me. My wish came true though of seeing the other side of the road. It was truly beautiful and the climb was spectacular.
I suppose some great insight from camp is expected at this point. For me I think it is just learning and always watching and listening to the experienced riders. There is so much for me to learn and I know this team is going to help me tremendously. Again too I have learned how normal these guys are in everyday life and how much they love cycling. There are many hardships with this sport and lifestyle but the rewards and experiences that can be had are wonderful too. I am certainly missing home, my family, friends and wife for sure.
My European experience thus far is a positive one. The country of Spain is beautiful, the people are nice, the food is good. Alhough I have been in a hotel so everything could change!
Tonight I am just settling into my new spot and probably going to head back into town for some dinner with a few of the fellas. Tomorrow I will take the time to explore the area a bit and get a feel for what is around. Perhaps visit a bike shop, look into a cell phone and check into this wireless internet USB card I have heard about. Alright, I am off.


Cindy said...

We need the temp. in F', too!

Linda said...

Visiting Spain through your eyes. Hope you find your camera. Best of luck.