Friday, January 18, 2013

How I Rested Today

Good morning/afternoon/evening everybody. It has been a busy “rest day” here at RadioShack Leopard Trek camp; nonetheless, I’ve done my best to recover from the previous training block before the last big block. The day started with breakfast as usual, but then rather than relax in my room before training, I went out to the truck and helped/learned with the mechanic how to change the shifting on my TT bike. A cool feature of the electronic shifting is that the buttons can reverse their roles. Last year I asked to have the shifting reversed because the normal set up felt weird, but as I used the electronic on my regular road bike and more on my TT bike, it has become apparent to me that I do in fact prefer it as the normal set up. The mechanic handed me the booklet on how to change the shifting, and I began to read. This isn’t something the mechanics would do maybe but once or twice a season, so we had to read the instructions (heaven forbid!) After several failed attempts, we figured it out, and I am now hopefully on the setup I want.

Post the shifter change, my abnormal morning continued. Rather than head out for training, as easy as it was to be today, I had to get ready for our team presentation. We kept it much more low key this year, simply putting on a small event at our hotel. It was pretty quick and painless. Finally after that, I was able to kit up and head out for a small ride. I joined a small group of guys, 10 of us in total, for a nice ride to Benidorm for a coffee and sandwich (it was lunch time). It was quite enjoyable honestly. Following the impromptu lunch, we hustled back to the hotel for the scheduled team rollout at 230. We had to be present at the start just to satisfy media requirements, but we were free to go after a few kilometers of riding. The whole group actually turned after about 15 minutes of riding, so it was perfect. We were being followed/passed/led by different media trying to get their pictures/video, which provided some comic relief on the way back to the hotel. One car was driving alongside the group in the middle of the road when some police passed going the opposite way on their motorbikes. It took less than 30 seconds for the police officer to come back to the group, sirens blaring, and direct the car to pull over: ticket. We all had a good laugh, crazy media.

That is about all for my day then. It has been pretty busy. I did have time to fit in a massage, which will hopefully give me some new legs as we start the final training block. I’d like a good response for sure because I believe we have something like 5, 7, and 5 hrs over the next three days, and I’m sure there are some exercises included in those days, too. Yikes! Logging the hours/kilometers :)

I’d hate to leave this post without touching on what seems to be the only subject talked about in our sport these days: Lance and doping. My opinions are still the same as in October, so I don’t really have much to say. I still believe that anyone who is guilty of doping in any fashion should be punished. I also still believe that cycling is not the only sport where doping is present; nonetheless, cycling is on a new path with many measures in place to combat doping, and I hope people can continue to believe in it. I have experienced first hand the repercussions of these controversies as our team lost Nissan’s sponsorship. It is a huge loss to us, but thankfully, it has not caused the team to stop. As hard as all this is, I see it as a good thing. It is a necessary evil to creating a better cycling. We can learn from these events of the past, and use that knowledge to combat future practices. I hope that with these confessions, come 100% full admissions involving details of who, what, when, how, etc. It will be painful no doubt to everyone involved, but it is only through 100% transparency that appropriate measures can be taken to finally put these events of the past to rest, and everyone can move on. I’m sure the process is only starting, but hopefully when the dust settles, people can remain in support of cycling. Thank you for your continued following.


Anonymous said...

As you said, these are events of the past and it is time to move on. Hope the remainder of your camp goes well.

Anonymous said...

Hope the rest of training went well. Appreciated your last paragraph. As long as there are enough riders like you in the pro ranks, I will continue to follow cycling.

Unfortunately, prescription painkillers in my sport of choice hockey were considered ok to use as they were prescribed even though without them most of the team would not be able to compete. Enough rambling by me. Looking forward to the cycling season.