Training Camp

shawn desending

Spring is starting to tease us with longer days, warming, temps, and the start of The Classics. A winter of fat bikes and trainer workouts leave us wanting to get outside and really rev the engines. For those us in winter climates this means loading up the car and driving south in search of dry roads and long climbs. For the socially inclined it means Training Camp.

For the pro’s in Europe that means somewhere exotic like Majorca. For me that means Southern Utah. Moab is still pretty cold this time of year so that leaves St. George area. St. George itself is a total shit hole unless traffic, strip malls, and fast food are your thing. The pro tip though is to stay out in Hurricane. Way better lodging rates (our Air BnB house was great and only $80 a night) and closer to Springdale which has some great food. Anyway, stay in St. George if you must the roads and trails around it though make up for it.

shawn desending

Training Camp is great because you get to live like a pro for a few days. Brother Kingrey and Sister Hoevel made the long drive from Pueblo to log some warm sunny miles. Our only agenda each day was to ride and eat. The miles are the stated purpose but the real magic of camp is spending quality time with great people. Brother Kingrey and I are racing together in the Tour of Park City this year. While we are kindred spirits in many ways we have not ridden that much together. This was a chance for us to start working on our road feel.

big ring cycling cap

When racing with a team or a team mate you are way more effective if you know each other as cyclist. Do they know how to ride an echelon? When they swerve to miss a pothole do they do it smoothly or do they veer over 2 feet when they could only move 2 inches? Do they race better mad? Do they surge constantly when they climb (Shawn) or are they a diesel (me). Little things like that are important to know and camp is the place to start to figure that stuff out. That is why the pro’s do it. Froome trains with his posse before A Tour just like Boonen trains with his before. This shit matters.

More important though is this is quality time. These are the rides I look back on in the winter when I am longing for warmer temps. I have won a few races and not won a whole lot more but at this point in my riding career it is about the connections I make. With my friends, the bike, and myself. These are the good old days.

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