Friday, August 16, 2013
A few months ago I received the opportunity to participate in the ride of a lifetime.
I had the opportunity to ride in the USA Pro Challenge Race Experience that Carmichael Training puts on. Everything fit with my work schedule and home schedule where I could get away, go to Colorado, do some work and a little riding on my bike.
I guess to say a little riding may be an understatement. I get to do every stage of the USA Pro Challenge Race starting a few hours before the pros which totals up to something like 570 miles with around 42,000 feet of vertical climbing at high altitude over the seven days.
Well, last night I arrived in Aspen, Colorado so I could take care of some business. I went down to Grand Junction to meet with some clients (for may real job at Delta Media Group). During my drive from Grand Junction back to Aspen today it started to sink in what I was actually doing and I started to realize what I'm really about to be a part of.
During the drive I ran across a few Team BMC vehicles. I'm guessing that they were heading over from Utah. I got to see the bike truck, team bus, and team car. It was kind-of surreal.
Here are some pics that I snapped while driving:
Once I got back to Aspen I made sure my bike was all ready to go and setup correctly (ahem...no loose handle bars, etc) and I headed out for an easy 45 minute spin. Let me just say that it's tough to be here around all this beauty and stick to doing a 45 minute easy spin which is what my training schedule called for.
These mountains seem to be calling out to me wanting to be ridden. Needless to say I did climb part of one for about 7 miles up. It was awesome!
I hope the people that live out here know what they have access to every day!
After my ride I decided to run up to Snowmass Village which is about 20 minutes from Aspen. This is where the race starts and where I'll be on Sunday evening for the start of everything. I heard from one of the other riders doing the race experience that there were quite a few team vehicles up there so I had to check it out tonight.
So, off to Snowmass Village I went!
When I got there we walked around a bit to check out the team vehicles. Here are some pictures of the vehicles that were there tonight.
The highlight of the evening though is after walking around and checking out the team vehicles that were there I spotted Andy Schleck from Team RadioShack-Leopard with a few other team mates.
I could tell it was Andy even though his back was towards me. We were about fifty feet away walking their way and then I spotted Yens Voigt coming over towards them. All I thought was that this was beyond awesome and Yens' mantra, "Shut Up Legs!"
The RadioShack-Leopard Team had just gotten there. Andy had his suitcase and he was having Yens watch it while he went to find a room key.
The opportunity presented itself and I asked Yens if I could get my picture taken with him. In Yens-fashion and German-English tone he said "sure."
So, I got my picture with Yens.
We talked for a little bit and it was fun hearing Yens joke around with his team mates wondering where Andy went and how he shouldn't have trusted him to go get the key. It was all in fun and great to hear. These guys must have quite a bit of fun racing their bikes together and just hanging out!
What a first day!
I'll try and post daily updates to the blog as long as I have time and internet access. In the meantime...here is a good image gallery from last years race at velonews.