Saturday, May 30, 2009

Day One in Braganca.

We´re here. A little jet lagged still. Tom´s made it through registration and his bike is built. I have my staff ID and T-shirt.

It´s HOT. There´s a castle on the hill, blooming Jacaranda trees and lots of really nice bikes!!

The racing starts tomorrow. I have today to relax a bit then the work begins. While Tom is racing, I´ll be helping with check in during the day. Massage starts at 5 PM and goes until 10 ish. They are going to be Looooooooong days!!

Off for some paella and wine. Yum.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

All packed and ready to go...

Good night to everyone. I hope to keep this blog up while we're on the road. We'll see...
7 hours until the true travel begins!!!
At worst, I'll be back in 4 weeks.

With metta,

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Class 5 in the living room

My room mate is a paddler and travels a lot. Before every big trip the living room turns into a class 5 rapid of packing. Well, I'm not a paddler but I can say I've achieved class 5 in the packing department.

Everything is out in piles to make sure I don't forget something. A pile for running gear, a pile for "working" gear, a pile of beach gear, a pile of crewing gear... on and on and on.

My advice:
Lists are good and I do mine by category of activity. When I make my lists I start from my feet and work my way up the body to make sure I don't forget things like socks or goggles. Then I make up other categories like "paperwork", "electronics" and "toiletries." 

That usually gets me pretty well set for my trips. It leaves the house looking like a disaster zone for a bit as everything gets pulled out and set in piles but if I can't see it, I stress about it. Once I'm satisfied, it gets packed away and I let go of any worry about what I forgot. Not that I don't forget things. I do. I just remind myself that's why we have credit cards. :)

I'm starting to get excited!!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Another great training camp!!

What makes for a great training camp?

6 strong riders, dedicated volunteers, great camp organizers, 500 plus miles of remote Oregon roads with spectacular views... in 4 days!!

This was my second year crewing for George and Terri in their Race Across Oregon training camp. It was even better than last year. I had lots of fun with my crew mates. Thank you Ken and Hugh, you were so helpful!! We had a great group of cyclists, Martha Walsh is my new hero. She rode 500 miles total and was right in there with the boys. Best of all Tom was there and we got to ride together a fair bit. I managed to squeeze in about 130 pretty high intensity miles over the 4 days between driving a SAG van, serving lunch and doing massage in the evening. Tom rode strongly all weekend. In the end he managed 463 miles in some heat with a high average pace for the terrain and defended his reputation as a climber.

The highlights where a night in an interesting hotel that including every issue of every hunting and fishing mag you can imagine and a sitting room full of taxidermied animals... even a Kodiak bear. OK, maybe that wasn't a highlight. But I have to say that the B&B in Fossil was excellent and the breakfast amazing!! I got up in the morning and rode up the Fossil climb with Tom, flew back down to the B&B, hopped in the van and drove to the top of another spectacular climb, rode down to Tom, turned and came back up. The scenery was stunning. The company great.

I'm looking forward to doing it again.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Getting ready for the big trip.

Well, the last ticket has been purchased for the big trip. "Planes, trains and Automobiles" has nothing on us.

Here's the plan...

Phase 1. May 27th drive to Vancouver WA, catch a train to Seattle, have lunch with a friend and then catch a plane to London. Timing of the next bit is confusing because of time zones but somehow with one connection at Heathrow we'll end up in Lisbon Portugal on May 28th. The next day we'll bus to northern Portugal where I will work as part of the medical team for Trans Portugal, an 8 day stage race done on mountain bikes that runs the entire length of the country. I've got the easy job, Tom's racing.

At the end of the race, we'll hang out for a few days in Sagres, Tom asleep under a parasol and hopefully I'll be on the water windsurfing. Then back to London for a day of pubbing with a friend before we jet back to the USA.

Phase 2. We land at LAX on June 14th, will bus to downtown LA to catch a train to Oceanside CA where we'll meet up with a bunch of other crazy bikey people to get ready for RAW - Race Across the West, the first 1000 miles of RAAM. Tom will be racing on a two man team with another friend of ours. I'll be in the van crewing with two other people. The race starts on June 17th and hopefully 60 hours later we will find ourselves in Taos NM.

Phase 3. Drive to Denver and send people home on airplanes to head back to their work lives. Sigh. Well all of us except Tom. He's gonna ride his bike in Fruita CO, cause the boy just can't get enough.

But first... training rides this weekend, Race Across Oregon Camp next weekend (working again, not riding)

And Tom and I will do the 12 hour Lewis and Clark Ultra as a 2 person mixed relay team the next weekend before we fly out.

When am I going to find time to pack?