January 16, 2008
I have managed to slip back into the land of "super size me" quite nicely. I have to remind myself to order small everything and "No, I don't want a free refill of 10 gallons of Diet Coke". I have cable TV, which should really be called 52 channels, but nothing on! I am reminded that I can get wireless internet....anywhere, even in the parking lot of a petrol station beside a housing estate, try it! Everyone is pleased to see you, even if they have had a crap day....and some, you're not sure if they are happy to see you, or they stuck their head out the window on the freeway and their face stayed that way.
I have been back in San Diego for a little over two weeks now and things have been rocking! I have settled into my studio apartment...I would do an MTV cribs episode, however it would only take about 30 seconds. (There is a Porsche in the garage, sadly it's not mine!) My new ride is the pimping 1968 Vespa which a friend of mine, Paul Johnson form Cosmos Cafe in La Mesa, has kindly let me use whilst I'm in town. Aren't some people just great! So I have a roof over my head, food in the fridge, and wheels to get about town on. Life is good!
Back to the serious stuff, training, and there has been a lot of that going on! Neil and Cindy have just had a gorgeous little girl, Charlotte, so the training has been taking up the whole day...hmm...maybe Neil just doesn't want to change her nappie! Oops, diaper! My team-mate, Neil Shirley and I have been ticking along with some great training. We have been doing the usual things that riders do at this time of the year, long days, hilly days, flat days, strength days and a little bit of tempo riding.....just to remind us that the first few races are gonna hurt.
Speaking of the first few races, I will be pinning the first number to my jersey for '08 at the Boulevard Road Race here in Southern California on the 2nd of February. A few teams such as Toyota United, Kelly Benefits and Jelly Belly are entering full squads of 10 riders, as they are preparing for Tour of California, so it should be a good gauge of what I need to do before my season gets into full swing. I am then going to head to Arizona for Valley of the Sun, where I will get the chance to catch up with my old team-mate from last year, Austin "Kingers" King. Kingers is an all round great guy, genuine, tough and sadly, retired. It just won't be the same without you mate.....who is going to swap off on the front?
We will be having our training camp in Georgia this year. As it will be a little later this year, our San Diego base of last year is not going to be available. It will be great to see all the "old boys" and the new blood at camp. Training camp is always a great measure for the season ahead. It's hard for new guys on the team, they don't want to piss anyone off, but they also want to show what they can do on the bike....it's always interesting, but always in a positive, good way!
I must give a quick shout out to the parking cop downtown who came into the cafe today and asked who was riding the scooter. It was parked illegally and she was going to give me a $50 ticket, however I threw in a few "strewth's" , "stone the crows" and a "no worries mate!" And she let me move it across the road into a proper parking spot....and off the footpath!? (It seemed like a good place to park, it was 5 steps from the coffee shop!)