March 3, 2005
Game on. Already? It seems like it has been really short but the winter is over; well almost. After a month of training in Albuquerque I traveled to Athens, Georgia where I have been hanging out for the last week as a neo-pro on my first road team; training camp with Jittery Joes-Kalahari. I got connected with the program and started talking to director Micah Rice after being teammates on the MTB with former Bean Team celebrity Cesar Grajales. Cesar has moved on and up but the team has plenty of new talent and I am looking forward to mixing it up with the boys at select events.
It is always fun at the start of the year to see the old and meet the new racing family; and of course to get lots of new presents. New bike, new clothes, bags, etc etc are nice but I think the nicest part of being on Jittery Joes-Kalahari has got to be the free coffee. One of my favorite hobbies which I have been doing plenty of is hanging out at the coffee shop. It is kind of like my dreams have come true because all week I have been getting free coffee drinks at all of the Jittery Joes franchises. It has been a hard week so I think my favorite drink has become a crackaccino; a four shot cappuccino. It works out perfect on the team because after I hit my six shot espresso limit I can move on to the naturally caffeine-free Kalahari teas in the evening. [That's enough blatant sponsor product placement - Ed.]
So what have we done all week at the Jittery Joes-Kalahari training camp? Highlights:
- One starter teaser day of sun and 70deg where I managed to at least get a good calf tan.
- A couple good pace line sessions to get sprinter Hoppy used to verbally abusing everyone.
- “Training” race where I flogged myself so bad I could hardly see straight at the finish.
- Team launch party at Jittery Joes Roaster announced by the booming Dave Towle.
- Epic mountain ride up Brasstown, Hog Pen gaps and more in rain/snow/sleet, oh the memories.
- Team building power yoga session where everyone tried hard not to desecrate the temple.
- Attendance of live taping of Blue Collar Comedy with Jeff Foxworthy and crew.
- Non-stop hazing and abuse by everybody on everybody, you know: good team building stuff.
- Driving and trying to squeeze into the Cooper Minis, calling shotgun is an essential for me and my dandy long legs.
It was quite a crowd when all eleven riders plus staff get together and it takes a lot to find everyone a bed and get us around town. It is no problem in Athens though, because I saw at the launch party and all week what fantastic local support the team has. The cycling community is really behind the team and it is nice how many of the sponsors are local and very excited about the program. It is also kind of unique how the team is funded and run and with the sales of Jittery Joes coffee and now as well FruitTrekker Bars.
Anyway it was good fun training and hanging out in Athens and I am looking forward to moonlighting with the Bean Team. Now I just have to get over this head cold I caught somewhere up on top of Brasstown Bald and get ready to go back to my day job; NORBA #1 is this weekend down in big ol’ Texas. Fire it up.