Thursday, January 31, 2013

DNA/Plan 7 Women's Cycling Team - Winter camp

This past weekend I had the privilege to spend a few days in St. George, UT with some of the best cyclists in the West.  The DNA/Plan 7 elite women's cycling team the weekend bonding and training in what has become a rite of passage for Utah cyclists.  While the weather could have been a bit better, it was leaps and bounds better than the blizzard experienced in the Salt Lake Valley while we were gone.  I had a few goals for the weekend, which included hosting an awesome trip for the team, buying a lotto ticket and eating some banana cream pie at Veyo Pies.  I got two out of three!

The weekend began with a short ride out to Sand Hollow Resevoir and then on to the Zions National Park gate.  A bit of cold and some wind didn't deter the group and the riders broke in the weekend with a solid 3 hours.  I took in half the ride with the team then headed back to town to meet with some shops and sell some shoes, tires and wheels.

My favorite shop in St. George has to be Bicycles Unlimited.  The owner is one of the nicest guys I've met and his staff are awesome. I mean, they stock Mountain Dew in the shop!  How cool is that?

I also had to check the brakes on the van.  Turns out I just needed and adjustment and a fluid flush, so I was back on the road safe!

The riding continued on Saturday with a soaking wet tour of St. George.  The plan was to ride Utah Hill all the way to Mesquite and back, what would have been a 104 mile epic.  But the weather was the limiting factor with cold rain much of the day.  So we scrubbed the Mesquite ride (and my lotto ticket) and rode out to Sand Hollow again, but this time went up to Toquerville and came back along the east frontage road long I 15.

Polar CS100 Cycling Computer (with Transmitter Belt) (Google Affiliate Ad)

The ride was only 50 miles, but it took 5 hours.  The rain made for slow riding as did the 14 flats incurred by the group.  I was actually having a blast in the rain.  I felt like a kid getting all muddy and dirty and with the flats we ended up having an epic ride even without going to Mesquite.  It was awesome to have a sag vehicle the entire ride.  Thanks to the guys from Competitive Cyclist for driving the slow, wet and cold route!

Sunday came with much better weather and we took in the Gunlock/Veyo/Ironman/Tour del Sol loop.  We had a smaller group than the previous day and I was worried Veyo Pies may not have been open on Sunday.  I'm not the best climber, so "the wall" along this loop is tough, and it was even tougher not knowing if I was going to get pie at the top or not.  Huffing and puffing I made the climb and continued on to Veyo.  I actually shouted for joy when I saw the "open" sign at the pie shop.  Miracle!!  It was open and my St. George trip tradition of downing some banana cream along that ride continued.  Some in the group had never partaken of the creamy goodness that is Veyo Pies and others were doubtful it was a wise mid ride food choice.  But the doubters are now believers and the bike racks in from the the pie shop will continue to be filled throughout the year.

So, I managed to provide and awesome trip and eat some pie.  While I was sure it was my time to win the lottery, we'll have to put that one off a bit.  We got in some great mellow miles and the team had a chance to relax and gel and get ready for their new season.  Tomorrow, I take my team, Harristone/Sun Valley Mortgage, for our annual expedition to St. George.  The weather looks to be much better than last weekend with sunny skies and temps in the 60's!!  We'll get in some more miles and it will be my first time on the new Diadora Jet Racer shoes I'm now repping.

Get out and ride!

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