Everything is great. So far the only hiccup was a long flight delay in Phoenix. We sat on the tarmac for a long time, then finally started to take off only to have the pilot slam on the brakes halfway down the runway and return to the gate. Another hour on the tarmac and we finally got into Tucson too late to ride, but still better off than some of the guys coming from the East coast, where weather kept some in transit well into the night. Below is some last-minute bike assembly for the late-comers, and some of the bikes.
We're staying in a hotel shared with the world's largest gem convention, so things are actually really busy. We have 15 riders and it looks like we were all paired new guy-old guy; I'm with Chris Baldwin. Everyone is super friendly, with just the appropriate (and expected) amount of grab-ass.
Today's ride went on the Shoot-Out route up Madera Canyon. It was pretty mellow, lots of chatting and rolling. We cut things shorter than expected to fit in time for fiddling with bikes and a core/stretching program in the morning. We ended up riding about 90mi and 4.5hrs. DS Gord Fraser is looking fit and jumped into the ride today to even out the numbers. Here are some pictures.
The bikes and the weather are gorgeous, and with the combination I could happily ride all day. I took some pictures of my bike while it's clean and new.
There are lots of other small details that have all added up to a really impressive, professional first impression. I think what I like most is that everyone is surprisingly relaxed and just like every other bike racer, but at the same time able to pull it all together at the right times to get it done. Basically, no one is THAT guy.
We are going to win some races this year.