Busy few days I've just come from. First was a trip to the Manhattan Beach GP in the LA area. The trip went really well but the race didn't; a break went without one of the four of us in it, and a crash during the chase took out two of us. Jake showed his depth by winning the field sprint after participating in the chase, but all the important spots were already up the road.
Next was a jaunt over to Vegas for some sponsor activities. Thankfully we were kept busy so we didn't try to ride in the 110 degree heat too frequently. It was so hot that our bikes started shifting funny from the hot cables stretching, and Jake broke a spoke from the temperature change between the air conditioned room and the hot asphalt. We had a nice time with some 250 kids at a YMCA kids camp sponsored by UnitedHealthcare, where we talked about bike racing and what all we do. We also spent some time meeting and greeting real-live UnitedHealthcare employees at one of their regional headquarters. It's always nice to get these chances to take a step back and hear that people really do like to follow what we do--it somehow makes the whole thing seem almost generous. Almost. Okay, well at least not quite so selfish. Whatever.
Then in a dramatic climatological change I whisked myself up to Vancouver (where there were exactly HALF as many degrees as in Vegas) to race the Yaletown GP. I can't say enough about the trip: the promoters housed us out-of-towners in a beautiful downtown hotel, bought us dinner and drinks on a very festive Canada Day eve, and after all that THANKED US for coming up! I feel a bit ashamed for our racing community and how badly we stiff the poor Canucks when they come down to race with us; they get absolutely nothing in return, no prize money, no housing, no meals, no entry fees, and sometimes even have to pay for some stupid state "license" to do a one-day event. I'm sorry, Canada.
Anyway, the racing was great too, except for the part where Svein Tuft absolutely destroyed all of us, but even that wasn't so bad once we accepted our fate. We tried a bit of a chase but he was still riding away and no one else would contribute, so we pulled the pin and raced for second. Tuft lapped the field and kept going, we set up Pinner and he took the field sprint for second. We also won most of the pack primes, and I even kept pedaling after the leadout long enough to roll in fourth. AGAIN, thanks Canada! You're the best.
So then after a nice night with the friendly Vancouverites, then a stellar breakfast and late slumber, we each went our respective ways for a sunny morning spin. I'm not sure what the other boys did, but I went lone-wolf and explored what felt like most of downtown, though I don't really know "where" I was ever. Here are some selected pictures from the little expedition.
I like finding the industrial parts of cities; it's kind of like ignoring what someone's wearing at a dinner party and instead looking through their laundry basket. That's where's the character!
The port/train area not far from the downtown/condo area:
I just really liked this building, that's all:
I accidentally almost got on this freeway and climbed over this fence to a conveniently placed bike path:
Stanley Park, just a few minutes from our hotel in downtown:
And now I'm off again for a few days, after which I'll be off again for a few more days. The first part will be a time trial training camp over in Eastern WA. I've had barely any time on the TT bike this year, and the times I've had I wasn't thrilled with, so I'm going to put lots of work into it over the next week. Rough plan: ride to Ellensburg tomorrow, do TT intervals for three days, then ride home. All on the TT bike, off-bike time will be spent in the hills outside town. After that it's straight back to my new favorite city (!) for the Tour de Delta. Summer summer summer!