Since early February I have been living in the lowlands of America's southeast, splitting my time between a short week of orientation and bike fits in Winston-Salem, North Carolina before a semi-permanent move to Athens, Georgia to train with a number of my new teammates. Welcoming me at the airport, I met my new team manager, Jamie Bennett, a fellow Canadian who has run the management team behind Team SmartStop p/b Mountain Khakis for the past seven seasons. With a great support group based out of the small town, I was able to spend a few days casually adjusting to the new time zone and my new equipment.
With all of the contact points changing: new frame, saddle, handlebar, shifters, shoes and pedals, it was important to avoid hard training efforts during this transition phase. Fortunately our new team mechanic, Chris Kreidle, who just moved over from the TIBCO Women's Pro Team, did an amazing job simulating my setup despite my poor attempts at actually measuring my old bike properly. Thanks Chris! In case you haven't had a chance to watch this quick video, this season my teammates and I will be racing on Wilier frames (straight from Italy) with San Marco saddles, outfit with Reynolds wheels and Maxxis tires. I'll be using SRAM RED components, TRP brakes and Ritchey hardware to control my machine with Champion System clothing and Mavic shoes providing comfort and performance. Lazer helmets and Tifosi eyewear will be the fashions of the year, I hear black is the new neon. The kit design has undergone a nice upgrade with the help of Winsor Creative as well so I'm quite excited to represent our two primary sponsors, SmartStop Self Storage and Mountain Khakis outdoor clothing as I tackle the upcoming year.
February training usually calls for a step up in every department of one's preparations. I've been using the seemingly endless roads around Athens to put in some big miles, while the lack of cars makes it a great location to focus on those hard efforts. Of course this also means that rest becomes increasingly important and staying healthy a top priority. Free tip of the day...better to lose one day of training than lose two weeks to sickness. Riding the fine line between health and performance increase is important but be careful when conditions are inclement and life stress is higher than normal.
Thanks for continuing to follow my cycling adventures here at the CyclinginaToque blog. I hope you are all enjoying your February days. I've been quite busy recently with training and new coaching clients so although I lost some writing rhythm earlier this month, hopefully you can continue to count on the Toque blog for interesting insights from the world of cycling and beyond. I'll be starting up a short 1 minute video series as an extension of my BIKES videos, so if you have any questions or ideas on areas of my training or experiences that you would like to hear, post a comment below or at our BIKESBC facebook page and I'll be sure to accommodate your question as soon as I can.
Tune it up,