Team camp is a wrap for me as I am now very excited about getting home to my 7 kiddos! I am supposed to be on my way to Dallas but due to the blizzard going on right now in Tucson all planes are grounded. Instead of getting negative like a lot of people here stuck at the airport with me I have decided to use this time to write up some details, thoughts and hopefully inspirations about the last week. Really my mind is going in a million directions with excitement for 2019 and life in general, I will try and keep this cycling related without going too far into my own head.
We moved to Tucson Tuesday night so we were able to get the guys to Mt Lemmon and into some ideal riding conditions. The weather forecast has not been great but that’s not enough to stop a group of young and strong guys that have a love for pain. They tackled Mt Lemmon, did team time trial work, and rode for 3-7 hours pretty much everyday. They all have gone through fit adjustments this week which brings on new discoveries about themself, new aches and pains and a new targets in regard to their potential. Cyclologic is amazing, if you are not familiar you should go to their website and look around to get a feel for how scientific, personally specific and dedicated they are to insuring riders put themself in the best position they can to maximize strength, being aero and having an efficient use of energy. Considering the guys are all very young you would think “change” would be easy. It takes an unbelievable amount of trust and commitment to chasing your dream to be able to retrain your body and allow for what you thought was once comfortable to something that may be dramatically different but correct for you to improve. Being our 2nd year we have been blessed by Cyclologic and Trek for making this possible we have seen the results and testimonials of the guys that stuck it out from last year's squad. It is so important in this transition of comfort that the guys stay the course, give it time and follow through with any instruction from Barry or Paraic.
My big job this week is cooking, organizing, cleaning and filling in as “mom” for everyone. I love it, I do have 7 kids for a reason, I love everything about helping kids grow, feel valued and getting outside their comfort zone! My most favorite part of the entire week is getting to know the guys and when we do one on ones with them. I am leaving a day early...or at least trying to leave, so I will miss out on the private meeting with Hugo, Conor, Trevor, Isaac, Austin, all the new guys, I might have to skype in, I really hate to miss these.
Reece didnt get to join us this time for camp but is with us in spirit. So back to the individual meetings, I can not even begin to tell you how proud I am to know and be a part of Scott, Sean, Evan and Joel’s development. These guys have come such a long way since last year. Don't get me wrong, they were great last year; very respectful, talented, hard working and good teammates. This year is different, I'm not just talking about strength, position, skill and determination. They have awoken their mental edge, something inside that can get them through not only races, but life. I sense they have a different level of awareness in regard to the opportunity they have earned. Maybe, just maybe their life has been touched in a way that will stick with them forever. You see, our goal is “development”, we believe there is a balance of life on the bike and life after the bike. We know our world needs leaders, good role model parents, team players and people like us that want to give back. Cycling itself needs athletes and fans alike to be willing to help grow current and future enthusiast. Children need a safe place to ride and upcoming cyclist chasing a dream of "Pro cycling" need a ton of support to have this chance. Trek has stepped up in such a huge way by supporting our small development program, Gateway Devo Cycling Team. Trek knows there is opportunity in growing the sport of cycling that goes beyond selling bicycles. More than ever the world needs more activities that can strengthen both mental and physical wellness, cycling is just that plus the adventure piece some of us hunger for that has no restrictions.
If you have a resource you can offer to help grow the sport of cycling please do so, if not thru us, check with your local race scene or bike shop to find out how you can help. Assuming some may not know all the ways to support cycling I will list out what I can think of.
@allkidsbike-Strider -has a program to bring cycling into K-1st grade, your community needs this and all kids deserve the chance to ride bikes.
Host housing- race teams can not afford hotel rooms, if there is a race in your area the race web page will have a contact for anyone that can offer housing. For the most part being a host means you offer sleeping space, laundry room, garage and kitchen space. The teams are used to air mattresses, couches and making due. As a team we want to get to know our host and leave with them as our fans.
Grocery Gift cards- When you burn between 2000 and 4000 calories a day you need a lot of fuel
Gas Cards- Teams typical can not afford to fly to locations for races and there is a van, carpool and cross country road trip always involved.
Vehicles- If you are a car dealer and love this sport than please try and find a team to help. Typically a caravan car and a team van is needed. We have a partnership proposal on our website and are currently looking for support in this area.
Money- We, like most teams are made possible as a 501c3 that depends on support to stay alive. There is no revenue source currently set up to pay teams to exist. Race money, which is not much, goes back to the riders as most of them can not take a job during season due to training and racing schedule. If you know a good partner for us please forward them a link to our Partnership proposal or Make a Donation yourself.
Watch the LIVE FEEDS- Cycling is an amazing test of strength and endurance and the team aspect is like no other. There is strategy to every move made and riders have to have an instinct that goes beyond reaction time in order to be at the right place at the right time. The sprints are timed, sketchy, a test of team communication, guts and strength. By watching and sharing live feed links your are spreading the love for others to hopefully become engaged in the cycling.
Go to the Races: If you live in an area that puts on races than please go out and support them. There is so much work and commitment from a community to put these on. They need you there not only to be a spectator but to contribute to their economy. Races are expensive and communities with a ROI will keep putting on races.
Teach your new and old drivers to look out and respect cyclist on the Road- Respect is a 2 way street, know the laws and value the lives of others.
Work the Feed Zone- Parents, fans, friends and relatives….Teams need help in the feed zones. As long as you can handle reaching your arm out into a group of 60 cyclist flying by, you will be great.
If you are a cyclist remember that you are always representing “cycling” in general. Don’t litter, flip the bird, disrespect property or others, break road laws or act like an ass. Remember we are all humans acting as humans but somebody has to always be the better "person".
I should probably wrap this up. I am still at the airport with all flights out of Tucson still grounded. I am sitting on the floor by one of the only outlets in sight next to a young gentleman in a wheelchair. He is a very handsome guy, probably in his young 30s, with a Air Force Sticker on the back of his wheelchair. Strong broad shoulders, legs gone from the mid quad, with mechanical legs that look stealthy. I can tell just looking at this gentleman through his soft smile and polite demeanor, something he has probably had since childhood, that he has overcome more than most of us will ever endure. So much appreciation for those who sacrifice for others and so much respect for those who can overcome and persevere. I take nothing for granted, neither should you!
Please give me feedback on what you want to hear from us. Race recaps, inside scoop on the best cycling realted products, personal journey of our racers and some of our perspective is on our radar already. We do this for you, so let us know if you enjoy it or want something different, thank your for reading/riding along and please share.