Yes, believe it or not, here comes a new blog posting! I’ve been a bit out of sorts lately. I don’t really have an explanation for it. I mean, between riding and sitting on my butt I certainly have plenty of time on my hands to be getting things accomplished. Especially something as trivial as writing blog posts, right? Right. I’m glad we’re in agreement. All the same, here I am posting a new blog. My time lately has been filled with all sorts of exciting things, most notably: riding my bike, eating, reading, and riding my bike. Roberto Carlos, Omer, and I made the trek from Santa Rosa to Los Olivos in late January, courtesy of Ben “You’re the Man” Oliver. Truth be told, Ben IS the man. He drove up from Los Olivos to S.R. and then turned right around early the next day to escort us back south. Here’s a shot of Ben deftly handling the Golden Gate bridge behind some hippy driving a Prius. Horray for global warming!
Los Olivos, for those of you outside of the loop, is a tiny town outside of Solvang, CA. And Solvang, CA is a small town about 40 miles outside of Santa Barbara. May I recommend searching the zip code 93441 in any online map to find our home away from home. My go-to line when describing this place is that Lance and his homies (teammates) have their team camp in Solvang, so we thought we’d give it a shot too. Turns out Lance is onto something because this place is amazing. Actually, Bob Hughes of Advantage Benefits deserves an ENORMOUS thank you for setting this place up for the team! As you can see in these pictures, the place is just plain awesome. It’s more of an estate than anything else. The motorized driveway gate, multiple horse pastures, guest house, pool and hot tub, and simply mammoth house are all testament to this. Here is a shot of the front of the house:
Here’s a photo of the master bedroom. Robbie and I share the plush bed, while Brian is living in our palacial closet. Seriously. I’m sure the picture doesn’t do justice, but this place is rad.
Here is Ben’s office. The garage is littered with boxes and boxes of new equipment that arrives daily. You can see the new TT bike front and center. We’re on Pinarello bikes. I seem to say this at the beginning of every year, but this bike is easily the best bike I’ve ever ridden. I don’t know if this is because bike technology continues to grow stronger, lighter, and… cooler or what. In any event, I love this bike and can’t wait to test it out in 2007 races.
Ah yes. Here’s a shot of Garrett’s bedroom. Which also serves as the house’s concert hall. It has a Steinway piano, on which Ben is supposedly an ace. I’m yet to hear him tickle the ivories, but word on the street is that he’s the next Bach.
So that’s an introduction to the house and our stay in Los Olivos. We’re here until February 12th, at which point we’ll head north up to Santa Rosa and the start of the TOUR OF CALIFORNIA. It’s a pretty big deal.
Attention readers: my birthday was January 31st, so the next blog will feature a very exciting summary of that special day! Stay tuned!