Not so long ago, my teammate, friend, and all around good guy Joáo Correia wrote a really nice journal entry for the world to see titled Pack Skills. With that clever double entendre as the title, he was referring not to navigating his Cervelo amongst the peloton and deftly piloting around the generous helping of road obstacles found throughout European, but rather to what it takes to fill a suitcase with the literal head-to-toe accoutrements required by a professional racer.
Around the same time as reading this, I was submitting some annual travel information to my tax-man in hopes of receiving a benefit for living out of the country for an extended period of time. (No can do until I either revoke my citizenship or am out of the country for at least 11 months out of the year. And since I love my land-of-the-free-and-home-of-the-brave, that ain’t going to happen anytime soon.)
Something between the two of these wicked fun happenings spurred me to today’s topic: my 2009 annual travel log. Rather than dissecting each location of my travels, this is instead merely a blow by blow of my travels last year. So not much in depth reading, I think much to your pleasure, but more a list. I just thought that as I was compiling this list for my tax-man that this travel log is nothing short of fascinating. Sure other cyclists, business people on the go, and U.S. President travel more extensively than I do, but still I thought you’d like to take a peak at what my travel arrangements are like, even if just on a superficial level.
Ready, set,… GO!
On January 1, I took in the new year in New Hampshire with some dear friends and my brother, then was off to Portugal seeking good weather and some European acclimatization for a two week training camp pre-team-training camp. Then the proper two week training camp with the team right down the road in Portugal, next I was back Stateside to sunny Santa Barbara, CA for about 10 days since my next team obligation was also in California. From there we had a pre-Tour of California training camp in Thousand Oaks, CA, which that then followed by a very brief layover in Santa Rosa for a few short hours for a Cervelo sponsor obligation, and then I jetted off to Sacramento for the race start. Unfortunately my Tour of California which was cut short thanks to a very close encounter between my arm and the asphalt resulting in a broken wing for yours truly. From there I was back home to New Hampshire for a few trips to my favorite orthopaedic surgeons, then, once able to ride I sought good weather out west in Tucson, AZ and then onto Santa Barbara yet again for a few more weeks of good weather/good training. Next back to NH to pack and repack my suitcase before shutting off to Europe. I arrived and settled at the team house in Switzerland, and hardly had time to sit down before I set out to races in my inaugural European races in the Netherlands (Ronde van Drenthe) and Belgium (Scheldeprijs). What was scheduled as a two-race road trip turned into more than three weeks of non-stop racing with more races in the Netherlands and Belgium (Amstel, Fleche, Liege) and then Switzerland (Romandie). I was shipped back to Switzerland for about 36 hours before off to the start of the Giro in Italy. The Giro took me all throughout Italy, obviously, and included a stint in Austria for a stage or two… or three. Upon the conclusion of the Giro, I flew directly to the United States and enjoyed a whirlwind two weeks in every New England state – perhaps that was overdoing it, but time’s short and all we have in this world is time, so I may as well make the most of my time at home in America! Among other things I logged a race up in Maine and my appearance fee was a freshly baked apple pie! That was perfect, because after winning the race I needed a slice of celebratory pie and I just happened to have received a pie mere hours ago! Back to Europe (it’s late-June by now), I moved out of Switzerland and to my European home in Spain. Tour of Austria was my first race back, followed by more time in Spain, next a one day race in Germany (Sparkasse Giro Bochum), back to Spain, then la Vuelta a Burgos in northwestern Espaaaaaaaña. Home in Spain once again before setting off to France for the Tour of Limousin, back to Spain for a matter of hours and ridiculously fast packing session, since by this time I am effectively finished with Europe for the year, and therefore am destined back to the my patriotic heartstrings of the United States. I arrived in North Carolina and had an awesomely relaxing stay with friends in Asheville, NC followed by US Nationals down in Greenville, SC. A few days more in Asheville before setting off westerly to the Tour of Missouri. One week there for some fine racing and stage winning, next I was home in New England for a few weeks (where I hit up ME, NH, VT, and MA like a champ). Next stop Toronto to visit Cervelo HQ and then Laaaaaas Vegas. Sin City, baby. Mostly for interbike but there were some other extra curricular activities to be had. Then to Boulder, CO for the beginning of my off-season, and then directly to Santa Barbara once again for the first chunk of my pre-season training. I finally returned to New Hampshire yet again in late December where I took in the New Year… actually I was in Boston when the calendar page turned from December to January, but who’s actually still paying attention still.
Not exactly earth friendly, but that’s another topic entirely. You’ll be happy to know that I hug a tree every time the opportunity presents itself. And I eat granola. And only shampoo every other day.
2010 is off to a similarly feverishly rapid pace on the travel front, but I’m loving every minute of it.
In other news, the Giro starts in one week and I logged my final arduous day of training prior to the race start in… well, in Holland. Three mega climbs today, 5.5 hours, and I think I was looking really really good the entire time. Hope to see you out there!