I'm dabbling with the new format for uploading pictures. For simplicity's sake, the pictures are uploaded in one fell swoop rather than individual big ones. I hope you can deal.
The second picture shows the cause of and cure to 95% of my problems here in Portugal. Coffee. Pure and simple. Well actually in this case, it’s a cappuccino, but the point is that this is something you don’t see at your standard coffee shop back in the States: a beautifully elegant coffee. “Cause of” because the coffee here is minute. Tiny. It’s miniscule. So I need a half dozen to really feel satiated. Not only that, I catch a lot of flak for toting around my travel mug (courtesy of my former housemate and BFF Garrett) which I fill once in the morning, and generally not even close to capacity. It’s your standard 16oz travel mug, so I don’t know what these Euros are getting all hyped up about. Drink your own coffee and hush. I know you're just envious. When we get back to the USA for Tour of California, I’ll show them what real coffee is all about.
Speaking of which, there is that story of cycling lore when Flyod and Dave Z supposedly downed something like 15 or 20 espressos apiece, only to hear the wrath of one Mr. Lance Armstrong who reamed them out for being unprofessional. Having started to hop through similar loops those guys did back in the day, I think the truth is that a true American coffee lover won't be satisfied until he/she has consumed somewhere in the order of a dozen espressos. Maybe even a dozen double espressos.
In any event, I digress; coffee is amazingly delicious, hense “cure to” all my problems. See I love coffee. Yeah yeah yeah, as a cyclist, you’re probably reading this and saying, “I love coffee too.” Well no questions asked, I like it more than you. It’s science. I do. There, done, case closed.
Oh, the other five percent of my problems? Ummm, I can’t think of what they are off hand. Things are good. Which brings me to the next picture being the first of the above set: it’s a shot off the back deck of the resort where we’re having team camp. You have the pool in the foreground, a massive golf course in the background, and in the yonder edges of the picture you might be able to see the Atlantic from the vantage point of Europe.
Additionally, the last picture was taken out my back door to the sun setting atop the golf course. Tough life, eh?
But before you get too jealous, I should point out that this is a glimpse of weather that we have mostly been missing. With one week of camp complete and one week to go, I think we’ve had rain for five of seven days. To me this is somewhat strange, because during my pre-camp nine days in Portugal just 2km down the road from this hotel it was sunny every single day except one. But it was called the estimated by one local as the coldest week of weather he’d witnessed in 20 years. Global weirding my friends. (Hot, Flat, and Crowded by Friedman. Go read it.) Oh, and we're putting in 5-6 hours daily slogging through this monsoon, so again, don't be too jealous.
So the third picture of the bunch is a great microcosm of the week’s weather. We went outside for team pictures, it was wonderfully warm and sunny, then in a matter of minutes a whole lotta clouds rolled in and we were all freezing cold. If you zoom in on my right bicep, you’ll likely see a billion goosebumps. Or so.