Post by Phil Elsasser
Okay, So I somewhat have been slacking on the updates from here. I am happy to say it is because I have been out riding my bike for a ridiculous number of hours, and not due to any other real reason. The typical day here involves waking up around 7 or so, drinking coffee, eating breakfast, bike maintenance and then getting out to ride around 9. Depending on the day, I return home, shower, eat, and take a nap. Later in the evening I eat again, and then try to do as much work online as possible. I am not sure what I would do without my job editing online content for Unspun.com right now as it is almost my sole source of income while I am on the road. It certainly isn’t entertaining, and it doesn’t pay very well, but what else can I do while traveling and riding 30+ hours a week.
Alright, onto the interesting stuff. I dug up some photos from the ride we did way back at the beginning of this trip with Levi, it seems as thought that was a VERY long time ago while in reality it was three short weeks ago. Three short weeks and about 1500 miles ago that is. Anyways, enjoy. I am not quite sure what was up with the astana kit though, and yes he really is that small.
So since my last update, I took a small break when my girlfriend came into town, which was much needed. That week still ended up being about 20 hrs of riding and it felt like I didn’t spend any time on the bike at all. perspective is a funny thing. Suffice it so say this week certainly made up for last week. I won’t share to much of the details, because I want to talk a bit more about the grasshopper “training ride” we did on saturday, but I just capped off the week at around 33 hours or so.
Okay, onto the grasshopper. So since I have been down here, I have heard nothing from the locals except talk about this infamous Grasshopper Adventure Series. It is a 250+ person “training ride” that is every bit a race as I have ever seen. The course for Saturday was 80 miles with about 8,000 feet of climbing in the Chileno Valley along the coast. The mass start event was supposed to be self seeding and we were told that they were going to try to stagger some of the lower category riders to make things a bit safer. None of the above happened and the Hagens Berman contingent down here all started about 100+ riders behind. Now this wouldn’t be a huge deal, if the race didn’t start up a ~2 mile climb up Coleman Valley. Ohh, and did I forget to add, also started with the full Bissell Pro Cycling team ready to rip it from the gun. Needless to say, the start hurt, but amazingly I was able to make it over the climb with a very small select group of about 15 guys. That was the highlight of the day for sure. I am no where near rested, nor in race shape and thing got bad when I got popped and then worse when I broke my chain. Anyways, it was a very good first “race” and tells me I am on the right path with training. The best part of the whole affair, was the “kid” I mentioned before, Andrew Talansky, stuck it to what was left of the decimated Bissell team for the win.
Thanks to Chris Wingfield for all of the great photos.