Cat. 2/3 Training Camp Recap

Xander Viray catches us up on last week’s Cat 2/3 Training Camp, and all the burritos and caffeine (and bikes) it took to pull off.

Last weekend, several Cat. 2 and 3 members of Team Oregon travelled south to Eugene for a mini training camp. Though in some miles on the road was the primary goal, it was an opportunity for riders to meet new and familiar faces. Because Team O has riders from all over the state, the camp weekend and shared lodgings allowed us to build team chemistry over a number of lackluster coffees, laughs, perplexing cable television, beer, and….biking.

On Friday night, Greg Kell (also known as Van Boss, or Papa Kell if you’re younger than he is), drove the team van to Kenton to meet up and load bikes from six other Team O members. During our drive, we chatted about everything from childhood skating heroes to what it was like to listen to an a cappella Linkin Park album (pro tip – don’t do it).

After a good first night’s sleep, catastrophe struck. We had brought a bag of coffee  beans, but no grinder or means to make it.  However, the house we were staying in had a Keurig, which we put through the ringer in the days to follow. Fully caffeinated, we embarked on a route that John Crandall cooked up for us.

On a good day, riding around Eugene is breathtaking. Riding around Eugene in the cold rain and pushing the pace up climbs, downhill, and on the flats can also be breathtaking. Luckily for us, we had Josh to follow us in his car and provide storage, snacks, water, and in my case, a seat. After going through the five emotional stages of being dropped, I realized how rad it was to see how well my teammates were doing. They rode close together, shared turns on the front, and gave gentle pushes on the backs of those who needed it. I snapped plenty of photos and took some videos while handing out water, food, and coffee to those who rode on and finished.

The following day’s weather was far kinder to us. Despite a shorter distance (50 miles compared to our first day’s 90) the pace moved quickly and we threw blows at each other both up climbs and for city-line sprints. We returned in high spirits and I was able took portraits of those who attended the training camp (see photos, below). After showering, packing, and cleaning the house, we piled into the van for the drive home. On the way out, we hit up our favorite burrito joint and speculated over the tasteful paintings on the taqueria walls.

When it comes down to it, the reason I race for Team Oregon is the camaraderie amongst teammates. Despite the long miles in unfavorable weather, everyone’s spirit on this trip remained high and we relied on each other to get through the rides. To say I’m excited for the upcoming months with them would be an understatement. Here’s to a great season, Team O.