“One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.” – Jack Kerouac
And those simple words are THANK YOU. I am extremely grateful for the amazing opportunity that I had in Colorado Springs and to everyone whom made it possible. To Gavin, USABA and USAT for making the camp possible, to OTCOS for hosting us, to Southwest for all their travel related help (including ensuring I had my bike with me), to George for all his help in Colorado, to all of the coaches for everything during the week, to Danny for being an amazing pilot/guide throughout, and to my fellow campers for their insight and help throughout. Also, thank you to Performance Bicycle (Naperville) for all of their help with getting the bike ready and packed so that I could participate.
As some of you may remember, the cranks still hadn’t been repaired. The locktite had held for Goshen, so I wasn’t concerned about it being solid for camp. My bigger concern was about being able to disassemble / transport the bike without (a) something getting broken or (b) the crank fix falling apart. But Dave and James did an awesome job of packing it and going through everything that we needed to do so things would work out.
After landing in Denver and getting luggage, George and I headed to Colorado Springs (COS). The plan was to connect with Danny once he and Tyler made it to COS and stay at the OTC. However, weather delays kept them in Houston. So instead it was dinner and staying with George — with visits by Hank the Tank (bulldog) throughout the night. And yes, the dog thread will be evident throughout this blog…
On Wednesday, I had time to wander through the OTC while waiting for Danny/Tyler to arrive. Once they did, we did the bike build and initial fitting. After that initial part, camp started in full. While I’m not going to go into minute detail about each day, they did all include sessions (like nutrition, communication, rules, etc.) and bike, swim and run each day.
The hilights of Thursday included an almost 2 mi run that we did as a small group prior to the day starting, a ride to/from bike skills, getting used to altitude and getting more comfortable on the bike. The handlebar bottle cage got moved to the pilot’s bar to help with starts, and we worked on speed within turns.
The highlights of Friday included a run/bike brick and a much better swim than Thursday. Lesson learned that Tri kits are for day 1 and bibs are for Day 2 and beyond… I did continue to play with leaning more, and it seemed to be okay for the most part.
The hilights of Saturday included transition training, triple bricks and seeing Danny win a 25m speed race. One of the things from transition that seemed to work really well was running without socks and Yanks on the shoes. It cut about 1:10 off of the time.
With all of the training, the guide dogs spent a lot of time in the dorm rooms. This meant that they were fun to watch playing each night after being ‘freed’. And yes, two of them did fulfill their contractual obligations by coming to say a proper hello on National Dog Day (Sunday). If I had had more time, maybe all of those belly rubs I was giving out might had led to one of them following me hom (*cough* Plum *cough* ;))
It was an amazing week in COS, and I am extremely grateful to have been there. Again, thank you to everyone who helped make it happen!