Team camp is one of my favorite times of the year I get to ride in the sun with all my teammates and sponsors, can’t complain about that. This year Trek Red Truck headed to the very sunny skies of beautiful Palm Springs CA.
After a two-day drive from Vancouver we finally arrived at the destination, well what I thought was the destination. Now you see I was the navigator, and I typed in “Desert Riviera Hotel” into my GPS navigation. When we arrived it was a quaint little place with gardens and a small pool and didn’t really look like a place to host 50 cyclists. Sure enough, it wasn’t the place we were staying. The “Riviera Hotel” with no Desert in the name was only a minute’s drive away, so no harm done, just a good laugh. Now let’s fast forward a day to the first ride of camp. Three hours pretty flat up and around some of the roads in the area; the desert air was very dry and took a bit of time for the lungs to get used to it. It was also 35 degrees so that was a bit of a shock to the system, but I wasn’t complaining. In the afternoon we also did a one hour easy ride to meet some of the sponsors and get to know everyone a little better, which was great.
Day 2 was a big one with a 200km ride out and back to Box Canyon. After a pretty chill first hour or so the men’s team decided to start to pick up the pace. Clarke and I drilled it at the front for a bit and then we started to do a rotating pace line at a pretty quick pace. It was great because it was super windy and most of the women’s team and masters were right in there with us, which was super good to see. When we got to the Canyon we kept the pace hard all the way up, then a quick refuel stop at the top before setting out on another 100 km back to the hotel. On the way back the pack split up a bit as people were getting more tired; Robert and I took a big pull at the front in the headwind to help bring it home. And you can say, when we ticked over 200 km entering the hotel parking lot - that was nice.
Day 3 started off with a drive to the town of Banning and a 1h 20 minute climb. Robert instigated the pace with a 20 minute hard pull, then me, Robert, Alex, and Clarke kept the pace going all the way to the top: and we got the KOM. After a quick coffee stop we set out on the descent, or what we thought was a descent. It turns out that there was a long rolling section before the actual descent and of course it was my idea to go hard at the front and then attack and go solo over the top. I waited for a bit then Sven and Clarke came across to me and we kept it fast all the way down. After we regrouped at the bottom it was a chill ride back to the hotel.
Fourth and Final
The 4th and final day of camp was a bit of a shorter ride, about two hour’s total. First we jammed it out to the Fish Hatchery where I managed to take the KOM, and then we rolled back towards the infamous TRAM CLIMB which is 5 km long but verrry steep and hot. I attacked from the bottom and Clarke and I jammed it to the top, almost cracking the top ten on the Strava Leaderboard (11th) ….and yes, the Tour of California went up that climb so there was stiff competition.
After all that good riding we enjoyed an incredible duck lunch with all the supporters and management of Trek Red Truck Racing. It was a great end to a truly awesome camp.
However I did leave out one important detail which was the pool scene post ride, it was great tosee everyone having a good time and enjoying each other’s company.
Until next time.