This past week (October 7th-11th) I skipped 3 AMAZING days of school to hangout at the Olympic Training Center (OTC). I was invited along with about 40 other MTB and roadies for the National Talent ID camp. The camp is help for elite juniors to prove they have what it takes to be the top, and qualify for some other fun stuff, like the world championships and the Junior National team.
It was going to be a hard week of some uphill power tests, serious skills and drills and a buttload of fun!
On day one, I was kindly welcomed off of the plane with the OTC shuttle and my best friend, whom I have not seen for 3 months, Alexis Ryan. When we arrived to the OTC we had lunch, built bikes, rode, and then a nice 3 hour discussion! When preparing for our ride I misplaced my helmet and everyone had to wait about 30 minutes so i could borrow one of the local's helmets oops.
On day 2, we woke up early in the morning, had breakfast and got ready for the power tests. We had to weigh ourselves, which was fun..... sort of! Then the power tests begun! (Up Cheyanne Canyon) It was a 3 mile some what steep climb. We had 2 tests, 1.5k test and the 5k test to the top. After descending like a Buddhist down the mountain, which i had no vest so i took a cardboard box and stuffed it down my jersey, we had lunch! After lunch we had a 2 hour discussion on collegiate cycling and I swear Carla Swart was in about every other picture on the power point, it was so cool!!! After discussions we had some amazing skills and drills, i learned a lot!
On the 3rd day, Saturday, we headed out for a 3.5 hour ride to work on echelons and pacelines. We had a race simulation-game. We were separated into 3 groups: the break, the chase, and the field. The first group to make it back to the van is claimed the winner. So what happened was, I was in the break group, the 2nd group caught us. I saw the finish line and sprinted, no one else was sprinting until the boys saw the only girl (me) sprinting for the line. That was FUN!!!
So after some lunch and more discussions the girls headed out to the Velo. I have never ridden on the track or on a fixed gear before so when the gave me my track I went on the banks to ride, I got scared and decided to get some instructions before going on the track again! After some paceline drills and doing nice teamwork with Alexis it rained it that was the end of track day! But it was the coolest thing Ive done and Im hooked now!
On the 4th day of Christmas my true love gave to me....... we woke up and did 2 hours of skills and drills had lunch and then went right out again to do a 3.5 windy windy windy ride!! luckily I hid behind tall guys and got a good draft! I practiced sticky bottles with Ben Sharp which was cool! It was like a free ride pack to the field!
That night we had individual meetings with the coaches. I had a meeting with Ben and Barney. They told me I was got second place at camp! Just 2 seconds behind my best friend Alexis on the short test and 15 seconds behind her on the long test. We were pretty stoked!!!
The Last Day :(
On the last day, we rode to the Garden of the Gods, which was so amazing! It was the best ride, and a very sad ride because we all had such a fun time and we wont see each other again for a long time. After the ride we had to take some final picture of the OTC and pack our bikes. I said goodbye to my best friend Alexis, it was so sad :(. I got on the shuttle to leave to OTC along with 6 other guys that were all on my flight. I got on the plane to Huston, TX then to CLT and I wanted to cry. I didn't want to leave!
The top 10 COOLEST thing of the week
10. The food, we had an all you can eat buffet of healthy food. Steele cut oats every morning and one day for lunch we had sushi!
9. Loosing my bag with my helmet, money, sweatshirt, and hat on the first day I arrived. Claiming it stolen. And getting a call from Phil O'Donnell, when I was flying home, telling me that I left it on the shuttle. Whew!
8. Snow on top of Pikes Peak on the last day.
7. Meeting amazing people from amazing places and getting to know more kids my age.
6. Talking in German with Dean Hass and Alexis.
5. Having a Dance Club party in the hallway.
4. The top-secret "Alright-Okay" game.
3. Skills and Drills when Coach Mike kept saying word!
2. Riding the Velodrome for the first time
1. Freestyle rapping when all the girls were waiting for the guys to get ready for a ride, and Alexis with her awesome beatbox skills!
1. Alexis Ryan - Ricky Bobby, because she has 2 first names (ricky for short)
2. Thomas Wrona - T-Pain, that one is just self explanatory
3. Miguel Byron - Miami, because he is from Miami
4. Jackie Denny - Grand Slam, because her last name is Denny, like the restaurant
5. That on kid - Spongebob, because he like Spongebob, still cant remember his real name
6. Micheal Dessau - Megatron, because their sponsor is transitions, like transformers
7. Danny Parks - ButterLips, because he didnt have any chapstick so everyone told him to put butter on his lips, HAHA
8. My nick name is SON because my real name is AddySON
There were many more nicknames! It was pretty much the BEST camp ever!