Within hours I head to the airport after a fantastic off-season. I’m off to Spain to meet up with the team and the start of our campaign. I’m looking forward to it but I have to admit it’s hard to leave where I’ve recently settled, especially since my family won’t meet me in Europe for another week or two.
It’s also hard to leave because I feel like I’ve been warmly welcomed into my new community here in LA. The neighbors are cool and don’t seem to mind me or my antics. The local cyclists are super friendly…and while I’ve been out on the road I’ve really appreciated all the ‘Hey Dave’ shout-outs, the waves, the thumbs-up gestures and the smile-head-nod combos that have been sent my way. Thanks for having me!
Also, finding a good bike mechanic shop at Win’s Wheels has been a real treat. Great guys, talented crew, funny, and they’ve been kind enough to lead me to believe that I have a legit shot at working there after my racing career.
It’s also hard to leave here because I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed the training in the Santa Monica Mountains. This mountain range extends 40 miles (64 km) east-west from the Hollywood Hills to Point Mugu. In between are enough canyon routes from the valleys to the ocean to completely delight even this cyclist who has ridden all over the world. The Santa Monica Mountains also have over 580 miles (933 km) of public trails. I mapped most of them on my mountain bike and have to say that I enjoyed every pedal stroke of it.
It’s also been fun for me to see some other pros, even some other pro teams, come to the area to train this winter. I guess among the pro cycling community this place is more of an open secret now. But I think that’s cool, and the local amateur riders I’ve spoken to seem to be getting a kick out of spotting riders from the peloton on their local routes. Now I just have to convince my team that this is the place to have a camp.
If you read my last post you know that I was recently out with the DZ Nuts Mobile doing some motorpacing. Trust me, that’ll be easy to miss. Well, we put together some of the photos and video clips from that day and created a short DZ Nuts commercial. Enjoy.
Thanks for the support, your interest in my racing career and your well wishes for the 2011 season. I’m looking forward to kicking it off.