Monday, March 6, 2017

2017 USA Cycling UCI Junior Winter Camp

Me, Liam, Tommy, Paul, Jon Jon  (Photo credit: Paul Fabian)
With the 2017 race season fast approaching and training days becoming more intense, it was finally time to get some traveling underway. This trip landed me in Arizona for a training camp put on by USAC to help further my skills both on and off the bike, as well as initiate friendships with some of the other top junior riders in the country. With 10 junior riders going, I was exciting to interact with and get to know the new faces I met.

During the camp, we had two long rides on Saturday and Sunday where we went out just to have fun on the bike, despite the rain that had been coming down. On Saturday we all rode as a group to the McDowell trail system, where we hit several miles of very fun single track before heading back to the house to make ourselves lunch.The next day we explored a new trail system much closer to the house we were staying at, and we got to ride much more flowing single track. Then, during the next two days, we split into groups of boys and girls and took turns either working on skills with Shaums March, the skills coach, or going out and doing a recovery ride. On Monday, the girls went out and practiced skills with Shaums, while the guys did a nice recovery ride. The next day, the guys got to work on skills with Shaums. We worked mostly on bike handling and control for cornering, drop offs, hops, and jumps. By the end of the day, the guys and I were cooked. And not just tired, but sunburned as well. During the day after our rides, we'd all hang out and relax in the living room talking or watching movies, or playing pool on the pool table right outside. Usually we all helped cook dinner together, but on Tuesday, we all went out to a local Mexican restaurant and enjoyed each others' company and the food served. 

This trip was a great experience for me to learn more about some of the other top riders in the US and get to know them better as potential junior members of Team USA. I feel like I've continued to grow as a rider with the knowledge I've gained at this camp. I'd like to thank Ann Trombley, Jason Jablonski, Shaums March, and Marc Gullickson for putting on this camp and making it so much fun.