The ride had ups and downs. Looking back on it, I think it was the best experience of my life. However during the ride I went through all sorts of swings, both with my body and my mind. I remember thinking numerous times that I wanted quit. One thing is for sure; I would not have completed the ride without the 9 other guys. Although it was competitive, no one left me alone when I was really dying. The days that had huge head winds, everyone sticked together. When there was lightning, hail, and rain I was never left alone. It was interesting with all the personality dynamics. I think everyone got pushed to their limits a couple times. By the last couple days of the tour I felt like a cycling caveman. My natural instincs took over. I was using all sorts of cheap road race tactics to stay with people (taking short pulls, faking fatigue, talking to folks, getting behind the biggest dude). Usually by the 70 mile mark I'd snap out of it and drag myself to the end of the day. Most of the guys never snapped out of that.....they'd keep that mentality for the whole day. We had time trials, but the regular days were far more competitive. Part of this was because Adam was cleaning up the TT's, and everyone came to the realization that we couldn't beat him, and the other part was you were by yourself in time trials. On the road if someone attacked, if fueled people's competitive juices.
I was impressed with how strong everyone was. People bonked but no one gave up (well except Elliot that one time by Lander) hahaha, seriously though no one quit.
Adam - I now know why he's called the terminator, he's got the biggest engine of anyone I've ever ridden with. He pulled the group when no one wanted to pull. He won all three jerseys; power, distance, power/weight
Halpin - I was super impressed with Halpin's climbing. He was the only person to consistenly stay with Adam on the climbs. You'd think for such a skinny guy he wouldn't have that big of an engine...............................he does. He would be a great road racer.
Pipo - He's a freak, he didn't train (literally no riding prior), suffered through the first week, but up Teton Pass he was right with the front guys, no to mention he won the green jersey a couple times (most power). I continue to be impressed with his natural ability.
Jeffro - I was the most impressed with Jeff. He hung tough every day, even attacking hard the first week. He's a smart road rider, and has a good sprint. He knows how to hang when he's not feeling well.....great skill
Elliot - This kid can suffer like a dog. In one of the time trials we was at like 95% of his max the whole time. He's and all or nothing guy. He was either dragging me at the end of the day or I was dragging him. Also, he was the most aerodynamic rider, often finishing high in the distance competition.
Matt - I didn't know much about Matt before the study. Now I know he is a freak rider. He won the power to weight competition numerous times, and has a bright future in whatever he does. He can climb well. I wish he would road race...with more tactics he would kill.
Josh - He always waiting for me when I was off the back. I was super impressed with his ability to save energy in the group, and to read winds. He wrecked his elbow halfway through, and still finished with stiches in his arm. It was one of the biggest displays of courage I've ever seen. The study opened my eyes to how good of a rider he is. He had lower power numbers then some of the newer riders but he can win cat 1,2 races???? Skills
Doug - Doug is a horse. He has more wind drag then anyone, and still hung. Like Phil he didn't train a lick and somehow came into form the last week??? I swear the last week, he just didn't get tired. I appreciated Doug hanging back and helping the groupetto. He's another natural talent guy.
It was the best trip of my life and something I'll never forget. I had never reflected on the trip, before this. After writing this little journal entry it makes me realize how cool the trip was. I can't wait to do it again.