words: Cameron Bronstein images: Andrew Goessling
After an early morning at work, I pedaled home to meet part of the East Bay crew (Roman and Reese). We hit the road in Roman’s sweet old car for Novato to meet up with Caesar --our selfless mechanic-- and team papas Matt Adams and Steve Pelaez. It was quite the job to pack up our Toyota Sienna with the team’s gear from all of our sponsors: ProBar, Capo Cycling Apparel, Specialized Evade helmets and Sub6 shoes, Look Pedals, and BikeSmart gear. Amazingly everything fit in the Sienna and we were off. What a way to start the weekend in seeing the Mike’s Bikes warehouse, where a team of mechanics spends countless hours building all the bikes for Mike’s Bikes, including our new Specialized Venge ViAS team bikes.
We made our way through the green Sonoma pastures and up the familiar grade of Joy Rd. in Occidental where we’d be staying for the weekend (huge thanks to Travis Lyons for setting us up with an amazing cabin). A few quick introductions later and we finally took off for the first ride of the weekend. Rain, wet roads, and a couple punctures kept the intensity mellow, but we had a fun time familiarizing ourselves with the steep curves of Coleman Valley Rd. which would serve as a motif for the weekend’s rides.
We got all cleaned up from our muddy ride and relaxed for a bit, chatting about our awesome new bikes and our excitement for dinner. As forever hungry cyclists, we all opted for the “Dinner” option for entrees at Negri’s Original, which included countless sides and a seemingly endless amount of delicious Italian food. I was not one to complain! A long dinner later and we were getting more food for breakfast across the road. It was here that our team camp anthem was found and some major dance moves were thrown down (Fairfax by Gladiator).
As the evening came to a close, some of us played with our bikes while the rest divvied out our team gear. What a feeling to make a separate “stars and stripes” pile for all of our past and current National Champions -- a true testament to the depth and hard work of our riders! Cheers to a great first day of camp.