17 June 2008

Epic Italy '08 Epilogue

Epic Italy ’08 Epilogue

I’m in Milan airport (Linate, not Malpensa!) as I finish this and feeling ready to go home. I’m pooped.

The red wine and grappa flowed and Julie even brought out a big round of smelly cheese from Pienza that Erin had acquired the week before this camp began. It was smelling pretty ripe by now and was awfully delicious.
It was a rather light meal and speeches were short too as we really didn’t bring any special prizes to give out this camp as we already had a problem bringing the things we needed to get through the camp.
The points showed Steve creamed us in the over-all, G-Man easily took out the KOM and I got another green jersey. Jo gets a special mention as she clearly out-trained everyone but Steve by a large margin. The woman can go long! It was only the race points that kept her from clearly scoring 2nd.

After dinner we moved into the center of town for a little wander through Verona. Quite a few people were out for a Sunday night and it was warm and dry which was nice. We’ve been a little short on warm and dry on this trip.
Randy’s moved over to the Hotel Accademia which is a super sweet hotel right in the center of town. If I ever stay here in the future that would be my choice of hotel.

At this point in time we’re still planning on the next Epic being in the South Island of New Zealand going north from Christchurch and finishing in Nelson. We’ll do a few new routes including a trip into Takaka and staying in Collingwood so we can do a long run on the Heaphy. I’ve always wanted to see that part of NZ as some of my multisport buddies have told me its one of the best parts of the country.

I’d like to say a special thanks to Ian and Julie for looking after us. Its an 11-hour drive for them to get here (and then back) and the amount of daily hours and driving looking after us has been a big ask. After having their help for the Pyrenees I knew we could only do this camp with their help and now that we’re planning the Alps next June or July we’ll have to wait and see when their schedule allows them to help us again as I wouldn’t try to do that trip without them.

A big thanks to Newsom who does almost all of the work for these camps now and I hope he’ll continue to do that as well as continue to tow us around on the bikes. I know he gets damn tired just like the rest of us yet still manages all of his on-road admin with grace and patience.

Thanks to Gordo for making it through one more camp.

Thanks to all the campers for sharing this trip with me. I’ve wanted to ride these mountains for over 20 years and I finally lived that dream. Italy is a fantastic country to be a tourist in and I’ll be back.

Big thanks to our sponsors:
High Five – fantastic range of energy supplements for training and racing.
HED - thanks for your continued support – its been 24 years for me now.
XTri – thanks to Vinu and Betsy for understanding what we’re all about.
Coffees of Hawaii – thanks Albert for your continued support. (I like my green jersey!)
Oomph! - Thanks for your continued support and fantastic apparel.
Blue Seventy - Thanks for your continued support and fantastic swim gear.

On the way over to, and in Tuscany I read a couple of books a friend gave me titled “Vroom with a View” by Peter Moore which tells of the authors trip around Italy on moped. Its light and fun and sounds like the type of books that make all the romance seem very attainable. These camps are a lot like that for me. I will often get out the atlas and look at all of the places I’d like to go and see via s/b/r and share the experience with like-minded people.
Perhaps as I slow down I’ll need to moderate the athletic part of my goals on these adventures but in the next few years at least I plan on doing things just the same as the previous 9 camps we’ve had. I expect them to be very, very challenging and this one has been. Although the entire trip was very rewarding and satisfying I wasn’t all that happy with how I was climbing or swimming on this camp, so I’ve got plenty to keep me busy preparing for the next couple of camps.

Train Hard,
Satiate the Need