Velo Veneto - Ciclismo Italiano !

Stories from the Velo Veneto bike racing camp in Castelcucco, Italy

Location: San Francisco, California, United States

I'm a 50 year old kid who loves to race bikes. I operate a bike racing camp in Northern Italy. When not in Italy I have the good fortune of living in one of the best places to ride, the Northern California Wine Country.

Friday, December 17, 2004

"The Window Has Closed"

For the last few mid December's, Glen and I have this running joke about how long it will take him once he starts training drop me! Well, today, with only four rides and less than 10 hours under his belt, he gave it a try. We were out on a beautiful, but crisp day in Nor Cal for a 3 hour ride. Glen and Cindy spent most of the time on the front discussing ways that she could train to improve her climbing on the really steep hills. I was trying to stay out of Glen's way as with this head cold, the last thing you want to do is ride right behind me as I clear my blow-hole. About 2 hrs into the ride we start a fairly gentle 5k climb up the Bohemian Highway from Monte Rio to Occidental then turn left up Graton Rd. to the top. Glen seems to be pretty motivated this year. He has come back from New Zealand with only a few extra lbs. So the closer we get to the top, the more he increases the pace. Now mind you this isn't a steep climb, maybe 5-7%...I'm in the 53x21 most of the time. Then for the last K up Graton Rd., Glen clicks it up a gear or two and stands up, boom there goes Cindy ("I wasn't going to push myself with this cold"). I had to make a quick decision as to whether I should let him go or...NOT! How can live with myself if he drops me on less than a week of riding? Heck, I'm no slouch...(Cat. 2 with lots of Euro experience!) So quickly I click up a couple and stand up to close the small gap, then hang on for about 500 meters over the top and....made it. This is a good Glen Mitchell we're dealing with this year I think. He's motivated and relaxed. Look out US Pro peloton. Of course this wasn't always the case. I first met Glen in November, 2000. We didn't talk too much until I crashed and got run over by a pickup truck on Dec. 16, 2000. Glen (and his now wife Tonia) were one of the first visitors I had in the hospital. At home recovering on New Year's Day 2001, they stopped by to say hi, and I asked Glen how the training was going. He said something like "what training"? I got pissed at him and told him to get his butt out there and put in the miles. Are you a "pro" or not? Of course he wasn't really at that time as the Noble House farce of a pro team never came to be. So it looks like the window of opportunity to drop Glen may be closed until Dec. 2005 ... and that's a good thing.


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