What is a training camp really? That is the question that was asked numerous times as Team Wooly Mammoth packed their bags and headed off into the hills of Washington. This was the first time that the Squadra Electrica has utilized their current spot on the West Coast as a jumping off point for a few days of fun, sun and copious amounts of smoothie action.
However, that doesn't answer the question. What is a training camp? Well, a training camp can and should be a little bit of everything that your contemporary competitive cycling enthusiast will use over the approaching months to further their game. In our case the three main bullet points on our pre-camp agenda looked like this: 1. Nutrition 2. Cyclismo and 3. Presentation.
"nom nom nom" - Clint Culpepper
Nutrition: This takes various forms with the Woolies. Smoothies come at the top of this food chain. Vegetal matter is paramount, but the real focus is on quantity. Whether Cole is making cookies or Patrick is whipping up one of his famous smoothie cocktails - volume is always going to be king. Which is exactly why we ate a couple dozen cookies and more than a couple bags of homemade popcorn (add curry!).
Smoothie King - photo by Cole Lalomia
Cyclismo: This is the Spanish word for cycling and we will collectively agree from here on out that it has a much more dynamic feel to it. It is a word that embodies the forward motion that we so crave. Plus, the riding in Washington, just over the bridge from Portland, is INCREDIBLE. So much so that I feel like we overlook it when we are heading out to ride. Clint was our Navigational Expert when it came to route finding and mapping.
There was talk that our training camp was coming at a time when it was a bit un-necessary. At the end of June? Most people need a training camp early in the season to help kick start their training for the coming months. Not us, we were too busy watching movies and eating ice cream straight out of the carton when those training camps were happening. Besides, who really wants to swim with dolphins in late March? Julie came in with a quote straight from our French Playbook (she's still writing this one)...
"As we say in France, July is the only month that matters."
We did the only thing that we knew to do, left the kids at home and headed out into the wilderness. Bear Grylls would have been proud with the number of grubs we ate.
Presentation: Arguably the most important part of the #COOL training weekend, this is a step that is hard to explain without really sounding over the top. Sure there were actual presentations to be done - the topics vary from year to year, but the goals remain the same - inform and entertain. Yet, presentation is so much more than that.
Presentation is - but is not limited to: Proper sock height. Approved instagram usage (most of us failed here I am sad to say). Peacocking. Beards and Grooming. Tans and Tanlines. Verbose Vernacular (within the cycling realm).
Serious much? Photo by Cole Lalomia
Presentation also reared its ugly head in the form of a shootout. No cyclismo related team camp is complete without a competition of sorts. It is best for team morale if this competition has nothing to do with the bicycle as we all know there are some pretty fragile personalities when it comes to the sprinters and climbers on the team, so we thought it would best be a test of the west. Meaning, a good ol fashioned shootout. Note: There were only air rifles in effect, but there could still only be one marksman of the group. Special thanks to Team Dream Bicycling Team for coming through with their Rizzle Dizzle Jersey to keep me camouflaged throughout the competition.
Welcome Penne, Welcome.
The final segment of the Presentation section was the addition of our newest member. He's been riding and working with Clint and Cole for the better part of who knows how long, so it only seemed fitting. You may know him as the former Cat 3 Oregon State Crit Champion. Or even the state of Iowa Road Champion, or even just as Dan Penner. We however, know him simply, as Penne. You know, penne, like the pasta.
Since we are on the subject, check out the new Wooly Mammoth x PDX Summer Sock. Whatever you do, do not try telling us that summer is over. We get real angry when this subject comes up.