With just over a day to go before the camp starts we’ve everything in place (more or less) and Jo & I are really excited, and a little nervous, for the camp to start.
We’ve been in Lanzarote for 4 days now and spent the time checking things out and making final arrangements. Jo is relieved to finally be able to discuss our requirements face-to-face with the hotel staff, who have been most helpful, and ensured all the accommodation is correct and made sure that the hotel is ready for 18 hungry athletes for breakfast and dinner service. She’s also been sorting out a van to collect everyone, a massage table from a local therapist and delivery of nutrition product (which had been held hostage in Gran Canaria for four days!). I certainly feel she’s had the tougher tasks -but I’ve been out riding some of the routes to check distances, timings, supermarket opening hours and that my legs and new Look bike are going to be up to the week ahead. The bike needed a little attention, but the legs seem to be fine!
With mostly everything in place, we’re now just keeping our fingers crossed that none of the campers arriving late Saturday night will have mechanical issues like I’ve had since arriving. Firstly one of the bolts holding the bars to the stem sheered off when I tightened it. I have a torque wrench and it was wasn’t yet at torque. The first day I had a nervy ride over to Pro Bike in La Santa. They kindly loaned me a stem while they fixed that one. When I returned to collect it I had him check my gears as it jumping when under pressure. It looked bent to me but I’d had the hanger checked before leaving. The derailleur was badly bent – this is the one I’d trashed on Epic Camp when my chain jumped. He man handled it as straight as he could and yesterday I tested it my going hard up Tabayesco. I was riding strong (good sign given some of the cyclists attending the camp) but it just kept jumping so I headed back to Pro Bike and got a new one put on. It means I’m all set. Jo also feels she’s riding strong on her new bike (delivered and assembled by Bicycle Chain and test ridden literally hours before we departed the UK) so we hope we’re both in a position to really help stretch the campers if thats what they want.
You may wonder what the photo is. Well it’s a rubber ring “Warning – this is not survival aid”. This is Jo’s cunning plan for a turn-buoy. We set alarms for our first morning sea swim, only to find that the timings on our camp schedule are a little optimistic as it’s not getting light till around 7:20am. So for some of the races I’m going to hold the orange do-nut aloft for swimmers to race toward. We did a trial run this morning to see how easy it be to spot in the dawn light, and to tow out. I was pleasantly surprised that it didn’t slow me too much. In fact, it appeared to slow me just enough for Jon and Paul (two campers who have arrived a couple of days in advance) to follow right behind. It even had me considering using it as a big marker for people to follow on the swim. I pulled it out to the proposed turn point and I tried to get sat in it as Jo had suggested. I was nowhere near… boy, it was buoyant. We met Jo halfway back and she confirmed that it was very visible and then showed how easy it actually is to jump on and sit upon if you happen to be 52kg and adequately coordinated. Even having watched her do it I’m not sure how she managed it.
Paul (the other paul on the camp) and Farouk arrived late morning, looking fit and enthusiastic despite having come straight from a double shift at work in Farouk’s case. They put their bikes together and I accompanied them for a locals lunch and short shake-out ride. As Paul’s coach I was pleased at how far his riding has progressed since our last meeting. I wonder if it’s to do with the P3C, as previously owned by myself ,that he’s riding?
When Jo, Sarah and the other guys returned from a short run through the old town to explore the coastal path and check some distances they intercepted our long-awaited Powerbar delivery, and we have just been putting together each athlete’s welcome pack. It feels like the calm before the storm – tomorrow will start with an optional group swim ..and then the rest of the day a frenzy of airport pick-ups, check in and bike building activity, which is unlikely to die down for 6 days!
Bring it ON :o)