Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Technology Tiger

I just booked my ticket for a race over three months from now, The Redlands Bicycle Classic.  This race marks the beginning of my 2012 campaign.  I already feel the pressure to do something big to get my team on board for taking a stab at the entire NRC Calendar

I have been in secret training mode since October.  So secret that I have abandoned the mustache and will likely do without it next year in an attempt to attack these races like a ninja.  To aid, my team is opting at keeping the jersey design pretty plain, despite my early attempts to mix things up with a design idea I dubbed the "Technology Tiger".

I've got mad Paint skills.
I tested out my sans mustache theory in Phoenix, AZ on a two week business trip that also turned into a two week secret cycling camp.  I met up with the elite national team, Landis Cyclery, during one of their minicamps thanks to a heads up from my buddy David Glick who will become the elder-muscle on the squad for the next year.  I was taken through the beautiful Tonto National Forest to Bartlett Lake.  This was an incredible ride, minus the brief hailstorm...

Bartlett Lake / Tonto National Forest
Halfway out of the climb out of the park my cover was blown by one of the teammates who had raced at Elite Nationals and then a flurry of attacks came from the young guns of yellow and green hailing from Tucson, Phoenix, and Flagstaff.  After a 60 hour work week and 20 hours already on the books for my training that week... I had to let the kids be kids, but they showed me that they mean business while knowing how to have a lot of fun.  Watch out for them in 2012.

Really excited for next year with the addition of Cisco to our sponsorship team.  I think I am in a rare situation to be representing two companies, XO Communications and Cisco Systems, Inc., in a work field capacity and a sponsorship capacity.  I happen to be Cisco certified and work as a Network Engineer that happens to use XO Communications for our Wide Area Network services.  I just nerded out a little, but it's pretty cool and I'm hoping I can be a strong ambassador for the companies on my bike and in my office.  I must be doing something right,  because despite the crazy balancing act I performed this year to be able to travel/race/work, I am happy to report I have secured work for the next two years.  And I put enough OT in while at Phoenix to hopefully fund my Christmas present to myself:

Eh, Eh... New Direction for 2012?

I don't think I'll be chasing that opportunity in Belgium next year.  I have many reasons, but it mostly comes down to being very happy with my current situation.  I felt the pressure to validate my racing season since I didn't get the invitation to the big leagues.  But I am validated everyday thanks to my friends, family, work, and motivation to keep racing here.

I look forward to sharing next season with you.  Who knows, maybe UnderTheRugg might start a little video series...