Monthly Archives: January 2012

Qatar the Remix

Yeah, that’s the picture of the toilets in our bathroom.  So we can go at the same time like true team mates!

Arriving in Qatar at night is like entering a parallel universe.  Did the plane fly in a big circle and drop us off right back in America? There are buildings, trees, and highways all lit by american-looking street lights, but something is just a little bit off about everything.  The darkness hides the differences and the jet lag makes your mind cloudy.  When your eyes come into focus, you finally see and register the scribbly writing, the guy in the dress, or the phone next to the toilet.  If american culture is one ending to one of those movies whose plot diverges after the main character makes a seeminly unimportant decision, changing the future forever, Qatar made me feel I was stepping into ending #2. What is that movie called? The Butterfly Effect?

It’s also a big deja vu experience for me.  A lot has been similar to last year.  We’re staying in the same hotel, the Ritz, we took the same sketchy vans from the airport to the hotel (the bearded men wordlessly grabbing our bikes and luggage from us as we stepped out the airport doors, hoisting it onto the back of a flat bed truck, and lashing it down with rope).  I hope our luggage follows us to the hotel.  Heaven know what I’d do if my suitcase got lost.  Somehow it makes it, and we end up in the dining room munching on delicious snacks only a few hours after we land.  We hadn’t seen the sun for 12 hours, and it would be another nine or ten before we did – weird.

Today we did a two-hour ride to spin out the legs.  Mine felt good, that is, until Jackson decided (without telling us) to start driving faster and faster until he drove us off his wheel (we were motorpacing).  For lunch we went to the buffet in a big ballroom with all the other teams.  Each team has their own assigned table.  We’ve got the perfect team table.  It’s at the edge of the ballroom which means that you can observe everyone else instead of feeling like you’re the ones being observed.  Some of the fat euro directors stuffing their faces with pasta even though they’re going to be sitting in the caravan all day tomorrow.  I recognize some girls from last year, but there are new faces too.  Most teams are laughing and chatting.  It’s a laid-back atmosphere tonight.
Here is the map of the first stage tomorrow.  Wind will be strong, so we expect it to split up.  I’ll be done before most of your wake up in the morning!

Math Problems & Training

Even my boyfriend is telling me to update my blog now.  Wow, I’m such a slacker!  I suppose he’s got a point though.  I haven’t posted in ten days, and he visits this site more often than that.  No, he doesn’t come to read my blog.  We’ve been trying to coordinate our spring schedules and I, since I don’t ever look at the exact dates of races, usually end up referring him to the schedule on my home page.  Like I’ve said before, these things come in handy for more than just blogging.  Sometimes the “Racing Schedule” section on my blog is the only way I know where I am when I’ve been traveling around Europe in the team van for weeks (that is, assuming I know what day it is).

My spring is going to be a busy one.  Nicola has told us to bring the bare minimum to team camp, but since I’ll be coming straight from Qatar I’ll have a unnecessary amount of equipment and clothes with me.  Here’s my flight lineup: January 29th, leave for Qatar.  I’ll be in Qatar one week.  Then I’ll fly from Qatar to D.C. to California (three time zones more than halfway around the world) for Exergy TWENTY12 team camp in Palm Springs.  After camp, I spend a week in Atlanta doing normal-people things like going to the Picasso to Warhol exhibit at the High Museum of Art (!!!).  I’ll be off to Europe eight or nine days later.  Then finally, I’ll be home on….wait, let me check my home page…March 12th?

Let me summarize that for you: Orlando to Qatar to Palm Springs to Atlanta to Brussels (drive around Europe for two weeks) to Orlando.

In the meantime, I’ll be training in Orlando.  The riding here reminds me of those measuring cup problems from elementary school: If you had a 5-liter bowl and a 3-liter bowl, and an unlimited access to water, how would you measure exactly 4 liters?  In cycling terms: If I have a 35-minute loop and a 22-minute loop, what combination of loops do I need to do to come up with a 2.5-hour ride?

There!  There’s my update.  Promise I’ll have some pictures next time.  Meanwhile, here is a picture of our newly-wrapped team car!