Collegiate road racing season begins in early spring. Collegiate road training thus takes place in winter, which isn’t always the most pleasant time to ride outside in the northeast. Luckily, MIT has a January term called Independent Activities Period (IAP), during which students can perform research, take mini-classes, or go on bike vacations. Each year, a group of racing members travels somewhere warm for the last week of IAP for a ‘training camp’, with the goal to ride like professionals for a week and spend time with teammates. Four years ago, a handful of serious racers attended training camp. Last year, 16 went. This year, 30 athletes signed up, including alumni, veteran racers, and new riders.
The captains chose the same location as last year: Borrego Springs, CA, a tiny town 78 miles inland from San Diego with no stoplights and few cars. Average January weather is sunny with a high temperature of 69F—perfect for cycling. We rented two houses, one of which became the hangout spot for team dinners and post-ride ice baths in the pool.
Every day contained either an epic ride through the mountains or a day for recovery. We split into groups to go different paces and distances, such that every rider could challenge him/herself without getting injured or lonely. We incorporated intervals and base miles, so that when racing begins in a month everyone should be fit and excited for the season! Below are some trip highlights:
Defeat and Redemption on the Road to Julian (by Nate Dixon)
The Battle of Di Georgio Road (by David Koppstein)
800,000 Calories at Costco (by Jennifer Wilson)
TTT Practice (by Katie Maass)
Matt’s Highlights of the Trip (by Matt Redmond)
Comments From Alumni On Training Camp