Written by Emma Edwards (women’s road captain), with help from other training camp attendees. Stay tuned for more recaps in the next couple days!
We traveled to Temecula, CA for our winter training camp (just like the team did last year) for 8 days of riding in warm, sunny southern CA. I didn’t get to go last year because of my PhD qualifying exams, but training camp was one of the highlights of my first year, so I was really excited about going again this year. We had a bunch of new people this year: only 7 of the 17 people that went had been to training camp before! Przemyslaw (PK) Krol (men’s road captain) made a great video that summed up a lot of the week:
PK said about the week:
“9 fantastic days filled with beautiful rides, friends, shared meals, and shenanigans; It doesn’t get much better than this. This was my first time at training camp and it’s one that I’m sure I’ll remember forever. Throughout the week we got to climb a mountain(twice!), see the ocean, and eat sooo much delicious food. It was so awesome to see people do their longest rides to date (and the most climbing, too!) and smiling at the end. I’m sad training camp went by so quickly, but I’m glad to have been a part of it.”
Dustin Weigl said about the week:
“I’m a first year masters student so this was my first time attending training camp and was also my introduction to most of the team outside of a couple club rides that I joined in the fall. I came on the trip not knowing most of the group but was excited to meet my teammates while getting in some good ol’ fashioned miles on two wheels. The week definitely didn’t disappoint and I can confirm that the case of FOMO you feel yourself coming down with might be worse after reading this blog.
The week had plenty of volume and coming out from Boston made the hours outside on the bike that much sweeter. Day 1 brought more climbing per mile than I think I’ve ever done and unfortunately my back paid for it and forced me to take time off the bike on day 2. Of course, starting a week-long training trip with injury made me pretty nervous but luckily I was able to build my way back through my day off and the following rest day. And for the rest of the week, the team kept checking in on me which speaks to the camaraderie the group had during the trip. We also had the pleasure of adding a few alumni to the group and it was great to hear about everything they’ve been doing both on and off their bikes in their time since leaving MIT.
Outside of riding, we had our fair share of shenanigans at the house playing some group games, eating absurd numbers of bananas, and seeing what kinds of weird noises people make when introduced to the foam roller. Delicious family-style dinners, a beautiful location, and seamless organization. A HUGE thank you to PK and Emma for their hard work in organizing such a successful trip! Overall, the trip made me excited to see what kind of firepower MIT can bring to the ECCC this spring and to meet the rest of the group. Just a few more weeks until the first race!”
I was getting pretty worried about the weather in the weeks leading up to the trip. California was having an unusually rainy period. This was great for California to help get out of their drought, but not great for our training! There were reports of ~40-50 degrees and rainy, which was barely warmer than Boston, where it was unseasonably warm. But we absolutely lucked out and had perfect weather the entire time we were there. Highs were between 65 and 75 every day and it didn’t rain on us the entire time! Each of us racked up 523 miles with 41,172 ft of elevation gain, riding for 35hr 21min over the 8 days of riding. So many times over the week I thanked myself for going to get a bike fitting before I left. Chris Duffy (Belmont Wheelworks) did an amazing job getting me into a position I could be in for hours and hours without discomfort. (Well, without too much discomfort!)
We rented a house outside of Temecula in wine country. I was immediately very popular for picking a house that was on top of a hill so that you had to climb 800ft up to the house at the end of each day. But it did make for a beautiful setting to spend a week and a half:
Views from the house
We were particularly excited about our 3 alumni who could join us: Jen Wilson, Stan Prutz, and Chase Lambert. Jen and Stan were among the 7 who had been to training camp before, so it was great having them there for their experience and advice. Stan made the team very happy when he made chocolate-chip blueberry portables. Jen, along with Anne Raymond, were part of the silver-medal winning women’s TTT team last year at nationals, so her advice on TTT-ing was particularly useful!
Since so much happened in training camp, I’m breaking this up into a couple different blog posts: Days 1-4 and Days 5-8.