Thursday, July 30, 2015

Tour of QingHai Lake, last few days of racing

 our soigneur, Megumi, would treat my over-worked quadricep (which was causing knee pain) with acupuncture, kt tape, and massage. it led to some fun tan lines
 rooming with Olheiser is fun, he drinks win and watches a lot of tv. and then in the morning, he drinks a lot of coffee.
 escaping the heat, sometimes riders got rooms that faced the sun until quite late at night.
 Wazza, our other soignny, in a rare quiet moment!
Kriel, aka, the sniper. 
 look at that weird thing
 longest transfer of the race was immediately after the longest stage in the race. we got 7th in the sprint, it was a long day, but a nice little reward there at the end.
 every inch.
 no one wanted to eat these hot dogs. i ate them sometimes, if i got the chicken ones, but mostly i put them in funny places, but kyle didn't usually laugh.
sometimes you transfer to the start. 
 Christian gets the bikes ready
 phil putting our car-order sticker on the windsheild
 cops and phones.
the pre-race meetings got more and more casual as everybody got more and more tired, but also because the GC was essentially wrapped up before the last two stages. we pretty much just always played for the sprint. 
winston was very sick for the second half of the race. Megumi tried acupuncture on his head 
broken bike... 
it turned out for most of the race, and possibly the season, i have been racing a cracked frame. when i got on a new one, even tho it was a size too large, i immediately noticed a difference. it was stiffer when i pedaled, but more importantly, i didn't get a shimmy when i descended.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Tour of Qinghai Lake, first part of racing, oops, i mean, hotels and tailgating parties

crowds, smog, empty condos, a million dollars of caravan infastructure 
Xining is a medium-large city, it's skyline is defined by the amount of cranes. 
 wazza and U-U prep race food, van driver takes photos.
phil (ds) and christian (mechanic) move a bike.
im still learning how to use aperture priority... 
nick has very interesting style 
 raising awareness worldwide
mike post stage 1
kyle and mattheiu apply compression and clean up for the bus transfer back to the base 
 "put that louve thingy in the parking lot of the mall, ok?"
the area where we raced is predominantly muslim 
laundry every day means air drying everyday. 
 stage 2 was hot n dusty, with a lot of crashes.
kyle was starting to get annoyed that i always was pointing my camera at him 
 you gotta zoom on this one, so much good stuff happening.
whatsapp, snapchat, imessage, ashtray. 
 post stage 4 we stayed at the qinghai lake hotel, on the lake, which is around 10,000ft and pretty much the beginning of the himalayas. just outside the hotel on one side is a gigantic lake, and on the other side is mountains, and sheep.
 salty dogs
stage 5 or 6, i cant remember, we arrived after a long-ish transfer to a hotel with no elevator. all of our team got super motivated and just started lugging bags up to the rooms, heaving and hawing. five minutes later, we see all these local teen in red shirts with the race's logo on them, lugging other teams stuff up the stairs, practically running and asking everyone they see how to help. live and learn... 
 weird bathroom window

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Tour of Qinghai Lake, first few days

arriving at the duoba olympic training base, ~7,000 ft. going to the team presentation, which was crazy, and relaxing in our dorms, acclimating to food, altitude and the cooler weather.
 kyle and I roomed together for all but 3 nights during our 19 days in china
 the entire race travelled to Xining to this gigantic sports complex for the teams presentation
 here is a glimpse of the armada of vehicles that went everywhere with the race. also a glimpse of the rain
mike does not want to walk in the rain. 
 our team shoe sponsor, cushe, hooked us up with some fresh trainers for the race.
lots of standing around, waiting for the point where the riders go out on stage 

 the mascot for the race is some sort of yak/deer/antelope. unfortunately, this was the last time we would meet this life-sized version.
 at some point kriel and phil took my camera. here is our frenchies, thomas and matthieu
 our cheerleader would lead us, (us on our bikes) up the ramp and over the stage, the stadium was filled with people applauding
"put this in your pocket" 
 this would wear off very quickly...
my absolute favorite photo from this whole trip. thank you phil 
 the birth of my nickname for the trip
 time to go
 the fleet always travelled with police escort, they would shut down highways for us, close roads, and block traffic anytime the race transferred anywhere.
ghost cities... 
the area we raced in was 100% manicured, every foot was landscaped. 
 the duoba base. we would be here for a few days, one stage even started here. it was where the chinese teams prepared for the beijing olympics in 2008, now it is more or less some type of campsite/hotel. the mountain behind the base was very dramatic.
the pathways from the dorms to food hall to bike storage were really awkward 
this was the scene