I've been training and racing quite a bit with my friends from the Bicycle Trip racing team over the last couple of years. Mark Edwards, Scott Martin, Margie Biddick, Larry Broberg and others. Great people, and fast too! We've done painful hill repeats together, carpooled to races, worked as a team in tough races, and even gone to the ER together. The Bicycle Trip bike shop's owner, Berri, currently sponsors Team Santa Cruz, so it's only natural to form a closer alliance between the two teams. It made sense to me to accept Bicycle Trip's formal offer to become a member of their racing team. Yes, I am now a sponsored racer! Watch out all you Pros! ;-)
Oh, I am still a member of Team Santa Cruz, and intend to remain so as long as I live here. I'll admit I was very reluctant to sign on to Team Bicycle Trip for fear I'd offend my Team Santa Cruz friends. I asked David Gill what he thought, and he was very supportive, reminding me that we already have many members doing the same thing. Some, like Melanie Dominguez, even race for Bicycle Trip. I fully intend to support our up-and-coming road race contingent and our long-term prospects are exciting! With luck we may even be able to race together later in the 2008 season.
For the 2008 season I have committed to race 10 races in Team Bicycle Trip kit. I will probably continue to race in Team Santa Cruz kit in the CCCX mountain-bike series, and other such races. Most of my Team Bicycle Trip races, maybe all, will be on the road. I visualize my role on Team Bicycle Trip as two-fold:
1. Ride in support of Mark, Scott and Larry (and whoever else shows up) in the very tough 45+ open-category road races they love to do. I'm not much of a climber, but I think training more often with Mark can fix some of that. I can always launch futile attacks in the flat sections, or try to help them bridge if they get stuck at the wrong end of a gap.
2. Race for the podium in criteriums, most likely in either Category 3 races, or 45+ open-category races. Since I will likely have teammates in many of these, including Ed Price, Vlada Strbac, Robbie Abundis and Joe Platin, I suspect we may be switching roles from race to race, taking turns as our designated overall contender, and the rest of us riding in support by leading him out, closing gaps, bridging him to breakaways etc.
Hey, this is a neat thing, and what I see as part of my growth process. I very much look forward to the cool racing to come!