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How To Have Your Best Team Camp Ever Without Getting Faster

Stay close enough to draft, run that mouth, and keep an eye out for sprint points. They could be anywhere, even deep in the Chattahoochee National Forest. Photo: Jered Gruber.

Our team camp is a week away, and I used to be on a trajectory that would allow me to achieve my annual goal during the week: continuously running my mouth from the back of the group without any intention of touching the wind, unless a town sign sprint is being contested. I'd have just enough sugars stored up to torch the idiots in the same jersey as me who had been dumb enough to be pulling the last hour. Like taking candy from a baby.

Most of the year I reside in Cleveland, where riding is strange during the winter. Some days are really snowy, some days are dry, but a lot of the time it is just really grey and the Cavs suck again. I didn’t go to Tucson like Ben to avoid the winter weather, but I did get to spend a couple weeks in Athens, GA, cycling with the world-famous Winter Bike League group rides while taking full advantage of the SAG car: sitting in the passenger seat with my Wahoo still running, snatching KOMs while simultaneously changing a flat. After a proper rest, I would pry myself from the warm leather seats just in time to contest the sprint with those who were stupid enough to actually ride the entire route. Bingo.

I won't make fun of your handlebar sac if its filled with six pieces of pizza. Photo: Jered Gruber.

I then came back to Cleveland and, determined not to sit inside on the trainer like my ex-triathlete teammate Jair-E, went on a mountain bike ride over some of the frozen trails near the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. During the ride, I managed to nearly gouge my eye out on a branch sticking out into the trail. After the obligatory string of mild profanities, I thought nothing of it until a few days later I (half) awoke to the same eye being suddenly swollen shut and was rewarded with a seven-day course of antibiotics.

I had planned to use these seven days do some relatively serious prep-work for our training camp in Mid-February, so being bed-ridden and not allowed in public has made me adjust my plans for winning my “A Event” for 2019 (definitely not Redlands or Joe Martin stage races – everyone knows the real race is the one between “friends”).

Looks pretty...pretty dangerous.

I’ve given up on personally being fast next week, so now I’ve come up with my...

Top Tin (10) Stroker-recommended ways to make your teammates slower

Now, with two bonus ways!


I can’t guarantee results from this approach, but you better believe I’m going to try. Stay tuned to the blog next week to see how these strategies turn out, and other information coming out of our team camp in Asheville, NC.

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