As soon as the weather starts to turn, we put the bikes on the rack, hop in the cars and make the hotel reservations. Droves of us leave our dense metropolitan areas for remote outposts with the hope of finding the ever elusive ‘form’. Old friendships are strengthened and new ones are made. Oh, and generally there’s a lot of beer involved.
It’s time for Spring Training Camp.
Once a year, a fairly large section of the Birchwood Bike Team makes its way south to Red Wing. Southeast Minnesota is, in my humble opinion, one of the lovelier places this world has to offer. The transition from wide, open fields to rocky river valley is sudden and makes for some of the best climbing offered in the state. This is not a mountainous region by any stretch, but give me a good honest 5% for a mile or so and I’m a happy guy. The traditional loop around Lake Pepin provides four of these, and by the end you’re feeling pretty well satisfied.
Birchwood has fostered an amazing sense of community, something you often don’t see in teams of this size. People know you, are patient with you and generally just out to have a fun time. Hammer as much as you want, or just take it easy and really learn the basics, we’ve got you covered. And at the end of the day we’ll come together and celebrate the ride. Fast or slow. Long or short. It’s all the same after a few beers. Red Wing always reminds me of this and it’s great to start the season with a clear head. Too often do we play mind games and lose sight of what’s really the great thing about cycling.
So thanks Paula, Mike and the rest of Red Wing 2012. It’s going to be a hell of a season.