i left portland from the bike shop at 5pm on monday the 12th. 2 wheel cases and a double bike box stuffed with everything i thought i might need for a 2 week trip to the caribbean. at the airport my bike box was 110 lbs so i had to do some rearranging and got it down to a barely acceptable 99lbs. paid 200 bux in baggage fees and was on my way. pdx-sea-mia-pos. arrived in port of spain tuesday at 2pm. met arnold the transportation director who took me to the hotel to drop of my things, then take me straight to the press party full of important people. did a tv interview, met the sponsors, shook a lot of hands, did a lot of standing, saw a little bit of a cricket match and then went back to the hotel to finally lie down and catch up on some sleep.
wednesday we got up at 730am had coffee and some breakfast then left to ride the loop around the savannah that we would be racing on the next day. michael phillips was on a motorbike filming and we did some laps in a double paceline and got familiar with some of the potholes and such. then off to the beacon insurance, the title sponsor's offices to meet the staff. after that it was straight to city hall to meet with the mayor. he talked about how they are planning to build an indoor 250m track in port of spain so they can host world cups and such. i really hope that happens.
after parading around town in spandex we geared up to ride over the mountain to the beach. it was a nice relentless climb that sucked the wind out of you due to the elevation gain, the humidity, and the brush fires on the side of the road (yikes!) eventually we descended do to a nice little cove seen below in the picture.
we spent a good number of hours at the beach. people started to trickle back on the bikes after a few hours, eventually ed hood from pez cycling and peter jacques showed up via taxi. we had some more beer and food on the beach and played in the waves. i swam in big wave a good 50 meters or so and then on the next one i got turned around and dug my shoulder in the sand and tweaked my back, stupid. i think the ribs in my lower back collided with my hip bone. shouldnt affect racing but its obnoxious.
after a while it was just ed, peter, franco marvulli and myself. so we had decided earlier that we were gonna take a taxi back into town instead of riding back over the mtn after a day at the beach. we tried to flag a bus but it was pretty full. some how franco talked them into letting us skitch the bus to the top of the mountain. we started out one on each side, but the on coming traffic was a bit much for franco so we both took the passenger side (on the left?) me in front and him further back. it was totally sketchy. we almost got put into the ditch and had to bail once. on the short descents we would go ahead of the bus then catch back on when the road went up again. it took a good 30-40 minutes or so. to get to the top then the road back to the hotel, got food and crashed out for the night. i ate a ton of ibuprofen for my back and called it a day.
its thursday and the first race is tonight. this morning i found out that i am going to have a roommate and its roberto chiappa. ha. he showed up dressed very milano like it fancy leather shoes, designer jeans and a pink fred perry. he very neat and clean. perhaps i need to step up my game..?