Planes, Trains and What can Brown, er, Jay—do for you?
Where am I? That’s the question I just asked myself a minute ago. It seemed like I blinked and I was in San Francisco, building up and breaking down two bikes as my brother and I raced Escape from Alcatraz, me in my second effort, he in his first. I did the race five years ago and I hoped to even pull off better splits across the board.
Of course, that didn’t happen. I swam 29, better than before and biked 58 minutes a minute slower than before. But the run, I had dead legs, I think from losing the 25-tooth cassette to a slipped shift cable on my rear derailleur. So I muscled the 23 and paid for it with legs that didn’t belong to me for the first three-plus miles. They came around just before the run turnaround, but it was too late by then and I came in with a 1:04 run—much slower than the 58 I did before. Good for a “stellar” 51st place age group finish in the 35-39 age group. At least I took solace in knowing that there was depth in my age group. When I caught up with pro triathlete Kerry Classen and saw him racking his bike by mine, I realized he was no longer in the pro ranks. Of course he won my age group by a landslide. And Cid Cardoso of Inside Out Sports flew out from the East Coast to finish fourth… and further relegate me down the results list. Thanks, guys.
I was proud of my brother Jon, who finished about 12 minutes after I, on debut. I chalk it up to good coaching… on my part, of course. I was so impressed with Leanda Cave and Andy, watching them fly around the course. I must say, it’s a hell of a lot more fun covering a race from the course than it is from the back of a motorcycle. That race is just a blast anyway. Mirinda Carfrae said she’s never had more fun in a race, which is the same thing my brother said. Alcatraz delivers in a way no other race can even try to match. Terry Davis runs the greatest show on earth.
Below is a shot of my brother (right) and I, chilling on the Hornblower as we headed out to The Rock for the start. There's no scene like the legions of athletes awaiting the start, sitting in jumbles on the open floor. Then it's 2,000 lemmings, leaping into the bay and voiding the boat inside of six minutes.
So back to travel: I just very recently decided to hope a plane and join my wife at her training camp in Leysin, Switzerland. I figured, I don’t have a desk that I am chained do, may as well work with a view of the Swiss Alps, right?
But it was just two days ago I was breaking down bikes in a San Francisco hotel room. Last night I was building them back up in San Diego. This morning, a 3 a.m. drive to LAX. And now, I’m in Philly. Then Zurich in half a day. Then it’s pushing a bike box, a duffel, a computer bag and a bag full of camera and equipment a train to from Zurich to Lausanne, a switch to a small town, then a switch to an even smaller little town up in a ski village, where Team TBB summer training camp takes place. Where I’ll put my Cervelo together, then probably take a nap.
Good thing I brought some sleeping pills.
So when the news went out that I was headed to Europe, the requests from Donna’s teammates came in, and Jay’s International Shipping Service went to work. I began taking orders. Since Big Brown failed to deliver the triple crown, UPS stocks plumetted. And I got busy.
Xterra speedsuits for Erika Csomor. A pair of Oakley Radars for Chris McDonald. Beaker Concepts compression socks for Chrisse Wellington, Erika and Donna to try, as well as the new Hydrotail H.5 for a collection of athletes to try on their Cervelos. A visit to Nytro to pick up shoes, goggles, tubes for Rebecca Preston.
And it seems Belinda Granger wants to give the Roth Challenge a go while wearing Oakley Thump Pros (they don’t subscribe to WTC rules, so she hopes to pull off a first and rock a win while rocking out—literally). So Greg Welch sent me with those. If customs cracks open my bike case, they’ll find a veritable bike shop in there. You'd think I was smuggling bodies in my bike box, it's so heavy of, just.... stuff. Hope it doesn’t happen, because I don’t want the tariffs that might come along with it. And if there are bodies in there... hey, it wasn't me.