How it all started

I wrote this post while staying at host housing in Pinos Altos, NM just before the start of the Tour of the Gila.  We had no internet, so I had to save it until now to post.  Enjoy!

I saw my good friend Chris Hong at the Army collegiate races last weekend.

"KING HONG"

"KING HONG" (Photo: The Harvard Crimson)

We did a lot of catching up, and he had a lot of great things to say about his team out in Boise, Team Exergy.  The team has a lot of cool stuff going on: their title sponsor, Exergy, is a wind power company based in the Northwest.  The generation of exergy from diffuse wind (in simple terms, exergy is “useable” energy, as opposed to diffuse energy, like ambient heat) is something I happen to be a big fan of.  Team Exergy has lofty goals for the future, with a solid and close-knit team and devoted sponsors.

The bleeding edge.

The bleeding edge.

When Chris mentioned that the team might have an extra spot at Bisbee and Tour of the Gila, I asked him for the director’s phone number.  It was certainly a long shot – the races were less than a week away.  Even if they did want a guest rider they’ve never heard of, a mediocre Cat 1 with a limited resume, the races were less than a week away.

I got home from West Point on Sunday evening, and gave Tad (ok, different Tad Hamilton), the director, a call on his cell phone as soon as I got in the door.  I couldn’t believe it.  He offered me a spot right over the phone.  Oh shit, I had to book tickets.  And get my school work done.  And call my girlfriend.  And my coach.  And my mom…

Flash forward four days, and I’m lugging a double bike bag and my luggage as fast as I can up the sidewalk along the Continental Terminal at Phoenix Airport, chasing Scott’s red Mini Cooper.  A few hours later I was sleeping on a futon mattress, sharing the concrete floor of a one-room Phoenix apartment with the guys of Team Exergy.  The next morning, we were on the road to Bisbee, AZ.

I think I saw this car in town.  (Photo: David Michael Kennedy, used without permission)

I think I saw this car in town. (Photo: David Michael Kennedy, used without permission)

Later that day, I was putting on the team kit, and warming up for the prologue.

It still seems surreal now, sitting at our host house in Pinos Altos, NM, resting up for the first stage of Tour of the Gila, the Mogollon Road Race.  I’m nervous, but mostly excited.  And hungry.  Hungry for glory.  Leipheimer doesn’t know what’s coming.

Reports from Gila (one of the biggest stage races on the domestic calendar) are up next.

The monster itself.

The monster itself.

In the meantime, an excellent report by a teammate — Kevin Rowe:

http://www.teamexergy.com/?q=node/77

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~ by awerbuch on May 4, 2010.

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