National team long track athletes travel to California for cycling camp


The National speed skating team has just returned from our first summer training camp of the season. I would have to say it was very successful start to the year. Just over 30 athletes including members from the Canadian long track sprint team, long distance team and a few Olympic oval program athletes took part. We went to Lompoc, California for this cycling camp. It's a small town about 2 hours north of Los Angeles.

Most of the camp was cycling, with some running and a couple of weight sessions. We cycled almost everyday we were there. The roads were good. Nice big shoulders on the busier highways and when we were on roads with no shoulders, there wasn't much traffic. The weather was really good. We had only one day where we had to ride in the rain, the rest were sunny. Even with that it was still warm enough in the rain to get the workout done. The other days were all around 20 degrees Celsius. If you've seen the movie "Sideways". It was filmed on location in the same area where we were doing all our rides. Between Lompoc and a smaller town called Solvang. Solvang was a neat place because the buildings all had European architecture. I think there were a lot of Danish people that settled there.

We had one day off of training while we were there. We decided to go to Santa Barbara. A couple of people stay there and went to the beach. The rest of us, about 25 people, rented surfboards and wetsuits and went down the cost a bit to a good surfing spot. It wasn't the best waves I've ever seen, but they were good enough for beginners. Which was most of the group! I think almost everyone got up on their boards at least once. It was a great way to enjoy our day off of training.

Generally the camp went well for everyone. We got a lot of good training in and the weather cooperated. The only problem I can think of was Brock Miron. Near the end of the camp he crashed his bike going down a pretty steep descent. He took a turn too fast and ended up riding into a rock wall. He was ok except for road rash. Something to note, Brock also crashed on a descent last fall in Napa valley, California. This even after the coaches repeatedly told us to take the downhills very cautiously. Hopefully Brock's learned his lesson and realizes he's a speed skater not a cyclist.

That's pretty much it for the camp. The next month or so we will be training in Calgary. We're now into the full swing of training. Cycling, weights and running, about 8-10 workouts a week. Summer is always a crucial training time for us and it's where we can achieve some big physical gains. With only about 16 weeks in total it's important to make every training session count. I think were on the right track.

Take care,

James Monson