How's it going? At the moment Dedan is getting some R&R/down time (with Chris) in the form of watching British humour and action movies! Chris's version of real live action English lessons....hmmmm so far..movies to date: 'Lock, stock and two smoking barrels', 'Snatch','The Fast Show' and some other Guy Ritchie (ex - Mrs Madonna) movie which had the required fast car, hot chick and a bunch of baddies.Oh well..makes a change from training huh?
Anyway..speaking of training. Last Saturday Dedan made quite the impression at the Olympic Training Center..so much that we have been invited back to race again in the morning. So, Chris and Dedan turned up last weekend to the OTC to find that:
1. The US coach is a kiwi - New Zealander and very cool.
2. There were 10 cyclists and 5 hand cyclists in the US training squad.
3. Dedan did the time trial and we found out that he didn't really understand the rules of drafting. He knew that you can not sit behind another rider and draft BUT he didn't realise that you can not ride side by side either and when another rider catches you, you have to drop back. He wasn't exactly next to the other rider, (there was enough space for Chris to ride through the middle of them when he was time trialing), but anyway the rider who caught up to Dedan was not happy and yelled at both Dedan and Chris. Not too sure how much of it was rules and how much of it was pride as the other rider was an above the knee amputee BUT had a prosthetic leg and yet Dedan was still able to stay with him.
4. After the time trial the group then did an hour and a half training over hills and this is where Dedan showed his strengths and nailed the lot of them..leg, prosthetic legs and all! Dedan apparently hung in the group for about 10 minutes and then decided that the pace was too slow and went off the front and smoked them all!! Way to go Dedan! Consequently, he got invited back as tomorrow morning is the 6 mile uphill time trial.
5. Smart move on the Coach's part. Dedan will go for it and it will probably motivate the other riders to stay with him!..including me..tee hee!
One of the very cool things about Chris's visit (I didn't go..I stayed and rode with the Swamis group and then worked in my garden) was that he was riding with the group and looked down as he was passing one of the hand cyclists in the US squad. The woman had short black spiky hair and look familiar and it wasn't until she spoke that Chris made the connection. The fab gurl was Tara Llanes, an old client of ours who unfortunately had a terrible mountain biking accident in Sept 07, injuring her spinal cord and who is now paralysed from the waist down. If you google Tara you will see that she is an amazing athlete.
"On Saturday September 1, 2007, Tara had a horrible crash at the Jeep King of the Mountain series finale in Beaver Creek Colorado. During a semi-final heat with the eventual race winner, Jill Kintner, Tara entered the second to last straight on the course and hit an obstacle that sent her over the handlebars, coming down hard on her head then back. She was rushed to Vail Valley Medical Center, and then airlifted to Denver Health Medical Center where a specialty spinal cord team worked on her for seven hours over Saturday night. Tara's crash caused a fracture to the C7 and L1 vertebra and damaged her spinal cord, resulting in a below-the-waist paralysis, a condition her surgeons say is most likely permanent." As reported on The Giant Bicycles Website, story attributed to James Herrara
Those who follow the (downhill) circuit know that Tara is a fierce competitor. She's fast, she's aggressive, and she flies. During her career, spanning a decade, she has ridden for Haro, Rotec, Specialized, and Yeti/Pearl Izumi. But for the last five years, she's been grabbing victories for the Giant/Pearl Izumi team. Tara makes a habit out of gracing the podium, collecting accolades and generating excitement wherever she races. A national champion in all three gravity disciplines, she has won both gold and silver at the Winter X-Games. Tara has been a multi-time US Mountain Bike Worlds team member and multi-time World Cup podium finisher vying for a spot on the US BMX Olympic Team for Beijing in 2008. She has graced the pages of too many bike rags to list and she has even done a glamour shoot for Maxim. She's a huge inspiration to female athletes worldwide, proving that women can ride just as hard as the men. Since her injury, Tara has been focusing all of her energies on her recovery. Paralyzed below the waist, and pronounced "complete" by medical experts, she defied all the informed opinions when, on November 12th (2008) while in the rehab pool, she moved her left leg.
Cool huh! So..if anyone can do it Tara WILL....and so that's one of the reasons why I am gong to be putting myself through hell in the morning with this uphill time trial as I want to see her back in action with the hand cycle. Chris said it was a blast to see her there. Watch out paracycling athletes world wide Tara Llanes is one hell of a lady!!!
So...Chris and Dedan have been doing some seriously hard training this week in preparation for tomorrow and Michel Shelly our photographer/film person from the Palomar climb will be there to record the action. It also means that we will have photos..yeehaa.
OK..over and out time to hit the hay.
Trust you are all well.