As mentioned yesterday, Chad Thompson and Ryan Gamm from the A&F/ Inferno team were in town Wednesday afternoon through this morning. Chad and Ryan were also accompanied by Chad's father Bruce, who handles all of their legal issues, and Matt Olson, the creative genius.
Chad and Ryan were here specifically to meet with Canari to get the team's new kits set up and try out the clothing. They were also here to work out the details of what clothing would be needed for the coming season attacking the NRC calendar and some other major events; it's no small feat to outfit a team of 16+ riders for an entire year of racing everything from crits to road races to stage races to time trials to track events in conditions ranging from hot to cold to rain to snow. Canari is my former employer and they are still great friends of mine, so I am double happy with this arrangement; the team is getting great gear from good friends. That's a good gig! And, just so you kow, they were very happy with the clothing they got to ride in.
I got to get out for a short ride Wednesday with the guys. Basically I escorted them the couple miles from our office to their hotel. Then I had to bug out of work early to go pick up The Princess from school.
This picture was taken about an hour before Chad had the crash in the parking lot that I promised I wouldn't mention because he fell on his butt and possibly cracked his tail bone. But since I promised I wouldn't mention it, I can't tell you how he was goofing off and did a badly timed wheelie that put him on his buns just inches in front of the hotel door. (Don't worry man, your secret is totally safe with me.)
Thursday morning I met the guys at the hotel so we could get out for a good ride before I headed in to the office. Chad's tail bone was sore for some reason, so he was a little concerned about spending time in the saddle... I don't know why. Canari set them up with some good cool weather gear since the morning air was pretty chilly, though it was a beautiful sunny day and would eventually warm up nicely.
I'm not exactly sure why Ryan is grimacing, but he was staring past me to the ocean and the rolling waves.
As you can see, it was a pretty crappy morning in SoCal. Chad and Lynn from Canari heading up our little peloton.
Here's Ryan doing the tourist thing getting his picture taken at the beach in December with surfers in the background. He wanted to capture the moment- something about rubbing it in the faces of his friends at home... something like that.
This is a rare image- Chad on his cell phone. This almost never happens... NOT! As it turns out though, on this particular call, Chad was speaking to a newly signed rider from England. (More details to follow.)
Lynn, Ryan and Chad (still on the phone with England).
The ride was about 3.5 hours and we had perfect weather the entire time. For the record; 1) Chad and I are both sprinters and track riders. As such, it was invariable that at some point or another that he and I would end up playing "who's faster" and sprinting. 2) The sprint was close, almost too close to call, but deep in Chad's heart he knows who won (me)... just ask Ryan. (Something tells me he might have thrown the sprint to make the old, fat, out of shape sponsor feel better about himself... but said sponsor is not complaining.)
Friday the guys rode without me, but I swung by the hotel to pick up the bikes they were riding and to give Gamm-bino his present I promised him at training camp back in February. He didn't get the pink camo booties I promised, but he got a few other cool trinkets for his fast little feet. He was happy... I think I saw a tear.
So it was great having the guys in town for a few days. Thanks to Canari for arranging the trip out west and allowing me a little time with the guys. Seriously people, this is a team of great guys who I really enjoyed working with in 2006 and 2007 is only going to be that much better. I will have a bunch of team news coming soon; full press releases on the team and sponsors and new rider bios like last year. Training camp is in Macon, GA in February and will be fantastic, so stay tuned for that report as well. '07 is going to be one fantastic year for the team and its riders, so I recommend keeping an eye out for them... just look for the coolest team kit in the US Pro peloton (possibly anywhere for that matter).