Welcome to the off season. We’ve rounded up an assortment of ORICA-GreenEDGE and ORICA-AIS riders to tell you about how they spend the ever-diminishing months without races. Christian Meier had planned to share only three installments from his Thai training camp, but he's enjoyed sharing his stories with you so much that he's written a bonus piece. In his own words, Christian tells you about his special final day in Thailand, training in Girona and setting off for team camp in Calpe.
After three plane rides and a total of nearly 20 hours of flying time, we quickly settled back into our routine in Girona. Let me tell you, it is nice to be back. Loved travelling but love being home.
We finished our last week in Thailand celebrating the "Loi Krathong" festival. The festival marks the celebration of the Thai Lunar New Year. Tens of thousands of people release rice paper lanterns, shoot off fireworks and gather near waterways. All of these traditions symbolize life and luck. Amber and I spent the evening walking around the city, visiting the temples and releasing life sized paper lantern at each one. It was quite the experience.
The Loi Krathong celebration marked our last night in Asia and with our trip completed, we have come to the consensus that we are more then satisfied with my impromptu off season mini training camp. We plan to do a similar trip next year. Location is yet to be determined but Vietnam, Cambodia and Taiwan are all in the running!
The weather here in Girona is a fair bit cooler. We’re seeing highs around 11-15°C which is quite the shock after over a month of 35+°C, but the cool temperature seems appropriate at this time of the year. Training in the crisp cool air is one of the distinct lines separating racing season and off season. It feels like what riding in the winter should feel like. Long rides in the low afternoon sun and maybe exploring new roads in the hilly countryside make for enjoyable training.
Although we have only just returned, I have already headed out again. Yesterday, I flew to Calpe for ten days to attend a small team training camp. I’m looking forward to seeing all the guys again and getting back into the thick of it.
I recently received a general outline of my 2013 schedule and I am very happy with the races on the program. My season will begin with Tour of San Luis in late January. Camp will mark being back on bike full time, as January is just around the corner, and from there, it's back to another season that we all hope will be as successful as the last . Time to start given'er!