PCB Training Trip 2017
1st Feb 2018Posted in: Blog, Featured Posts 0
PCB Training Trip 2017

Before leaving for my second annual winter break training trip in Panama City Beach, I thought back on the experience from the year before. I recalled the good times such as having both the full team and several alumni with us, as well as all of the great rides we completed. I also thought back to some of the not so good things such as the lack of Wi-Fi in our Air BnB and our century done in sub-freezing conditions. As we loaded up to head to Florida, I knew this year’s trip would bring its own unique memories and challenges.

This year we brought five team members: Jack McNamara (Senior), Colten Renier (Junior), Jonathan Jaggard (Junior), Sam Hagedorn (Sophomore), and Michael Caputo (Sophomore). We were also accompanied by one alumni, John Hyndman (2017)

When it was all said and done, our team logged nearly 500 miles on the bike, watched five seasons of Family Guy, and drank countless cups of coffee, which all made this one of the most successful trips Beta Cycling has ever had. Below is a closer look at some of the highlights from each of the 7-day trip.

Saturday December 16th, 2017: 2.5-hour spin

Like every year, the first day of riding in Florida is often one of the most difficult rides of the week. Our team often drives through the night to maximize our time, and this year was no different. The squad quickly unpacked and changed into our kits and grinded through a two-hour ride on minimal sleep. Jack and I even recall dozing off in the back of the pack do to the lack of sleep. Luckily, we were able to snap out of it, finish the ride, and go to bed early. We made it through the hump of the first day, but knew the week was just getting started.

Sunday December 17th, 2017: 3.5 Hour ride

Sunday was one of the more enjoyable rides of the trip. Usually the rides are made to be as efficient as possible, with minimal stops. The ride on Sunday turned out to be a little different when the team took a little break at a biker’s outpost we discovered when crossing a river about 30 miles north of the Gulf. Here we met some interesting locals and took a few pictures with some of the decorations that surrounded the rest stop. Training wise, the team was feeling strong and ready for the long hours in the days that followed.

Monday December 18th, 2017: 5-hour ride, century #1

We set out for our first century feeling strong and relatively fresh since the week hadn’t been too strenuous up to that point. Our goal for the century was to get in the long hours while adding in sprints to develop some quick twitch muscles in the process.

The ride was an overall success. The team did encounter some strange Florida weather when it went from pouring down rain to sunny and warm in a matter of 10 minutes, but since the temperatures never got below 65 degrees, there weren’t too many complaints from the team.

Tuesday December 19th, 2017: 4 Hour ride

The ride on the Tuesday of our training trip turned out to be very similar to the Sunday ride we completed. While the route was the same, our team set out with a new goal, to take the KOM (fastest segment time) on a 10 miles road found on the route. As we approached the beginning of the segment, John Hyndman dug into his old Little 500 form to lead the squad out and take the fastest time. After John pulled off from his heroic effort, Jack, Sam, JJ, and I gave it everything we had during the next 30 minutes to accomplish our goal. It truly felt like a race simulation and was the first time in a while that we were able to compete as a team. In the end, we beat the previous best time by nearly 2 minutes and had that excitement carry us back home.

Wednesday December 20th, 2017: Rest day, 2-hour spin

The Wednesday of our trip could not have been more welcomed when it finally came. The squad was feeling very tired after the long hours, so we made sure to keep it relaxed and enjoyable during our recovery ride. When we returned home we spent much of the day stretching out and watching as many movies as possible.

Thursday December 21st, 2017: 5-hour ride, Century #2

Thursday was the day where each of us woke up knowing that this would be the last major test for our team during our training trip. Not only were we set to ride more than 100 miles, we also built in several sustained efforts in a team pursuit style workout. This day was truly all about grit and our team came together to prove we had what it took to get the most out of the ride. When it was all said and done, our team ended up shattering the times we had from the same workout from the year prior, and we knew that this was the kind of focus and intensity we would need to bring for the next 4 months to be at the top of the podium come race day.

Friday December 22nd, 2017: 3 Hour Ride

The last day of our trip felt like a blur. Sam had left for an early vacation, and fatigue and injury kept Caput0 and John off the bike for our final ride. Jack, JJ, and I set out with heavy legs and an eagerness to get back and head back home for the start of Winter break. Despite our physical and mental fatigue, the boys grinded out our final day and returned back to our Air BnB for the final time. At this point we all had aches and pains that made us question why we do this crazy sport, but in the end, we had huge smiles on our faces knowing all of the great things we accomplished during the trip.

As we loaded up the cars and started our journey back up north I thought back in a similar way that I did for our prior year’s trip. I reflected on how proud I was of our team. I was amazed at how much progress Jack, JJ, and Sam had made in just one year, and I knew that we had something special in this year’s team. I was also very impressed by Caputo’s dedication and persistence to continue to improve in such a challenging sport. Finally, I was extremely grateful for all of the help that John provided on the trip, and was astonished by how in shape he still was.

Overall, this trip was a huge success for our team and we are looking forward to carrying the momentum from this trip into the spring training season.


Colten Renier



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