By Jennifer Kepke, TSB Contributor
Cyclists often have strange encounters with nature while out on the road, but recentlythe McKinney Velo Club (MVC) had a brush with wildlife that doesn’thappen very often: A territorial llama whom the team dubbed, “Bob”. “I was in front,and it popped out of the bushes up the road and started running right at us, full llama-speed ahead. Everyone threw on their brakes trying to see what it was going to do, and itwas coming right for me, so I popped my bike up to have something between us. I didn’tknow if it was going to bite me, spit at me, or what it was going to do,” said Jeff Fene,McKinney Velo team member.
The team was staying at the Tin Star Ranch, in Fredericksburg, TX for theirannual training camp. Though the weather threatened to be cold, it turned out favorably.Twenty-two team members attended the Hill Country training with special invitationalguest Geoff Godsey.
Godsey is the Active Lifestyle Expert for WFAA Ch. 8 and a professional cyclist.He has over 25 national and international wins and he is recognized as one ofthe “premier” indoor cycling instructors in the US. “Geoff Godsey is a very credible source of information on how to race. ” Fene said.
Together with members Matt Brady and Tim Kolb, Godsey gave substantialracing advice in a round table discussion every night after dinner. “The informationshared during the discussions was extremely helpful,” said Scott Giancola “I was tryingto take in every word. Godsey rode in the back with some of us, encouraging andcoaching us …’ride within yourself’, ‘constant pressure on the pedals’, ‘don’t push up thehills’, ‘stay at 180’… It really did help big-time.”
The training camp spanned over four days and consisted of long rides in thebeautiful rolling terrain of Texas Hill Country. The purpose of the camp was to buildstrength, skill and camaraderie among team members. “There was no selfishness atcamp,” said Stephan Terrill, “only that common goal of getting better. It wasencouraging – not defeating. If you got dropped, someone came back to get you. Thegoal became make it to this next stop, and we all worked together.”
The competitive side did come out at the end of the rides as Tim Kolb notes, “Today was quite possibly the greatest day I have ever spent on a bike. 85 miles of perfect weather, breath-taking scenery, it was amazing. [To be there] with friends, and then an epic finish: 13 miles left and we had 2 cat 5s and 2 cat 4s against 1 pro and we found a way to win. Doesn’t get any better!”
This year’s training camp provided a good way to start the season out strong witha highly focused period of intense climbs, which enabled team members to test theirfitness level and to identify areas that need work. Overall, the team viewed the camp as agreat success, and they are ready to have an aggressive season, especially after surviving
the attack from Llama Bob.
McKinney Velo is a competitive cycling organization whose members share a passion for racing and a strong commitment to making a difference in the local community. Our members compete across multiple disciplines including; Road, Triathlons, Mountain Bike, Velodrome, Duathlons and Cyclocross.
In our Community the team is focused on cultivating a cycling culture in the Greater McKinney area through teaching safe and responsible cycling while also supporting individuals new to the sport of cycling; encouraging active and healthy lifestyles; and actively supporting local charities.
In support of our Partner Sponsors the team is fully committed to be exceptional stewards of our sponsors’ brand and image on and off the bicycle. MVC will obtain positive exposure at charitable events, races, in print, on the roads and on the podium.
McKinney Velo, with over a Hundred members is host to a premiere “Texas Style” criterium known as “Bike the Bricks”. The 3rd annual Bike the Bricks will be held on 5/25/12. See www.txbra.org for more info.
Photo at top by Ian Scott. In photo Jeff Fene, “Bob” the Llama, David Dederichs, Tim Kolb, Kent McCormick (left to right)