Good Training and Good Fundraising

July 02, 2018, 2:03 a.m. (ET)

The 2018 US Speedskating (USS) Cycling Camp recently concluded from Santa Rosa, CA for the third-straight year. Twelve members of the Long Track National Training Program, along with 12 USS Supporters, spent most of the past week cycling through sunny Sonoma County. 

Better known as wine country, Sonoma and Napa counties on the California Coast are also home to some of the most beautiful – and occasionally difficult – bike rides in the country. The 12 supporters, comprised of a mixture of donors and USS board members, rode alongside the athletes for the first 15-20 miles of each training trip, before the skaters would strike out on their own continuing on with their training rides. 

 

US Speedskating Cycling Camp: Santa Rosa, California

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A few highlights from the rides included a mammoth of a hill climb. U.S. Coach Ryan Shimabukuro put out the claim that it was “the steepest hill we’ve ever climbed”. With nearly a 20% grade in parts, along a road that could easily have been confused for a paved goat path, the climb through a nearby Nature Preserve was the most challenging ride of the week, and one of the most challenging the athletes have ever done.

“It’s supposedly a secret training ride Levi Leipheimer would use,” said U.S. Coach Tom Cushman. “Of course we had to give it a go.”

The most scenic ride of the week was a 70 mile out-and-back to the true California coast. Heading west along the Russian River, the athletes then turned onto U.S. Highway 1 and biked south down along the Pacific Ocean for several miles before returning to base camp. 

Another favorite ride was out to the Redwood Forests, where the skaters took a well-deserved guided hike through the heart of the State Park before getting back on their bikes for the return ride to the hotel.

 

Roots of a fallen Redwood 🌳

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“1,400 year old trees – amazing,” said U.S. National Training Program member Brett Perry. “But did we really have to bike back?”