Here at last, 2011

I got into Manchester about 10 this morning after a basically uneventful flight, nothing wrong with that. Over night flight and losing a bunch of hours in the process. Needless to say, not much quality sleep. Off the plane and wait in the customs line for about half an hour. Finding my luggage was easy though, the bike box made it through ok, the top was on backwards, easy to swap so I could pull it and actually get it to track behind me. (the top came off in Minnesota right in front of me when I dropped it off) I wandered around a bit before I found the shuttle driver who was waiting for 1 other rider, Fran from Perth, before we were off to the cycling center in morning rush hour traffic. The cycling center is huge, with a newly built indoor BMX track as part of the whole complex. I’ll get some pictures soon. We put our bike stuff in the Press Room, back and under the track. As I was walking down the hall, I see rooms for Doctors, physiology, and psychiatry, which reminds me about Chris Hoy’s book when he talks about the British cycling team being reluctant to talk to a shrink about competitive cycling. Back in the van and off to the Holiday Inn Central, about a 10 minute drive away. Check in and find the room, the first thing that came to my mind when I opened the door was the word “cozy”. Wait until Dan Casper, my room mate for the week, sees this. It’s a good thing the bikes will be staying at the cycling center most of the time. No mini bar either, so there goes my idea about using it as a fridge for the week. We are on the first floor so it’s easy to get to, seems like a plus for now. I am hungry after the long night and a small airplane meal. Off to the restaurant, crap in-between meals, but there are cold sandwiches available so a sandwich and a Latte and I am set. Walking directions to the center, out the hotel gate and turn left, go to the bottom and turn right, go to the bottom and turn left, go to the beverages sign and turn right, etc. No road names at all, eventually the directions say .7 miles, that’s just the last leg and it is starting to rain, 45 degrees, blowing like crazy and now rain. Pick up the pace and eventually there is the center, whew. I think that is the first and last time I walk, good thing Dan rented a cheap car. Time to put the bike together, one of the staff gives me the code to get back into the press room, which I have to myself for bike assembly. I need a few small parts, like new seat clamp screws, one stripped out as I tightened it. Lucky, Evans Bike shop is attached to the cycling center and came to the rescue. I finished up and luckily find the shuttle drivers who are heading back to the hotel, the regular shuttle service really isn’t going yet but they help me out. Time for a little nap, Dan will be in soon and then dinner, hungry again. Blog time, maybe off to the store for some food and then early to bed. 1st training is scheduled for tomorrow, Friday, at 10, structured training of some sort. Here we go, both Dan and I are registered for it.