Home is where the heart is? Where the wife is, the cat, the french press and by far the most comfortable bed in the world. Yes. All of these things. It's good to be home (for a minute). A quick breath, try to recover from a few weeks in two of the most vile places on the planet and off to somewhere unknown.
Vegas, first up. What a city. A bunch of rich guys showing off in the desert. The trade show went well, but it wasn't quite the show that it's been in the past. No huge announcements, not many revered euro-pros, very few (meaningful or exciting) unveilings. But there was a pretty sweet high-wheel:
Cav's Tour bike was cool to see:
It was also pretty entertaining watching the Chinese exhibitors assembling some future Wal-Mart Specials in the parking lot.
All in all I would say that the business side of my trip to Vegas was a success. Learned some good stuff for the shop, saw some important things, got some things settled. However, one thing is for certain: Vegas right before Nationals is no good. Too much free beer, waaaay too much walking, not enough riding. I did get one important thing accomplished. Every now and then you must go above and beyond as the only sober person in the room. Every now and then you need to take apart your couch and reassemble it on your unconscious, barely alive co-worker.
Enough of that. On to Los Angeles.
Nationals this year was not a bust, but it was not the nationals I was hoping for. I false started the standing 250 and destroyed my chance at a National record and another jersey. My time in the 200 was less than stellar. In face it was pretty much unacceptable to my coach and the USAC folks in the stands. My tactics in the Kierin were questionable (first or last!). I even briefly toyed with the idea of having my mechanic go chop some tendons:
Looks like he liked the idea. Actually not surprisingly the cause of Dave's burst of activity was cake. So there ya go.
It all came around on the final day for the team sprint, not a moment too soon. I rode first, lost a few tenths coming out of the gate a little late (was not interested in false start X2) but still rode a first lap that would have won me the 250. Lanell Rockmore rode a stellar lap and Kevin Mansker fought the big fight to chase back and finish the third lap. In the end we won by a comfortable margin and got to stand on the top step of the podium and pull on another one of these:
What will also feel good will be wearing it (or something like this) in the Amsterdam 6-Day. One week from today I'm back on a jet plane, headed over the pond to Holland. This is a huge opportunity for me, and something I've wanted to do for a long time. If you had asked me a year ago, I would have been happy just to see a euro 6, let alone race one! If you're interested, you should be able to follow the race at www.zesdaagseamsterdam.nl. With a little help from Google Translate the site is pretty cool.
As for me, I have a roller session to do. Rest is for suckers.