By Joey Clingerman
Bike camp 2013 sophomore edition was a much easier transition into the Triathlon team than the first time. This time last year, I didn’t know my P-bros in the FFF, I didn’t know Sergio or Chris, I didn’t know Bill, and I sure wasn’t introduced to Montezuma yet.
Any sports team is extremely intimidating at first, but especially a triathlon team. There’s a hierarchy of senior members, a new coach, new teammates, and things specific only to one team that one has to learn when joining a new team. A triathlon team can be terrifying and humbling; almost the same experience of someone transitioning from junior high to high school. One has to gain respect and impress the “higher ups” but also stay true to oneself at the same time. New people on the team, particularly the ones who have no previous triathlon experience, took a big step into entering the triathlon world. They learned to deal and embrace pain that is beyond words or learned that they hate that type of pain but will smile and pretend to have fun anyways so their pictures could go up on Facebook and their friends back home would ask them what they’re doing in college and they would respond by saying “I’m on the triathlon team” because that sounds cool but in the inside they plan on quitting after the first triathlon just because they want to get it off their bucket list and continue with their life doing normal, one sport things.
Spencer’s car was pretty chill. I met Jason who’s in Psi Chi Omega but is inactive but still gets invited to their parties because he’s cool and Hannah who went to school in Lynchburg and recommends it’d be a cool place to visit but not live. When we arrived at 5 o’ clock the party was already on, because triathletes can’t stay up to late, so we jumped right in. I felt a bit weak, like something was missing but, when I saw Nate, Dan, Nielson, Chen, and Magic Mike I felt more complete. I still missed Cox, Marcel the Shell, and Mas but I already see them too much so I was fine with that. I was able to sleep with Nielson in his expensive, fancy tent so I was content that night until Dan decided to talk to Chris really loud like he was never going to see him again.
Saturday morning I woke up and ate. We had a 20k time trial and I was excited because my favorite type of pain is when I expend all my energy until I feel like dying. I’m a born, betting man so naturally I made a bet with Bryce on who would get a faster time and was very content when I won his shirt that he got for free from Bill who got it for free from Specialized. I was also moderately pleased that I won a bet for Gina against Kat regarding my time with Chuckles Chenster. The time trial was followed by a complimentary ride back to camp and a 40 minute T-run which was very painful because, if done right, a time trial is supposed to take everything out of you which makes it very hard to run afterwards. Anyhow, we got a very healthy lunch at a Mexican joint in town that I don’t think the triathlon team has ever gone to. We had about three hours before our next workout, which didn’t consist of us meeting the team and building team chemistry because if we’re in beautiful Anza Borrego, why not take advantage of it to workout. The break we had in between wasn’t really enjoyable because we all had the looming workout on our minds and could only eat 100-calorie packs of nuts to quell our nervousness. After our pleasant and worthwhile 10k we took surprisingly warm showers and had more Mexican food. We salvaged what we could of the canceled-pre-planned ice breaker games by playing the adjective-before-our-name-game. For 10 minutes that was fun until we realized that we were all tired and would rather do a different type of ice game and sit around the fire until we fell asleep.
Sunday morning we woke up and respectfully met at the ride starting point at the right time. No one was fashionably late because that’s just plain rude. Montezuma is a hors-categorie climb which means it is beyond a category of funness to ride up so we were all sad to see it end at the top. It was a little windy on the way back so we formed an extremely organized pace line where no one got mad at some people’s misunderstanding of the simple idea of peeling off at the front at the right time. After 50 miles and a week’s worth of workouts over with we all met in Julian to get some pie and hot sandwiches. Everyone was courteous to their drivers by conversing with them and not going to sleep. It felt weird to be back at UCSD and seeing a bunch of unfit people but that was fine because it was a nice day.