I’m here in Wales and it is beautiful. So I have been rained on but the welcome and hospitality are amazing. Monday afternoon we went on a ride to the velodrome where we would be training for the next five days or so and then on a ride with Scotty. Scotty is a member of the British armed forces. He happens to have just gotten back from a deployment in Afghanistan and wanted to ride his bike. So through the connections and craziness of life Scotty is our guide for the week. Kind of nice to have someone who is giving in so many ways come and show us where to ride. Helping us to prepare for the up coming Games.
Yesterday we had our first taste of English breakfast at our Hilton hotel, aka home in Wales. Good old ham, eggs, tomatoes, beans, blood sausage, sausage, and hashbrowns. Now I did not partake in the full experience but it was good to be in a location that is giving us a taste of what is local dinning. After a good wake up we road over to the velodrome for our first training session. I must say is was nice to be back on the bike. I know that I ride all of the time but there is just something about riding that helps fight fatigue of travel. After a long warmup some were still asleep on the bike but that was understandable, others were ready. I personally was somewhere in the middle.
In the afternoon we got to go for our second ride out on the road. The normal Welch weather was showing us her hand. With big grey clouds in the distance we set of for another adventure in the country side. To my surprise we were rained on for all of two minutes. While the team stopped to put on our rain jackets we stopped by two local girls, probably around eight years old. Once stopped they asked if we were really from the United States. I say Yes and then they asked why we were here in Wales. I told them that we were getting ready for the Paralympics next week and they gasped. Gasped in the sense of excitement. I was then excited for the fact that I could say Paralympics and they knew what I was talking about. Really nice to be in a country that understands what the Paralympics are and be excited to meet athletes from another country who were to compete. Made my day.
Alas though I sit here in the hotel lobby at 4:30 in the morning to write this. I am excited and I am getting anxious for the races. All I could think about was getting ready for today’s training ride so that I am that much closer to being ready for next weeks event.