Wednesday, May 5, 2010

$100,000 worth of carbon

The UC-Davis Cal-Aggie cycling team is flying to Madison, Wisconsin today to race the Collegiate Road National Championships. However, United Airline's ongoing sponsorship of USA Cycling has put collegiate racers all over the country in a double-bind: the airline offers discounted airfare to nationals, but they also charge $150 to transport a bike. Considering that the racers are hauling TWO machines--mass-start and time trial rigs--flying gets pretty complicated.

Last year, Davis's squad bought a trailer to transport bikes to races up and down the west coast, and now non-racing members of the team are towing it to nationals behind a school van. They're also hauling bikes for teams from Stanford, Cal Poly, and Santa Cruz. 

The three intrepid pilgrims stopped in Omaha to visit a team alumnus for dinner and a night in a free bed. I took a quick peek inside the trailer: 37 bikes, about 20 sets of race hoops, a bunch of trainers, and several disc wheels.

Abbey was amazed:

Do YOU remember being young and energetic enough to drive from California to Omaha?

These crazy little bastards left Davis at 1:30 PM PST on Monday and arrived in Omaha at 9:30 PM CST on Tuesday--driving the entire time. After Jess and I fed them and showed them various guest rooms and couches, they went silent as church mice for about nine hours.

Now they're on their way to Madison--a brief little jaunt of only 8 hours from Omaha. Good luck, boys. And Aggies--three National Team Omnium Championships in five years isn't THAT much to ask....

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