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  1. #1
    Transplant Robobo1's Avatar
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    Spring Training locale for a Minnesotan team

    Hey folks,

    My teammates and I are planning a one week training camp sometime in March to escape the long Minnesota winter. We're looking to get to somewhere warm in the lower 48 with good climbing. We're trying to be cost-conscious - we'll appeal to our team for financial help, but the reality is we'll have to pay our way.

    Any suggestions on a good location during this time of the year?

    Any thoughts on how to make the trip effective? Have you done something like this?

    Malibu has been thrown out there, as the roads are sparsely populated and it's got lots of climbing starting at sea-level (meaning no elevation issues and no snow). We'll probably end up with a motel, but would love to find a rental or a timeshare-esque situation.
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  2. #2
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    You might want to take a look at Austin.

  3. #3
    Elite Fred mollusk's Avatar
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    Good climbing and March in the lower 48?

    I think that the best possible answer is Tuscon, AZ, and climbing Mt. Lemmon. And even then it might be a little chilly.

    If the weather is good western North Carolina is a closer drive from where you are, but if a late season cold front comes through you might not like the result.
    Last edited by mollusk; 11-09-09 at 03:19 AM. Reason: Freudian slip writing "Lemond" instead of "Lemmon".
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  4. #4
    starting pistol means war YMCA's Avatar
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    Tuscon has been the choice of most early-season amateurs for the past decade.
    Just ask around to any of your regional elite squads.

    I'd say come to Florida, but our climbs last no more than 2'.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Tumbleweed's Avatar
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    Redlands / Yucaipa area. Lots of open road with climbing in the immediate area and the weather is usually very agreeable. The I.E. has been hit particularly hard by the recession so you s/b able to find motel/hotel bargains. And time your trip for the Redlands Classic at the end of March. Get in some great riding and enjoy the races.

  6. #6
    No matches Flatballer's Avatar
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    Our training camp is on the Blue Ridge Parkway in western NC near the VA border, January 2nd through 6th or something usually. It's chilly, but by March it's pretty nice.

    Easy to get an off season cabin rental up there for pretty cheap.

    Our lodging is free, but a teammate's parents have a cabin up there that's big enough for the team (with lots of floor sleeping and friendly teammates in the same beds, etc).

    If we find it comfortable enough the first week in January, it should be just fine in March for some hardy Minnesotans.

  7. #7
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    I go to the San Diego area. Sometimes it rains the 7 days a year that it rains in SD while I'm there, but usually I get some good riding in.

    Not sure of hostels and such but that's one way of saving on room/board while also being able to control food intake (kitchen).

    Extended Stay and other "condo" type places are good too. You load up the place with people, you get a kitchen.

    I find that being able to cook food is critical. I mean, yeah, Hooters might be fun, but it gets really expensive really fast to buy a plate of pasta for $10 or $15 when you could feed 5 guys for that money. Okay, maybe one really hungry bike racer, but you get the point. If you go to a college town, there will be cheap eats, but probably not good for you.

    Will you drive down? A huge expense is renting a car. My FL trips (to Gainsville) had a budget where 1/2 went to the room, 1/3 to the rental car (SUV - for 2 bikers), and the rest for food. We ate a lot of cheap college food.

    cdr

  8. #8
    Transplant Robobo1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
    I go to the San Diego area. Sometimes it rains the 7 days a year that it rains in SD while I'm there, but usually I get some good riding in.

    Not sure of hostels and such but that's one way of saving on room/board while also being able to control food intake (kitchen).

    Extended Stay and other "condo" type places are good too. You load up the place with people, you get a kitchen.

    I find that being able to cook food is critical. I mean, yeah, Hooters might be fun, but it gets really expensive really fast to buy a plate of pasta for $10 or $15 when you could feed 5 guys for that money. Okay, maybe one really hungry bike racer, but you get the point. If you go to a college town, there will be cheap eats, but probably not good for you.

    Will you drive down? A huge expense is renting a car. My FL trips (to Gainsville) had a budget where 1/2 went to the room, 1/3 to the rental car (SUV - for 2 bikers), and the rest for food. We ate a lot of cheap college food.

    cdr
    Food - heck yeah, we definitely want to be able to cook our own meals. We did a group housing thing for a stage race this season and cooking meals was a great part of the experience - got to hang and talk incessantly about the day's race AND eat a ton of food.

    Thanks for reminding me about Extended Stay!

    I think we'd probably fly. Anywhere we'd go from Minnesota would be too far to drive and still have time to get in good training. Probably no rental car - we'd all have our bikes to get groceries!

    This is all still in the early planning stages... though I would like to firm up dates with the guys in the coming weeks so we can solidify time off from our jobs and start talking plane tickets.
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  9. #9
    No matches Flatballer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robobo1 View Post
    Food - heck yeah, we definitely want to be able to cook our own meals. We did a group housing thing for a stage race this season and cooking meals was a great part of the experience - got to hang and talk incessantly about the day's race AND eat a ton of food.

    Thanks for reminding me about Extended Stay!

    I think we'd probably fly. Anywhere we'd go from Minnesota would be too far to drive and still have time to get in good training. Probably no rental car - we'd all have our bikes to get groceries!

    This is all still in the early planning stages... though I would like to firm up dates with the guys in the coming weeks so we can solidify time off from our jobs and start talking plane tickets.
    Then definitely not the place I was talking about. It's about a 30 minute drive to get groceries.

  10. #10
    ride lots be safe Creakyknees's Avatar
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    March is awesome weather in the TX hill country near Austin. Get on I-35, it's a straight shot south.

    There are a variety of guest houses, dude ranches, vacation rental places all around Fredericksburg, Kerrville, and the lakes to the West of Austin. We're holding our team camp in that area in January, same as last year. Expect lots of sun, big hills, warm weather. PM if you want more details, I'll put you in touch with our guy who arranged it.
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  11. #11
    VeloSIRraptor
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    I'd do New Mexico.
    Warm weather, there are a lot fewer people, it is cheap.

    Several pro teams have their training camps in New Mexico. Two years ago there were three pro teams in NM... Silver City had Garmin (still does if I recall), QS, and Astana were riding around somewhere in the area...

    Comparatively, food and lodging are cheap, climbing is plentiful, there isn't much snow... pretty ideal.
    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    If it comes down to a field sprint, you probably won't win, so don't let it.

  12. #12
    Transplant Robobo1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hida Yanra View Post
    I'd do New Mexico.
    Warm weather, there are a lot fewer people, it is cheap.

    Several pro teams have their training camps in New Mexico. Two years ago there were three pro teams in NM... Silver City had Garmin (still does if I recall), QS, and Astana were riding around somewhere in the area...

    Comparatively, food and lodging are cheap, climbing is plentiful, there isn't much snow... pretty ideal.
    Thanks Hida... what's the elevation in that town? If I'm reading Google maps right it's about 6k ft? I wonder if that might be an issue for any of us.
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  13. #13
    starting pistol means war YMCA's Avatar
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    I know the Cycling Center out of Belgium has their pre-season camps in Albuquerque, but going by the reports from the fella's I talked to, it was a bit nippy. Dry though, so you can't beat that.

    Again, you should email teams around the country that send their elites to pre-season camps and find out best options. Don't rely on the 33, as most guys on here are weekend warriors.

  14. #14
    VeloSIRraptor
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    yeah, silver city is around 6K, albuquerque is 5K (bigger city, more options)...

    I don't know what your training goals are, but the motions aren't any different at altitude, you just have less oxygen to work with. If you are looking for 7 hour rides every day than yeah - it would be tougher than in SD or something like that. The way it seems to me, the rides will still challenge you, you will still have the threshold and power levels, ... you may not go as quickly as you would at lower altitudes, but the watts generated and stress to your body will still be proportional.

    If you are going to be there for a week or so than your lungs will start to get into the adaptation phase (or at least, it sure feels like adaptation after 4 days or so)

    I loved living in ABQ, but the whole state is pretty, pretty sunny, pretty open, pretty cheap, and has rides ranging from pretty challenging to pretty fast.
    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    If it comes down to a field sprint, you probably won't win, so don't let it.

  15. #15
    VeloSIRraptor
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    yeah - dry is the thing.

    FWIW, I did solo centuries on Thanksgiving, Christmas, & New Years Day last year without seeing a bit of bad weather... once the sun comes out the air is fine... since the air is thinner than typical, warmth leaves quickly once the sun is gone. But give the day till 9 or 10am and the rides are great until sunset.

    March is a lovely time to ride there, 95-100% of the roads will be open, lots of sun (thus warmish), and you won't hit the spring winds that come up in mid April-May.
    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    If it comes down to a field sprint, you probably won't win, so don't let it.

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