What's Cool In Road Cycling

The Homeboy Returns!

It seems like only yesterday we were recovering from the long but rewarding season of our own Homeboy – Gregg Germer, bustin’ his hump in Belgian kermesses and all other types of strange riding in lands far and foreign. Today marks the return of his regular column, and the start of his second season racing in Europe.

– By Gregg Germer –
The Tales from the Road continue.

Welcome to the second season of the Homeboy in Belgium chronicles. I hope all have been well with a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

It feels good to be back at the Homeboy series. It puts me in a good mood to know I am doing what I love again. This winter I took on a job as an „Executive Assistant‰ for a lawyer friend of mine. The job was actually quite a lot of fun and I learned a lot from the job. Most importantly I learned that I love cycling and I hate “real” jobs.

I do realize that most everyone out there reading this has a real job, but no offense, I hate the idea of being inside all the time, stuck behind a desk.. I guess it‚s the youngster in me, wanting to be free and live my dream. As a co-worker of mine at the law firm put it, “If you can go to Europe and get paid to play, more power to you, I would do it!” So that is my new goal, get paid to play.

Now for a recap of what’s been going on in my neck of the woods since the end of the season. Mostly my days were filled with work and training for the latter part of 2002. I was however luck to have a visit from my “Daily Distraction”, also know as my girlfriend Julie, who flew in from Belgium with two of her friends to visit me and see some of the sites around Texas. Quickly Christmas and New Years came and went and I found myself no longer working and riding full time. I was quite happy to be back to the gear grinding instead of the pencil pushing.

Every Homie should have their own “Daily Distraction”.

And henceforth we move to the motivation behind this journal – Ambush Hill. Ambush Hill you say! What is that? Well it’s kinda complicated, but I’ll say simply for me it is the place of my rebirth for my love of cycling. It was there I relearned the reasons behind my delirious passion of the two wheeled machine of gears taken from me by the devil team (like I said it’s complicated) America has its Philadelphia, I have Ambush Hill.

I returned with my former teammates of the Ambush Racing this past weekend to Real county in the west Texas hill country to take part in a mini-training camp. Staying in the gaudy but infamous Pink Flamingo cabin I returned to the roots of my beginning. It seemed a fitting way to start the season.

On Friday I did some hill repeat intervals as a warm up to “The Epic”. Notorious for it’s distance, feared for it’s wind, and unforgiving in it’s weather this ride is the make of a legend. We started out under the auspiciously gray and gloomy clouds in chilly 40 degree temperatures. The ride went well with a steady tempo over highway 335, some nice head wind along highway 41, then some great “wildlife” sprints (where you sprint when something crosses the road) on the road down to Leaky, Texas. It wasn’t till the 3 hour mark we knew things were going to go from Epic to Epicter (wait that’s not a word, but I’ll use it any way).

Look closely – see the ominous horizon?

As we approached the crest of the final climb before we descend toward Leaky we noticed some water on the road, the air turned to mist, the mist to rain, the rain into more rain. We found ourselves 4 hours from home in wet and very cold weather.

To say the least we weren’t to happy with the situation but we just kept going on to Leaky, the first store 85 miles into the trip. Once there we all warmed up a little with some hot chocolate and continued on and made it over the climbs between Leaky and Campwood. It was about 5 miles before Campwood we were saved by the Saint of Honda Accord (a teammate who rode turned around early) who came to bring some dry clothes, rain capes, and hot coffee. I decided at this point, in the interest of sanity and health, to pack it in and got a ride back to the cabin. With all the training I am doing I couldn’t afford to get sick again, anyways, when your hands are purple when you take off your gloves it’s a sign of bad things. I had 6 and a half hours already, no need for overkill.

The rest of the bunch made it to the cabin – wet, cold and tired. We all warmed up, started up some dinner and a nice fire, had some great conversation and reminisced about the ride we only did hours before. Just like fish tales, this one was sometimes described bigger than life, but that day the Epic lived up to its name that day and most of our stories.

Well that is all for now. I will be going to a training camp in Arizona come February where I will send an update and then it‚s off to Belgium come March 1st. I am so psyched to be back in the gutters of Belgium doing what I love!

Tot Ziens,
-Gregg Germer-

Help Support The Homeboy
Support a great cause and keep our Homie racin’ and chasin’ his dream – ! Gregg is offering limited sponsorship opportunities to ensure his return to Belgium is financially stress free – so he can turn up the heat on the road!
Click here for details.

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