Last month local cycling Coach Rick Crawford recruited a group of local athletes to help guide a winter training camp for the Boulder, Colorado based Garmin-Chipolte U23 road team in the La Plata mountains that surround town. Miguel Ramos is an FLC Cycling Team Alumni and was asked to head up the group, due to his mountain skills from growing up in Alaska and his super passion for all things bike.
Q: How did you get involved in the Training Camp?
A: Well Crawford; being my coach from the FLC days, gave me a call wounding if I wanted to use my Alaskan winter skills and help with the camping trip.
Q: How many kids took part? What ages and where from?
A: There were a total of 9 kids from the U-23 Garmin team. Their ages ranged from 18 to 22…I believe.
Q: What was your role during the hike? And around camp?
A: My job was to do little as possible; allowing the team to work with each other, until situations or problems arose. While we were hiking I was the sweeper, making sure that if kids stopped to go to the bathroom or whatever were accounted for. I also would constantly scan the area for potential avalanche areas and potential danger. We didn’t worry much about the avalanches because there was really not that much snow, which was good! Around camp I made sure that kids were eating and drinking water while they were waiting for their damp and wet clothes to dry by the fire, that I was in charge of making.
Q: How did the group deal with setback in the beginning as compared to the end of the trip?
A: As time progressed and mistakes like not having enough water were made, or hot spots developing in their shoes. The Kids learned and made sure to not make the same mistake twice. Another example was the first morning when kids took their time breaking down camp, and as a result, we were not able to get to our proposed destination that day. Lessons were learned and the next morning we were off and out hiking at a reasonable time.
Q: What were some of the successes of the group? Both small and large.
A: Everyone helped each other out and took an initiative to help break and pack the snow. It may seem like a small task, but after hours of hiking with a 50lb pack, that snow gets harder and harder to pack. No one complained, but emotions were on peoples faces and everyone pushed on. That I would say is a big success because the kids knew that in order to make it from point A to B, some suffering will had to be endured.
Q: What was the funniest moment?
A: When the three people on skis kept crashing. (myself, Andrew, and Sage)
Q: What did you learn from this experience about developmental cyclists?
A: I learned that it takes a lot of sacrafice for kids like the ones on the U-23 Garmin team to get where they are at. Many of these kids have never camped, or hiked, or even seen snow(Freddie Cruz). I have been fortunate enough to experience all those activities and a plethora of others, but If I were to have devoted my youth to cycling it may not have been the case. Life changing adventures would have been missed, and memories missed. In the end its one’s choice and decision to make such sacrifices for ones passion and desire. No matter what one chooses, its an experience to be made in either path. I am grateful that I chose the path I did. Granite I could be a way better cyclist right now and MAYBE be Pro, but the path I chose better prepared me for life. Now that I have some grasp on life, an open mind, and well rounded life (at least what I perceive as well rounded). I feel that I can now pursue what I have always wanted to pursue, while using my life adventures, experiences, and focusing them towards my passion of cycling. My goal of becoming a better, faster, stronger,and wiser rider/person from all my everyday experiences……always learning.