The 4th annual Durango Devo Top Secret Training Camp was so Rad. Ask the kids if you dont believe us. Camping in the desert, riding sweet trails, building killer jumps, learning serious shred skills, competing in silly timed events and eating amazing local food, how could it not be Rad.
Weather frightened us leading up to the week, but the New Mexican downpour all day thursday morning left the dirt in primo condition and as they say, provided us with “hero dirt.” Coaches Annie and Chad headed down early and set up the FLC Cycling Tent, the groovers from the Burnett Family and did minor maintenance to the camp trails in preparation for the campers.
The campers filtered in friday afternoon and set up tents, walked the area with big eyes and instantly saddled up for the usual friday night sunset ride to Moonraker, a slick rock slab the size of a polo field, that resembles a skatepark. Choose your own adventure is the name of the game there. With the sunset in the back ground and the U14, U19 and Explorers Club in tow, it was a great kick off for the campers.
The sun went down and Camp hosts Sarah Tescher and Bob Davoust warmed up a delicious chili meal by Margery Poitres with Bread from Break Bakery and greens from Natures Oasis. Then a bonus Devo themed cake from Bread! Immediately after, the amazing sound system from Elliott was set up and lights cam out to illuminate a feature jump to film for the upcoming Devo film by DevoTV’s videographer James Shahan. Campers built a fire and settled in.
Morning broke early and the morning constitution was in order. 50 campers scrambled up the sandstone features to the cliff band overlooking camp and did 50 jumping jacks, various stretches and talked about super serious stuff. Then a mad scramble ensued and the crew ran jumped and maneuvered back down to camp for breakfast. The Hermosa Tours camp-stoves lent to us by Matt McFee, got the coffee going for the coaches and the warm water for the dishwashing. Shovels were picked up immediately after the cereal spoons were washed and put away.
Campers were quick to throw around some dirt before they headed out on the saturday morning ride. RMCF Sweet Elite Coach Joey Thompson and rider Teal Stetson-Lee arrived to take the U19 Boys on a training ride. Five groups headed out and camp back smiling as the trails were in excellent condition. Lunch was great that day. Sunnyside Meats and James Ranch meat and cheese went down the gullet and fueled the 50 young bodies with the energy needed for saturday afternoons marathon saddle time.
Post lunch, 2 straight hours were dedicated to riding the camp trails and working them into perfection for the 3pm Devo Camp Slopestyle Competition. U19er Elliot ran the registration, announcing, scoring and music with a crew of judges and helpers. In the Slopestyle, riders got 2 runs from the top of camp to the campfire on any of the 20 different lines. They were judged on style, line choice and creativity. many sweet lies were had as the snow storm slowly came in. The crowd lit a fire and munched on the endless supply of the delicious Chip Peddler potato chips. In the end it was Coaches Chad and Taylor in the finals and a tie lead to an awkward rap-off that Coach Chad took with some horrible rapping.
It was really chilly then. So the only thing to do was ride some more. the U14 Girls and Boys teams took to timing the Buff Pleasuredome Time Trial Course. The meandering twisty trail tests the rider with over 30 corners in the .10th of a mile course. The goal is to improve your time each trial in 3 total attempts. Amazing times were recorded and the majority of the athletes accomplished their goals.
That night Beef Brisket was served up from James Ranch. So good! The campfire was large and another cake was presented, this one was for Levi Kurlanders birthday. The birthday song was sang in the huge FLC Cycling tent, and hand were filled with cake. Tons of campfire time for the kids as most were depleted from a day in the saddle. It was not hard to get the campers to bed.
Sunday morning, the daily constitution on the sandstone cliff was treated to some trick airplanes flying all around us, flying low and waving to us, so sweet. Stretches, jumping jacks and more serious talk lead to Coach Chad throwing the best cliff pass to date as it was only feet from completion by Perrin who headed back to camp to attempt the 100yard drop pass. Probably a good thing he didnt catch it.
After another delicious breakfast, the riders packed up tents and bags and geared up for their last ride of camp with their teammates. Again, the trails were amazing and riders came back smiling and pummeled. More delicious lunch meats, bread and fixins lead to coma’s around the smokey morning campfire. Last call for camp trail seshes were squeezed in as the campers rushed to ride, dreading the moment Mom or Dad pulled in, signaling an end to the weekend.
There is something special about Top Secret training Camp. Maybe its the good trails, maybe its the rad camp location, maybe its the passionate coaches, maybe the great food and amenities, maybe its the time of year or the alien sightings. But really it must be Love. Love for life, love for the dirt, love for discovery and growth, love for these things called bikes and most of all, Love for each other and the mutual respect that we are all here trying to do the same thing, have a good time with our cycling friends in the desert.
Thanks to all those who helped make this years Top Secret Training Camp possible! Bread Bakery, Fort Lewis Cycling, the Burnett family, Hermosa Tours, Hellen Low, Margery Poitres, Chip Peddler, Sunnyside Meats, Natures Oasis, James Ranch, Durango Cyclery, Bob Davoust, Scott Kurlander, Elliott Saslow, Rocky Mounatin Chocolate Factory/Devo Sweet Elite Team, James Shahan, Gaige Sippy, the parents of our athletes and our rad camp instructors!
Camp Staff and Instructors; Sarah Tescher, Chad Cheeney, Annie Cheeney, Jon Bailey, Mint Henk, Lucas Lemaire, Taylor Borucki, Elke Brutsaert, Alicia Rose Pastore, Anthony Diaz, Joey Tompson, Team Stetson-Lee, Dusty Bender, and Colton Andersen.