California Wrap

So my time here in California has come to an end. I have been in Alaska for almost a week, but I thought I’d wind back the clocks and write a bit on my last few weeks in California

I arrived on the 7th of October and straight away hit the training pretty solidly. In hindsight a little too hard because by Friday, I was feeling pretty beat up and pushed my rest day forward and just took the day off. Frustratingly the next few days I had off, just feeling pretty average. After a few days I was feeling all right and so hit the training again for a while which was great. Doing nothing I find super hard, so I was extremely happy to be able to get out into the amazing Californian weather and train again.

Training here is always challenging and I find I’m constantly pushed out of my comfort zone. The family I live with are phenomenal mountain bikers and although I have the fitness, I have NO skill on the bike and my enthusiasm for charging down hills far exceeds my actual ability to descend them. Luckily I’ve only found myself on the ground once with the wheels in the air. The other area I’ve been pushed is rollerskiing. The skills the locals have is very impressive and there have been a few times I thought I was going to end up in bushes and trees as we descended some crazy hills. So far I’ve managed to keep it rubber side down.


The Sybens shredding away on the single track.
Last day bike ride
Last day bike ride.

There are a great group of guys that race for the Far West Elite Team, which is based out of Trukee. I was lucky enough to be able to jump in on some of their sessions! It’s so much better training with a bunch of super motivated athletes than on your own. The sessions become so much harder but also easier because everyone is pushing but at the same time suffering together. Frustratingly my illness came back to haunt me for a while and I was forced to have a few more easy days. However in two of the sessions I completed, we climbed to the top of some of the local ski resorts. The views were amazing! The second time as we did intervals up Sugar Bowl, a helicopter kept flying overhead carrying chairlift pylons for a new chairlift they were building. It was spectacular to see these huge metal towers being lifted and moved so effortlessly by a tiny helicopter.

Spencer and Gus (turing into the Hulk) on top of Sugar Bowl.
On top of Sugar Bowl with Royal Gorge in the back ground.
Pete, August and Julian after a double pole session on top of Black Wood.
On top of Squaw with Patrick, Spencer, Dylan and myself.
Getting a bit fancy.

Sugar Bowl helicopter.
Carrying another chairlift tower.

I’m extremely excited to head to Alaska, for one they have some early snow that’s groomed and looks amazing. I’m getting to train in with one of the best, if not the best  nordic team in America. And most importantly I feel my chances of seeing the elusive bear are skyrocketing and of course I get to spend some time with Lauren.

Finally a massive “thank you” needs to be sent to the Syben family who graciously hosted me for my time in California. It’s always amazing staying with them!

Camille and Dylan Syben  the day i flew out to Alaska.
Camille and Dylan Syben the day I flew out to Alaska.

I’ll write about my time in Alaska soon! For now, as always…

Train hard, rest easy, live for the moment!


4 thoughts on “California Wrap

  1. Hi paul, sounds like you’ve had some highs and lows – that is pretty normal. hope you’ve made it to alaska OK and enjoying life . pass on greetings to the great deer hunter from jane , dogs and me. deep abounding here right now – running about in daylight. too exhausted from fencing cemetery to do more than look at them. swam in the river yesterday – gorgeous – really reinviorates me –

    studio got passed by begavalley council – so job done there.

    hope you find time to reflect and balance your whole being – what a great thing bodies are – have fun on the white stuff.

    best don

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