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by Scott Penzarella on August 19, 2012
Our newly assembled team would be riding for the dZi Foundation a nonprofit that provides raw materials and training needed to help underserved communities in the remote regions of Nepal.
In mid July, I joined Scott on one of Studio Velo's memorable cycling trips in the beautiful Pyrenees of Spain. We rode everyday and after a bit of R and R around the pool, would sit down to one of Chef Ritchie's infamous dinners. Despite his demanding schedule,Scott was even able to take time out to wipe the Nair on and take the hair off.
I had five days of great rides with Scott, Colin and the gang. This was my second time to the Pyrenees and it is just as beautiful as I remembered it. The climbs can be steep and challenging while the rolling rides along the Costa Brava coastline are stunning. One thing you can always expect when riding in this area. The roads are great and in general the Spanish drivers are quite courteous. Along the way you can anticipate finding a little cafe bar for a caffeine boost or a small local restaurant for some great Spanish food.
On Friday afternoon we loaded up the car with our Cyfac Absolu bikes for the race, said our goodbyes to everyone and headed north for our 7 hour drive to Orelle, France, host country to our 3-day pro-am race.
We had a long six plus hour drive from Girona, Spain, to Orelle in the French Alps. Broke up the drive with a couple of stops for some of that fine institutionalized "home cooking" at the ubiquitous Auto Grills. We reached our destination around 12:30 am and to our surprise we were some of the first to arrive. Our teammates Thomas ,Craig and Chris together with the rest of the teams were flying in to Lyon from London on a chartered flight and they wouldn't reach Orelle until after 2am. It had been a long day and a comfortable bed was pretty appealing. The next morning we all gathered for breakfast with the exception of Thomas who was noticeably MIA. We planned an early warm up ride, but first we had to find and wake up Mr. Newmeyer. Needless to say he was totally sound asleep having not gotten to bed until after 3am. I think he was still half asleep when he got him down to his bike!