| | | | | | | | | |
ian dille at the Serotta Open House
Day 1- Thursday, June 9th
3:30 p.m.- I leave DC.
4:00 p.m.- I cross the Potomac River. I have traveled 3 miles.
7:45 p.m.- I arrive at Mr. And Mrs. Zwizanski’s (otherwise know as Scott’s house). Mrs. Zwizanski feeds me perogies. I suddenly feel much better and a little polish too.
Day 2- Friday, June 10th
8:30 a.m.- Scott and I wake up and eat some of his mom’s famous homemade granola. 10:30 a.m.- The car is packed up and we head for Saratoga Springs. We will stay at the Serotta guest house (sweet!). Scott couldn’t sleep last night. I think he is excited.
3:30 p.m.- Arrival in Saratoga Springs.
5:30 p.m.- The Serotta folks take us out on an “easy” ride.
7:30 p.m.- Almost two hours, three town sprints, and one 30-minute climb later; we get back to the factory. The sponsors always take the pros out and hammer us. Oh yeah, the riding in upstate New York is amazing.
8:15 p.m.- After a quick shower, we head out for the night. Hayden knows all the spots in Saratoga Springs.
9:30 p.m.- Scott and I return to the Serotta farmhouse after a nice, healthy meal. We hit the sack and prepare for the festivities tomorrow.
Day 3- Saturday, June 11th
8:30 a.m.- Bagels in the morning for breakfast. I eat three of them before noon.
11:00 a.m.- Davis Phinney is here to support his foundation. It raises money for those who suffer from Parkinson’s disease. His former teammate on 7-Eleven, Ron Kiefel, is here too and they entertain us with stories from the old days. I’m in awe of these guys.
11:30 a.m.- Alexis from Serotta gives us a factory tour. They run a tight ship here. The frames are tested for alignment multiple times before they are welded together.
12:50 p.m.- The group rides head out. The KG/SN guys, Scott, Hayden, and myself, join in on the 100-kilometer loop. Our job involved patrolling the back and front of the group. We helped people back on that fell off and, of course, light it up for the town line sprints. From my angle near the back Hayden just got nipped at the line. I met a lot of cool Serotta owners on the ride.
5:00 p.m.- The group makes it back to the factory where ice-cold buckets of Sierra Nevada beer await us.
6:00 p.m.- Some serious meat comes off the grill. We chow down on ribs, chicken, and veggie burgers. Because we’re all wearing the same shirt, the confused server accuses Scott of coming back for a twelfth plate of food.
7:00 p.m.- A silent auction to support the Davis Phinney Foundation is followed by a live auction. Lot’s of cool items were up for grabs including a vintage autographed Team 7-Eleven poster.
8:00 p.m.- Davis gives a really inspiring speech about making the time cut by just two minutes on the L’Alpe du Huez stage of his last Tour. He rode alone for 60 miles to make the cut instead of quitting. He compared that experience to his battle with Parkinson’s and his determination to help find a cure.
8:15 p.m.- The auction resumes. Bidding is noticeably livelier.
8:45 p.m.- I get to personally tell Ben Serotta that the Ottrott ST is an awesome bike.
9:00 p.m.- Mosquitoes invade the premises and everyone runs for cover. Some people head to town for ice cream, others venture to the pub, and I hit the sack. What a fun filled day.
Day 4- Sunday, June 12th
8:00 a.m.- These New Yorkers know how to make bagels. I have an everything with cream cheese while talking to Tony, a former professional racer from the mid ‘90s. We discuss tactics while sipping coffee.
9:00 a.m.- Time to chamois up and go ride. We’re headed to a historic battlefield from the revolutionary war, the battle of Saratoga.
9:45 a.m.- Scott sits on the front setting a nice tempo for Davis Phinney and Ron Kiefel while Hayden keeps busy helping people back on to the group. I cruise in with a 13-year old on his first group ride. He is named Ian as well. I teach him the joys of drafting and he hangs tough the whole way.
11:30 a.m.- Ian (not me) takes the sprint back into town, just ahead of Davis.
12:00 p.m.- Another killer spread of food.
1:00 p.m.- I am offered a couple cases of beer from the weekend’s over stock to take home. I would hate to see Sierra Nevada go to waste, so I oblige them. Of course, I intend on giving it all away to friends and family, of course.
2:30 p.m.- After thanking everyone for all the wonderful hospitality we hit the road. Now that I’ve personally seen how much hard work and craftsmanship goes into each Serotta bicycle, I feel truly honored by the opportunity to race one.