We arrived in Lisbon after 2 pleasant flights from San Francisco to London and then on to Lisbon. Once here we picked up a brand new Peugot with just 3 KM on the odometer. We had to get diesel as the tank was empty. I figured I'd fill it up so started with 20 Euros. That of course bought me about 15 liters which brought the gauge up about 1/4. Holy mackeral. I did the math: Fuel costs 1.20 Euros/litre which is about $7.20 /gallon. That was surprise #1.. Surprise # 2 was the distance our "villa" is from the velodrome. Over 100 KM, taking about 1 1/4 hour each way. I guess that would be OK if our "villa" had heat and toilet paper, which, of course, it does not. My father said we are camping out. I told him at least we have indoor plumbing but he relayed that he needed a stick to get the TP to go down. It's a long story of how we ended up here at the villa, but that's for a later time.
Surprise #3... A cup of coffee here is about one tablespoon full. It's tasty and strong, but not enough.
The track is the most beuatiful I have ever seen. Silky smooth and nuclear fast.
Today we had our 500 meter time trial. This is not my event but I am pleased with my performance. My goals were to not hurt my back and to get a PR. My start was straight and without my usual wobble. The first turn was fine. The second saw me moving up track out of the sprinter's lane. Twice I nearly lost control of the bike. In the end, my time was 40.485 seconds, good enough for 11th place (of 19) and 0.7 seconds faster than my best time to date. The race was won by fellow countryman Reid Schwarz in a blistering 36.97 seconds. He has spent the last 7 years with a starting coach helping him perfect his start. In this race, the start really is key. Team-mate Mark Rodamaker took the silver
Tomorrow is my big event; the 2 KM individual pursuit. I am as trained as I can be, so we'll see what happens. There are some really fast guys here. I am happy to be here rubbing elbows with these elite athletes and especially glad to have my dad here to help keep things humorous.
Thanks for reading.