4th Annual OCA OHPSI February Excellence Camp – Buellton, California Final Day



4th Annual OCA OHPSI February Excellence Camp – Buellton, California

Final Day – We were all a little sad as we warmed up for our last day of riding in the California sun, but the amazing route Sean had planned offered some consolation. We warmed up in the dewy grass with an elderly couple that was really keen on doing some dynamic lunges. After that, we headed out in two groups: one for a 160km ride, the other for 135km.

I can only attest to the 135, as that was the group I was part of. Our group shrunk in size after the first hour due a little bit of cold/sickness going around the camp, so the remaining 6 of us mentally geared up for the last hundred km. All a little tired after a couple weeks of big hours in the sun, it felt like a bit of struggle to get up some of those climbs. I definitely relied on the draft on this ride!

The ride was beautiful, including three canyon passes (significant climbs) and a couple of cool descents. The follow van with ride food and extra water was key – thanks Sean! Also key: spare wheels and a floor pump for quick flat changes (I was the unlucky one today). The goal for the day was steady endurance, and we achieved that with the help of Mike G and some of the boys pulling on the front of our group.  45km/hr on the flats is pretty fun when you’re being sucked along in the draft!


Overall, it was a fantastic camp. The riding in Buellton is awesome, the views are beautiful, and each day offered a new opportunity for us to challenge ourselves. Big thanks to the OCA for making this happen; these camps really set the stage for our seasons and help prepare us for racing in ways that riding alone in Ontarian winters never could! We’re all going our separate ways now, some back to the snowy abyss that is eastern Canada, some staying in California, and some (Laura and myself) to BC. The training last week was awesome – thanks for the rides, guys! Happy training for the rest of the winter… we’re almost on the other side of it!

Haley Smith