Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Stateside blogging!



New Colours for 2013!

So this is my first blog post from across the pond aka stateside aka the USA. Despite everything tending to be bigger here in the US, I intend to keep my blog postings shorter and more frequent this year (well this is the plan!).

Its been a little over 3 weeks now since I took off from London Heathrow. A smooth flight to Philadelphia was followed by some airport time before another flight onto Greensboro, North Carolina. From there it was a short drive to Winston-Salem and the home town of Team SmartStop P/B Mountain Khakis. A longggg day but I had made it and I could begin to relax.
Philadelphia....home of Rocky!

A relaxing site in North Carolina!

After a very nice few days in good company and nice accommodation (thanks to Joe Carpisassi!), meeting new people, collecting new kit/equipment and generally trying to adjust a little to life in the US, it was time for the first little road trip of the year. Destination Athens, Georgia (and Phil Gaimon's crib...thanks Phil!) where I would be located for the next few weeks until returning to Winston-Salem for official team training camp/presentation. That time has come and so Thursday we make the trip back to Winston-Salem.

Gravel roads of Georgia!

Though I arrived safely and have been adjusting to US life the last couple of weeks here in Athens have been far from smooth. Struck down by illness my days have generally been spent on my bed rather than on my bike. However luckily I seem to be on the mend now. It was far from ideal timing and disturbances to training are never welcomed, but experience has taught me that rest and recovery are far more important during these times. My winter had been illness-free until this so good foundations for 2013 had been planted for the season ahead. This is just a slight setback and having experienced my fair share of setbacks in the past, I do not intend on letting it spoil the bigger picture!
Little Details!

And that bigger picture in 2013 is a season with Team SmartStop P/B Mountain Khakis. First time I am on a team from the USA, I have been very impressed since the second I touched down and was met at the airport in North Carolina. I look forward to what the season ahead will bring! This seems as good a time as any to mention some of our main team product sponsors that will be very much part of my life both on and off the bike this season:

Wilier Bikes (Zero 9 training/race bikes & Blade TT bike) with VP Pedals, SRAM components, Ritchey finishing kit, Reynolds wheels, Maxxis Tyres and San Marco Saddles. Lazer Helmets, Mavic Shoes, Tifosi sunglasses and Polar Bottle(s) covering the accessories whilst Champion System are covering the Kit. Mountain Khakis provide the casual/off the bike clothes and Keen the casual/off the bike shoes. Yes I am being well looked after!

Team Sponsors! 

And ofcourse a mention to my personal sponsors: The Dave Rayner Fund who continue to support me, Paligap (Cycleops) likewise and also to 'Beet It' for help in the nutrition department. All greatly appreciated! 
Evolution over the years & continued support over the years from Paligap/Cycleops!

So thats all thats really been going on so far. Given the big move, a pretty unadventurous first few weeks in the states mainly due to being bed bound. But thats all soon to change. Onto training camp now and then afterwards its time to get down to business...race time! Starting immediately after camp in the Carolina's, by mid March I will be West Coast bound...Tucson Arizona, San Dimas & Redlands California will keep me busy for the first month. Im sure there will be much to report! 


Will be on the open road a lot this year...on and off the bike!

Until next time....

Friday, February 1, 2013

Season 2013 and USA Calling....

The racing season rapidly approaches and for me in 2013 that will mean the USA! Those that know me and those that have followed my progression in the cycling world here on my blog will know how much that has involved Belgium. The Belgium chapter will continue I can assure you of that. However for season 2013 the USA beckons and a chance to try and make an impact on the American cycling scene and a chance to continue making my way in the sport.
And so to my new team for 2013, Team SmartStop P/B Mountain Khakis. A US Continental cycling team based in North Carolina. After success on the National Criterium Calendar (NCC) circuit in the US in 2012, the team will be looking to maintain this status as well as add to it with success on the National Road Calendar (NRC) circuit in 2013. I am looking forward to getting rolling with the new team and excited about what the new season will bring. You can ofcourse follow mine and the teams progress through Twitter (@dfpatten @TeamSmartStopMK), Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/daniel.patten.161 http://www.facebook.com/SmartStopProCycling), Instagram (http://instagram.com/dfpatten/) and ofcourse here on my blog site (http://danielpatten.blogspot.co.uk/) and the teams website (http://teammk-smartstop.com/).
For now I am getting ready to make my move across the pond at the start of next week. I will have a few weeks to settle into US life in my 2013 base of Athens Georgia, before team training camp in North Carolina at the start of March. After this the racing begins...US style! A solid winter of training so far, it all bodes well for a great season ahead. My new team have been fantastic already in support of my move to them and I look forward to many great moments with them this season! A big thank you must also once again go to 'The Dave Rayner Fund' who will continue supporting me in the USA this year...your support is very much appreciated as always! Please check out and support The Dave Rayner Fund at http://www.daveraynerfund.com/
 
For my Belgium following, rest assured you will see me in my new colours on the roads of Belgium sometime this season whenever I find myself back in europe. To my family, friends and followers everywhere, as we head into season 2013 I thank you all again for your support. Team SmartStop P/B Mountain Khakis....heres to a successful 2013....lets go!