Editor’s Note: Phil Gaimon, 25, is a Velo magazine columnist and third-year pro racer for Kenda-5 Hr Energy Presented by Gear Grinder. He has an English degree from the University of Florida, and owns online stores at podiumcycling.com, podiumlegs.com, and sharethedamnroad.com. Check out Phil’s previous blogs
I figure everyone will do a “Best of 2011” blog, so I thought I’d mix it up, dig through the photos on my cell phone, and tell the story of 2011 that way. If you follow me on twitter, you’ve probably seen some of these already, but let’s face it, you have a bad memory, anyway.
Gainesville Gainesville: January. Gainesville, Florida. Fled the great frozen Baltimore for some warmer weather and change of scenery. Looking out my front door, I remembered one thing that never changes. Photo: Phil Gaimon January Olustee, Florida. Sign at a gas station on the group ride. If you’re permanently out of gas, perhaps you should rethink your vocation. Photo: Phil Gaimon Gators Saw a gator on the ride to welcome me back. The first time I saw one up close was after my first class at UF in 2004. It was an 8-footer, hanging out right next to the driver’s-side door of my car. I got in the passenger’s side, and scooted over.
Photo: Phil Gaimon January Turkeys I’ve realized that there will be a lot of blurry wildlife in this blog entry. Deal with it. There’s something funny to me about a pack of wild turkeys in the mist. Photo: Phil Gaimon Febboca Took a trip down to Boca Raton. Good riding, if you hate turning, and you like stopping for lights and yachts all day. I’d watched “Blues Brothers” recently, and was almost inspired to go for it on this one. Almost. Photo: Phil Gaimon Feb My friend let me leave my trailer in her parking lot, and this is how I thanked her. Classy. Photo: Phil Gaimon Deland Feb February: Deland, Florida. I had just won a local race and gorged on BBQ when I took this one. Photo: Phil Gaimon Camp Kenda Training camp in Clermont, Florida. Jake and the other pale northerners exposed their skin to the sun for the first time in months. Photo: Phil Gaimon Camp co-Sponsor! Photo: Phil Gaimon 10.5hr March: Heading back home from training camp, I saw a tow truck, towing another tow truck! Only 25 years old, but my life is complete. Photo: Phil Gaimon March San Dimas San Dimas Redlands April. Redlands, California. Can’t complain about this. Photo: Phil Gaimon Baltimore April Baltimore. I found a dirt road near home in Maryland. As I rounded a bend, I noticed a…smell. Turns out this was the source. I was almost home, so he got the rest of my Enervit bar. Photo: Phil Gaimon Baltimore April April 3: I wasn’t going to hurt him. Photo: Phil Gaimon May New Mexico Tahoe Tahoe Abbey Road Got our new GearGrinder jackets just in time for the team presentation, and I attempted an Abbey Road photo. Photo: Phil Gaimon Tahoe We were all afraid to get too close, and then a 5-foot-tall woman came over banging a pot and a spatula to scare him away. Photo: Phil Gaimon Tahoe Tour of California, stage 1. And they almost didn’t cancel it. Photo: Phil Gaimon Cali All the Euros gathered around the laptop watching their teammates at the Giro. Photo: Phil Gaimon Hotel art This was hanging up in one of the hotel rooms, and I had to stare at it for thirty minutes while I got my massage. The leaves are green and lush on the trees, but brown and orange on the ground. Is this some sort of deep message I’m missing, or can we just chalk it up to crappy hotel art? Photo: Phil Gaimon ToC Team race radios for ToC. Photo: Phil Gaimon Taco rescue One more stage left, and I couldn’t stand the idea of another race meal. Luckily, there was a taco truck. Photo: Phil Gaimon Baltimore June June. Back in Baltimore. Photo: Phil Gaimon Bulltimore “What?” Photo: Phil Gaimon Squirrel Remember in the Looney Tunes when they’d run over Wile E. Coyote, and then the paint truck would always come by? It’s like that, only morbid. Photo: Phil Gaimon Beauce Drive three hours from Vermont, and suddenly you’re in France, and you have no idea how to order at a restaurant. Photo: Phil Gaimon Cascade Cascade Classic. Bend, Oregon. Got some appropriate dish detergent. Photo: Phil Gaimon Cascade One of my fans passed me a beer after the crit. First drink of the season. Photo: Phil Gaimon Cascade View from the host house. Is it bad that I wanted to skip a stage to go fly fishing? Photo: Phil Gaimon Cascade Shipped my bike home, and Fedex ran it over with a truck, apparently. They still owe me money for this. Photo: Phil Gaimon July July. Hull, Georgia. Happy to be back in the south, where there is no unsweet tea, because who on earth would drink unsweet tea? Photo: Phil Gaimon July July: Friends in Athens. This photo epitomizes the south. Don’t worry, it’s just a BB gun. Photo: Phil Gaimon Sign I have an English degree. How do I apply for the job of “guy who writes church signs.” My other dream job is to write the blurbs on cereal boxes about how to have a heart-healthy diet. As far as writers go, I would argue that these folks have more readers than any journalist. Photo: Phil Gaimon Spencer August. Did a race in North Carolina with Spencer, and he forgot the pump for his air mattress. Idiot. I did the same thing a couple months ago, to be honest. Photo: Phil Gaimon Fundo Massachusetts. Brad Huff and Jeremy Powers putting up signs for the Gran Fundo. Photo: Phil Gaimon Fundo Another wildlife shot: Cyclocrossers in their natural habitat. Photo: Phil Gaimon Mike September. Los Angeles, California. I stayed with Mike for a few days while I raced Elite Track Nationals, and sold his mom some Podium Legs for his birthday. Next time they say I can crash at their house, I’m going to take it literally. I’ll ride into the living room, run over the cat, and endo onto the sofa. Photo: Phil Gaimon C-F-A I convinced Roman to go to Chick-fil-A after a track race. It was “kids eat free night,” and I thought he was going to murder me. Photo: Phil Gaimon Rainbow Rainbow: Spencer sent me this picture of a double rainbow. It’s fake, though. They were just filming a Skittles commercial. Photo: Phil Gaimon San Diego It’s time for the #ahhffseason. Photo: Phil Gaimon November November. My car is totaled. Photo: Phil Gaimon Frankie Stumbled on an autographed picture of Frankie at The Hub bike shop in Athens. I didn’t know he used to race. Photo: Phil Gaimon Taiwan Taiwan: Roman sent me this photo from the scenic highway in Taiwan.
Photo: Phil Gaimon Taiwan Taiwan: Finished with the last race of the season, I wore my straw hat to the 7-11, where I bought some store-brand beer, called “The Beer.” Photo: Phil Gaimon Taiwan Shared a room with Roman in Taipei that night. Photo: Phil Gaimon November Offseason. This is the only bike I rode for a few weeks, and even then, I went slow. Photo: Phil Gaimon Thanksgiving I love my grandmother, but I have to admit, she kinda looks like Yoda. Photo: Phil Gaimon December I know the year is almost over, because that’s when I always realize that I somehow lost all my left gloves. Photo: Phil Gaimon