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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: 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
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
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
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
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
My friend let me leave my trailer in her parking lot, and this is how I thanked her. Classy. Photo: Phil Gaimon
February: Deland, Florida. I had just won a local race and gorged on BBQ when I took this one. Photo: Phil Gaimon
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
co-Sponsor! Photo: Phil Gaimon
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
April. Redlands, California. Can’t complain about this. Photo: Phil Gaimon
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
April 3: I wasn’t going to hurt him. Photo: Phil Gaimon
Got our new GearGrinder jackets just in time for the team presentation, and I attempted an Abbey Road photo. Photo: Phil Gaimon
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
Tour of California, stage 1. And they almost didn’t cancel it. Photo: Phil Gaimon
All the Euros gathered around the laptop watching their teammates at the Giro. Photo: Phil Gaimon
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
Team race radios for ToC. Photo: Phil Gaimon
One more stage left, and I couldn’t stand the idea of another race meal. Luckily, there was a taco truck. Photo: Phil Gaimon
June. Back in Baltimore. Photo: Phil Gaimon
“What?” Photo: Phil Gaimon
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
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