Starting with Colorado, I decided I was't going to be capable of completing the Athens 2 Atlanta (A2A) inline skate if I didn’t learn to skate some hills and increase my distance rapidly. So, I packed my bags and took off for Steamboat Springs. There I was able to take several weeks of hills and long roads to really learn how to skate. That said, I wasn’t any good at it, I was just able to do it, which is a start! I was also able get the filming done for a webisode related to the A2A and several tips from the road we’ll be releasing shortly.
Now, from there we made our way to Boulder, where Brooke Burger and Justin Daerr were nice enough to put me up for a few days. While in Boulder I was able to get a great trail run and skate in. But the real reason I was there was to do interviews. We interviewed Chris McDonald and Justin Daerr while there and got some great footage of them training for their upcoming race in Wisconsin. They went on to finish 4th and 5th respectively. We were supposed to do an interview with Chrissie Wellington also, but that fell through. It was too bad, since we would have used the footage to help promote one of the charities she supports.
A week after returning to Miami, we back at it again as I boarded a flight to Las Vegas for the 2009 Interbike convention. We have a series of webisodes featuring all the cool products, racing and interviews that will be released in just a few days. We fell behind on production because we are so backed up, otherwise this stuff would already be up for your viewing pleasure.
Finally, it was October and while everyone in the triathlon world was ramping up for Hawaii, I was ramping up for an adventure of my own…A2A!!!
We arrived in Atlanta on Tuesday, October 6 where the Hotel Palomar provided lodging. This exquisite and new establishment is beautifully designed inside and out. We were able to shoot inside the hotel, at Pacci it’s Italian restaurant and AltoRex the terrace bar. Production began in earnest the following day when me and the crew hooked up with “Top Chef” Kevin Gillespie and his Sous chef E.J. Hodgkinson to do some slow food cooking at Woodfire Grill. The term Slow food was introduced by Carlo Petrini in Italy to counteract the fast food. It is an effort to preserve the cuisine, produce and animals within a region, without sacrificing too much time in the preparation of meals.
Later that same day was one of the coolest things we could have done…we went scuba diving in the Ocean Voyager exhibit at Georgia Aquarium. I don’t want to give too much away, so that’s all you get.
Thursday, we were off to Athens, where we checked in to the modern and ecologically friendly Indigo Hotel. The Indigo just opened about a month ago and is currently being evaluated for Gold LEED certification, which would make it only the 5th hotel in the world to achieve such status. Oyeah, and Tyler made me a mean Indigo Martini, their signature drink.
Again, this blog is to give you a feel for the show but not give it away. So, I will tell you where we filmed with a few stills, but I can’t give it all away. The Day was spent filming at TRR Cobbs residence, Athens most influential citizen prior to the civil war. After which we went for some lunch and an amazing filming experience at Weaver D’s , “Automatic for the people Y’all”. In the evening we hit up Terrapin Brewery, Athens home grown brewer, where Thursday thru Saturday night they offer festive beer tours, live music, dancing lessons and of course great beers to sample. Finally, we finished the filming night off with a visit to Melting Point, where the Gourds were performing, a “honky-tonk badonka-donk” band from Austin Texas.
Friday was back to Atlanta for the day. We filmed with our feature athletes Jessica Wright and Eddy Matzger along with their respective families and friends over at Flip Burger, where Richard Blais made us some of his crazy concoctions and unreal burgers!! We followed that with a visit to the World of Coke for and interview session with Jessica. Then in the evening, we got Eddy’s interview after the very cool and very fun FRIDAY NIGHT SKATE.
Saturday was a much needed break from the camera for me and I spent the day roaming the streets of Athens with Caroline.
Sunday, it was on! The race started promptly at 7:30 and we were off. I am not giving anything about the event away here. All I will say is that our feature athletes put on an amazing show for the cameras and well I…I did my part too! I can’t wait for you to see this episode in the spring, it may be the best episode yet.