Get The Pro Treatment In The Desert
Since 28-year-old Owen Gue started The Cycling House in 2005, he and his staff of enthusiastic athletes have refined every detail to create an ideal training environment. Gue, who used to race bikes as a junior and still has an incredible passion for all things cycling, exudes the patience of a kindergarten teacher as he helps participants improve their riding. (TCH also hosts camps in Mallorca, Spain; Colorado; Wisconsin; and Gue’s home state of Montana.) Everyone on staff appears to operate on two main goals: to make you a better cyclist and to ensure you have a good time doing it.
The sprawling mansion in Tucson seems built for this exact purpose, with a massive kitchen (including a top-notch espresso machine), a stretching room stocked with yoga mats and foam rollers, an outdoor TRX training station, a huge garage that houses sports nutrition and endless bike tools, and a pool and hot tub for post-ride dips. Every morning a healthy breakfast is ready when you wake up, your tires are pumped and the SAG van is stocked. All you have to do is pedal.
One of the week’s highlights is the famous 21-mile climb of Mount Lemmon (or 27 miles for the longer version). It’s not uncommon to catch pro cyclists like Tom Danielson passing you on the way to the top. One of the camp guides will snap high-quality photos along the way — which you’ll receive on a thumb drive at the end of the week — so your ascent is fully documented. Reaching the top is satisfying, but the reward of the swooping descent is even sweeter.
Throughout the year, pro Brendan Halpin hosts regular camps, and pro Ironman triathletes Linsey Corbin and Ben Hoffman serve as guest guides. TCH also offers camps leading up to specific races, such as Ironman Arizona. If you’re in hardcore training mode, the mountain-view Oro Valley public pool is a mile away, so you can add a swim workout before or after riding.
TCH creates the perfect opportunity to get a jump-start on the upcoming season, especially for athletes stuck indoors all winter. You can bring your own bike or rent one from the company’s fleet of Cannondale SuperSix carbon road bikes. You’ll make plenty of new friends, eat incredibly well and leave with much stronger cycling legs than when you arrived.
Who it’s for: Triathletes looking for a cycling fitness boost
Brag factor: “I climbed Mount Lemmon.”
Rider level: Comfortable riding three-plus hours at a time, rides at least three days a week
Length: 6 days, 5 nights
Sample day: After waking up to a full gourmet breakfast from the house chef, go for a swim at the nearby outdoor pool or just take your time and saddle up for one of Tucson’s best routes — a typical ride is around 60-70 miles.
Cost: $1,495-$1,995 covers accommodations, guides and meals for the week (the higher range includes bike rental)