For everyone who has a desire to improve their cycling fitness and all-around two-wheeled know-how, Janel Spilker’s Borrego Camp could be just the ticket. Janel is a former pro racer who has been putting her years of experience and friendly demeanor to good use helping cyclists become better at what they love to do.
We had the chance to catch up with Janel as she was busy preparing for her upcoming camp which there are still some open slots available.
How long has the camp been going?
2020 will mark the fifth year of the Borrego Springs Cycling Camp. #BorregoCamp has evolved over the past few decades, beginning in the 1980s as a training camp for riders coached by Arnie Baker. I first began putting in big miles in Borrego Springs in 2007 as a coach of Arnie’s, but there was no coach present (Arnie had just retired), no support, and only a few people to ride with in total. Over the years a few people kept the tradition of the training camp alive by heading out to Borrego at the same time and organizing routes and places to meet for dinner. I loved the camaraderie and the quality of training that was to be had by spending a week in the desert mountains. I knew it was an experience I wanted to offer as a coach some day.
In 2015, after retiring from pro racing, I was finally able to transform the camp into a fully coached, organized and supported training camp, reviving what Arnie had begun so long ago.
Is it slated for just advanced riders?
No, the camp offers 3-4 ride groups each day so we can accommodate experienced recreational riders perhaps training for a gran fondo or gravel grinder to racers of any category, whatever your discipline. Twenty-something to beyond 70 years old, if you have experience riding two or more 4+hour rides per week, you can join us at camp to lay a solid fitness foundation for the year.
What should riders expect to experience?
Four out of five days at #BorregoCamp include a long ride of at least 60 miles and 5000 feet of climbing or up to a century with 10,000 feet of climbing, all at base endurance pace. Each ride is fully supported with follow vehicles and mechanics provided by Liv Cycling and Giant Bicycles USA.
We finish with a post-ride lunch and complete the day with a group dinner and lots of laughs. We have recovery tools provided by Backmate, a massage therapist on hand, bike wash by WD40 BIKE, and more. Lots of magic and lots of learning happens when we spend this kind of time together on and off bikes!
What are the benefits of a ride camp?
Often people wonder why they should come to a training camp instead of blocking time in their schedule to do something similar on their own. What are the benefits of a camp? You may have to experience it to truly appreciate the vast difference, but it’s the camaraderie of riding with others, some of whom you haven’t met before, over many, many, miles; the coaching you get from ride leaders, special guests, and head coach throughout every ride; the professional support of the mechanics and peace of mind that comes with knowing assistance is there if you need it; the food and hydration at critical stops on the ride; the laughs and stories you share on climbs, at dinner, and in the recovery lounge; improving skills riding in groups, descending mountains, dressing for the swings in weather yet having all the back-up clothes you need in the follow-car; access to tools that help you take care of yourself (Backmate recovery products plus a massage therapist) and your bike (WD40-BIKE and Giant/Liv mechanics); and everything is planned for you: from every lunch and dinner to every route including backup plans. All you need to do is show up ready to ride, enjoy and thrive.
What are the camp details; dates and price?
The camp starts on Sunday January 19th (start at dinner) – Friday Jan 24th (end after ride & late lunch). 5 rides. Full support. $799.