WOW!!! Where do I start? I can honestly say that Hammer Nutrition’s Cycling Camp is off the charts! First and foremost, the services are five star. The pampering begins with an airport pick up, a full bike set up upon arrival at the Tucson Cycling House, daily bike maintenance after each ride, full sag support on each ride, individualized coaching, and the most in-depth guidance available on fueling, sustained endurance, and nutrition.
The camp is held in Tucson, Arizona where the weather in January is a pleasant 60-70 degrees; perfect for those of us from the East coast who, at that time of the year, are struggling to stay on the trainer or just tired of layering on the 15 lbs of clothes that it takes to keep from getting frostbitten on a local ride! Your home away from home while at the Hammer Camp is the Cycling House. The setting is a suburban, ranch-style home that sleeps between 16-20 individuals. This sprawling retreat is furnished with both an indoor and outdoor fireplace, in-ground pool, and the most dazzling views of snow capped mountains, cactus fields, and breathtaking sunsets known to man. The in-house cooks prepare breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a nutritionally-balanced fashion, while at the same time cutting no corners when it comes to taste.
As for the riding … (smile) …
Tucson and its neighboring counties are a haven of open roads, rolling hills, and mountainous ranges. Whether the ride calls for a from-the-house start, or we travel the ten miles to the city limits via the Hammer van (AKA Big Blue), campers will be treated to what I can only describe as a cyclists dream come true! The roads are free of the congestion that I’m accustomed to here in New York City. Each ride is supported by three pro domestiques and no less than two coaches. There is ample support for strong riders that want to go off the front to blow the cobwebs out to their winter legs while at the same time supporting the camps policy of “no-drop” rides.
If you are looking to work on your pre-season climbing skills, you need not look any further. While most of the riding at camp encompasses an array of rolling hills, false flats, and a number of challenging elevation peaks, the feature ride of Hammer Camp has to be Mount Lemmon! Mount Lemmon is one of the premier climbs in the United States. The 23-mile ride starts out at about 2,500 ft, surrounded by cactus and mesquite trees, and ascends to a January snow-capped 8,198 ft. The reward for all of that climbing is a 40-minute, lightning fast decent that offers ample opportunity to sharpen your high-speed cornering skills.
Hammer products and promotion:
Surprisingly enough, there was absolutely no big sales pitch and no high pressure tactics to purchase the products. Instead, an opportunity to use each of the company’s endurance fuels and supplements free of charge for the entire duration of the camp! What’s more, both Brian Frank (owner) and Steve Born (world-renowned fueling expert) were both on hand to explain the purpose and benefits of each of the products and to provide recommendations for product usage based on each person’s individualized goals and objectives.
After all was said and done, I would, without reservation, highly recommend this pre-season camp to anyone serious about cycling and overall performance enhancement. My experience at the Hammer Nutrition Camp at the Tucson Cycling House far exceeded my expectations. Dollar for dollar, it is an outstanding value and will now serve as my annual pre-season kick off for subsequent training years.
Interested? See our camps page for more information.