So this is my first blog post from across the pond aka stateside aka the USA, writes Dan Patten. Despite everything tending to be bigger here in the US, I intend to keep my blog postings shorter and more frequent this year (well this is the plan!).

Its been a little over 3 weeks now since I took off from London Heathrow. A smooth flight to Philadelphia was followed by some airport time before another flight onto Greensboro, North Carolina. From there it was a short drive to Winston-Salem and the home town of Team SmartStop P/B Mountain Khakis. A longggg day but I had made it and I could begin to relax.

Dan Patten
I’m looking forward to the season and new roads to come.

After a very nice few days in good company and nice accommodation (thanks to Joe Carpisassi!), meeting new people, collecting new kit/equipment and generally trying to adjust a little to life in the US, it was time for the first little road trip of the year.

Destination Athens, Georgia (and Phil Gaimon’s crib…thanks Phil!) where I would be located for the next few weeks until returning to Winston-Salem for official team training camp/presentation. That time has come and so Thursday we make the trip back to Winston-Salem.

Dan Patten
My team are very well equipped.

Though I arrived safely and have been adjusting to US life the last couple of weeks here in Athens have been far from smooth.

Struck down by illness my days have generally been spent on my bed rather than on my bike. However luckily I seem to be on the mend now. It was far from ideal timing and disturbances to training are never welcomed, but experience has taught me that rest and recovery are far more important during these times.

My winter had been illness-free until this so good foundations for 2013 had been planted for the season ahead. This is just a slight setback and having experienced my fair share of setbacks in the past, I do not intend on letting it spoil the bigger picture!

Dan Patten
I can even make the papers before I’ve raced.

And that bigger picture in 2013 is a season with Team SmartStop P/B Mountain Khakis.

First time I am on a team from the USA, I have been very impressed since the second I touched down and was met at the airport in North Carolina.

I look forward to what the season ahead will bring! This seems as good a time as any to mention some of our main team product sponsors that will be very much part of my life both on and off the bike this season.

Dan Patten
This is a seriously nice bike.

Wilier Bikes (Zero 9 training/race bikes and Blade TT bike) with VP Pedals, SRAM components, Ritchey finishing kit, Reynolds wheels, Maxxis Tyres and San Marco Saddles. Lazer Helmets, Mavic Shoes, Tifosi sunglasses and Polar Bottles covering the accessories, whilst Champion System are supplying the Kit. Mountain Khakis provide the casual/off the bike clothes and Keen the casual/off the bike shoes. Yes – I am being very well looked-after!

And of course a mention to my personal sponsors: The Dave Rayner Fund who continue to support me, Paligap (Cycleops) likewise and also to ‘Beet It’ for help in the nutrition department.

Also my thanks to Martin and Ed here at VeloVeritas for continuing to publish my blog posts and follow my career in the cycling world. All greatly appreciated!

So thats all that’s really been going on so far.

Dan Patten
I’ve been discovering new roads with my new pals.

Given the big move, a pretty unadventurous first few weeks in the states mainly due to being bed-bound. But that’s all soon to change.

On to the training camp now and then afterwards its time to get down to business… race time!

Starting immediately after camp in the Carolina’s, by mid March I will be West Coast bound…Tucson Arizona, San Dimas and Redlands California will keep me busy for the first month.

I’m sure there will be much to report! Until next time, D.