Bike Fit is important, and now is probably the best time to have it done, if you haven't ever. If you have to make adjustments, you ought to follow them with a period of low intensity riding, which a lot of you are probably doing right now anyway. Plus, you may also be looking at longer-than-average rides, either on the road or on the trainer. A poor fit could make those long slow slogs in the basement even more uncomfortable.
This article was first published in 2008
This past weekend, I was working with a team of riders who where preparing for an important local race. As I was writing a pep-talk e-mail, I decided to remind them of all the things that we have been learning the hard way, that we all really already knew but were not putting into practice.
In every race I have ever done, there comes a point where I get this big surprise when I realize how uncomfortable racing my bike can be. Having to push hard and ride at the pace set by the pack can be painful. The funny thing is that after over 25 years of racing, I am still surprised when it starts to hurt. Mentally I think that my brain keeps me from quitting the sport by hiding the painful stuff so that I will go back out next week and have another go.
Article published in 2017.
I wanted to write an article about Criterium racing, and give some tips, but looking around, most of the tips like “get in a good warmup,” “line up early,” “stay up front,” etc. have pretty much been covered. So I thought about the advice I give my riders beyond the basics.
I was out riding around my usual farm roads a few weeks back. My hands and face were freezing as usual and I was temped to slow down to reduce the wind chill a bit. But slowing down would mean dropping my power since the roads are pretty flat and fast. So I was thinking how can I maintain my power and intensity while bringing the speed down to a point where the wind was not as big of a factor in making me cold. One way is to find roads that point up. Speed goes down and power goes up, but eventually I would have to come back down.
Tom Soladay and the rest of the Mountain Khakis team lined up in Philly for the TD Bank Philadelphia International Cycling Championships this past weekend. One of Tom’s major goals for the season was to be in a position to be able to go for a high placing in this landmark US event.
Big race for the DC Baltimore area. Pro teams are here for the NRC points and everyone else is there for the festival and fast fast racing.
Former MABRA RR champ and Team MT Khakis Pro Tom Soladay put in a couple of winning attacks this week to win his first and second races as a professional in quick succession at the Historic Roswell Criterium and the Beaufort Memorial Criterium, both part of the USA Crits Speed Week. Tom trains and races with a power meter so we can learn a lot from what happens in a race that can help to direct his training.
I was looking at Tom’s power file from the Beaufort Crit, specifically at the last 3 laps and I saw some very interesting stuff.
The Carl Dolan Circuit Race at the Columbia Gateway Center has been going on so long it's become a MABRA classic. We originally raced the other direction on this course, but only for one year and the race was called something else back then.
If budget or schedules don’t allow you to hold a camp at some great location like the Lost River Barn, or head out of town to a packaged camp in the mountains of Virginia or the sweet early season temps of southern California, you can effectively hold a camp without leaving home. This applies to teams or individuals. An effective camp is all about getting in specific training with dedicated time for recovery and rest. Nowhere does it say that you have to sleep in a strange bed to make it a camp.
The trick to holding an affective training camp or choosing from the many prepackaged camps is to first have a goal for what you or your team wants to accomplish. That goal may be tons of flat steady miles, or hours of climbing or dozens of team work drills. Or it may be to learn all there is about training with power or some other training methodology. If you have a goal for your camp it will be easier to decide where and when to attend or hold your camp and what how much this camp experience might cost.
There are lots of ways of doing a training camp. A camp can be as short as a long weekend or as long as a couple of weeks. You can also have a camp that is totally self service or a camp that provides all the services you might need like housing, food, mechanical support and more.
Why not get your racing season off to a flying start with an individual or team training camp? A week or even a long weekend of dedicated training time can take your fitness to that next level and help your team form the cohesive bonds that can make a big difference in any kind of race.
Delayed but not forgotten. The Giro road race is a great and selective course. There are enough tough rollers and hard little pitches to ensure a deserving winner.
The thing about bike racing is that the strongest and fastest riders are not always the ones that win the races and on this course, the deserving winner will be the rider who is not only strong enough to get up the climbs, but also smart enough to save their energy until it counts.
Almost every coach will agree that we learn more from mistakes and failures than we do from success and winning. One event that this is the most true is the individual time trial and the best way to really look at a time trial effort is to study and dissect the power file. Many riders will not look at their power meter displays when racing, but will ride with that little extra weight for no other reason that to look back at what happened and hopefully learn from their mistakes.