Aspiring elite bike racers must prepare for success over several years. Elite-level performance requires numerous specific skills and aspects of fitness, each of which takes time to develop. Some, such as aerobic power or descending skills, will develop gradually over several years and will last even if they are not specifically practiced for a few months.
“Hands in the drops, please!” As the Head Mentor for the NCNCA (Northern California/Nevada Cycling Association), this is a phrase I find I have to repeat over and over as I am instructing beginning racers. Riding in the drops (the lower, curved section of your handlebars) is a basic skill that takes time to learn and perfect.
A strong drive to win is a necessity for bike racing success. Something has to make one keep training, keep eating right and keep pedaling no matter what happens. Some riders have plenty of motivation, while drive is a limiter for others. As is the case with other limiters, the off-season is the time to work on correcting this deficiency. Strong motivation must be in place before racing starts.
Road riding and racing season is here, and with this may come some anxiety. Many riders, already nervous descending on the road bike, are really frightened by the prospect of descending in a peloton or group. Use these tips to help you to gain confidence in your ability to descend.
A peak is a period within a racing season when a rider is at his or her competitive best. Most serious riders plan to do many races during a season, but have a few particular races or periods of racing at which they want to do especially well. Some get fired up for the biggest races in their region or in the world, while others just want revenge or another shot at a favorite race.
Exercise physiology textbooks generally devote several chapters to the three energy systems that power muscle contractions and how the three systems interact to support various intensities and durations of exercise. They tell us that adenosine tri-phosphate or ATP is the carrier that finally delivers energy for muscle contractions no matter what the source of that energy may be.
The 2015 season officially started for me on February 3rd with a BANG, racing the international Ladies Tour of Qatar, a stage race with four road races in one of the windiest places to race on earth…and oh yeah, there’s sand and heat, too. The race has been known to have sandstorms and nasty metal(ish) divider thingies that separate the road and contribute to nasty crashes.
Learning to Ride without Hand Pain
It’s not unusual for a cyclist to experience sore hands from time to time. It may be the muscles of the palm, the complex and delicate bones of the wrist, or the nerves and ligaments of the fingers that are affected. If the bike-fit is poor, and too much of the rider’s weight is on the bars, then discomfort will result*.
Riders and teams enter bike races because they want to see how they stack up against the competition. For that to make sense, riders must believe that the playing field is level. The competition must be fair to be meaningful. Sports only make sense if the best athletes win.
For more than 15 years, my colleagues and I have been hiring and training cycling and other coaches and then watching them develop. In that time we’ve had a chance to see what makes for a successful coach and what has held others back. Many factors contribute, including experience, education, and teaching skills.