It’s time for a redo of one of my most popular rides, the Roller Coaster Ride, a fun, adrenaline-filled simulation of a mountain bike ride. This time, most of the songs have a roller coaster theme. You’ll also find a playlist of more songs that include “roller coaster” (25+ songs and growing) in case you want to create your own ride on this fun theme.
In April, I went to Tucson, Arizona on a cycling vacation. Prior to that trip, my last ride outdoors was 6 months previous, and 100% of my training was indoors. I was still able to ride my bike up a 25-mile mountain. I ascribe my fitness to periodized, targeted training in indoor cycling classes and on my stationary bike at home. Hey guys…this stuff works!
Before I contribute a few of my favorite climbing strategies, I want to share my perspective on climbing. Because I’m mostly a sprinter, one might wonder what climbing strategies I have to offer. Well, if anyone has strategies for climbing, it would be a person who knows suffering is always involved.
Climbing big mountains is a rite of passage for cyclists. Getting you and your bicycle up that hill in defiance of gravity is one of the most difficult aspects of riding a bicycle, but it is also one of the great attractions to cycling. Overcoming the mountain challenges you—it bares your soul; it asks you to perform beyond what you thought was even possible. Over the next few weeks, Tom and I will be giving you our favorite strategies—both physical and mental—to get you and your students over that hump. We’ll be drawing from our own experience climbing long, hard mountains.
Stage 17 of the Vuelta a Espana ends on a summit never before used in this race. It has leg-searing segments of 19%, 20%, and even 22% grade. Translation: us mere mortals would be walking our bikes! This profile gives you the cues to inspire your riders up steep climbs like this while also encouraging them to pull back if needed. The music is all Spanish artists, with motivating tracks to fire you up the climbs. Venga!
Outdoor cyclists use the term “group ride” to describe organized (and not so organized) rides that often leave from predetermined destinations. These rides may start at a local bike shop or a convenient coffee shop. In many cases, group rides run on a regular weekly schedule, each with their own specific route. This profile follows one of the many routes my club and I use. Riding at a moderate to hard pace, it literally takes an hour to complete. With the exception of the warm-up and cool-down on Massachusetts Avenue, it is a loop. The first hill (Grove Street), third hill (Woods Street), and last hill (Mass Ave) are between a 5.5% and 6% grade. The second hill (South Road) is a 2.5% to 3% grade. The smaller grades make for very aggressive and fast climbing; one needs to be on alert for random attacks of kindness.
If you read the first article in this series and are excited about starting an outdoor program for your indoor students, I have one important piece of advice: “Wait, proceed with caution.” There are some important issues which you should address before you begin to discuss your plans with others.
In this series of articles, Christine Nielsen will discuss the steps involved to create an outdoor cycling program. Her advice is largely based on her experience and the population she works with. Although your circumstances and demographic may be different, we hope you will be inspired to extend your indoor classes by creating an outdoor cycling program of your own.
Bryan is a new contributor for ICA, and he starts with a bang-up profile that is sure to get your riders’ adrenaline flowing! It is a simulation of a real race that is held in Pasadena, California, twice a week in summers, nicknamed the Rose Bowl Brawl. This is what Bryan says about this ride: “On Tuesdays and Thursdays a 150+ rider peloton blasts 10 fast laps around the famed Rose Bowl. If you followed the 2015 Amgen Tour of California, it was also host to a nail-biting, down-to-the-millimeters sprint finish.” Yeah. Bring that to your riders now!