Anyone that has ridden as part of a cycling team or by themselves knows the joy that cycling can bring. Even when you ride as part of a team, you are still alone on your bike and left to concentrate on your role in the race and how your bicycle is performing. Great competitors pay attention to every detail and learn how to maximize each action performed. The shoes, the helmet, the arch of the heel as it presses down and pulls up on a pedal, these issues are controlled in a fluid manner by professional competitors. For those involved with cycling, the act of getting lost in their thoughts is also part of the joy. [Read more…] about Solitude-n-Solo
For even the most experienced cyclists, races can present a formidable mental challenge that meets – or exceeds – the physical demands placed upon riders. Effective mental conditioning is just as important as physical training and bicycle maintenance, and the effects of a poor or ineffective mental state are equally devastating. Many cyclists find that reaching and maintaining a healthful, productive mental state before and during a race is far more difficult than the visible, external aspects of race preparation. Sports psychology isn’t just for new cyclists; even established racers such as Clara Hughes and Pascale Shinder rely upon their mental training to get them to the finish line.
One of the most important ways to discover and reach the best mental state for racing is race simulation. As the name implies, the goal is to aggregate all of the racing skills and apply them as if one were actually participating in a race. Pilots and astronauts train in flight simulators; cyclists must do the same thing. Every cyclist must find what works most effectively for them; there are many possibly effective paths. Race simulation typically includes work on an electronic training bike combined with cycling on the racing bike itself. Riders who race in teams typically conduct team simulations, since the physical and mental conditioning of each individual athlete contributes to the success – or failure – of the team as a whole.
There are several mental skills that cyclists must refine to be successful in races. The first is concentration. Race day is full of distractions: cheering fans, pressure from family and teammates, possibly inclement weather, and possibly even automobiles on the course. All of these elements can reduce the level of a cyclist’s performance simply by existing. Pain can also be very distracting, even from a small saddle sore aggravated by riding in humid weather. On race day, cyclists must have the ability to focus on the finish line and not allow themselves to think about anything else. [Read more…] about Mind Set “What is the right mind set before a road race”
Bonsall, CA – April 14, 2012: The San Luis Rey Road Race has seen a significant course change in recent years, but the final three-mile climb up West Lilac to Norman Sullivan Middle School still marks the finish of the long-running Southern California classic. At an average grade of just 2.5 percent, the ascent is nothing to write home about unless you’re Geoffrey Curran (Surf City Cyclery/Sterling BMW) or Phillip Tintsman (Monster Media/SC Velo).
[Read more…] about Curran and Tintsman Take Class Honors at San Luis Rey By Matt Freeman