As I start a rest week by celebrating the completion of my off-season training I am thinking about asking questions and siting in. There is quite a bit to be learned from taking it easy or sitting in. In your next group ride take some time, take a deep breath and stay away form the front. I know this sounds counter to what your mind is screaming at you “Get Out Front Early and Hammer”. Instead sit in and watch for the following:
- Who is struggling and why?
- Who is riding well and why?
- Who is riding like a squirrel?
- Who seems to be holding back?
- Who is the smoothest?
- Who keeps looking over there shoulder?
- Who is closing gaps and staying away from the front?
- Who seems to be working together?
I use to be a programmer and when others would ask me what they needed to do to become a programmer I said, “Ask really good questions.” Competitive cycling is the same. As you can see in the above list there all kinds of questions you should be asking yourself about your teammates, riding partners and competitors. The questions above and the ones you come up with aren’t necessarily meant to get you an answer to crush someone. The answers could be used to improve your own form and tactics. The more you learn at speed the more you will be able to confidently react to situations and eventually it will all happen in the blink of an eye.
I will not be answering these questions because the answers are only important in the context of the ride or race you are in. So keep your eyes open and learn something new.