This is a list of some of the lessons I picked up this last year and is not in any particular order of importance. Some of these lessons listed have been discovered by trial and error, or paying attention to other riders and trying it for myself.
- Pick the right warm up for the particular race you will be doing… one size fits all does not apply!
- Warm up before you race. There are a lot of opinions on this matter, find what’s best for you. The best time to try a new warm up is not the day of a race… at least not an “A” race.
- Don’t eat too much before a race. And stay away from jalapeños before a Time Trial! Try to give yourself 2 hours before a race if you’re eating foods like sandwiches…
- When riding in extreme heat an “ice sock” is a great way to improve performance and comfort from the heat.
- If you are in the running for top ten in a mass start race, always stand up and sprint to the finish… even if you think you have nothing left. Later when you look back to evaluate your performance you can’t say I wonder what I could have done if I would have just tried a little harder at the finish! (One race I thought I was sitting good riding 8th to the finish and guys started sprinting and I ended up 11th. My next mass start race I was probably in 10th and got out of the saddle to see what I could do… I finished in the money with 8th place. I just put forth a little more effort and it paid off!)
- Carbon Fiber is not the answer to everything… put down the cool-aid!
- I can “perform” on fewer calories on long rides and races than I thought!
- When traveling for races or camps, it’s always better to have more than you need or think you need and not go without or have to depend on using someone else stuff.
- If you have become addicted to your gadgets and computers, always have spares in your toolbox. Nothing like going to a race and realize your heart rate strap battery is dead, or power meter stops working. This is relevant only if you’ve remembered to charge your bike computer the night before!
- Stop riding in the gutter! It gets expensive replacing tires and your wheels can pick up a lot of scars and damage as well! It’s too easy to ride off the road (for any number of reasons.) If you are riding on the road… own the road. Give yourself at least 24 inches from the edge.
I have picked up a lot of things riding this year although it’s not an all-inclusive list, these are the things that I feel are worth mentioning.
Until next time,