Elite U25 Cycling

Tips for Braving (and Enjoying) a Rainy Ride

October 25th, 2017 by Kaitlyn Patterson

–By Charlie Seymour

Riding in the rain can be a very intimidating or tough task. Many people would rather just ride the trainer when the weather is less than ideal because of convenience. However if it is done the right way, riding in the rain can be a very enjoyable experience. I have compiled a list of important tips and tricks to make riding in the rain fun.

The first topic is clothing choice. No matter what you wear, you will get wet so keep that in mind when choosing a kit to wear. I went for a road ride in 60 degrees and my choice consisted of regular mountain bike shoes, cycling socks, Giordana arm warmers and knee warmers, Giordana bibs and a short sleeve jersey, a wind vest and a Giordana rain jacket. I chose not to wear gloves as I like to keep a natural grip on the bars. Glasses are a must, and a cycling cap helps with rain getting behind the glasses. If your ride is in the evening then go for a clear lens rather than a shaded one.

Riding late in the day while raining brings me to my next point, which is visibility. Front and rear lights are an essential piece to have, as many drivers sight is affected by the rain and they are less likely to look for cyclists. A flashing front and rear light will help dramatically. I chose to use a 900 lumen front light and a 60 lumen rear light. The front light is very important because there is no sun to light up the roads and the rain makes things look even darker.  

My next tip is about bike setup. I chose to ride my mountain bike on bike paths and a few roads. Make sure to plan your route before, and try to leave out tight and fast corners because grip is very limited in the rain. An added tip is to lower tire pressure to provide a larger contact patch with the road. I also applied rock n’ roll extreme lube to my chain before my ride. The rain will make your drivetrain very gritty, which will wear your components out faster than dry conditions. Using a wet lube displaces water from the chain compared to a dry lube.

For many people riding in the rain has a big mental block. The biggest way to get over this is to accept the fact that you will get soaked. You can only get covered in so much water, so enjoy riding through puddles! Another tip is to keep your phone and other things in a plastic bag so it does not ruin them. Once you have returned from your ride, try your best to get most of the water off of your bike with a towel, especially the chain and cassette. This will prevent your drivetrain from rusting and avoid a large bill for new parts. Also, if possible, wash your kit immediately after your ride because if it is left wet and folded on top of itself, it will create a lot of bacteria. If a washer is not available, hang you kit to let it air dry and then wash when it is available.

Many people find riding in the rain to be a lot of fun, so try it out to change things up a bit!


Catching the Cyclocross Bug

October 6th, 2017 by Kaitlyn Patterson

-By Charlie Seymour

Last week, I lined up for my first cyclocross race of the year. Primarily, I am a mountain biker, but with mountain bike season winding down, I decided to change my focus from the MiSCA race series, to the Michigan cyclocross series. The race this week was at Glengary park in Wixom Michigan, so it was considered to be my “home course”, meaning I was able to go out and do some course preview the day before. The course featured a lot of fast, grassy sections with a few tight corners, a set of barriers, and a run up with a set of barriers at the top and bottom of the hill. The lack of rain in the days leading up to the race made for a very dry and dusty race. My race was at 2 p.m, with the sun beating down on the course, causing temperatures to reach the mid 90’s, very unusual for a September cyclocross race. I got to the venue about an hour and a half before the start to the junior race. I did my usual warm up and then heard the call for the juniors to report to the staging area. I made my way over, had a last few words with my coach, and then the juniors had their call ups.

It was zone 4 fun right from the whistle. The first lap went as expected, I kept a strong pace and had perfect skills, as I had practiced. I led the race for laps 2-5 with Hayden Fox, from Andrie Machine Star, right on my rear wheel. Being on my mountain bike, I had a pretty big disadvantage in the fast parts of the course, particularly on the flat sections. I kept a hard pace going the whole race, despite the very hot weather. On the run up on the second to last lap, I stumbled and had to jump off my bike, where I would usually go over the barriers and shoot up the hill, and had to run up it. Hayden saw this and capitalized on it, slowly gaining time on me, until he was beyond reach. We both had our fastest laps on the last lap, and he ended up coming away with the win, with me shortly behind. It was one of my favorite races of the year, and made me super excited for the next race.


Legacy of a Cycling Family

September 25th, 2017 by Kaitlyn Patterson

By Ross Williams 

Cycling/bike racing is a sport that provides a diverse variety of opportunity and experiences. Travel, the unique local attractions, sights and culinary experiences of the bike race scene and comradery with like -minded people are just a few of those offered. I’ve done plenty and experienced much on my way through the circuit. However, cycling is not something I just stumbled on and decided to pursue on my own. You see, I come from a cycling family.

Imagine this, you are a middle-class family from Mid Michigan, planning a weekend get -away. You team up with your neighborhood friends and decide on a trip of camping and biking in Northern Michigan. Would you pedal your 1960, 3-speed Schwinn through the hills of Leelanau County, or out and back Old Mission Peninsula? My grandparents did and they lived and laughed to tell us about it. I have the legacy of biking in my family.

That same 1960 3-Speed Schwinn Traveler that rode through the hills of Leelanau, rode my mom to kindergarten. That bike was well cared for and preserved by my grandpa and my mom rides it to this day. Legacy.

It was during a recent return trip from St. Louis, MO, and the Gateway Cup that memories of great times biking as a family came to me. You see, there is a lot of car travel involved in bike racing, a LOT. It affords ample time for reflection and goal setting. Often, driving through certain landscapes or viewing landmarks will jog the memory of similar sights. This trip, it was a long drive through the corn fields of Southern Illinois that reminded me of another trip along roads lined with corn fields.

My brother had been able to travel from Tennessee to St. Louis to watch me race and catch up. It was a good time. This probably caused me to reminisce about other things we have done together, especially as kids. I remembered, with a chuckle, our very first road bike ride together. I was eleven years old, my brother thirteen and my Grandpa was still in his prime. I was able to use Grandpa’s road bike, a 1990’s, ten speed Univega. We had done plenty of riding about town with Grandpa, but this was a much bigger deal.

Our plan was to get up and out early in the morning, head out from Grandpa’s home and ride north 40 miles to the family cabin. Our preparation for this long ride? Well, this was prior to my knowledge of riding nutrition and hydration. We weren’t up on the latest sport drinks or gu packets needed for a 40 mile ride. We did however, set out with plenty of water and planned feed stops along the way. The first stop was 10 miles up the road at a local, rural diner. We carbed up with a large stack of pancakes, enough to fuel us through a long, windy stretch of farm land. Twenty miles to go until our next feed stop. This one happened to be at Grandpa’s buddy Bob’s place. Bob was an avid weekend triathlete. He knew a bit about the best fuel for our bodies, so this stop we filled up on Gatorade and bananas. After we caught our breath and visited with Bob, we saddled up and headed off for the last leg of our ride. Ten more miles to go until our destination. The mood was a bid more subdued those last ten miles. My brother and I were wondering what we had gotten ourselves into and Grandpa was good-heartedly goading us along the way. “Ya doin’ okay back there sweet peas?” Or, his famous reverse psychology routine, “if we stop at that house up ahead, I’ll bet they will let us use their phone and you could call Grandma to come get you.” Seriously! This guy never let up! All in love though, he would have never pushed us harder than he knew we could go. He also knew how those remarks would cause us to be even more determined to push on. And push on we did. We arrived at the cabin with plenty of day light left. Our recovery drink? The same that I use today: an ice cold Coke.

Cycling families tend to stay connected. I got another chance to catching with more of mine at the Detroit Cycling Championships. Which was another, not quite as long as the previous weekend’s, car ride away.


The Most Important Upgrade

September 22nd, 2017 by Kaitlyn Patterson

–By Charlie Seymour

If​ ​you​ ​ask​ ​most​ ​cyclist​ ​which​ ​upgrade​ ​is​ ​most​ ​important,​ ​a​ ​good​ ​percentage​ ​won’t mention​ ​bike​ ​fit.​ ​They’ll​ ​comment​ ​about​ ​a​ ​carbon​ ​frame​ ​or​ ​some​ ​fancy​ ​wheels they read about​.​ ​But,​ ​I​ ​would​ ​argue​ ​the​ ​value​ ​of​ ​a​ ​bike​ ​fit,​ ​for​ ​the​ ​racer​ ​or the​ ​recreational​ ​cyclist.​ ​Recently,​ ​my​ ​past​ ​few​ ​races​ ​have​ ​not​ ​gone​ ​as​ ​planned,​ ​most​ ​of which​ ​have​ ​come​ ​down​ ​to​ ​lower​ ​back​ ​pain​ ​due​ ​to​ ​bad​ ​fit.​ ​I​ ​contacted by local bike fitter and used the ​Retül​ ​bike​ ​fit​ ​machine.​ ​This​ ​system projects​ ​a​ ​2D​ ​image​ ​of​ ​the​ ​rider​ ​on​ ​a​ ​computer​ ​and​ ​gives​ ​exact​ ​measurements​ ​of​ ​your current​ ​fit.​ ​It​ ​does​ ​this​ ​through​ ​small​ ​sensors​ ​that​ ​are​ ​put​ ​on​ ​your​ ​shoulders,​ ​elbows, wrists,​ ​hips,​ ​knees,​ ​ankles​ ​and​ ​the​ ​outside​ ​of​ ​the​ ​feet.​ ​It​ ​also​ ​uses​ ​front​ ​and​ ​side​ ​angle cameras​ ​to​ ​get​ ​before​ ​and​ ​after​ ​comparisons.​ ​The​ ​machine​ was set up ​to​ ​match​ ​my​ ​bike exactly,​ ​and​ ​I ​pedal​ed ​for​ ​a​ ​while​ ​so​ ​to ​get​ ​the​ ​measurements.​ ​My before​ ​measurements​ ​were​ ​72.5​ ​saddle​ ​height,​ ​negative​ ​6.5​ ​offset,​ ​60.5​ ​reach​ ​to​ ​grip, and​ ​a​ ​negative​ ​4​ ​drop.​ ​Next,​ ​I​ ​had​ ​my​ ​cleats​ ​fit.​ ​Due​ ​to​ ​my​ ​left​ ​leg​ ​being​ ​longer​ ​by​ ​about 1​ ​cm,​ ​we​ ​needed​ ​to​ ​find​ ​a​ ​solution​ ​to​ ​even​ ​out​ ​my​ ​pedaling.​ ​This​ ​was​ ​achieved​ ​by moving​ ​the​ ​cleat​ ​almost​ ​as​ ​far​ ​back​ ​on​ ​the​ ​shoe​ ​as​ ​possible.​ ​After​ ​getting​ ​my​ ​shoes adjusted,​ ​I​ ​went​ ​back​ ​on​ ​the​ ​bike.​ ​I​ ​ended​ ​up​ ​with​ ​a​ ​longer​ ​stem,​ ​90​ ​before,​ ​to​ ​110.​ ​This moved​ ​my​ ​reach​ ​to​ ​to​ ​62.​ ​We​ ​also​ ​moved​ ​my​ ​saddle​ ​up​ ​by​ ​.5​ ​mm.​ ​I​ ​was​ ​able​ ​to​ ​keep my​ ​drop​ ​at​ ​a​ ​negative​ ​4,​ ​and​ ​my​ ​offset​ ​ended​ ​at​ ​negative​ ​7.This​ ​made​ ​me​ ​feel​ ​much more​ ​relaxed,​ ​while​ ​also​ ​allowing​ ​an​ ​aggressive​ ​position​ ​on​ ​the​ ​bike.​ ​The​ ​fit​ ​made​ ​my riding​ ​much​ ​more​ ​comfortable,​ ​and​ ​overall​ ​helped​ ​my​ ​back​ ​issue.​ ​If​ ​you​ ​are uncomfortable​ ​on​ ​your​ ​bike,​ ​a​ ​professional​ ​bike​ ​fit​ ​is​ ​a​ ​must.

 


Detroit Cycling Championship Team Recap

September 16th, 2017 by Kaitlyn Patterson

–By Terry Ritter

September 9th saw big time bicycle racing return to the Detroit area. The Detroit Athletic Club put on the inaugural Detroit Cycling Championship. This event had a large purse ($45K!), and drew both amateur and pro teams from around the Midwest region and our friends to the east, Canada.

The course was interesting as well, though rather challenging. Three of the main roads used ran the perimeter of Comerica Park, where the Tigers play Major League baseball. Between corners #2 and #3 was a pretty good downhill that generated speeds in excess of 30 mph. From here there was a short section between turns #4 and #5, then #5 and #6, and back onto the long, slight uphill straight. And, being inner streets of a major city, the patched pavement and utility covers were plentiful, with the worst examples of the former on the course’s fast decent. Add a quality prize list and the accomplished riders that show for such a draw, and you’ve got a technical race that was fast and strung out from the gun. Having frequent primes only ramped things up more.  Moving up and maintaining position was a challenge, especially since the opportunity to transit through the field of riders was muted by the speed, and dive-bombing corners was a common occurrence.

The ample purse meant a lot of new riders, and opportunities to have different race classes combined compared to the normal Michigan scene. This meant not only grouped category 3s and 4s races, but category 2s and 3s as well. There was also a full masters class. Ultimately, this left the racers on Team Athletic Mentors the opportunity to not only get a couple of events in, but to race with each other when we normally don’t get that chance.

Toeing the line in the combined Cat. 2/3 race was Terry Ritter, Rich Landgraff, Luke Cavender, Collin Snyder, Ross Williams, and Bobby Munro. Like all the races, this one was fast. Collin won a prime early on, then took a flyer to try to get away with three laps to go. However, there was too much horsepower for anything but a sprint finish.

Ross and Bobby were active in their Cat. 3 only race, with Ross attacking for a prime and then Bobby countering the next lap to try to get away. Great to see some tactical racing from our up-and-coming racers.

The Masters race was all three categories (35+, 45+, 55+), and it made for a large field but interesting dynamic. It wasn’t slow by any means (the 35+ group assured that), and there was a national champion kit in the mix as well. Richard, Peter O’Brien, and Terry doubled up (Peter was in the Cat. 3 Masters race earlier), with Jonathan Morgan joining the crew.

Elaine was our sole female Team Athletic Mentor rider and competed in the Cat. 3/4 race, as well as the Cat. P/1/2/3 race. Like the other races, the group was rarely grouped together, and the later race was especially fast. There were a few teams that were recognizable from the National Criterium Championship race earlier in the summer.  With this being Elaine’s first year of serious road racing (not to mention criteriums), she did very well and represented the team impressively.

The final event of the day was the Pro/1/2, slated for 80 mins. A lot of big regional teams were there and it was super fast. Dan Yankus, Collin, Peter Ehmann and Jonathan started. Many riders didn’t finish due to the pace. Eventually, a group of 5 got away, including two Bissell Pro riders, that lapped the field. Then, with about 10 laps to go, there was a crash that left a few riders in need of medical attention and the race was halted, only to restart after the break with a fast conclusion. With a $200 prime on the second to last lap, the pace was high…until the group passed the first corner as the last lap bell was ringing. Bissell slowed a bit around corner #2, with Daniel taking advantage and shooting up near the front on the outside. Unfortunately, a number of riders dive bombed the inside corner, pushing Daniel and the Bissell train towards the outside and into the barriers, causing a crash. Fortunately, no one was hurt too badly and the race finished on that lap. Collin came home with 30th on the evening.

Not getting enough racing for the weekend, Bobby, Daniel, Collin, Terry and Ross headed to Uncle John’s 56 mile gravel race north of Lansing on Sunday. Glen Dik joined the mix. The team was active early, with Daniel finishing fourth out of the small break that got away from the rest of the field. Collin got 6th overall and Terry came in 13th, and 3rd in the 47-51 age group. Elaine and JoAnn Cranson competed in the women’s 24 mile race as well.

There are rumors that next season the Detroit Criterium Championship will be earlier in the season and hopefully on the national cycling calendar. With the positive support and great organization of this year’s inaugural event, there’s little doubt this can grow bigger and better, showcasing the renewal of our great city.


Four Tips to Safer Road Racing

August 11th, 2017 by Kaitlyn Patterson

–By Bobby Munro

Road bike racing is a dangerous activity. It is arguably the most dangerous type of bike racing—except for maybe our distant cousin, downhill mountain bike. Below is four things to do at your local race to make sure the pack stays safe. Admittedly, this list primarily helps to keep others safe. But, if everyone can abide by a code of conduct then we will all benefit.

  1. Practice contact

Coming in contact with other racers will happen. When it does, DO NOT PANIC! Hold your line, avoid the brakes, and counter the force if need be. Leaning into the other person is a skill and it must be practiced. Don’t wait until you are going 25mph to practice it. Find a friend and practice while going slow (I’m talking 5mph, granny gear slow). Just a little practice every few weeks or so can turn you into a pro.

2. Hold your line in corners

We have heard it a million times to “hold your line.” I trust that if you are reading this you know what that means. That being said, I think we could all use a reminder on what your line actually is in a corner. Your “straight line” in a race will seldom have you riding parallel to the curve. Try to follow the line that the rider in front of you took. When you deviate from that line then you cause others behind you to change course as well. This causes a snowball effect that can lead to someone being pinched on the outside or the inside. Also keep in mind the riders to your side. Try to keep them at the same distance they were going into the corner. The natural tendency is to fan out.

Dive bombing corners is not ok. Don’t be that guy. This tactic can be effective but it can be a dangerous one. If you are passing on the inside of a corner then it your responsibility to observe the pack first. In particular, try to predict the line that the person you are looking to pass will take. If there will be a gap, go for it! But if it is going to be tight then it is best to play it safe. The best way to predict what line someone will take is to look at the person who they are drafting (you may need to look a few riders up). If they are following the line of the person ahead of them, then it should be a good predictor of where they will go.

  1. You should (almost) never cross wheels

Another basic of group riding etiquette. The problem is, this is not a group ride, and this is a race. There are literally tens of dollars on the line! When the bunch slows down it can be easier to avoid the brakes a little and cross wheels. This is completely understandable. Just do so at your own peril (and the peril of those behind). If the rider ahead looks unstable or if he looks like he may dart outside to go for an attack, be weary. However, if you are crossing wheels of someone who has a rider on either shoulder, you are probably safe. At the end of the day, it’s your front wheel, so protect it.

  1. Sprint responsibly

The final sprint will be hectic. It your responsibility to be safe during the final meters of the race. The biggest thing to remember is to not make wild movements to the side. Be predictable! Once you have a clear sight at the line, hold your direction. This is not a professional race and we should not be blocking. End of story. If you can’t fend off an approaching rider then you need to improve your sprint, not put another person’s life in danger.

 


Race Hard but Be Nice- Race Etiquette Matters

July 21st, 2017 by Kaitlyn Patterson

–By Sawyer Shafer

Race etiquette is a tricky subject. We all know to be respectful to other riders, call out passes, and ask a fallen participant if he or she is okay. But during the heat of the battle, do we all do this? This past weekend I competed in the WORS Cup race in Elkhorn, Wisconsin. I was racing against some of the fastest riders in the Midwest, and in addition to the stiff competition, the course was very physically demanding and tight, allowing no room for error or passing. An additional challenger was the Category I men slated to start right after my elite junior class. They would be upon our field rather quickly once the race started. Pre-race, I had a number of them come up to me and say, “You better let me pass as soon as I catch you.” Safe passing in a race situation requires skill, and an understanding of the communication and timing needed. This is all amplified when you have riders riding at faster speeds, and taking risks to move up. This can lead to frustration, and more critically, injury.

saywerHalfway through  the first lap the field starting behind my group began to catch us. The first few announced that they needed a pass and that they would be passing on our left. This is the standard, and correct way to pass: you notify those that you will be passing when and where it will be happening to avoid frustration an injury. This is easily done on an open climb, a section of fire road or two track. However, in tight and twisty single-track this is complicated by trail features, and the speed needed to pass another rider. This is when some started to become frustrated, and let that frustration lead to hostility towards other riders which can become dangerous and paint a bad imaged for that rider’s respective club or team. This is when you need to calm down and remember that, yes, you are racing, but at the end of the day it is all about getting on your bike and just having fun with others in your community. This is why you started riding in the first place. Unfortunately, one of the Cat. I men did not demonstrate this attitude when catching me. His tire tapped mine, causing my handlebars to clip a tree and send me flying from my bike. This resulted in a trip to the E.R. where I was notified  I had fractured my wrist and be out for the rest of the summer. I hope this story will help remind everyone that at the end of the day we are all just racing because we like to ride our bikes and have fun.

Therefore, when put in a race situation where you may be contemplating forcing a pass, or doing something to endanger yourself or another, don’t. This is why I chose to share this story as I fear too many people have lost sight of why we started racing in the first place,  because we enjoyed hanging out with good people and riding bikes.

Here’s to a safe summer of racing!

 


The Epitome of a Multi-Sport Athlete

October 30th, 2016 by Kaitlyn Patterson

By : Joe Meyers, Team OAM NOW Multi-Sport Athlete

Team OAM NOW has helped me this year with not only supporting me in running but leading me into success in cycling. I am on the multi-sport team and I started off the year mainly running and playing tennis tournaments most weekends.  Now, I still run and I still play the tournaments but I have found great success in cycling also.

Joe Meyers took second in his age group at the Peak2Peak mountain bike festival this October

Joe Meyers took second in his age group at the Peak2Peak mountain bike festival this October

At the BTR Race for Wishes earlier this season I became the state champion for road cycling and following that I won the 15-16 age category junior point series. Also I have been competing in cycle-cross and mountain biking, last week placing second in the 12-18 beginner age category.  Besides earning two varsity letters in the fall season, I try to go to most of the cycling races with my dad, John Meyers as much as I can. Team OAM NOW has helped me stay focused with my sports career and has opened up new experiences and hopefully many more to come.

Joe’s impressive balancing efforts and talents are noticed by his teammates, coaches, school, and OAM NOW community. Joe was recently profiled in Knight Life News, the Loy Norrix High School community news source. 

 

 


My Zwift Academy Ride

October 6th, 2016 by Kaitlyn Patterson

–By Kaitlyn Patterson, Team OAM NOW cyclist

I’ve been working on a pretty cool project that has escalated over the past month that I would like to explain.  It can be a bit hard to explain to people both within and outside of cycling so I’ll do my best to cover what I’m doing and why.

Zwift is an interactive online cycling program that you can pair to a smart trainer or a power meter ride on a virtual course with other riders logged in from around the world.  You can chat with riders around you, join group rides, do pre-written or custom workouts, or even race. If you have a smart trainer, the resistance will change based on the elevation changes of the Zwift course. Overall, it makes riding the trainer 100% more engaging and can be a great training tool.epic qom

At the beginning of the summer, Zwift rolled out a program called “Zwift Academy,” open to any female cyclist. It included a series of workouts, a pre and post Functional threshold power (FTP) test and a designated number of group rides to complete over a three month time span. After this “qualifying period” a panel of professionals would analyze power data and other information and select 10 semi-finalists they thought had the potential to be professional riders. The semi finalists continue the program and compete for the grand prize of a one year contract with the Canyon/SRAM team.

When I read about this at first, I was intrigued but I thought it was a bit sacrilegious to ride the trainer in the summer and I only had a couple months of freedom before medical school started. However, I thought it was a pretty cool idea and I joined the Facebook group to keep tabs on it. Through the summer, an impressive community of women from around the world converged on this platform- sharing stories, equipment tips, training advice, and such. Most of them were not in it for the “grand prize” or any prize at all but the pursuit of improvement and inclusion in a community.

At the end of July when I was preparing to move to Ann Arbor to start school, I began to plan how I would continue to train most efficiently with the demands of school. I knew my days of riding my mountain bike endlessly from our front door were over and I knew the trainer was going to turn into an important training tool for me. So just for fun, I looked at the Zwift Academy requirements again. It would be a lot of work to finish the program by the August 31st deadline but it had already elicited the spark of a new challenge and there was no turning back.

Despite occasionally feeling guilty for riding inside in August,  Zwift Academy turned into a great outlet for me for several reasons. It definitely helped me fit in a lot of high quality efficient workouts as my volume declined. It also reduced the amount of time I was on the road during the time that I was most anxious about cars due to recent accidents. However, I didn’t post any of my Zwift rides on Strava, because I wasn’t quite confident enough to explain what I was doing or why.

Ore to Shore was a success amid school and Zwift

Ore to Shore was a success amid school and Zwift

Fitting in the workouts around races and outdoor rides turned out to be more of a challenge than expected because the workouts were legitimately hard. However, I managed to finish Zwift Academy by the deadline.  I figured I would likely have a chance at moving on but due to the time constraints, I didn’t do all the workouts at the highest quality and my power numbers didn’t improve much in such a short time. However, one week after the conclusion of the program, my name was among the ten from around the world to move on. (Check out the bios from the semi-finalists here.) I was excited and pleased but also surprised with their selection.  I was very honest with Zwift Academy about my school and racing plans but they advanced me nevertheless.  I thought this was pretty cool for several reasons:

First, one of my goals of medical school is to avoid sacrificing myself mentally and physically in the process of medical training.  Yes, this is historically how it has been done and I may be judged for wanting it to be different. However, I think that the University of Michigan is on board with this and it is cool that Zwift Academy acknowledged this too.kpat canyon

Secondly, my involvement with this project is not driven solely by the pursuit of a pro contract.  But I don’t think it is all about the pro contract for Zwift Academy either.  The enthusiasm of the Zwift Academy community exceeded expectations and I think there is a lot of power in using both community and “gamification” for some impressively rewarding fitness and satisfaction gains – and not just for the highest caliber athletes.  I think building and strengthening an underrepresented community in the cycling world will benefit the sport at all levels. So I was pleased that Zwift acknowledged that I might have something to bring to this community, even if it does not necessarily mean being the optimal candidate to fulfill a professional contract.

The next round of workouts started up last week and I have the months workouts in my Training Peaks. The semi-finals include one outdoor workout, one specific Zwift workout and one Zwift group ride or race of our choice. It is actually a pretty relaxed schedule that allows me to continue to spend time on my mountain bike. The semifinals run through the end of November.So it will definitely be an interesting ride no matter what and I’m excited to see what the next few months hold.


Cycling Tips From Andy

September 14th, 2016 by Kaitlyn Patterson

–By Andy Guelzo, Team OAM NOW cyclist

When I first started on my adventure into the adventurous sport of cycling I had some wonderful people to teach me and show me the do’s and don’ts. The small tricks to cycling that most people don’t find out until it’s too late are the things that can make the most difference. Sharing those tips to the beginner cyclist is what needs to be done so that everyone can feel joy of riding to its highest level. The 3 biggest tips I can share are eating properly, getting a correct fitting bike, and finding someone or some people to get guidance from. These tricks can be used from anyone beginning to ride to someone that had been in the sport for a while and wanting to hone in their riding.

1.  Eating

When I began in my cycling career eating while riding was an outside concept to me. I never thought that eating would work and not upset my stomach.  Eating allows your body to keep up energy levels and keep your body from “bonking”. Bonking is when your liver can’t keep up with your blood glucose levels and the brain and nervous system run low on fuel. This in turn causes muscles to not have adequate supply of energy. When eating during a ride, it is best to start early when going for a ride longer than an hour.  After about an hour is when your body starts needing to replace its fuel stores.  Eating early will allow your body to keep up with digestion and supply the body with useable nutrients. Use fuel in the form of  gels for the simple carbohydrates that are metabolized into glucose within the body for use in cells. Also, I carry bars for rides over 90 minutes for their assortment of carbohydrates and proteins. Having the proper nutrition will allow your body to perform the best possible.

2. Bike Fitbike fit

It doesn’t matter how fit or strong an athlete is, if you cannot put the most force possible into your bike you will not go as fast as possible. Having a bike that fits properly will also allow you to be more comfortable and be able to ride longer without causing damage to your joints.  Just like any other machine, if the person working it cannot use it comfortably it will not be used with maximum efficiency. Most local bike shops have some kind of fitting service, 3rd coast cycles in Hudsonville for example has everything you need to be fitted properly. They can fit the bike to your exact body specifications. I cannot stress the importance of a bike fit because I believe that it is the single most important “upgrade” you do to your bike to go faster.

 

3. Don’t do it Alone

It doesn’t matter if you want to just ride for fitness or if you want to race, group riding is one of the best training tools out there. Other people will be able to push you to go faster and go further than you normally would if you were on your own.  Riding in a group will make it easier to meet new people. Most groups have at least one person that has been riding for quite a long time. These people have a special heart for the sport of cycling and terry and andywant to share as much knowledge as possible.  These types of people I find are not looking for a reward of payment. What they want is to see their love for the sport move into someone else who is just starting out in feeling that same passion. A mentor like this can usually do more than any other person you will meet. For me, Athletic Mentors coach, Team tech guru, and all around fantastic road trip driver Terry Ritter has been this person for me. The friendship and bond created will be one that will go on forever. His passion for the sport and the growth of up and coming riders leads too much more than just doing well in races. It leads to a life time attraction to wanting to ride a bike. To take this further, getting in contact with a personal coach to work with you on a training plan to reach your goals is even better. Having a coach will give direction and make reaching goals more possible.

 

 

 



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