Learning to trust


Fair warning, this week’s been suuuuuper busy… which means I’ve been a big blog slacker. Gonna try and keep these short tonight!

OK, so the title makes it sounds like this post is going to include some manner of psychobabble and possibly the phrase “getting in touch with your feelings.” Rest assured, Team in Training has not added a psychological health component to its regimen… at least not insofar as I’m aware . (I do assume that TNT cares about our mental health in that “keeping confessed serial killers off the team” kind of way… but I’m guessing that is more an informal rule that doesn’t come into play often). No, the trust I’m speaking of is that which comes only from practice riding in the second scariest sounding cycling formation every — a paceline. (Pretty sure peloton is first. And there’s probably others if you count mountain bike rides. Or track races. But who counts those?)

Yep folks, it’s that time of the season. We’ve been split into our ride group teams, and will be traveling in pacelines for the rest of our training. Of course quite a few participants are fairly new to cycling (or at least new to riding in a line), so the coaches gave their (always) excellent off-bike demonstration before we started. After a rapid review of hand signals, voice commands, positioning techniques and other time-tested tricks, we broke into our groups and got ready to ride. BTW – You can click through to my Flickr for more pics from this ride.

Coaches paceline demo

My group (Go Cs! …no, not bra sizes… Middle speed!! We won’t have an “official” name for another couple weeks or so.) is the largest this season – and a good portion of ’em have never ridden a paceline before. I was a bit nervous about having so many people (and so many NEW people) all in one group… but I’m happy to report that my fears were pretty quickly laid to rest. That’s not to say that we were riding 6″ off each wheel out of the gate or anything, but the group was absolutely excellent at keeping a steady pace. We rocked out with minimal accordion action, even on the first trip out. At the end of the lovely (but ridiculously windy) Cañada Road, our stand-in coach, Ron, gave us pointers to work on for the trip back.

Getting a few tips

And from there on out, we did nothing but improve. I don’t think we’ll be riding each others tails (literally) for another few weeks at least… but compared to my first season pacelining, I think we’re already looking pretty good. We made a total of three out and back loops (Cañada @ Edgewood to 92 and back again). Our speed was pretty consistent, which is more important than fast(!), and I think people started to feel more comfortable by the end. On the very last half trip out, Ron had us push the pace up a bit – just to challenge the group and make sure everyone got a good workout. We definitely flew (compared to the other rounds), and absolutely earned another helping of banana bread at the rest stop!

I forgot to hit laps for the data… so there’s no easy comparisons between loops. But I do have all the other bits!

TNT Ride #3 Pacelining

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What do we have here?

An often sarcastic, occasionally humorous journal of my training adventures in preparation for the Livestrong century ride. I took up cycling back in '07 in hopes of meeting new people, and, with the help of Team in Training, making my small positive difference in the world -- and haven't stopped spinning since. Follow along as my Trek road bike and I try and hash out our differences, hopefully with me upright and in the saddle.

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