Friday, March 14, 2008

For the Racer Ya Yas

A reality check from Guy Andrews and Simon Doughty:

       And, despite what your long-term riding aspirations may be, don't be tempted to try to set yourself up as a pro rider. Pro bike riders are professional because they are extremely talented athletes. You have probably realized by now[. . .] that to make it into the pro peloton you have to be able to ride a bike extremely fast and for a very long time. And that isn't easy[. . ..]

       Flexibility and the physical ability to ride 20,000 - 25,000 miles (35,000 - 40,000 km) a year means that the bike setup a pro rider rides is never going to be suitable for the rider who rides a fraction of that distance, and can barely touch his toes. So be realistic about the bike you ride — in reality, it might be slowing you down.

                                         [ . . . ]

       A pound of weight saved from your body is worth far more than any weight you can save off your bike. There is a reason that skinny, slight Spanish climbers go faster in the hills than big Belgian rouleurs. So before you rush off and spend a small fortune on the latest carbon wheels or titanium frame, think about it. Do you really need that ice cream?

(Andrews, Guy and Simon Doughty.  The Cyclist's Training Manual: Fitness and Skills for Every Rider.  Connecticut:  Falcon,  2007.  10, 49.)


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