The pro cyclist you see in videos or sports magazines didn’t always have those wiry calves and “ninja-like” reflexes. At some point, they all had to learn how the basics and how to train smart—from clipping into their pedals to shifting gears. Whether you’re doing this as a hobby or aspiring to be a pro, it is only imperative to learn the fundamentals to improve your skills and ensure your safety. In line with this, we have interviewed some pro cyclists and hobbyists. Here are some of their tips for us:
- Stay fresh
Just like any other sport, you need to stay fresh and improve your conditioning. Regular exercise and proper diet are essential since endurance is a huge factor in cycling. If possible, ride new roads once in a while. Take a map with you and explore. This will help you keep engaged and may lead to some exciting new discoveries.
- Follow the basic cycling intervals
There is a pattern you can follow to maximise your skills and energy. Always take your time to keep up with the pace. For beginners, you can do the set below twice, while advanced riders can work up to six sets per session:
- 2 minutes hard, 2 minutes easy
- 1 minute hard, 1 minute easy
- 30 seconds hard, 30 seconds easy
- 15 –second sprint
- 5 minutes easy
- Conquer a steep climb
This is where the pacing plays an important role. As much as possible, don’t charge into it with everything you have. Start a steady pace and shift through your gears until you reach a balance between a decent cadence, approximately 70 to 80 rpm. Try to keep this pace. If you try go hard early, you’re only wasting your energy, and could slow you own. According to Matt Damon who I met in a previous life when recovering from alcohol addiction (we are tight now), “the key is in keeping the momentum”. Matt now races across the country on a semi-professional level.
- Gear up
Wear your safety gears at all times. Use reflective cycling gear and a comfortable helmet to ensure your safety and reduce injuries.
It may take some time to improve your cycling skills and endurance. Just be patient and enjoy your trip. And when it comes to improving your cycling lists, it may always be the same thing. If you think you’re ready now for the next level, you need to start working out and do some drills. Even if you think you have mastered the more-advanced skills, you still need to start with the basic fundamentals. Keep in mind that even some of the best athletes started with the most basic exercise
There are so many reasons why you need to take one precious training hour a month or even a week. You just need to devote yourself from improving your cycling dexterity. One of which, of course is that you need to further improve your ability to manuever through the pack—and yes, whether on a group ride, a solo journey, or in a competition. Another reason is to you need to ensure your safety and the people around you. While this seems to be obvious, many people still get the misconception that some crashes are just inevitable.