We’ve all been there. 7am Longhouse when the rides are called and the easy Coffee fueled banter dries up. As usual, the faster rides are called first and most sheepishly put their heads down and save themselves for another Steadfast. A small group bravely rides out to battle the road, the heat and Pierre Alain…
Its been great to see more new faces stepping forward for the 5.30 Rats and Fast Kranji lately – particularly the last few weeks when the fast group have been trying something new – and much harder than usual! Mike Sewell’s excellent post on the 5.30 ride summed it up nicely regarding the Hunters and the Hunted recently and I’m sure that’s exactly how some of the newbies might feel on their first few rides during February.
A few tips for those that have (or want to) stepped up:
1) These are fast drop rides. Don’t expect a steady pace as typically we’re training for race simulation. If you do a Cat 1 race, the biggest change you’ll notice from Cat 2 is the sudden and extreme changes of pace – that’s where the race is made and that’s what we train for. Calling “steady” from the back is going to fall on deaf ears and usually makes us go faster as it’s akin to blood in the water for a shark…
2) Riding in the red zone on the edge of your ability is dangerous for all of us. If you’re at that stage then skip a few turns, sit at the back and recover a bit. There is no shame in sucking wheel a bit to get your breath back.
3) But don’t suck wheel the whole way as that’s not cool. HTFU and get your nose on the front a few times even if it’s just for a short time.
4) The fast group typically sits closer that other groups – think about this when going up hill and try not to throw your bike back when you get out the saddle (Especially you Frenchies).
5) There is no shame in getting dropped. For many of us, it happened on our first few fast rides. There is always another group behind to get you home. Learn the lesson, absorb the training and come back next week to try and last a bit longer.
I look forward to seeing more of you step up at 7am – just don’t ever call out “steady”…!