This article originally appeared in the Capital Bicycle Club Newsletter May 2013
Think back on some of the valuable lessons you’ve learned in cycling. Whether by experience or accident, something “worked” and has become part of the way you do things. This could be foods you eat, the tires you ride, the baggie you carry your patch kit in, etc. I know that I have learned a lot from this vibrant community of cyclists, and I thought it would be interesting to find out what some of those habits are. I emailed members of the Olympia Orthopaedic Associates Cycling Team, a group that I’ve come to know very well, to see what cycling habits they’ve developed over the years. Below is a sampling of the responses that I got and the range is more than I could have expected, straightforward to downright quirky. But that’s what makes the wheel go around! Hope you enjoy these insights and maybe even trying some on for size!
Tip: Wool, wool, wool. I have tried tons of technical under garments and nothing compares to Merino Wool undershirts and socks. Bottom line everyone gets wet out there and wool keeps you warm while wet.
Tip: I really like the feel of a new pair of bibs, so i have a habit of folding mine a certain way in my drawer so they don’t get that crease down the middle. I dunno if it helps, but it makes me think the chamois feels newer for longer.
Tip: Fenders make a bike look somewhat dorky but they are soooo awesome!!
Tip: I’ve only been racing for four years however, the 2 years that I’ve started and followed through on a strength training program have made a world of difference. Strength training in the offseason definitely makes a positive impact!
Tip: Making CERTAIN to get 8 hours of sleep a night proves to be incredibly useful. VITAL, some might say.
Tip: If you are bonking really badly and you are riding past the LittleRock gas station, stop in for a roller-heated burrito. It saved my life once!
Tip: Don’t put BenGay or some equivalent on one’s lower back and then get on a bike. When you begin to sweat, it’ll roll down one’s back and between the cheeks, and… that STINGS!
Tip: I’ve come to love using the bike trailer during base training. You can bring as much extra clothes, food, and drink as you want! What’s an extra 5 pounds when you are pulling a 40 pound trailer?
Tip: My favorite road is over Bordeaux along Cedar Creek out to HWY 12 and back. It is a one-lane road for about 8 miles along a large creek. There’s very little traffic and it’s very peaceful.
Tip: I always use the automatic doors at the supermarket and touch as little as possible when out shopping. Hopefully it’ll help to avoid germs that can make a hard-training athlete sick. If there aren’t automatic doors, I’ll let someone else open the door, then slip through!
Which one of YOUR tips should have made this list? If enough people email me their tips, I’ll compile them in a follow-up article. In the meantime, you are left to wonder which of your fellow riders supplied the above tips. Til next month, happy guessing!!