This is the time of year that is great for Cyclists to get in Base Mileage. These base miles that the Great Eddy Merxck talked about in his day.
Here is a great, well put together video of a local Atlanta ride that I had to quit doing.
It’s not the craziness of stop signs, the big pack, or the fear of crashing – that is all part of it and it is all going to happen if you race or ride in big groups….
The reason I quit doing this ride was it has become an out of control hammer-fest through the winter. It no longer fit into MY training plan. Guys are out of the saddle attacking the pace-line, and this was shot mid-November – coming off our racing season.
Although some folks like to ride hard all winter, I personally do not. I prefer to use the winter months to do Winter paced base mileage, or what I like to call LSD (Long Slow Distance).
-Some people just like doing the ride – that’s Great! They are out of the house, on their bikes and getting exercise, and that is all good!
-Some people are too nervous not to go hard all winter long, they think they will loose something.
-I was too stressed and maxxed out from a season of Pro1,2 racing that my mind and body needed the break from riding at that intensity all summer.
A great thing about LSD during the winter is that this is the time of year that you need to be working out at the gym also building a Stronger Cyclist. Gym workouts and fast paced group rides do not mix. They are part of a yearly plan, but not at the same time. A great yearly plan should have a mix of phases that will change so that the cyclist doesn’t get burned out.
But I wasn’t the only one… we had a ‘just-right’ sized group of Cat1,2,3 level riders/friends (Men & Women) that had a cohesive group that were all on the similar training plans. It was Awesome to ride along relaxed, and chatting with different people, pull for as long or as little as you felt like, and not be cut-throat about trying to keep someone from getting that wheel in front of you. This is the relaxed pace that can mentally refresh your mind and get you looking forward to the upcoming intensity needed for a full racing season.
Hard group rides will always be around, I like to take this time of year to relax. There are plenty of Hard efforts in the upcoming year of training and racing. Do you want to be riding in peak form through the winter, or next season?