Thursday, May 29, 2014

Stoked for road-biking this year? Training tips, rides and clubs to help you out

Meet new friends by joining a road biking club in Boise ... 
Group rides allow for drafting and fast riding! 
Hill-climbing group rides help you shave minutes off your best times climbing to Bogus 
Hi all,

I'm not sure exactly why, but I've been more inspired and excited to ride my road bike this year. Part of it is that I have a fairly new Specialized Secteur Sport road bike that's really fast, fun and comfortable to ride, and I've set more aggressive fitness goals for myself this year. Plus, I signed up for the Four Summit Challenge from Cascade to Landmark in late July, so I want to make sure I'm in solid road-biking shape for that event. And I may commit to more road bike events before then.

I'm assuming that some other folks may have the road-biking bug, too. Or maybe you're a wanna-be ... you'd like to ride longer distances, but you're not sure where to go, and you'd like to meet some other folks who ride at the same pace and have similar goals.

For this week's outdoor tip, I'm recommending some roadie clubs that you could hook up with to meet new folks, get tips on training, and do regular weekly rides.

First, my mantra is that bicycling should be and must be FUN! Always! If you're working on adding more mileage to your workouts, it's wise to do so in phases versus trying to do it all at once. That will make it easier on your butt, too. Gotta break in your butt for biking!

Jeff Larsen from Community Bicycle Rides recommends that you build your mileage slowly, adding a 10% increase per week. "Take on challenges in bite-sized chunks," he said. "Ease into it."

I totally agree. I do that when I'm trying to up the ante on mountain bike trails or on the road. It's a system that works. Build the mileage gradually, but keep challenging yourself as you get stronger, and keep building on the momentum. Do a few weights and core exercises on off-days to build on your fitness routine. Who needs a personal trainer when you can ride a bike for fitness?

Bike Clubs! What are they? How to get involved? Boise has several road-biking clubs, including Lactic Acid CyclingCommunity Bicycle Rides, and Lost River Cycling. I'm sure I'm leaving out others (please let me know!) All three of these organizations are really solid. They offer regular weekly rides, including social rides and coffee rides. Check out the calendars on their web sites to see what might work for you.

For example, Lactic Acid is hosting a National Women's Day Ride on Saturday, starting at 1 p.m. at George's Cycles on Front Street in downtown Boise. They are offering three bike rides, a recreational ride, a road ride and a mountain bike ride. A social hour will follow, along with some swag giveaways.

Lactic Acid focuses on hill-climbing on Tuesday nights, social rides on Thursdays, and no-drop rides on Saturday, typically with a group that goes 40 miles or less, and a stronger, faster group that goes about 80 miles. "No one is left behind," promises Lynn Johnston, social director for Lactic Acid.

If you've never ridden in a group or draft line before, Lactic Acid's experienced cyclists will show you how to ride safely in a group, in terms of how to draft correctly, use turn signals and follow the rules of the road.

A related group is called "Spinderella," offered Wednesday nights at George's for women only. These are beginner/intermediate road rides. Spinderella has a Facebook page with more information.

Community Bicycle Rides (CBR) has a slightly different style for its group rides, Larsen says. Instead of riding in big groups, they give participants maps of the route they'll be riding that particular day, and folks can ride at their own pace. Some cyclists who participate in CBR also are Lactic Acid members or Lost River members, he said.

The CBR ride calendar shows that CBR partners with a variety of bike shops around the valley, to help cyclists learn what these shops have to offer, and offer different locations for the ride starting points, and bike routes.

On Sunday, June 1st, CBR is launching "Bogus for Beginners," in which riders can learn how to climb and descend Bogus Basin Road over a five-week period, gradually building mileage each week. This is led by David Bogie of the MWI Cycling Club. He rides a recumbent. The ride starts in the old Ridley's parking lot on Bogus Basin Road, across from Healthwise.

Lost River Cycling has a great roster of weekly rides as well ... they host a Hump Day Road Ride on Wednesdays, a mountain bike ride on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and Jonny Z's Temp Ride on Saturdays.
LRC also offers "the Tourist Group," a Sunday ride done in conjunction with CBR.

Bike shops throughout the valley do ad hoc road rides and mountain bike rides. Check with your favorite bike shop for information about that. Idaho Mountain Touring's racing team, IMT/Rino Rush, has no-drop road rides every Monday at 6 p.m. leaving from IMT downtown; anyone is welcome. The team also will offer a series of clinics and informational videos for new riders. IMT is hosting a women’s bike demo on Saturday at 10 a.m.
All of the roadie clubs link to the SWICA race calendar ... for information on road-biking events coming up all summer. Several rides are coming up in June that sound intriguing:

  • Lemhi Valley Century Ride - 100 miles or 100 kilometers, pick your poison, Saturday, June 21. I love the scenery in the Lemhi River Valley southeast of Salmon. It's a classic mountain valley framed by the Lemhi and Beaverhead mountains with a number of cattle ranches in the valley floor. 
  • The Terry Reilly Bob LeBow Blue Cruise - Saturday, June 28. Lots of distance options on this ride, 3, 10, 25, 35, 62 and 100 mile courses.   
  • Great Owyhee Ride - Saturday, June 21. Distances of 50, 62 or 100 miles, starting in Ontario, Ore., and heading out to Owyhee Dam. 
And then in July, there's more fun, including the Four Summit ChallengeRide Idaho occurs in early August ... Check the club calendars for more details. 

If you'd like to know more about where to ride your road bike in the greater Boise area, check out my Boise Road Cycling Guide, a waterproof and tear-proof fold-out map that features 30+ road rides throughout the valley, and a few bonus rides in Canyon County and SW Idaho. 

Hope I've inspired you just a smidge to get involved in road biking this summer! 
SWIMBA, Central Idaho Mountain Biking Association (CIMBA) and IMBA are hosting a Spring Fling trail work day, ride and party on Saturday at Jug Mountain Ranch. Trail work starts at 10 a.m., the ride at 2:30 p.m., and party at 4:30 p.m. I'm planning on being there ... Great excuse to go to McCall! 
- SS 

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