Ask any cyclist which element will cause them undue stress on a ride and many will answer "wind." Not only does it sap the power from your legs, drain your willpower and slow you down, it definitely can put the hurt on your body temperature. No matter how many layers you're wearing, without some sort of wind protection you're going to get cold. Enter the Craft ProZero windproof base layer, but does it really work as well as advertised? A couple months of riding in it has led me to say yep.
The importance of base building is often overlooked by many cyclists, especially those who have ignored or ill defined their season goals. Your aerobic base is the foundation for all future interval workouts, and without it, the risk of injury and/or burnout is distinctly higher than in a cyclist with a proper aerobic base. More importantly, poor endurance will ensure you falter before the end of your chosen events, so while it may be boring and redundant, it is one of the most important parts of your training.
While we all hate to admit it, the arrival of the winter solstice and New Year generally means we've been forced inside to the trainer. Sure, there have been some beautiful days here in the northeast and riders have been worming their way out of their couch based hibernation for group rides. But is it really a good idea to jump at the idea of a 50 mile ride in January? What if you're been training in earnest for an entire year? Where do you draw the line? Let's take a look and see when you should call time on the season.
Route planning is something every cyclist eventually has to tackle. While the idea of just going out and riding whatever roads strike your fancy that day is exhilarating, sometimes planning a route may be a necessity. Maybe you have a few friends joining you, maybe you have a club ride to plan or maybe you have some training that you need to plan a route for. In any case, planning a good route is more than just putting (virtual) pen to paper, and we're going to explore how to ensure a good plan and a good route.
There's an old saying that goes something like this: "the smartest rider wins the race, not the strongest." Part of being a smart rider is being able to read the road and adjust your efforts accordingly. I've talked a lot on this blog about climbing position and climbing efficiency, but all the technique and efficiency in the world won't do you any good if you don't use it properly. So, that being said, let's take a look at how to read the road.