Yesterday (October 15th) we were lucky enough to have another fantastic day for our Learn to Ride program. To make things even better, we were lucky enough to have along a handful of the Cycling BC instructors for the training session.
We started the day with an obstacle course and a couple laps of the lake to get all warmed up for the day. After our warm up, we did a quick stretch and then each rider got to pair up with an instructor. To get some more group riding practice, each rider got the chance to practice drafting the instructor in front of them. After riding as close as each rider could ride to the instructor in front of them, it was time to switch roles, and the instructors got to follow the riders. After this practice, we brought the entire group together for a big pace line. For a very hard skill to learn, everyone did a phenomenal job!
After all the riding with our pace line practice, it was time to give the legs a bit of a rest, so our instructors Greg and Tim talked to us about different kinds of starts in cycling races (Mass starts, done in large group races, such as mountain bike or road races. Standing starts, are done when you race alone, so someone is able to hold your bike before you start the race. Standing starts are common in individual time trials or in downhill mountain bike racing.). After a description of the types of starts, each rider got several opportunities to try each different type of start, trying different gears and deciding what gear let them get up to speed the quickest. We finished this skill by setting up a pyramid of cones that stretch out for about 25 metres. All of our riders and instructors then lined up at the base of the pyramid. Then every rider was given a number. When your number was called (along with another number), you were sprinting to the peak of the pyramid, trying to make it there first.
After our start practice, we got back into a group to work on our two up pace line work. Everyone did a great job, remembering where to pull off and staying close to the riders around them.
Sensing some tired legs, each rider got to take their instructor for a lap of the lake before we concluded with some fun races. After the lap of the lake, we wanted to tire our instructors out, so we were treated to a two lap race. It was a close one, but Greg took the victory by a wheel’s length. Next up were instructor-youth rider races. These were a lot of fun to watch, as the instructors were handicapped by gear restrictions to make every race an exciting one. In the end, some extra effort and in some cases some aggressive cornering ensured the youth riders went a perfect 5 and 0 against our instructors!
It was a great day, with smiles all around at the end of the day (which you can see below). I look forward to seeing you all out next weekend.