Stacie and I took a trip at the end of October to an area where, if not for the classes, I would have never thought about visiting. We flew up to Saratoga Springs, NY. The area was beautiful, but we were not there to just be sightseers, I was on a mission. I say mission, because since I started cycling, I have been on this mission. I wanted to learn as much about fitting someone to a bicycle, so I started my search at a place that is world renowned for custom bicycles and the fitting philosophy behind them. This place is none other than Serotta, and more to that, Serotta International Cycling Institute. We were scheduled for three days, three full days of lecture and hands on fitting experience. Each day started much the same for, I would wake up, drive down to the coffee shop, grab a bagel and large coffee, and off to class. The classes would go into the whole fitting process, from start to finish with most days spent fitting each other. We had ten people, so we would split off into groups and fit each other. The lecture time was intense, we would start at 8:00 each morning, and go until 6:30 each evening. All of this culminating into a written exam at the end of the class sessions. The experience was great, and this is only the first step. What sets the SICI fitting training from others, is that just taking the classes and taking the test does not make you a certified fitter, there is practical application in the form of ten documented and submitted fits, from the time you leave until four months after. That should be easy right? Well, it is harder than it sounds. Unless you work in a shop where people are coming in each day and you can sale them on this fitting, then you are working around your own schedule. That being said, once I finally received all the parts I needed, I got started right away with friends, so that I can get the ten complete quickly. I am scheduling them around rest days from training or evenings after training. With the average fit taking close to 3 hours, you can see that finding the right time is the main part in the whole equation. I had to post-pone one fit just yesterday (Saturday) because I would not have had the time, with another family commitment later that evening, to give the client the proper time and fit, so we rescheduled for this afternoon. I am really anxious about getting this certification, but I am more anxious to see how this will evolve into my full time line of work. I really enjoy doing these fittings, and it allows me to continually be within the cycling community passing on what I have learned to others.
Well, we had both of the Friday Night Fights this season, those are in the bag, and if you are like us, you have been racing hard and heavy since Febraury..Whew! This time of year, it gets really hard to get out on the bike, the temps are high, you may have worked all day, and the thought of going out in 90+ days to push out that next Vo2 interval is almost as appealing as running your nails along a chalkboard.
So, what to do? Well, there are still races on the calendar, and that is a viable way to get motivated, just race your bike. There is also another way, and it does not involve structure. What I am describing is the spirited weekly group ride. You can pretty much find one anywhere in the country on just about every night of the week. In our area, the schedules usually mean there is a ride on Tuesday and Thursday, sometimes on Wednesday. Most of these rides are ridden at race pace, or at least have attack zones that will get that needed intensity, but in a less structured way. The addition of like minded riders makes it that much more of an effort, because we all know that you push yourself harder when you are trying to rip the cleats off to beat your friends. It also makes the heat more tolerable knowing that others are there.
Weekends are a great way to get in good group rides, and if you can organize one where everyone gets up early, you can get in solid miles before the hottest part of the day. We have had a good number of group rides heading up thru the upstate into North Carolina throughout the year. The pace is always fairly high, and we have sections where we are climbing against each other or just generally pushing each other. There are store stops to top off fuel and drink. We will be posting more of these as the season progresses, and also once the season is over and we start to think about the next season, we will start more, but on these it will be the thought of pack riding to keep warm as opposed to trying to keep cool.
Until next time, get out and ride!
Headed to Elite National Championships in HOT HOT HOT Augusta, GA.
One more step to website Nirvana is having a blog, Am I right? Well, at least we can keep you scabs updated on things that we are doing.