Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Taking it to the Next Level

Due to a large turnout this past Sunday, and a shortage of ride leaders, I made the decision to postpone the intermediate-level clinic on interval training, and instead I led out a group of 15 riders who were interested in the “No Drop” pace/distance group. To my surprise, this group was comprised entirely of riders who should have been participating in the Intermediate-level ride. All were riding strong, and we kept a solid pace all the way to our designated turnaround point, riding two-by-two, following nearly perfect cycling etiquette. When I questioned a few riders as to why they were holding themselves back in this group, I got a few different answers, all of which I would like to address here…

“If I get a flat, I’ll be left by myself and not know how to change it!”

While I strongly believe that you should know how to change your own flat tire, I very clearly remember a time when I could not do so. “No Drop” means that the slowest rider sets the group pace, and that no one will be left behind due to a lesser ability or lesser experience level. When a ride is NOT designated as a ‘no drop’ (i.e. the Intermediate group), you should feel reasonably sure that you have the physical ability to keep up with the group. This does NOT, however, mean that if you get a mechanical (like a flat tire, or dropped chain) that you’ll be left on your own. The group WILL STOP for mechanical issues and/or regroup at a safe waiting location while a ride leader assists with the mechanical issue. This is my commitment to you as the ride leader for the intermediate group, and I ask that all riders in the group do their part to communicate it up the line when they see another rider having a mechanical problem.

“I’ve heard the intermediate group is still too fast for me.”

If you rode with me last Sunday, the intermediate group is not too fast for you. You belong in this group! Don’t be afraid to push your limits. Getting out of your comfort zone is the only way to improve your cycling. If you have ridden with the ‘No Drop’ group and you felt held back, then step up to the Intermediate group. You’ll be stronger physically and mentally for having done so.

“I’m too anxious that I’ll be left behind and not know how to get back.”

If you’re still unsure, find me before the start of the ride, and I will know to keep an eye on you during the ride, as well as give you my personal cell number. For additional peace of mind, you should also check the ride schedule on the blog (search “shop ride”) and print out a copy of the route we’re doing that week. There are three routes that we rotate through; South, East, and Northwest. Northwest varies, but here are the links to South and East:

(34-miles) Intermediate and Advanced East

(32-miles) South to Buda Gas Station


I hope to see more of you stepping up to the Intermediate group very soon! I’m committed in assisting you with that transition. Arrive prepared (bike in proper working order, flat change supplies, food, & water), introduce yourself to me before the ride, get my number, and have a copy of the map. Together, we can take your cycling to the next level!

Tammy Metzger, M.Ed.

Coach & Owner | Tempo Multisport, LLC


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