• A Look Into the Life of a Collegiate Cyclist

    My thoughts on cycling and life, racing experiences, training, training tips, and various cycling product reviews!
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Why You Should Have a Cycling Resume

A “race resume” to a cyclist, is just as important as a resume for your career. Even if you’re just starting out racing and are not too serious about it right now, you should still consider putting a resume together. If you keep up with your resume, its quick, easy, and can save a lot of hassle in the future. If you’ve ever submitted for an upgrade with USA Cycling and didn’t have a resume already put together, I’m sure you know exactly what I’m talking about. Wasting precious ride time trying to look up your results, and sometimes finding that many of them are not even listed!

If you’re reading this now and thinking to yourself how you’re going to be that person at some point in the near future, don’t worry too much. You’ll get those results, but make sure that you’re looking in the right places! Start by looking at the USA Cycling website’s results page. If you find that some are missing, you can check the results from your local racing association. Generally, the local cycling associations are fairly quick and accurate to get results posted, but keep in mind that they are human! Results can be wrong, inaccurate and (gasp!) missing. Don’t be afraid to email or call your race organizers to ask for a fix to any problems. Once or twice, I’ve even had to resort to a Google search, and with success!

All of this is easily avoided if you update your resume after every single race. Don’t worry, it takes no more than 5 minutes once you get the hang of it. Since I moved to North Carolina for college I’ve been using this resume to keep results organized. This resume was actually created by the Carolinas Cycling Association, and I modified it slightly for individual use by adding the “race fees” column to help keep reimbursement fees in check. When it comes time to submit your upgrade, your results are readily available, so no searching after the fact. There are obviously plenty of different formats you could use for your resume, but I find this one to be very easy once it comes time for submitting an upgrade.

Having this kind of info on hand is truly important. If you were looking for a job would you be more eligible for a given position with or without a resume? (Rhetorical question) The same applies to cycling when you start looking at joining teams, a race resume is a must have! If you have a well put together resume, and the results to go with it, its one less thing that you have to worry about.

You could even take it a step further by adding details such as your personal information (height, weight, D.O.B., hobbies, etc.) and any volunteer work or coaching you have done. The more detailed you can be about your cycling career the better, just don’t go overboard! Teams today are not just looking at how you are as a rider, but also how you are as a person. Your personal details can at times be equally as important as your race details. Think of it this way, most teams out there wouldn’t be too happy if they discovered that their new rider is a felon who refuses to help out in the community. Obviously that was a gross exaggeration, but you get my point. If you can display that excellent personality of yours in your resume and get out there to volunteer in the community, it will truly take it to the next level. Just as a note, this type of information is not necessary when submitting for an upgrade.

Before you get ready to submit your upgrade though, you need to check to make sure that you’ve met your upgrade requirements:

**From the 2011 USAC Rulebook**

5-4: Experience in 10 mass start races.

Local Associations may also establish policies where
upgrade credit is given for taking a USA Cycling
sanctioned rider education clinic.

4-3: 20 points in any 12-month period; or

Experience in 25 qualifying races with a minimum of 10 top ten finishes with fields of 30 riders or more; or

20 pack finishes with fields over 50. 30 points in 12 months is an automatic upgrade.

USAC-sanctioned rider Camps and
Clinics that are approved by the Local Associations for
upgrading will count a maximum of 3 upgrade points when
upgrading from category 4 to category 3.

3-2: 25 points in any 12-month period.
40 points in 12 months is an automatic upgrade.

2-1: 30 points in any 12-month period.
50 points in 12 months is an automatic upgrade.

Click Here for a download of the full USAC Rulebook from USA Cycling and to see how the points are tabulated.

Most racers that have read this probably have some sort of resume put together, but if not then get one put together right now! Stop putting it off and get to it. The sooner you get your past results together, the less you have to worry about later. To those of you that do have a resume, look back to make sure that it is detailed and organized!

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Race Tactics and Threshold Tests…

The past few weeks leading up to the first race of the season have continued to be grueling, but have nonetheless been great. I am happy to say that I’ll be enjoying somewhat of a recovery week as of yesterday, with today being a glorious day off the the bike! Thankfully, the weather has actually been cooperating with the training lately, and I’ve been able to go on some nice group and team rides. With workouts ranging from steady tempo intervals, to high-cadence intervals, and plenty of hard efforts, I’m feeling very ready for the first race. Though its only just over a week away now, it doesn’t seem to be coming fast enough! As I’ve previously mentioned and am happy to say again, the team as a whole is looking fit and ready to take on the collegiate competition. Every meal in the cafeteria usually has some kind of race-related conversation as everyone on the team is getting their nerves worked up!

Recently, the team was lucky enough to have a presentation done on race tactics and general “rules of thumb” from Andy Applegate of Carmichael Training Systems here in Asheville. With levels ranging from a Cat. 1 to Cat. 5 in the room, everyone was able to benefit from the advice that Andy gave. Personally, I was particularly interested in what he had to say about the importance of the nutritional aspect of racing. One thing I’m glad that he had to say that some tend to lose sight of though is to “have FUN!”

Another event that the team was lucky enough to be able to have done was threshold tests at Spin-Tech Training nearby in Weaverville, NC. Everyone was made to perform a “blind” 20-minute threshold test. Basically we were unable to see any of our data (power, heart rate, cadence, etc.), which put everyone on a level playing field. I’m happy to say that the entire team did great and even though there was obviously some inter-team competition, we all supported one another! I felt happy with my early season fitness, and am looking forward to the next time we test. With this being the first thing closest to a “race” in the new year, I was super jittery while getting ready to jump on the trainer. All that was going through my mind was lining up on the line of the first real race!

Keep an eye out for the next post on a ride from this past weekend!

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Aaand I’m Back….

After a month of beautiful weather and some great riding, I safely made it back up to Mars Hill yesterday in around 12 hours. Greeting me was even more beautiful weather! Dark skies, snow storms, constant freezing temperatures, it just doesn’t get any better, especially for riding! All sarcasm aside though, it’s pretty cold to say the least, but I’m keeping warm and will be spending a lot of my time on the trainer. I spent a good bit of time last semester on trainer and didn’t see any drop in fitness, so I’m not too worried. With the racing season right around the corner though, I would like to be able to get out on the road to ride as much as possible, also to test the new bike.

One good thing that has come out of all of this bad weather is a cancelation of the first day of classes, which is a huge relief. I also have a feeling that classes will be canceled Wednesday as well, but will just have to wait and see.

The Blue won’t stop looking at me begging me to ride it! The Rock Lobster is the designated trainer and bad weather bike right now, but I’ll have to get on the Blue more at some point to get used to the positioning.

I also met the two new recruits today which both seem like really awesome guys and I look forward to the training and racing we’ll be doing together! One of them is from Germany, while the other is from South Africa. Both boast an impressive riding resumé, so it’s great to have people of that caliber on the team. I managed to join them and some others for a trainer session today even though I was still feeling some of the long drive in me, but had a good time. Tomorrow we’ll be doing another session with a bit higher intensity and possibly some threshold tests. Wish me luck!

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A Look Back and the Start of a New Season

Though it may just seem like another usual day of training, today is actually the one month mark before the first collegiate road racing weekend! In the past few months I’ve seen a lot of cold weather, some snow, and have unfortunately been sick on and off. Despite everything I’ve been able to get some great training in and cannot wait for the first race! I’ve had a lot of fun while up at Mars Hill College this past fall semester and am ready not only to get back up to training in the mountains, but actually to get going with my classes as well.

Coming from the Florida flatlands, its been a mission to get used to training in the mountains, but the process has been a blast. Compared to this time last year, I’ve noticed a definite increase in my fitness level for the time of the year. My favorite rides have been those that head up the Blue Ridge Parkway (about 20mi from school), not only for the hours worth of pure climbing, but also the descent back down.  Overall, I’m in love with everything about riding up here, especially the terrain. The weather has taken some getting used to, but as long as there’s no snow on the roads I’m alway up for a ride.

I even had the chance to give cyclocross racing a shot one weekend when one of my teammates had a wreck the day before, offering to let me use his bike for the race the next day. I’ll let you know, that before this race I had never been on a cyclocross bike, let alone be in a cyclocross race! I thoroughly enjoyed it though and could only laugh every time I would attempt to dismount, hop over the barriers, and remount back onto the bike. Though I was only able to do this one race, I’m hoping to be able to get a cyclocross bike built up for myself for next season. If you haven’t ever raced cross’, it’s a lot of fun, but its 100% go the entire time, and requires your total focus. So yes, it was quite painful!
Speaking of cyclocross, the team as a whole as well as the individual members had a fantastic season, finishing second at nationals for Div. II! The mountain bike season was also a success with Mars Hill finishing 11th at nationals with only a 2-person team! All of this has worked to push the team into the Div. II #1 spot nationally heading into the 2011 spring road racing season! The good news for Mars Hill Cycling doesn’t end here though, as the team was also named the 2010 Collegiate Club of the Year by USA Cycling!
As things are looking right now, Mars Hill Cycling will without question be a force to be reckoned with and the men’s “A” team is looking super solid along with the addition of two new riders this upcoming spring semester.
More racing updates to follow as the team heads into the collegiate road season!

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The Year Begins…

I’m finally up at school and can’t wait to get started with riding and finally have some interesting experiences to share. I was being slack while home in Naples because there wasn’t too much news, but I’m looking forward to getting this thing back on the roll again!

I’ve been up in the Mars Hill/Asheville area for a little over a week now and I’m having a seriously amazing time so far. Asheville is definitely unique and a place that I can see myself having a lot of fun in for the next three years while I’m at Mars Hill College.

With our hotel only being about four miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway, I couldn’t pass the chance up to go for a good climb in the mountains with my dad. We had planned to ride from Asheville to the top of Mt. Mitchell, but we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. Having not been in the mountains for some time, and my dad only having a 23t ring as his highest gear, we had to call it quits before we made it to the top! We ended up with about 44 mi. and 4500 ft. of climbing, not bad for the first day. With the new Garmin 705’s GPS, I’m already planning tons of routes around school and back to the Parkway. One route is almost 11k ft. of climbing in 83 miles, we’ll see how that goes!

I can’t wait to get some rides in from school and find some nice group rides in Asheville, I’ll have a lot to share in the upcoming months at school.

A quick look at my half of the room!

I’ll be having several reviews coming out in the next few weeks so keep an eye out!

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The Start of Something Great…

As you can see, this will be my very first post, and the start of many more to come. I’ve been wanting to start a blog like this for some time, but simply never got around to doing it. Now that I’ve finally put one together, let me explain what you can expect to see from my posts.

If you know me, or if you had a chance to read over the “About Me” page, you know that much of my life revolves around cycling. My posts will generally consist of the various thoughts that I have about cycling such as what’s happening in the pro circuit and what’s going on in my own life with cycling while I’m either at home or away at school. On top of that, I will cover a lot of my weekly/monthly training, give tips about training that I feel are useful, and my race experiences in the USAC and Collegiate races. Finally, several times a month I will write an in depth cycling product review about a product that I have used or tested. I often find myself reading tons of reviews written by other riders about cycling products. I don’t know why, but I can’t get enough of reading other peoples’ opinions about certain products that I either have or am looking to buy! For this reason, I’m really excited to get some of my own reviews written and put out on the web for anyone who may be interested.

Lastly, if you read something that you like, didn’t like, thought was pointless, or funny, comment on it! You don’t have to have a WordPress account to access this webpage or comment on anything. A lot of why I chose to create a blog is not only to have an outlet for expression, but also so I can get some feedback from readers!

One thing I can promise is that there will be much more to come! Subscribe if you want to get notifications when I post something!

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