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Old 04-18-06, 10:44 PM   #1
Raketmensch
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Yellow diamond sprints

Did my second Tuesday night hammer ride tonight with the local club, and got introduced to a new form of cycling torture: yellow diamond sprints. I expect many of you are familiar with these, but they were new to me. On a group ride, when you come over a hill or around a bend and spot one of those traffic signs shaped like a yellow diamond off in the distance, that instantly becomes the finish line for a race to be contested by the front three or four riders in the group. And off you go! Boy, you want to find a way to get your heart rate going, that'll do it. The group I ride with ranges from college students to serious geezers, with no obvious correlation between speed and age. I just loved seeing a bunch of 50+ (and 60+) riders sprinting for a road sign like their lives depended on it. Made me feel like I was about twelve years old again ("Race ya to the stop sign!!!").
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Old 04-18-06, 10:45 PM   #2
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What fun! If'n I could only find someone to ride with...
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Old 04-18-06, 10:55 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by FarHorizon
What fun! If'n I could only find someone to ride with...
One of the things that has worked for me is getting hooked up with my local cycling club. It looks like you're from Baton Rouge? If so, check these guys out:

http://www.batonrougecycling.com/

You might find some kindred spirits. Good luck!
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Old 04-19-06, 03:50 AM   #4
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What fun! If'n I could only find someone to ride with...
FarHorizon,

When you relocate to NH, you can ride with me and I'll let you beat me to the "yellow diamond" every time.

Finding someone to ride with is a real challenge because most of the group rides in my area happen on Sunday mornings (gee I wonder why I can't go?) or on evenings when I have committee meetings.

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Old 04-19-06, 03:57 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Raketmensch
Did my second Tuesday night hammer ride tonight with the local club, and got introduced to a new form of cycling torture:
Hammer? Torture? Sounds to me like a good reason not to join a cycling group like that. I cycle for fun; priorities are comfort and pleasure. YMMV.
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Old 04-19-06, 05:55 AM   #6
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Wow!

Remind me not to ride with your group.

The neat thing about bicycling is that there are so many options of how, when and where to ride that it meets a tremendous variety of needs and objectives. Racing, pleasure, fitness, comfort, recreation, pleasure, commuting and on and on!

Isn't that great?
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Old 04-19-06, 01:54 PM   #7
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Yeah, that's really the point... you can enjoy it on so many different levels. Last Sunday, my wife and I did a beautiful leisurely ride around Owasco Lake, one of the Finger Lakes. Gorgeous day, stopped for a picnic on the lake shore... it was lovely. Last night was a competitive hammerfest... also great fun if that's your thing. Tomorrow I'm planning a four-mile ride with a good friend who's just getting into cycling and trying to lose a lot of weight. Then a solo 75-miler on the weekend. And so forth and so on. Cycling is infinite in its variety, which is a huge part of its appeal.
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Old 04-19-06, 02:03 PM   #8
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Sounds like a fun ride, Raketmensch. I'd go on this ride. I'm used to sprints for city limit signs instead. I'm guessing there are a lot more yellow diamonds so there would be a lot more sprints, but less tactics.
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Old 04-19-06, 02:11 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by mollusk
Sounds like a fun ride, Raketmensch. I'd go on this ride. I'm used to sprints for city limit signs instead. I'm guessing there are a lot more yellow diamonds so there would be a lot more sprints, but less tactics.
Yeah, that's basically it. It's not a tactics workout, so much as it's a wild-and-wooly interval workout. The idea is to get you physiologically ready for the bursts that happen during racing. Tactics are a whole 'nother matter.
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Old 04-19-06, 02:41 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Raketmensch
Yeah, that's basically it. It's not a tactics workout, so much as it's a wild-and-wooly interval workout. The idea is to get you physiologically ready for the bursts that happen during racing. Tactics are a whole 'nother matter.
Come on one of our rides. We have about 3 slopes where we are all waiting for the first one to go. Then it is hell for leather to the top. Only about 200yards on each sprint but Tactics do come into it. First one to go is not always the loser. Try out sprinting a Tandem that has engaged 2 gears higher than anyone else and both riders get out of the saddle. Try to catch the rider that has come from behind with a good speed and catches everyone napping. Or just try to catch the rider that doesn't care if he gets beaten- and was on the first two but has saved all his energy for this one.

The Cardio Vascular that these sprints give are tremendous, Really do built up the legs and lungs. They also help on the warm up before we hit the real hills aswell. It's just a pity that the one who really wins on these sprints is the one that keeps up a steady pace- sails past us shortly after the top while we are gasping for breath and trying to get the legs working again. He is also the one that at the end of the ride still wants to do an extra 5 miles "Just to make it a decent ride"
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Old 04-19-06, 05:02 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by stapfam
It's just a pity that the one who really wins on these sprints is the one that keeps up a steady pace- sails past us shortly after the top while we are gasping for breath and trying to get the legs working again. He is also the one that at the end of the ride still wants to do an extra 5 miles "Just to make it a decent ride"
Stapfam, from your posts I just assumed that rider would be you
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Old 04-19-06, 06:58 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Raketmensch
Yeah, that's basically it. It's not a tactics workout, so much as it's a wild-and-wooly interval workout. The idea is to get you physiologically ready for the bursts that happen during racing. Tactics are a whole 'nother matter.
Fartlek training is good. It makes intervals about a fun as they can be. With intervals the suffering is momentary but the gain lasts a LONG time. Of course this is only important if you race or want to be a fast recreational rider.
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Old 04-19-06, 07:27 PM   #13
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As you're probably learning or finding out, those sprints that quickly elevate the heart rate are terrific for overall conditioning and training. There is nothing like intervals to help with improvements of the aerobics. Also observe for significant improvements with the folks that are a little slower on the sprints right now. Somehow they seem to find some "jets' towards the end of the cycling season.....
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Old 04-19-06, 10:44 PM   #14
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As you're probably learning or finding out, those sprints that quickly elevate the heart rate are terrific for overall conditioning and training. There is nothing like intervals to help with improvements of the aerobics.
Yeah, you've got that right. I was a runner in high school many (many!) years ago, and I still vividly remember interval workouts... six or eight 880's at 2:20, or maybe 440's at 68 seconds, or whatever diabolical thing the coach came up with that day. We moaned and groaned, but we sure got faster and stronger.

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Also observe for significant improvements with the folks that are a little slower on the sprints right now. Somehow they seem to find some "jets' towards the end of the cycling season.....
I'm hoping that's going to be me!
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Old 04-20-06, 12:38 AM   #15
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Stapfam, from your posts I just assumed that rider would be you
wish it was by the end of the rides, but I get the red mist come over me on too many occasions. Incidentally- those short sprints as Interval training are marvellous. They really do build up the legs and lungs--eventually.
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