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Old 03-06-08, 07:12 PM   #1
BikeArkansas
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Bicycle riding skills school

My bicycle handling skills are a bit lacking in several areas. For example, when riding in groups, I usually lose as much time on the downhills as the uphills (That could be due to my "death grip" on the brakes) I often notice that I lose some time on close curves. There are numerous other handling skills that are lacking on my part. Therefore, I have wondered if there is a several day school to teach skills including hill climbing, along with some fairly intense conditioning. A kind of bicycle basic training camp for a moderate road bike rider.
While searching the internet I did find one school in the Northeast and one in Canada. I am somewhat surprised there not not several more, or have I just missed them? Or, possibly, there are not many people interested in such a school.
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Old 03-06-08, 07:46 PM   #2
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I don't know of anything like that in my area either.

I learned most of my skills from riding with club members. One member mapped out a "hill training" course and we rode it several times last year. Another took the time to teach me drafting.

Do you have more experienced riders in your area to ride with that would be willing to help?
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Old 03-06-08, 07:50 PM   #3
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This group in Little Rock seems to hold a number of casual rides & no-drop events

http://www.arkansasbicycleclub.org/
http://www.arkansasbicycleclub.org/c...e_schedule.cgi
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Old 03-06-08, 08:00 PM   #4
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Actually, I ride one or two times a week with the Arkansas Bicycle Club and have learned several skills from them. About 4 decades ago I did play college basketball, which includes intense training from coaches. I guess my question was concerning learning from a trained coach Vs learning from other riders. I must say the club has been great, but a trained coach would be alternate training that I would like to try.
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Old 03-06-08, 08:07 PM   #5
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The League of American Bicyclists (www.bikeleague.org) lists one League Certified Instructor in Little Rock.
Willa Williams wwilliams@uaex.edu . Might be worth checking out.
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Old 03-06-08, 08:21 PM   #6
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Frankly, I do not worry at all about losing time on downhills. In a group, I just make sure I am near the back of the pack as we approach a steep and/or long descent, and I give myself an ample safety "bubble" on corners.
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Old 03-06-08, 10:34 PM   #7
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Sounds like we need a 50+ Cycling Camp!
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Old 03-06-08, 10:39 PM   #8
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I really like the idea of a 50+ Cycling Camp. That would be a great scene.
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Old 03-07-08, 12:34 AM   #9
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Check out http://www.usacycling.org/. I clicked on local associations and found http://arkansasbicyclecoalition.org/default.aspx. This may provide a lead to a local club or coach that runs skills clinics.
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Old 03-07-08, 12:22 PM   #10
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Couple of fingers of Brandy before the ride- Then you won't get nervous and annoy the other riders. And if you do- you won't care.
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Old 03-07-08, 12:47 PM   #11
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All the cycling classes locally that I know of are at Road 1 level. Probably not what you are looking for.

But perhaps you ought to talk to Jim Britt or Monty Cole and see if they can get out the word. I bet there is someone around who if they knew there was demand for such a class, would be willing to teach it.
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Old 03-07-08, 03:14 PM   #12
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We've actually got 4 LCIs in Little Rock now, and hopefully should have a couple more by the end of this month.

The focus so far has been on teaching Road I classes, which are pretty much an overall introduction to cycling, and a heavy emphasis of traffic law, vehicular cycling, and getting/staying out of trouble.

There's a follow-on course to Road I, called "Road II" that looks a lot more closely at endurance riding, climbing, descending, etc. plus a dose of basic maintenance and repairs. There's a lot more riding, including more complex traffic situations, and we'll go out on some open roads and do some climbing and descending. It's rarely offered anywhere; and it's expected that somebody going for Road II should have completed Road I first, for the basic background in VC and traffic safety.

I plan to offer a Road II class probably later this year, once we have a cluster of folks who've had Road I and want to move onward. It will cover the League curriculum, but will also be focused a bit more on what the class wants to do.

If you're not comfortable riding in packs, another extension to the Road I theme is the Group Riding class. This is about 4 hours' worth, an hour or so in the classroom followed by time on the bike where we practice pack riding, rubbing elbows, bumping butts, etc. and then go back out on the road for some short rides to learn the art of drafting, pacelining, and generally sucking wheels.

This weekend's courses seem to have been snowed out right now, but I'll be teaching Road I again on April 11-12, and will offer the Group Riding seminar on Saturday afternoon, April 12. Road I isn't a prerequisite for group riding, but you'll get more out of GR if you've had Road I first.

Or, look me up at one of the ABC rides; we ride pert near every Sunday at one from the southern trail head below the I-430 bridge, and on Monday evenings at 5:30 from Cook's Landing. With daylight savings time coming on, we'll be getting a few more beginner or entry-level rides going, as well as the "hot hundred" prep rides for the Hotter 'n Hell, Big Dam Bridge, and Arky 100 rides.

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