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Track Cycling: Velodrome Racing and Training Area Looking to enter into the realm of track racing? Want to share your experiences and tactics for riding on a velodrome? The Track Cycling forums is for you! Come in and discuss training/racing, equipment, and current track cycling events.

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Old 08-15-13, 05:18 PM   #26
Brian Ratliff
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Thanks for the kind words

Yeah, I decided to take a break this year. I had too much going on and training and racing felt like a job and not a hobby. So, I decided to back off. I also realized that I have more equipment than a guy like me needs, so I've been selling stuff. I'll be back Right now I'm enjoying having an extra 20+ hours of free time in my week.
Ah, so that's what happened to you. I was wondering after not seeing you after May.
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Old 08-15-13, 06:19 PM   #27
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Forgive me if I'm being a little nave, but I thought that scratch races and the Keirin were effectively sprint races?
Scratch races are only sprints if the enduro riders in the bunch are stupid. I can sit on a wheel and stay in a scratch race quite easily if the pace is consistent, even if it is quite fast. If the pace is full of little jumps, etc, then I am cooked. I can't play that game, and that is typically the tactics of the enduro guys to eliminate the effectiveness of the sprinters. If you see scratch races turn into sprints, then your enduro guys need to be slapped around a bit and taught a lesson!
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Old 08-15-13, 09:28 PM   #28
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Yeah, every high level scratch race I have done ends up being enduros vs sprinters.

The enduros will attack and attack to try to get a small group of strong riders off the front where they will work together to stay away. The sprinters will generally try to cover these attacks but do as few turns on the front as they can to save their legs for the end.

The enduros know that if it comes down to a bunch sprint at the end and the sprinters have any legs left, they are toast.

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Old 08-16-13, 02:02 AM   #29
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Forgive me if I'm being a little nave, but I thought that scratch races and the Keirin were effectively sprint races? My opinion's based on Chris Hoy 'n' all. I know they're not match sprints but still, they need big thighs and ay caramba levels of power, don't they?

Just wanted to also ask what qualities would be required in a kilo rider. It's been suggested to me as I used to row internationally so have some familiarity with events involving oxygen deprivation. I've also had my virgin track cycling season (truncated by a torn calf muscle I picked up running) but have been able to hit 36 mph over 2 - 300 meters (3/4 of a Marymoor lap) running a 48 x 15 (because of the calf muscle I've been warned off using anything harder). I'm also 43 so am not expecting to be the next Nakano, just want to have a challenge to train for.
The Scratch race is the most straightforward race. Basically it's a set distance or number of laps and the first one to complete them is the winner. A scratch race can be of any distance, short or long. Many local tracks offer short scratch races because they are simple and are over quickly. But, the Olympic distance for a proper scratch race is 15KM, around 20 minutes! DEFINITELY not a sprint event.

The Kilo is a 1 minute, all-out effort beginning with a thunderous, truly maximum effort standing start. If you can bury yourself for 1 minute and 10-15 seconds and deal with the pain of the lactic burn, then yeah, you might be a kilo rider.

I would hold off on trying 100% effort standing starts until you strengthen all of the muscles involved. As you will know, all it takes is for 1 small muscle in the chain to be under-developed to make it painful. I've watched guys (young men, even) throw out their backs in standing start clinics simply because they had never done that type of effort before and went in 100%. This is like trying a 1 rep max squat without working up to it. I'm not saying be afraid of it. Not at all. Just ease into it as you would in the gym with free weights.

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Ah, so that's what happened to you. I was wondering after not seeing you after May.
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Old 08-16-13, 12:05 PM   #30
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Cheers, Carleton. I certainly get that. For me a rolling sprint at the moment is one thing but with my calf muscle, a standing effort feels like my right crank is made of marshmallow (it's not, it's actually my calf muscle completely giving way as I try to torque it up).

Hope you're recovering well! Would be good to see you at the Marymoor GP next year.
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Old 08-16-13, 12:07 PM   #31
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I would say that sometimes sprinters can do well in scratch races, but scratch races as a whole do not resemble sprints. One of the most amazing local scratch races I've watched was the elite men's 10 mile during the Alpenrose Velodrome Challenge a couple years ago. The announcers were offering a dollar or two or five (I forget the exact amount) for the first person across the line every lap. The average speed of that race was over 30mph. A couple of the sprinters who entered put on a huge gear, went off the front for the first 10 or 15 laps (enough to buy lunch) and then dropped out.

The Keirin is definitely a sprint race.
That's a good point about the scratch races, thank you sir!
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Old 01-02-14, 08:01 AM   #32
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This was my first season of racing, and even then I started in the beginning of August with Garden State Velodrome's last event being end of September, so I only got a solid month and a half of racing in. I felt that the nights we had training "friendly" races and not full blown events we would do a little of everything.

I noticed that I wasn't particularly good at 100% effort, even pacing lines made me out of breath for I had been used to going on 20-40 mile rides by myself at a slower pace (17-18 mph average in a somewhat hilly area). I came into track sprinting as a mediocre road rider, as opposed to my uncle who has been riding for years who can maintain 20-21 mph for 60+ miles. (I went for a ride with him in the beginning of the summer, he hadn't ridden for a week on account of his bike in the shop and we averaged 19mph, slow for him, hard for me)

I digress: the event that I seemed to handle the best was the Miss and out, I would generally be in the last third of the guys to get out, and mostly for bad strategy and not lack of ooomph. From getting out of breath during line pacing work I figured that I should work on my cadence, and I have been; i acquired a pair of rollers over thanksgiving and have been using them regularly (not currently since i'm on vacation), I also put a smaller cog than my race gear to work on cadence on the road (equipped with front brake as well now).

Went for a ride with my uncle this past weekend before I left for Italy. I was on my track bike, he was on his road bike and I absolutely crushed him on the hills (I'm geared at 48x17) and on the flats I had no trouble keeping up with him and he even drafted behind me...regardless he noticed I had improved since several months ago.

I apologize for the super long post, and bless you if you read this far, but I think I'm on the right track (no pun intended). Care to agree or disagree? I haven't started lifting, nor do I really intend to, I do however rock climb a couple times a week (I work in a climbing gym), and train core (situps and planks) and do pushups everyday.
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Old 01-02-14, 08:22 AM   #33
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...but I think I'm on the right track (no pun intended). Care to agree or disagree? I haven't started lifting, nor do I really intend to, I do however rock climb a couple times a week (I work in a climbing gym), and train core (situps and planks) and do pushups everyday.
Hi there, and welcome to an awesome sport :-)

What my coach says, is that any training is better than no training, and that is certainly true! And if you are just starting to get serious about your cycling (not sure if you've raced on the road, or ever followed a specific training plan).
As you can see from the improvement you've noticed with riding with your Uncle.

Working on cadence is critical for track, so roller work is great. also good to work on pedalling efficiency, so that you start off with good habits (i.e. power all the way through the stroke as far as possible, and not just stomping down)

But aside from these comments, its almost impossible to give any more input without knowing what sort of volume of training you usually do, (how often do you do these road rides?), or what your actual question is .

Browse the forum, though, you'll find a heck of a lot of good info here. also worth reading up about 'training periodization' and setting up a proper training plan.
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Old 01-02-14, 08:41 AM   #34
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Hi there, and welcome to an awesome sport :-)

What my coach says, is that any training is better than no training, and that is certainly true! And if you are just starting to get serious about your cycling (not sure if you've raced on the road, or ever followed a specific training plan).
As you can see from the improvement you've noticed with riding with your Uncle.

Working on cadence is critical for track, so roller work is great. also good to work on pedalling efficiency, so that you start off with good habits (i.e. power all the way through the stroke as far as possible, and not just stomping down)

But aside from these comments, its almost impossible to give any more input without knowing what sort of volume of training you usually do, (how often do you do these road rides?), or what your actual question is .

Browse the forum, though, you'll find a heck of a lot of good info here. also worth reading up about 'training periodization' and setting up a proper training plan.
Thanks I'm liking this sport very much, and was a bit disheartened that i started so late in the season.. Never raced road, did a little of cross country in High School ( one season, 24 minute 5k, 5:55 mile).

I haven't been riding much on account of the cold/holidays. I was riding to work for a little while and treated it like a sprint (8 miles each way) but also stopped because of the cold and it being dark when i leave. My last ride was this past saturday, 30 miles, and before that 20 miles the saturday before. Prior to that a month had gone by, however I was trying to hit the rollers during that time.

typical roller workout would be 15-20 mins. 2 mins of warming up at 80 rpm, then a minute or two of a higher cadence, back down to 80 for two mins repeat with each time at 10rpm higher cadence and then back down.
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Old 01-03-14, 05:51 AM   #35
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I do however rock climb a couple times a week (I work in a climbing gym), and train core (situps and planks) and do pushups everyday.
Cycling and climbing don't really complement each other. Climbing you want finger and upper body strength and NO legs - wrecks your power to weight ratio...

Do you have a preference which sport you would rather focus on? Or is climbing more just a job and recreational pursuit?*

*my first love and sport was climbing and I only officially retired due to reoccuring bouts of severe elbow tendonistis...

From a long long time ago at Heuco Tanks Texas.

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Old 01-03-14, 07:02 AM   #36
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Cycling and climbing don't really complement each other. Climbing you want finger and upper body strength and NO legs - wrecks your power to weight ratio...
I dunno. I had a former teammate, he'd spend all winter climbing and he'd hit the spring pretty damn fit and fast. He said it was great training.
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Old 01-03-14, 09:15 AM   #37
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I dunno. I had a former teammate, he'd spend all winter climbing and he'd hit the spring pretty damn fit and fast. He said it was great training.
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Cycling and climbing don't really complement each other. Climbing you want finger and upper body strength and NO legs - wrecks your power to weight ratio...

Do you have a preference which sport you would rather focus on? Or is climbing more just a job and recreational pursuit?*

*my first love and sport was climbing and I only officially retired due to reoccuring bouts of severe elbow tendonistis...
I'm more into top rope/getting into sport as opposed to bouldering, but it is strictly recreational and my place of employment. Once i find a better job i probably won't be climbing as much. I always cycled in some form but i only really started taking it more seriously when i had a pulley injury (finger) back in April and it didnt feel 100% till july. In the meantime I started cycling more often and then i found out about the track in late july. It may not be the beat complement in terms of training but general balanced fitness i think it works quite well.

Dalai, is that you with the long hair? Never been to hueco nor plan to, but my friends just got back from a trip there.
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Old 01-03-14, 07:01 PM   #38
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I dunno. I had a former teammate, he'd spend all winter climbing and he'd hit the spring pretty damn fit and fast. He said it was great training.
It is great training for upper body and core strength. Just raising the question as dro.pru sounds young and as he is working in a climbing gym was wondering how serious he was with climbing. It can be a very addictive sport and if he was planning on being the best climber was questioning if cycling was the best fit as even as an enduro you will add leg mass. Cross training for me back them was running in an effort to keep my weight to a minimum.

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but it is strictly recreational and my place of employment. Once i find a better job i probably won't be climbing as much. I always cycled in some form but i only really started taking it more seriously when i had a pulley injury (finger) back in April and it didnt feel 100% till july. In the meantime I started cycling more often and then i found out about the track in late july. It may not be the beat complement in terms of training but general balanced fitness i think it works quite well.

Dalai, is that you with the long hair? Never been to hueco nor plan to, but my friends just got back from a trip there.
The above photos are of me from 1998 during one of two trips to Hueco Tanks when I still had a full head of hair... Unfortunately even back then Hueco was restricted by bureaucracy making it a hassle to climb there; pity as the bouldering is amazing!

Fine to do both if the climbing is more recreational and work. Just asking as I was consumed by climbing and was one of the defining life moments when after completing university decided I didn't want to look back in later life saying 'what if' so took to climbing full time. Had many wonderful years climbing around the world (sport and bouldering predominantly but also trad) and also competing both nationally and internationally (US nationals when non US citizens could still compete) plus round of a World Cup in Birmingham. Had planned to return the following year to complete in the full World Cup circuit but injuries put an end to that and then my climbing career.

I guess my question came from my obsessive focus with sports I do; I've never been able to do sports recreationally. Climbing was my life, when I retired tried a few sports still I took on triathlons for the next decade or so (included a couple or Ironman tris plus a World Championships Duathlon as an age grouper) to fill the void till running injuries put a stop to that. So now I just race bikes, though still take the same obsessive approach to my training and racing now; having already competed in one UCI Track Cycling Masters World Championships and plan to race more...
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Old 01-03-14, 08:02 PM   #39
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To the OP...if you're killing everyone in your sprints from Cat 5 to Cat 3, you might be a sprinter. But that's killing everyone (given that you're not just getting off the couch and racing). I tell Cat 3 guys who win a race here or there that they aren't sprinters, they make funny faces at me until they start racing Cat 1/2 then they wander off mumbling.

Cat 1/2 sprinters are FAST. Real track sprinters are engines of destruction. As a 5 who has trouble in scratch races I'd work on the aerobic motor in the off season. Even if you can avoid getting kilo'd out by the end of the day you'll be gassed without some aerobic base.

It's interesting where people end up by training.
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Old 01-03-14, 08:17 PM   #40
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The above photos are of me from 1998 during one of two trips to Hueco Tanks when I still had a full head of hair... Unfortunately even back then Hueco was restricted by bureaucracy making it a hassle to climb there; pity as the bouldering is amazing!
A little bit of Internet Stalking on Dalai reveals that he was quite an accomplished Climber!

Id say at the very least our tracks crossed in the climbing world. I spent 10 days in Hueco in 1998- i also see you have done some routes at "Jailhouse" and " Cave Rock"... Ive spent some time at both of those..

That was back before i knew i was a track sprinter- at 175lbs my friends nicknamed me "Pie Boy"... i was about the heaviest climber around who could do 5.12/V7, admittedly the 5.12s where SHORT and powerful and so were the boulder problems- think "New Religion" up and left from the 45degree wall.. i was always most at home on big walls like ElCap.. my Mass made me an amazing Bag Hauler and i had fat stores to burn! plus im not known for being smart or having good judgement..

To right this ships course back on topic... lol

Rock climbing might raise your general fitness if it is low (lower than any bike racer) but i cant see it helping your cycling in the slightest!
i couldn't imagine 2 sports more opposite..
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Old 01-03-14, 09:47 PM   #41
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It's interesting where people end up by training.
Hey Jaytron, I'm no expert. But Ex's point (I think) is usually the one and only thing I'm vocal about when it comes to training: resist the urge to pigeonhole yourself into this category or that category. You need all the tools. I don't know anyone who can afford to punt in any of the major buckets (unless you are going to confine yourself to flying 200s for the rest of your life, which it doesn't sound like you want to do). Roadies who punt on intensity end up on the charity century circuit (NTTAWWT). Trackies who "only sprint" end up getting lapped and pulled from a 40-lap scratch race.
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Old 01-03-14, 10:04 PM   #42
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Trackies who "only sprint" end up getting lapped and pulled from a 40-lap scratch race.
lets get this straight!

I didnt get "pulled" i quit because it was stupid... and it was 50laps!
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Old 01-03-14, 10:24 PM   #43
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lets get this straight!

I didnt get "pulled" i quit because it was stupid... and it was 50laps!
Math hard for sprinter. Make think. Head hurt. Banana?
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Old 01-03-14, 10:46 PM   #44
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Math hard for sprinter. Make think. Head hurt. Banana?
I "LOL'ed" as the kids say.

On topic, since I just got moved up to 3's I'm actually considering doing a *gasp* scratch race or two this year. Gonna go for a bit more basic fitness than the last couple of years, and I do think a track sprinter should be able to finish (and even do well in) a scratch or even a road crit, especially if he or she wants to do kilo.
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Old 01-03-14, 10:55 PM   #45
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On topic, since I just got moved up to 3's I'm actually considering doing a *gasp* scratch race or two this year. Gonna go for a bit more basic fitness than the last couple of years, and I do think a track sprinter should be able to finish (and even do well in) a scratch or even a road crit, especially if he or she wants to do kilo.
In my opinion- correctly executed kilo training will actually make you quite fit for mass start races.. at least it did for me.
and- If you are a "sprinter" you had better figure out how to do well in them since it is about the only way to get upgrade points- and you cant sprint (or Keirin) at Nats unless you are a cat-2
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Old 01-04-14, 12:24 AM   #46
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Crap, is that right? I thought you only needed to be a 3.
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Old 01-04-14, 08:55 AM   #47
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Crap, is that right? I thought you only needed to be a 3.
for Elite Nats- yes
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Old 01-04-14, 09:35 AM   #48
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I tell Cat 3 guys who win a race here or there that they aren't sprinters, they make funny faces at me until they start racing Cat 1/2 then they wander off mumbling.
Oh man. I completely agree.
I see a lot of cat 5, 4, and 3 types say, "Well the best thing I got going for me is my sprint, so that makes me a Sprinter." But I think that often, some indication of potential/ability just manifests itself as a pretty good sprint, and when that ability is trained it can reveal itself as other things.
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Old 01-04-14, 10:11 AM   #49
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An enduro national champ shared some numbers with me a while ago. The national points race's final sprint had a sub 11 second final 200m.

A good sprint in a 3/4 race may only mean you have the potential to really be in the mix at high level enduro reacing.
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Old 01-04-14, 11:36 AM   #50
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Sorry to steer this thread off course again.

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It is great training for upper body and core strength. Just raising the question as dro.pru sounds young and as he is working in a climbing gym was wondering how serious he was with climbing. It can be a very addictive sport and if he was planning on being the best climber was questioning if cycling was the best fit as even as an enduro you will add leg mass. Cross training for me back them was running in an effort to keep my weight to a minimum.
I guess I am young: 23. And since I started cycling more I've noticed the additional leg mass, but I've hovered around the same weight with both activities in conjuction. I guess I've lost weight cycling just to gain it back in muscle with climbing. (which I guess isn't ideal)


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The above photos are of me from 1998 during one of two trips to Hueco Tanks when I still had a full head of hair... Unfortunately even back then Hueco was restricted by bureaucracy making it a hassle to climb there; pity as the bouldering is amazing!

Fine to do both if the climbing is more recreational and work. Just asking as I was consumed by climbing and was one of the defining life moments when after completing university decided I didn't want to look back in later life saying 'what if' so took to climbing full time. Had many wonderful years climbing around the world (sport and bouldering predominantly but also trad) and also competing both nationally and internationally (US nationals when non US citizens could still compete) plus round of a World Cup in Birmingham. Had planned to return the following year to complete in the full World Cup circuit but injuries put an end to that and then my climbing career.
I can understand how you got consumed with climbing, I however don't plan on becoming pro. lol. I would like to get better, but nothing extravagant. I am a mediocre climber V2/V3(indoors, as i'm not one for outdoor bouldering) and 5.9/5.10. at the very minimum I would like to go outdoor climbing with some freinds a couple times a year.

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Originally Posted by Quinn8it View Post
A little bit of Internet Stalking on Dalai reveals that he was quite an accomplished Climber!

Id say at the very least our tracks crossed in the climbing world. I spent 10 days in Hueco in 1998- i also see you have done some routes at "Jailhouse" and " Cave Rock"... Ive spent some time at both of those..

That was back before i knew i was a track sprinter- at 175lbs my friends nicknamed me "Pie Boy"... i was about the heaviest climber around who could do 5.12/V7, admittedly the 5.12s where SHORT and powerful and so were the boulder problems- think "New Religion" up and left from the 45degree wall.. i was always most at home on big walls like ElCap.. my Mass made me an amazing Bag Hauler and i had fat stores to burn! plus im not known for being smart or having good judgement..
i am 5'10", 200lbs, 33"waist. I'm the heaviest climber and slackliner I know. (Great for slacklining, since I could throw my body weight in tensioning the line), however my weight is often setting me back on certain moves so I can see why I'm not that strong of a climber unless I really train for it. (which I won't be doing)

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To right this ships course back on topic... lol

Rock climbing might raise your general fitness if it is low (lower than any bike racer) but i cant see it helping your cycling in the slightest!
i couldn't imagine 2 sports more opposite..
After reading this thread, I've realized that they aren't very complimentary....haha. Thanks for the insight guys!
I guess I should keep climbing to a minimum while I race. on a more practical note, a big injury during climbing would definitely take me out of service for cycling. Only injury so far has been a pulley injury on my right ring finger, but I've seen a few twisted ankles.....
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