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  1. #1
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    Where is the best place in the world to train for speed in Jan-Feb?

    Am thinking to spend 3 weeks in an environment with lots and lots of cyclists also working on speed and climbing skills. I've been to Mallorca in early Feb '99 (PBP year) and as the next PBP is in August next year i want to train myself to attain a higher speed again.

    However, though I loved seeing pros train in Mallorca, I had no great benefits from staying there.. at 23 km/hr I was too slow for the fast roadies and covered a too long distance to go with the wive's twiddle group (same speed, but only 50 K) as I was covering the men's distances most of the time (100-150km most days).

    I was thinking to go to California, but heard the weather can be quite rainy near SF (San Josť and Davis comes to my mind). Does it rain that much? OTOH, I'd rather have rain and pleasant stimulating /helpful cycling company who will help me improve cycling skills than good weather without company..
    BTW, it snowed in the mountains of Mallorca when I was there last time
    vehicular cyclist : commuter - tourist - randonneur

  2. #2
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    I can't really say it's the best place in "the world" (haven't traveled enough) but if you want warmer weather and want to visit California, I'll have to plug my hometown...San Diego. The hills/moutains out near Julian/Ramona provide the climbing(and snow sometimes too).

    If you want camaraderie, cyclists of all levels, nice long rides, and good roads with moderate climbing, you might also check out Hell Week (http://www.hellweek.com/texas.html). It's a bit later than you were looking for (mid-March). Don't be fooled because it's in Texas. It's not called "the Hill Country" with out reason.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Cipher's Avatar
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    One of the Hawaiian Islands should be nice 'bout that time of the year...
    Speed Kills...It kills those that don't have it!

  4. #4
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    I would give a go to california for winter training. Great riding all the way around from dh to freeriding to road.

    My dream would be Moab but I think the riding there isn't for the faint of heart (at least what I have heard about)

  5. #5
    Marathon Cyclist MediaCreations's Avatar
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    If you like it hot, head for Australia.

  6. #6
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    Having good cycling company is more vital than good weather.. if I had to choose between the two I'd choose the latter. Heck, I'm even thinking to go to Britain where they have an outstanding audax tradition.
    However, I am primarily interested in really improving speed and technique, not so much in tourism.
    Moab Utah is for mountain bikers.. I'm a tortoise roadie.

    That was the big disappointment 3 years ago: I was left out in the cold: generally there were 2 groups of men who both went way too fast for me and there was the 'wifey' groups which generally cycled at my speed, but they quit after 50 K, while I was riding 100-150 K most days, copying the same route the fast roadies did.. no fun when you had thought to join others and hear valuable tips and advice.

    I'm 200% certain that I can improve my pedalling style as well as my riding position and pack technique but with nobodies to practice with, that's going to be difficult! So, it needs to be in an area with a really vast cycling crowd where I just can show up and always find someone to ride with. I recently visited Zolder for the worlds TT and discovered that an acquaintance trained every week on the local circuit.. while he first couldn't keep up with the others, he now even breaks away from them .. their average speed is a tad too high for me (42 km/hr) but I'd like to speed mine up from 20 km/hr to around 28 km/hr on average...

    Is this specific enough?
    vehicular cyclist : commuter - tourist - randonneur

  7. #7
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    I am pretty sure that calling yourself a tortoise roadie isn't required. If anything roadies are inherently faster at cycling. Mountain bikers focus more on technique within their riding so speed isn't so much an issue as pure bike control and skill

    Any roadies I have ever met would destroy a mtber on a road. (Hate to admit it but hey)

  8. #8
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    AAh, but this morning I was passed by someone on a regular one-speed sit-up and beg bike while I was on my road bike!
    Apparently cycling on an empty stomach (supposed to be good for fatburning) brings down speed a lot.. on the return i was about 4 km/hr faster as I'd eaten breakfast and coffee-meal (2 whey shakes with maltodextrin).. probably averaged 17 km/hr one way and 22 km/hr the other.. don't know as my cordless computer doesn't work in the cold.. if you call that fast I don't know..

    There's just one 50 m hill (7%) and a bridge in between so hillyness wasn't a reason..
    vehicular cyclist : commuter - tourist - randonneur

  9. #9
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Cardio before meal really helps burn the fat. I used to pull that off before I started a day job. Since I am not a morning person I get out of bed just in time for work let alone a workout (I eat breaky at work)

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    I'll have to put in a plug for Palm Beach Co. Fl. particularly along A1A (the beach route).There are always plenty of jogger/cyclists and on weekends it is almost too crowded with cyclists but if commaraderie/competition is what you are looking for that is the place. There is also a more rustic route along the everglades (what is left of it)that is also nice.Also keep in mind speed and fatburning are two not necessarily complementary goals as burning carbs is more efficient and thus optimal for speed while burning fat is less efficient and thus hinders speed.

  11. #11
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    Yup, used to do the same all the time for most of my life (go to school/work without breakfast) but now my metabolism is speeding up and I've finally become used to having breakfast, the result is that I feel very weak without a brekkie.
    Perhaps it's just slightly too long? 45 mins rather than 30 mins.. Most my previous jobs saw me racing to the railway station, and then buying a delicious french baguette filled with veggies and cheese at the station.. expensive but always fresh and yummy! My best cycling year was when I had to cycle another 30 mins at the other railway station to get to my work and vice versa: 4x(2x2)x30 mins of cycling at full speed except for the ride back home..
    vehicular cyclist : commuter - tourist - randonneur

  12. #12
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    Originally posted by RWTD
    I'll have to put in a plug for Palm Beach Co. Fl. particularly along A1A (the beach route).There are always plenty of jogger/cyclists and on weekends it is almost too crowded with cyclists but if commaraderie/competition is what you are looking for that is the place. There is also a more rustic route along the everglades (what is left of it)that is also nice.Also keep in mind speed and fatburning are two not necessarily complementary goals as burning carbs is more efficient and thus optimal for speed while burning fat is less efficient and thus hinders speed.
    Ideally I will have reached my target weight by late January so I will not need to be too worried about carb intake. It is a myth though to thnk that there will be less fat burned at high speeds. The % of fat burned will be less at high speed. However, the TOTAL amount of fat burnt is a lot higher at high speed. eg. just out of the blue, when you'd be burning 80% fats at moderate speed, you'd be burning 40% at high speed. Yet, you might be burning more than twice as many calories. But even when that wouldn't be true, the so-called after burn of intense exercise will burn more fat throughout the rest of the day as your metabolism is raised from the intense cardio.. provided you do it in the morning!
    vehicular cyclist : commuter - tourist - randonneur

  13. #13
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    My point was that for optimal speed you want to limit fat burning not that you don't burn fat at higher intensity.You have clarified in that you plan to train for fat-burning now and speed later which was unclear before.

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