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Would you pay to ride and get instruction from a pro? How about a Cat 2?

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway
View Poll Results: What level rider would you pay to ride with or get instruction?
They need to be an active pro
6
12.24%
Ex-pro's are good enough.
23
46.94%
They need to be an active Cat 1
10
20.41%
They need to be an active Cat 2
2
4.08%
They need to be an active Cat 3
2
4.08%
They need to be an active Cat 4
0
0%
They need to be an active Cat 5
6
12.24%
Voters: 49. You may not vote on this poll

Would you pay to ride and get instruction from a pro? How about a Cat 2?

Old 04-06-09, 12:23 AM
  #1  
permanentjaun
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Would you pay to ride and get instruction from a pro? How about a Cat 2?

At what point would you be willing to pay for someones instruction on bicycle riding? It could be anything on pedal stroke technique, crit strategy, bottle and food ration instruction, how to attack hills, or even simple real world training with a pro.

How qualified does someone need to be for you to pay for their time?
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Old 04-06-09, 12:38 AM
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None of the above. I can't see myself paying anyone to instruct me how to ride a bicycle.
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Old 04-06-09, 01:00 AM
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johnny99
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Not all good bike racers are good teachers. As in most sports, the best coaches were usually not the best athletes.
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Old 04-06-09, 06:06 AM
  #4  
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You forgot the "none" category. If Lance Armstrong volunteered to coach me for free, i'd pass. And vice versa, I'm sure.
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Old 04-06-09, 06:09 AM
  #5  
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a lot of coaches are threes. some don't race at all.
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Old 04-06-09, 06:13 AM
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Category is more or less irrelevant to coaching ability. A young guy I knew went from Cat 5 to Cat 2 in one season and the next year the smug little twerp had the cheek to become a coach, as if he had anything to teach. OTOH you have a lot of guys with demanding careers and families who soldier along in the lower cats for decades, ride and read a lot, have tried a lot of different coaching approaches ranging from Eddy B to CTS.

BL
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Old 04-06-09, 06:16 AM
  #7  
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There are two ex-pros in town.
One, I'll listen to and take his sage advice. He was a decent NRC pro and a great NRC director.

The other? If he pipes up again and tells me that I'm doing it wrong and the whole group, who have been riding for a combined 200+ years, are doing it wrong and 'are a bunch of dumbasses', I'm going to beat his ass with great venegeance and furious anger.
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Old 04-06-09, 06:17 AM
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As others have said, just because you can do it doesn't mean you can teach it. It's good to have a coach with experience, but they need to be able to effectively communicate their knowledge to others. I have never had a cycling coach, but I have for running - and have learned a _lot_ about good technique and being efficient from her.
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Old 04-06-09, 06:18 AM
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You might be doing it wrong.
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Old 04-06-09, 06:21 AM
  #10  
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Well, living in Belgium it's not difficult to meet a pro from time to time. I ocasionally get to ride with Philippe Gilbert or Gert Steegmans for 15-20 mins or so. Especially Gert is very nice and gives lots of tips.
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Old 04-06-09, 06:31 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
You might be doing it wrong.
I'm sure I'm not doing ANYTHING 100% right, but does anyone? The "pro" has a serious case of Napoleon Complex and has rubbed about 75% of the community wrong at some point and that includes the 'litmus test'people. You know the kind. If they say something, you know it's an issue!
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Old 04-06-09, 06:50 AM
  #12  
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I don't think they would have to be an active pro, or even an active racer of any catagory. I'd think an ex Cat2 or 3 who raced for years might be a better coach than a current Cat2 who's only been racing at that level for a year or so.

But there are definately people on this forum who know their stuff and who should consider on line training - in my opinion of course.
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Old 04-06-09, 06:53 AM
  #13  
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I think that the distinction lies in the word "coach" vs. "instructor".
An instructor is someone who tells you what you should be doing since you know no better (unconscious incompetence). Once you get better you realize that you did not know what you were doing (conscious incompetence) you tend to listen and get better quickly...(conscious competence).
That's where many o us are at (at least me). I know what I'm doing, have bike handling skills and a certain amount of knowledge about nutrition and training. I no longer need an "instructor" but could use a coach.
A coach is someone who brings you to the next level, whether or not they can lead or follow you. Like it was mentioned above, they don;t need to be faster or better than you to coach you, just be able to recognize what skills you need to work on to make you better. That's something that not everyone has.
Certainly, some great riders make great coaches because they can see and know what you are feeling and how hard one can push or how long one can go. The biggest pitfall is ones ego of course. A great coach should not want to out-do his student, he should want them to excel further then they have been.

IN summary:
A teacher/instructor = good for putting info in
A coach = good for drawing skills out.


Chris

Last edited by Chris R.; 04-06-09 at 09:15 AM.
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Old 04-06-09, 07:23 AM
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Anyone see Stijn Devolder yesterday? His from was ATROCIOUS. He was way overgeared on a lot of those climbs, bouncing all over the place like a Marine doing pushups, weaving side to side instead of holding a perfectly straight line. Talk about needing coaching.
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Old 04-06-09, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by damocles1 View Post
The other? If he pipes up again and tells me that I'm doing it wrong and the whole group, who have been riding for a combined 200+ years, are doing it wrong and 'are a bunch of dumbasses', I'm going to beat his ass with great venegeance and furious anger.
Just remember to wear your helmet when you do.
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Old 04-06-09, 08:47 AM
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I'm sort of indifferent (or at least so convincingly feigning indifference that I've convinced myself!) to the question, but I know my wife has an interest in the question

...and her answer would definitely be "None of the above"

She's been working with a coach who was a former CAT1 and has been a successful [sic] professional coach for 10 years or so, and she's also read several training books by former CatN racers, and she's just finally come to the realization that perhaps for the type of coaching she wants/needs, a racer (current, former, or even wannabe) is the last qualification she should look for.

The problem with many of these "former racer coaches" is that they only seem to know how to coach you How To Race. She doesn't want to race, she wants to get faster & stronger & become a better hill climber so she can do hard fast hilly club rides. She has yet to find a coach who targets that agenda -- or who can modify their own personal agenda to meet her needs. All the race-oriented training seems to emphasize peaking in time for an event, or for a short season. When she applies those techniques to a long season of club rides, it mostly succeeds in burning her out.

Last edited by Bob Ross; 04-06-09 at 08:50 AM.
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Old 04-06-09, 08:54 AM
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I'd listen to advice from almost anyone. I don't think I'd pay for any of it.
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Old 04-06-09, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Bob Ross View Post
I'm sort of indifferent (or at least so convincingly feigning indifference that I've convinced myself!) to the question, but I know my wife has an interest in the question

...and her answer would definitely be "None of the above"

She's been working with a coach who was a former CAT1 and has been a successful [sic] professional coach for 10 years or so, and she's also read several training books by former CatN racers, and she's just finally come to the realization that perhaps for the type of coaching she wants/needs, a racer (current, former, or even wannabe) is the last qualification she should look for.

The problem with many of these "former racer coaches" is that they only seem to know how to coach you How To Race. She doesn't want to race, she wants to get faster & stronger & become a better hill climber so she can do hard fast hilly club rides. She has yet to find a coach who targets that agenda -- or who can modify their own personal agenda to meet her needs. All the race-oriented training seems to emphasize peaking in time for an event, or for a short season. When she applies those techniques to a long season of club rides, it mostly succeeds in burning her out.
Any good coach should build a program around the needs of the client - ie. the person paying their bills. Not around what the coach thinks their goals should be.
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Old 04-06-09, 09:05 AM
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Im a cat 2 but I don't think Im hot $hit. So if someone wants to ride with me Im not going to be a D bag and charge them.

Last edited by Zen Cyclery; 04-06-09 at 09:09 AM.
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Old 04-06-09, 09:11 AM
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I can just ask any of the 5's to domestic pros i know for help if i need (for free).

so no i wont pay anyone.
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Old 04-06-09, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Val23708 View Post
I can just ask any of the 5's to domestic pros i know for help if i need (for free).

so no i wont pay anyone.
We don't all hang out with or even have any local pros to ride with.
There are not a ton of pro riders just riding the streets where I ride...

I would pay someone to help me get faster for sure. Through the winter I was doing these super hard core spinning classes with a coach to work on power and it has helped for sure. I'd like to do a couple of road rides with the same coach to see how he makes me work on the road.
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Old 04-06-09, 09:20 AM
  #22  
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I wouldn't pay any top cyclist. Instead I'd hire:

1. Joe Friel (General Training Program)
2. Andy Pruitt (Bike fit, flexibility)
3. Arnie Baker (for injury prevention and treatment)
4. Allen Lim (for power training/nutrition)
5. Neal Spruce (for nutrition)

THAT would be quite a team! A year with them and I'd be able to reach my potential of a cat 4. LOL.
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Old 04-06-09, 10:09 AM
  #23  
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I won a 2-hour coaching session with one of the strong Cat 2's in the area. In terms of riding technique and racing strategy, it was the two most productive hours I've spent on the bike.
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Old 04-06-09, 10:43 AM
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For those that said strong riding ability doesn't equate to a strong coaching ability, how do you fid a good coach then? Is it strictly word of mouth at that point to determine the quality of coach that they are?
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Old 04-06-09, 10:57 AM
  #25  
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It doesn't matter what they know. What matters is the gap between what you know and what they know. I'd take notes from pcad.
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