Off-Season Practice: Get On That Bicycle!

By Winding Road Staff

December 20, 2016

We highly recommend off-season cycling, and possibly not for the reasons you might think. Here are three reasons cycling is a must for racers: 

1. 360 Degree Awareness 
The big thing about cycling for us is that it is surprisingly like road racing if you do it in a busy urban area. Getting your eyes up, planning you moves well in advance, seeing openings, predicting movements of others, selecting the right gear, controlling the contact patch and awareness of what is behind you are all important skills in…cycling. Yes, really. Once you get used to the challenge, it is also great fun.  
2. Long-Term Cognitive Performance 
Regular exercise is proving to be important to maintaining long-term cognitive performance. We are fans of Johnny O’Connell and Scott Pruett and even more Jack Baldwin and club racers who run competitively in their 70s and 80s. Cycling is a great way to address this issue.
3. Cardiovascular Conditioning 
Of course, there is value in the traditional conditioning you get from cycling. Leg strength isn’t a huge deal in road racing, but endurance, especially under hot conditions is quite valuable. There is also something to be said for the training you get on a bike to maintain concentration when you are tired and uncomfortable.