Clubs and Rider Development

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I posted this on RBR and thought I might get some constructive feedback here even though is really
isn't technical/mechanical in nature. Sometimes this newsgroup is just plain more helpful and less
flamebait oriented. Thanks for you patience.

And not for my questions...

For those of you who aren't pro's and are members of club "teams", what do you do for
helping/developing your Citizens/Cat 5's?

I'm trying to get some input and ideas for my club regarding what others are doing to help develop
their newer members into better racers.

James Tindill
"James" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
> I'm trying to get some input and ideas for my club regarding what others
> doing to help develop their newer members into better racers.
A very good question.

Clubs cater to many interests, only one of which I suggest is racing.

I joined mine because they rode with a greater level of professionalism and safety than any other
bunch I had then ridden with including one, a triathlon training bunch, who I paid to ride with!
(had a paid coach). My club educated new road riders into the art of bunch riding, changing lanes
safely. the art of pacelines, and supporting those who were having a bad day or a mechanical or who
needed a tube or a zefal frame pump - and they toured in places that challenged and interested me

And after many kilometres and many club touring rides I got stronger and and come to know the
strengths and characteristics of those who chose to make up our number - and I wondered what
to do next ?

And I decided to try my hand a racing. last year, started in the 4th of 5 available grades

And the very first time you pin a number to your back many things happen (apart from being a touch
apprehensive) - you learn to compete within a time honoured set of traditions, very much being one
of the rites of passage of cycling as a sport

And now, I'll ride with any competent bunch going my way and if available I'll buy and occasionally
ride in their jersey

but I"ll only race in my club colours, because they are mine and I wish to be counted in
their number

the only thing I wish my club would do is have training rides,not timed, over the courses they race
and "walk" you through what happens on a race course, when and why - having this explained at a pace
that non racers can take in. would encourage more to pin a number on their back

one of the best things a club can do is create as many grades as possible - only catering for a
racing elite is a mistake IMHO.

me. I'm wanting to be competitive in the Slow Old Fat Bastards category, and I'm working on that...

best, Andrew

"But riding is my special gift, my chiefest, sole delight; Just ask a wild duck can it swim, a
wildcat can it fight... I'll ride this here two-wheeled concern, right straight away, at sight." A B
‘Banjo’ Patterson - "Mulga Bill" 25 July 1896.

As a citizen racing club, our primary mission is to provide an environment where anyone can learn to
ride and race. We spend a good deal of time on this issue.

I would say there are two things that work particularly well. One is to add a lot of structure to
training rides and events. The quickest way to lose new members of course is to go out and hammer.
The quickest way to get a member for life is to find a way for them to succeed where they thought
they couldn't. For example, we come up with ways for new riders to end up in a chase group with some
of our best riders. When you hear someone say "I never thought I could keep up that kind of pace at
the end" or "I'm amazed we caught those guys" then they're hooked for life. Many of our training
rides have a very specific structure (chase groups handicapped by ability, road rides structured
like a points race, sprint workouts, bike handling clinics) and in any one of these rides, you
accomplish something. We also make our ride schedule fit the ability levels. Thursday is always a
social ride where nobody is dropped. Base mile training rides have gathering points to keep from
dropping people for good. We also have a very wide level of abilities so there is something for
everyone. We have juniors just learning to ride at 20 mph - and we have people who can 40k in less
than an hour.

The other is to have a long-term perspective. Cycling is a sport for life as most of us know, and
some people just aren't ready to race, or are not ready to time trial, etc. So keep people involved
even if they aren't racing or ready to race.

-Darryl Mataya
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