Rolling on the river… I mean road

April 10, 2013

By Margaret C.

Since the start of the spring term, Gould’s cycling team has seen almost all of its riders get out on the road, quite a few for the first time.  Although we had a few pretty cold days to start off with, die-hards like Max, Kyler and Steve were willing to brave the cold to get their wheels on real roads.  The rest of us were satisfied to spin in the bike barn, avoid hypothermia, and watch movies selected by my co-captain Eric.

We got out on the road last week, with the obligatory Vernon Street to Hunts Corner Hill ride (which as one team member pointed out on Strava, is ridden too often).  We have a lot of new members this year, and a significant increase in members since last season.  Although we certainly miss last years seniors, returning riders and coaches are excited about having so many young riders and a young team that is full of potential.  Most kids have gotten out on the road by now, though a few are still riding in the bike barn, getting equipment in line and learning how to ride rollers.

For anyone who doesn’t know, learning how to ride rollers is basically a required experience on the Cycling Team.  Far more challenging than using a trainer (although, one could argue that using a trainer lacks any element of difficulty), riding rollers requires not only balance and focus, but forces a rider to learn how to pedal smoothly in a circle and keep their upper body quiet.  Riders who master rollers have a much better sense of how to ride in a straight line on the road, and though that sounds pretty straightforward, it isn’t.  For someone like me, rollers can also teach you to ride with less weight on your hands and to relax your shoulders (I have finally stopped using a ‘death grip’ on the handlebars when I use rollers).

Another great part of the start of the spring is that the new kids learn all of the roads we usually ride.  Even for returning riders, hitting the road and rediscovering favorite routes is always fun.  So far we’ve toured Vernon, Grover Hill and Flat Road (drafting practice), and the North Road-Rt. 2 route.  Unfortunately, the weather this week is turning out a bit dreary.  It rained most of yesterday, clearing up just in time for practice and making for a bit of a wet ride.  The rest of the week will hopefully be clear, although the weather forecast (as reliable as it is) seems to think otherwise.

It’s going to be a great spring, so get out there and ride!

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