Contributed by O2fit-athlete, and Audi Team member, Michael Williams. Read on…
My love of competing on my bike began at the Manhattan Beach Grand Prix (1975), when I borrowed my sister’s Schwinn Varsity to enter the race. At 13, I entered and finished second place in my first criterium. I thought “How cool is this?” But, my sister reposed her bike and I was afoot again until I could buy my own bike, many years later.
Fast forward to the mid 80’s. A friend was doing triathlons and I thought that looked like fun, so it was time for a “real” bike. I loved that bike, loved training, and competing in triathlons. My swimming resembled beating the water into submission, the running I maintained my position, but, it was cycling where I was able to “Seek and Destroy” (In my mind at least). So road racing ended up being my sport of choice.
I trained with a good friend, and my cycling mentor (geek), who studied, and planned our training sessions and strategies. He did all the research and I was his workout buddy; following his lead. That worked great at getting me some pretty good, and consistent results.
Then life came along. Getting married and children! I gladly stopped pursuing racing to enjoy the family!
Still biked – mainly for fitness. I was fortunate to fit in a few races, at best, one a year – most of them MTB races. I gravitated to endurance racing, a few 24 Hour races, (4 team, 1 solo), and a few 100 milers (5x Leadville finisher) with the family as my crew. By then my ‘cycling coach’/friend had moved on and was not longer there to tell me what to do. I 100% winged it! There were decent results, but knew that I could do better.
Now the kids are off to college and I can spend a little more time on the bike. Still just doing a little bit of ‘this’, with some of ‘that’ thrown in.
I met Julie Young at the Tahoe Trail 100 course preview ride. She had known a few of my cycling acquaintances, which got us talking before and after the ride. Some encouraging words were said, and that is when I knew it was time to get some “Real” coaching.
I look forward to Julie’s experience and knowledge, which now gives me a systematic and logical approach to time on the bike instead of the old guessing game. Maybe I’ll see you out on the road, or, up in the hills.