The SoCal Winter Weekend: Gravel Clinics, Bike Demos and Season Planning

Last weekend, Rick Schultz (Bike Fitness Coaching, Ask the Bike Coach) put together a free bike clinic on how to ride your first gravel event. Topics included discussions on rider and bike preparations, course routes, survival techniques and equipment selection.

Last weekend, Rick Schultz (Bike Fitness Coaching, Ask the Bike Coach) put together a free bike clinic on how to ride your first gravel event. On Saturday, Rick and Nytro Multisport bikes got together at the Law Offices of Richard Duquette with attendants to discuss riding an event like the Belgian Waffle Ride (BWR) for your first time. Topics included discussions on rider and bike preparations, course routes, survival techniques and equipment selection. Rick reviewed the 2018 BWR route and discussed the kind of bicycle you want to be riding. He encouraged riding a bike with as many gears as you need (no shame in multiple front-chainrings here) and getting a proper bike fit so that you are certain to be comfortable sitting on the saddle for so long.

Nytro bikes also provided 3 test bicycles that attendants could try out. For one particular rider, being able to test his options for a bicycle that could take on BWR was extremely helpful. One of the bikes that he found to be a great option was the SCOTT Sports ‘Addict’, 10 disc brake with carbon frame. If you’d like to try the bike out for yourself, call or visit Nytro Multisport in Encinitas. Ultimately the rider ended up purchasing a full carbon Felt road bike with 28 tubeless BWR special edition tires, and two front chain rings with a wide range 11-speed Ultegra cassette in the rear. Rick emphasized the importance for riding with tubeless in an event like BWR because this type of terrain can often lead to a flat.

The following day, another free gravel/endurance clinic was held at G2 Bikes in Aliso Viejo by Rick Schultz of Bike Fitness Coaching. The focus of the clinic was on mental strength and how to combat the fear of failing. Additionally, AJ, the owner of G2 Bikes, had a lot of valuable advice to offer from her years of riding in difficult events like Rock Cobbler, Strada Rossa, Spndx Stampede, and various SoCalCross races. Many people think you need to train on gravel to be able to take on the BWR, but it really is about time in the saddle, AJ revealed. She suggested when training for something like BWR that you 1) focus your training on spending as many hours as you can in the saddle 2) find a group or a friend that you do the ride with and 3) don’t spend too much time at the aid stations.

Expanding on this advice, AJ and Rick stated that even if you don’t always train on gravel, riding long hours on the saddle can give you the confidence to take on the rough spots. Additionally, riding with a group or friend doesn’t require you to keep up with them, but everybody rides differently, so you may find that you catch up with your friends as the route changes, perhaps when they need you the most. As AJ points out, it would not be smart to tire yourself out early in the race to try and catch up with your partner or group. Make the pact to cheer each other on at the finish line and you’ll crush through those last few kilometers.

Lastly, it can be tempting during the rest stops to catch up with your friends or take a rest – all the experts agree that this isn’t wise for a couple or reasons. First is that if you spend a half an hour at the aid station and then hop back on your bike, you’re going to have to warm your body back up, perhaps by over-exerting yourself with plenty of miles left to go. Second, if you stop ten minutes or more at every rest stop in the race, that could add up to over an hour on your final time; better to finish the race as soon as you can. Lastly, the Belgian Waffle Ride finish line is at the Lost Abbey Brewery in San Marcos, so there’s lots of fun to be had. Use that time to down a cold one and catch up with your fellow finishers, you’ll have plenty friends to relive the experience with.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like
Belgian Waffle Ride 2017
Read More

2017 Cervélo Belgian Waffle Ride – Official Course Preview

Not unlike the Spring Classics, the BWR course has changed over the years and 2017 is no different. This year’s course is very different in many ways from the previous editions, but it does take its cues from the best sectors of previous years, as prescribed by the riders, and added in some new ones to create the best, most dynamic course yet.
Read More
Read More

SoCal FIXED Strong Beach Crit: Track Bikes & Asphalt In Long Beach

The third installment of the SoCal Fixed Series took place on Sunday, March 13, and was presented by Throne Cycles and hosted by community leader Hector Morales Jr. The Strong Beach Criterium is a technical, 6-turn course that includes a hairpin turn and a roundabout. Racers must survive 40 minutes of surging breakaways and attacks before race officials announce on the megaphone that there are ‘5 laps to go.
Read More
Paso Robles Bicycle Rally
Read More

Great Western Bicycle Rally: A Memorial Weekend Tradition in Paso Robles

Paso Robles, CA–The Great Western Bicycle Rally has been a recurring Memorial Day tradition for bicyclists from all across California who descent on Paso Robles for Memorial Weekend. The four days of the festival include guided rides every morning and afternoon, route-maps for self-guided exploration of the central coast, and a multitude of family-friendly activities scheduled throughout the 4-day weekend.
Read More
Read More

2017 Eroica California | Wandering The Starting Line

Eroica California is an annual event on the coast of California that culminates on Sunday morning at 6:30 AM in downtown Paso Robles. The weekend features a festival with various cycling art installations, vintage swap meet and bike show, but the rubber meets the road on Sunday when participants gather to venture on the days adventure throughout the valleys and hills of the central coast.
Read More
Read More

Cervelo BWR 2016: Finish Line Festivities at The Lost Abbey

At the finish line, riders loaded up on Belgian-style food and ales, and celebrated their accomplishments with like-minded sufferers. The finish line festival was held at The Lost Abbey Brewery in San Marcos, the perfect place to finish the Belgian-inspired ride and enjoy a glass of fAle. The “Bad Ass Ale”, create specifically for the event, was generously served to all participants that completed the route. The refreshingly crisp ale did just the trick for dry mouths and empty bellies.
Read More
disposable cameras
Read More

Dirty Hundred: OC Granfondo Goes Off-Road

For the event, we purchased a bag full of disposable cameras and divvied them up amongst our group. These are the resulting photos. The OC Granfondo is a recent addition to the classic recreation rides of Southern California. With past events bringing out well over 1,000 riders, we were interested to see how a significant route change would impact attendance.
Read More
Open Streets
Read More

CicLAvia: Open Streets Event In Downtown Los Angeles

Los Angeles holds the honor of hosting the largest community open-streets event in the United States, and this past month’s 5th anniversary of the event was no different. CicLAvia, a play on the South American tradition of closing streets to cars and only allowing human-powered traffic, brought out bicycles of all shapes and stripes. We saw the standard two wheel, the trusty three wheel, and of course the rare instance of one wheel. No human-powered mode of transportation was denied access, and we saw many paws on the road too. CicLAvia is THE example of how this type of event can be run successfully in a metropolis.
Read More
Read More

The One Way Ride to Mexico

The One Way Ride Program officially began in 2012, but these men have been carrying on this tradition for over a decade. It all started after the 2001 Rosarito to Ensenada ride when local resident Raymond “Randy” Kiefer and his riding partner, Hank Williamson, generously gave away their bicycles to two local teenage boys who were hanging around the finish line watching the riders come in.
Read More