I’ll start off by saying this is not a blanket statement by any means…. It does, however, embrace a very critical set of skills required to successfully ride ultra endurance races on a bike.
I’ve had the ability of coaching many athletes from different walks of life, age, gender, and size.
My coaching over the years has been aimed around endurance sports like, mountain bike stage racing, 24-hour solo races, ironman distance triathlons, and 6-12-hour endurance mountain and road races.
I have had some very fit individuals who did all the training hours and intensity to a T, and yet when race day appeared couldn’t put together some of the most basic fundamentals of endurance racing.
The critical set of skills that I referred to above is a skill set that is coachable, but best acquired over time. The skill set is one of planning, forecasting, and ultimately making good sound calls on your logistics.
A bicycle commuter who rides to work Monday to Friday to and from the office spends a great amount of time planning and making sure
that they have readied themselves for the task
It makes little difference if the commute is flat, downhill, uphill, rolling, 10 minutes or an hour. The same thought process and skills are required each day.
Here are a few key examples of what a commuter thinks about before they venture off:
• Did I eat or drink properly before leaving the house?
• Is my bike working properly?
• Did I check the forecast?
• Do I have the right gear to ride in all four seasons?
• Am I dressed accordingly for the weather of the morning?
• Do I have alternate attire for the warmer or cooler ride home?
• Do I have proper tools in case of a mechanical?
• What time do I need to leave to make sure I am on time?
• What is my route going to be today?
• Do I have my work clothes and supplies?
• How am I feeling? Do I need to plan for a slower commute?
• Am I picking anything up on my way home and do I have enough cargo capacity to do so?
• Do I have my bike lock?
• Should I have that post-work beer at the pub or will that affect my ride home?
These are all key things that a commuter needs to think about, including time management, road safety, and so much more.
All of these skills are the exact same skills that an endurance rider must consider and execute during race and training situations.
These are skills that, if acquired, are much more likely to be remembered and executed when they are needed the most.