Friday, October 12, 2007

Roadies in Winter: Making the Most of the Off-Season

For roadies, there’s something called an “off season.” This is the chasm between fall and spring during which there is no road racing, and around these parts it pretty much starts now. While some cyclists foolishly squander this time by enjoying themselves and doing different types of riding, roadies are above such frivolity. Not content to simply be squirrely on their bikes, they’re also squirrely in that they’re collecting metaphorical acorns for next season by putting on base mileage, doing LSD (the boring kind) and working out in gyms. And as any good roadie knows, there’s always something else you should be doing, and you better be doing it too lest your competitors get a jump on you. Here are some ways to maximize your off-season that you may be missing out on:

Cross Train

Every season some coach, pro racer, or publication decides there’s some hot kind of cross training you should be doing over the winter. Whatever that may be this year, figure it out and do it. It used to be fixed-gear riding. Then it was cross-country skiing. Then speed-skating. Then it was weights. Then weights were bad for you. Then one year Chris Carmichael said it was single-speed mountain biking, but the roadies were afraid to get dirty and that never really took off. I don’t know what it’s going to be this year. It could be Pilates, or gardening, or wrestling shaved pitbulls in kiddie pools full of Vaseline. I’m not going to do your homework for you. Just keep your ears open and stay ahead of the curve.

Sandbag in Cyclocross

Are you a higher-category road racer with no results but a little bit of form left? Well, take that form, head to the nearest C race, and grab yourself that elusive victory! There’s nothing more fun and vindicating than lining up alongside a bunch of junior racers and their grandfathers and beating them all. It’s a good way to stay in shape and a great way to pump up that ego for next season. Plus, you’ll earn the instant respect of the regulars. You'll put the "d-bag" back in "sand-bag."

Reconnect With Your Spouse or Life Partner

This is particularly important for the married male roadie with a non-cycling spouse. As important as your accomplishments on the road may be to you, they’re not nearly as important to your wife, no matter what she tells you. She is not bragging to her friends that she is married to the King of the Park, she does not like that you go to bed at nine and wake up at five, and she does not still reminisce about that time you won a $20 prime and bought her an omelette. So take this time to remind her that she’s important, or she might find someone else who actually likes to have fun. Remember: behind every good roadie is a good woman, and behind her is a mountain biker.

Shop for Holiday Gifts For Your Coach

Many roadies feel the need to pay somebody to tell them when and how to ride. If you are one of these roadies, take this time to make your coach feel appreciated. After all, not every coach has a long roster of pro clients and a book deal. In fact, most of them live hand-to-mouth and are pretty much the equivalent of ski bums. Did you notice that the car your coach drove to that stage race last summer cost less than your front hub? Or that his SRM cranks look suspiciously like a pair of Sears torque wrenches fastened with a carriage bolt? Or that he’s collecting your used gel packets, cutting them open, and scraping out the remnants? Meanwhile you’re riding around on an Orbea that would make a pimp blush, buying chamois cream at Kiehl’s, and using Ksyrium SLs as training wheels. So give your coach a gift this holiday season. He probably needs it.

Join the Adopt-a-Pro Program

Your coach is like Jay-Z compared to a domestic pro, though. These people earn less than minimum wage—in Liberia. And thanks to the Adopt-a-Pro program, for the cost of just one pair of high-end racing clinchers a month you can change the life of one of these athletes. If you’re the kind of person who keeps his Colnago in a climate-controlled garage and arrives at the roll-out to the local training ride in a BMW only to get dropped by guys with pro contracts who can’t afford new socks, you might occasionally feel a little embarassed. And you absolutely should. So assuage that slightly by adopting a pro today.

Eat Something

If you’ve ever eaten with a bunch of roadies, you know it’s like eating with a bunch of teenage girls. There is nothing quite as annoying as watching adults titter guiltily over eating half a pastry or taking a sip of beer, and there’s nothing quite as disgusting as watching someone blot the oil from a slice of pizza. Worse yet is when they turn nutritionist on you and tell you what you’re eating and why it’s too fattening. I’d rather eat veal with a vegan than just about anything with a roadie. So please, do the rest of the cycling world a favor—loosen up and eat something. And please, please, please don’t tell us about how bad you were at Thanksgiving. Unless you ate a turducken-stuffed manatee your Hiltonesque nibblings are not noteworthy.

Head to the Southern Hemisphere

Winter is a great time for mountain biking. You’re out of the wind, you get warmed up quick, you learn bike handling skills, and you have fun. Of course, if you’re like most roadies, you don’t like to get dirty, you can’t handle your bike and have no intention of learning, and you certainly don’t like to have fun. So if you absolutely must live in complete denial and pretend the road season never ended, do what the pros do and head southern hemisphere. It’s a crazy, mixed-up world where winter is summer, left is right, black is white, toilets flush in reverse, and the deer hop on two legs. You’ll love it! We'll miss you, though...

86 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...I disagree a bit on the roadies eating like wee girls. or i'm a freaky exception. because i do eat tons during the season as well, plus i take FULL advantage of off season to pork out big time: beer, pumpkin pie filling, chocolate, beer, bar food, beer, etc. And beer. I commute on my bike (RB-1 with campy thank you very much) and do weights at home, simple, tight, efficient. hey, training rides in new england in the winter are a cold affair, so being too skinny beats the purpose of enjoying the outings. LSD, pfff. Just ride, ride, ride. I'm married, can't be taking 7hrs of LSD, so aside from weights i do include some sweaty stuff here and there. riding slow serves the purpose of just that: riding slow.

Scott said...

"behind every good roadie is a good woman, and behind her is a mountain biker"

Oh, how I laughed!

When, I wonder, will you start lombasting mountain bikers with the same fury you've directed at fixed-gear hipsters and roadies? We've got plenty of stupid superstitions, too!

Anonymous said...

I've got pro roadie friends who have admitted to having recurring dreams about eating cake. The most terrifying part for them? The first few moments after waking up when they're deathly afraid they actually ate cake.

joby said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
joby said...

you know its a myth that toilets flush in reverse south of the equator. totaly. but deer hoping on two legs is true.

Elaine said...

Turducken-stuffed manatee... *gigglesnort*

Anonymous said...

I've never wanted a food-product more than "Turducken-stuffed manatee".
so happy now...

Anonymous said...

"behind every good roadie is a good woman, and behind her is a mountain biker"

"put the d-bag back in sand-bag"

Choked on my lunch. Priceless.

Meep said...

I think I could ruin other roadies with my baked goods. HAH!

So what's this "winter" you keep talking about? Is that the one with white stuff coming out of the sky?

Anonymous said...

some club riders in seattle (dudes mind you) actually bake cookies and banana bread (cause they are all chicks) and bring them to races for everyone.

Ringo said...

another classic! thx for the read bsnyc!

Anonymous said...

great great great post. off-topic: what bike shop do you go to?

Prolly said...

what about entering monstertrack? oh wait...

bikesgonewild said...

...re: first post by anon 11:34am...always good to hear jan ullrich is doing well...cheers to 'der kaiser'...

Anonymous said...

turducken! haha yes he said turducken thats awesome, and just for those of you who don't know a turducken is a chicken stuffed inside of a duck stuffed inside of turkey and for the bysny version top that off buy stuffing it in a manatee. oh yah by the way turducken is a southern thing

Anonymous said...

anonymous of First post:

Do you work on St. James Ave.?
RB1 is red not green?

BikeSnob: the d-bag comment was lovely.

Wunderkind said...

is the mountain biker behind my wife like following at a distance while I am the annoying brooklyn rider hollering at his wife to keep up only to be dropped on the next hill? Is that what you mean?

Or is he behind her like when i'm on a business trip he's DIRECTLY behind her?

Just a point of clarification - both descriptions would fit with most mtb guys i know.

Colin R said...

wunderkind: i don't think that question can be answered without more information about your wife, ideally in picture form.

Chris Mayhew said...

Thanks for the props for coaches. I'd say more on the subject but all I can afford is a 2400 baud modem I dumpstered.

Anonymous said...

I love winder riding. You can do three laps in Central Park and not encounter a single other rider. You learn that Accelerade powder lowers the freezing temperature of water. It is serenity.

Anonymous said...

TO 12:46

That banana bread was delicious though...
Damn Bird feeders!
There is nothing better than being part of the only local team in our area that has the simultaneous rep of being the fattest, drunkest, and loudest team, but also one that throws down consistantly. (And has a few Stars and Stripes Jerseys to prove it).
All hail the beauty that is racing with a hangover!

dan said...

I'd also like to see you take some shots at us mountain bikers. It's not like there is a lack of targets. The guys who show up at XC races wearing body armor and full-face helmets. The guy riding the 29er rigid singlespeed who is trying a little bit too hard. The guy who refuses to give up his platforms and go clipless even though his shins look like someone took a cheese grater to them. The guy wearing riding shirtless and wearing jean shorts.

Anonymous said...

The shirtless, jean-wearing MTN biker has acheived a level of enlightendment we work-a-day mtn racers cannot ever hope to accomplish.

Jim said...

What about the pathletes, like the guy who inserted himself into my club's recovery ride this morning, then proceeded to do mid-group standing sprints and hairy bike handling tricks as we light spun along, finally standing up to sprint and jump off the front, making the decisive move in the race to, um, I don't know, his accounting job at D.C. Social Services or something? Everybody else does something fun, but what should the Pathletes do in the off season?

I guess the answer is RACE BITCH! THERE'S NO OFF SEASON AND I DON'T CARE IF THIS IS THE BIKE TRAIL! YOUR "ZONE 2 TRAINING" IS AN EXCUSE BECAUSE YOU ARE A PATHETIC LOSER WANNABE! REAL ROADIES ALWAYS HAMMER AND GO FAST EVERYWHERE!

That, or they should be beaten with fungo bats by every single normal-acting commuter, strolling road racer, baby-carriage-pushing nanny, dubiously-sexed roller blader and elderly power walker that they've pissed off, nearly hit and generally irritated over the past six months.

Ringo said...

jorts!

anon 12:46 to Anon 2:45 said...

dont get me wrong, i LOVE YOU guys. like, LOVE! bring the baked goods and the hurt. and the beer soaked boston terrier. WOOF!

chippy said...

...and behind every mountain biker?

Anonymous said...

ANON 2:45

You got us pegged. :)
As soon as we sober up a bit from 'Cross, the hurt will be brought...in a nice fiesta-ware cassarole dish.
See ya at @ the Brad Lewis Memorial Crit!
(...pssst, you gonna finish that?)

Hi, I'm Rags said...

Question: after doing a three hour training ride and burning 2000 calories, wouldn't this be the exact time you'd want to eat cake? The one racer I am friends with seems to be eating constantly. Is this not generally the case?

mojito said...

Dear BikeSnob:

Get out of my head now that you have found the roadie habits and before you find the naughty and disgusting bits.

Best Regards

mojito

Scott said...

dan,

Don't forget that the guy riding the 29er SS is like 5'5" and 115lbs.

Wunderkind said...

jim, i'd like to come on the muffin ride and maybe join the squadra. is that possible? open to outsiders?

Chris said...

While roadies may be overly concerned about their weight, they eat a lot. Check out this story for an example: http://www.aking.missingsaddle.com/2007/06/28/she-made-a-fools-bet/

Thanks for the laughs, BSNYC. Please keep it up.

Anonymous said...

And your point is?

Although after this weekends Iron Coss V in Pa this roadie will be plenty dirty, if not bloodied.

Anonymous said...

Dudes who wear charcoal activated chamois bib shorts deserve to be slapped, dropped, and laughed at. In that order.

Jim said...

Wunderkind, yeah, you'd be welcome. Drop me an email, we'll discuss.

crjames said...

um, am I the only woman reading this?
Remember: behind every good roadie is a good woman, and behind her is a mountain biker.
is this a sausage fest circle jerk, or what?

Anonymous said...

crjames said...

um, am I the only woman reading this?
Remember: behind every good roadie is a good woman, and behind her is a mountain biker.
is this a sausage fest circle jerk, or what?


Not since you showed up....late as usual.

crjames said...

sorry, I was late...I was blow-drying my hair and trying on different colored lycra.

AnnaZed said...

Wait, I'm a girl and I read bikesnob everyday. I have noticed that he must post from work because there are no Saturday or Sunday posts, hee!

Anyway, I work in a bike store, so on the scale of misogynist-bike-guy-pigishness that behind the wife thing isn't even a 2.

Anonymous said...

"Turducken-stuffed manatee"

technically that'd be a "manaturducken"...wouldn't it?

think manatee tastes anything like pork? MMMmmm pork!

Anonymous said...

crjames said...

sorry, I was late...I was blow-drying my hair and trying on different colored lycra.



So....what are you wearing?

Paul said...

I was chortling through your article (yes, chortling), when I reached your last paragraph. Being Australian I nearly choked on my chortles. You guys have inflicted upon us the likes of Mcdonalds, Starbucks, an unlimited number of crappy TV shows and Mormon missionaries (I just had 2 knock on my door. Do you think they bring the little kid with them so that you wont tell them what they can do with all their literature?) and now you want to send us prentenciousness. What did we ever do to you guys to deserve this? I am happy with our current attitude - I ride a road bike, am old and slow, yet other riders still wave and say hello even though I'm not wearing a team outfit or using wheels that cost as much as a house. Please don't make this change, but if you do, and I'm not sure how I'm going to do it yet, but I will make sure there is one of those hind leg walking deer behind every one of those mountain bike riders.

Paul

gwadzilla said...

classic

fricking classic!

gwadzilla said...

oh...

here is a little joke I like to tell when I am out on the trails taking a water/GU break while on a long ride

a five year old boy walks into the bathroom and catches his father shaving his legs
the boys is shock and asks his father why he is shaving his legs
the man calmly answers... why am I shaving my legs? because I am a mountain biker and some cyclists like to shave their legs

at the same time down the block another small boy walks into the bathroom and catches his father shaving his legs
this boy is also shocked and asks his dad why he is shaving his legs
the father calmly responds-why am I shaving my legs? because I am a cyclist and some cyclist shave their legs
the boy pauses and then asks... now why is there a man in your bed
and the man answers... because I am a roadie

okay...
I guess it comes out better spoken then written
or maybe it never comes off well at all

either way
have a good weekend
cyclocross sounds like a good option with this weather

gwadzilla said...

one last thing...

the captain of our mountain bike team was putting together a press release for a cyclocross race that our team is hosting in dc (DCCX)

in an email I asked when the press release would be ready

I was told that they were still trying to gather some quotes

so I sent them a quote....

"cyclocross... as much fun as a person can have with so many roadies around"

Anonymous said...

annazed:

I'm a girl and work in a bike shop too, and I agree with you. BSNYC barely registers on the chumpsack meter.

leroy said...

Cross train?

You mean like guys riding in women's clothes?

Oh honestly, that's just silly.

I already look funny enough in lycra bike shorts.

Cross train indeed. Hmmmph.

AnnaZed said...

Woo Hoo, Anonymous bike store girl where do you work? I'm in the burbs of LA.

In our store everyone is addressed as "dude" sometimes even me, which then feels like a very weird kind of compliment. That's how low the civility standards are in cycling, but it's fun anyway.

The good thing about the bike store is that it’s sort of Christmas for someone everyday. I do love bikes and I am very good at finding the right bike for the customer – very good. I also try really hard not to oversell them. There are LOTS of cool-ass and very fine road bikes that don’t cost $5,000 for example.

And yes Bikesnob I sell tons of Electras to those beautiful Godzilla types, though it makes a whole lot more sense in Southern California. Where do those chicks park those bikes in NYC anyway?

The real truth about the bike business is that the pay is so wretched that most of the people who work in it live with their parents. Now, that’s ok if you are 20 years old, but most of these dudes are like 35 years old. In our store there are 2 “adults;” me and the manager (who mostly lives off of his wife’s larger income). So, the dudes are insecure and rude mostly because they are…well…bless their hearts, they are losers.

crjames said...

sorry, that was a joke...
but... i am wearing nothing but wicking polyester backing that draws moisture away from my skin woven to a high compression nylon/lycra outer layer. My women’s specific 3D Elite chamois has a seamless 4 way stretch top fabric that lets it move with me, covering 12mm’s of dual density foam to protect and cushion the important parts. (!)

ryank said...

Probably the greatest thing about five-hour rides in January during my time in college was going to the dining hall, sitting in a near comatose state and shoveling food in your mouth for an hour and a half.

Then going back to your apartment, taking a nap, waking up, and then drinking heavily, all to do it again on Sunday.

Screw those guys counting calories - I'm counting how many plates of food I can eat and how many seconds it takes me to pound three cans of High Life.

And the best part about doing B cross races? Getting drunk during the Elite race and screaming at pros.

See you at Gloucester.

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Lisa said...

"Reconnect With Your Spouse or Life Partner

This is particularly important for the married male roadie with a non-cycling spouse."

What about the female roadies? :P

The Great White Hype said...

"...and the deer hop on two legs" = one dose of beer out the nose.

How do you think we poor Australians feel when we see kangaroos walking on FOUR LEGS in the north? Kangaroos dont walk...they just dont...and why do yours have funny horns? Our kangaroos dont have those. Though I did see some over a bar in Sydney one night...frightened the crap out of me.

Jason said...

you know - Australia isn't the only country south of the Equator. Ever heard of South Africa? you know, Mandela, koeksisters, Greg Minnaar?

Anonymous said...

Brilliant! Thanks for the laughs!

dblrider said...

Lisa - The female roadies don't have a problem with their spouses, who are just happy to have a wife who is in fantastic shape and goes off riding for hours so they can drink beer and watch football with their buddies all day.

Hell, I'm kinda like Ullrich, except all year long. Guess that's what happens when a "short" ride is 100 miles...

BettyBetty said...

Very enjoyable reading.

Anonymous said...

please don't send your road turds down under we have enough of our own to deal with

bikesgonewild said...

...hey, anon 12:52am...yer aussie "road turds" have beem some of the true hard men in the pro peloton for years...might wanna pull yer head out...
...just sayin'...

BikeSnobNYC said...

Crjames,

Sorry to be phallocentric there. The relationship between male road racers and their wives is an unavoidably pervasive topic among roadies, so I felt compelled to address it--and to make a bad joke about it. You're not the only woman reading, for which I'm grateful.

--BSNYC

Anonymous said...

I am a roadie that did cross for the first time this weekend. After the amount of times I fell over in the sand pit, I think that d- in sand bag is for dirt bag. And as for sand baging, well, yes. I was shaking sand out of my hair for hours. It was fun, but I sure as heck didn't sand bag anyone, but as for one more reference to d, I did not DFL. I was Second From DFL.

Fendergal said...

BSNYC, this was a classic post! True on so many levels. I also laughed out loud at the "and behind her is a mountain biker" line.

Most female bike racers I know have a husband/SO also involved in the sport.

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