Cycling Center Dallas Blog
Cycling Center Dallas Blog
Here we talk about all things cycling - training, wattage, group rides, bike rallies, triathlons, weather, coaching, coaches, nutrition, ponderings, musings, and equipment! If you have a topic or a question, send us a note and we'll try to answer for you!
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Tracy
10:10

Why your day job is hurting your cycling training (and how to fix it)

guyatdesk


If any of these describe your lifestyle, this blog is for you:
  • If you are a working professional with a demanding job that requires a lot of time at a desk
  • You travel a lot for work.
  • You spend a lot of time driving for either work or family obligations.

One of the most common issues I see with working professionals who are also amateur or recreational athletes is the negative effects on posture that they bring into their training. 

Here is an example:

Jim came into the Cycling Center Dallas studio the other day to start training. He is a recreational
cyclist who wants to be able to ride with his favorite groups, but also wants to look good, get some muscle tone, and not have to worry about tweaking something in his spine, which sometimes holds him back.  He is a working professionalbadbikeposition and work demands often take away his training time.  He is very serious about his career and usually ends up spending A LOT of time at his desk. 

Long hours at the computer and in a car have left obvious marks on his posture.  Tight shoulders, tight chest muscles, a lack of mobility in the upper spine…i
t could be any one of those or all of them.  At this point it doesn’t really matter, because whatever is causing it, the effects on his movement are going be the same.  

We spent several sessions addressing this issue by working on corrective movements throughout his workouts and/or after his workouts. I also gave him a couple of quick and easy, specific stretches to do at home. Within a few weeks, his range of motion and posture were noticeably better.  He was more aware of it, and his positioning looked better on the bike.  He also remarked that the pain he felt in his neck and shoulders during the last half of long rides was significantly lower.  He was definitely ecstatic about his progress and results after our sessions.

If you have tightness in your shoulders, torso or back, it could be affecting your training.

 



Try this test at home:markshouldertestnormalrtarmup

1.  Stand tall with your arms loose at your side

2.  Make a fist in each hand, and in one motion place your right hand over your head and down your back as far as possible.  At the same time, take your left fist up your back as far as possible like this image shows:

3.  Have someone take a photo of your hands behind you (if you don’t have anyone to take the pic, set up your phone to take a video and then replay, pause and take a screen shot).

4.  Switch hands and repeat, with the left arm up top, and right arm down below.

 



Now….look at the pics of both sides.  What do you see?  markshouldertestwide

If both fists only have a small amount of distance between them and are pretty equal in that distance.  You probably don’t have anything to worry about. 

If there is a large gap between the fists, like this image shows, you probably have either tight shoulders, tight chest muscles, or you are lacking mobility in the upper part of your spine. It could also be “all of the above.”  All of these are limiters to both performance and everyday quality movement.






If you see there is a difference in the distances between your first and second image, like this....You not only have tightness and mobility deficiencies, you also have an asymmetry between the sides 
markshouldertestnormalrtarmupwithlineof your bodymarkshouldertestwidewithline.  Asymmetries are bad.   They cause bad things to happen because one side of the body is having to keep up with the other, even though it’s at a disadvantage.  This causes compensatory movement patterns and unequal forces on that body.  Which often leads to additional imbalances and increased risk of injury.

Tight muscles in the chest and back, or a lack of mobility in the upper spine (or both), can negatively affect your bike position, and if you are a triathlete, your run and walk mechanics, and extension in your swim stroke.  If you have imbalances mobility and flexibility.

This type of posture could also result in decreased aerobic capacity throughout any activities you do.  Think about it… is it easier to breathe when you are hunched over, or standing up tall, allowing the expansion of the diaphragm?


How to Fix It

If you find you are not able to get your fists anywhere close to each other, or there is a large difference in the range of motion between sides, don’t worry, there are things you can do to start correcting this. Depending on the severity, and the ultimate causes of your lack of mobility and tightness, you may need a more extensive corrective program, but here are a few stretches and exercises to get you started.  
 
The first 2 stretches are for chest and shoulders.  I think the pics speak for themselves on showing what you need to do.   The last stretch is awesome and I feel most people need to perform it, so I will give that one some special attention.

Chest stretch:
Hold about 30 seconds
sbcheststretch
This will lengthen and increase flexibility of the muscles in the front of your shoulders and chest.

 
Shoulder stretch:
Repeat 20-30 seconds each side
 
behindthebackshoulderstretch

This will work the shoulder muscles through both and internal and external rotation.


 

 

Thoracic spine stretch:

Tight shoulders may not be the cause of a round back and shoulders.

If you have poor mobility in your thoracic spine (upper back), you are forcing the surrounding areas to take up the slack in that area and perform duties they were not meant to do.  This creates harmful compensations. 

Below is a great stretch for the Thoracic spine. Try this one after long rides or a long day at the office. It will probably feel unbelievably amazing!

1. Lay on on your right side with your left leg bent and slightly forward of the right leg’s knee, and resting on a foam roller (use a rolled up towel, or any kind of block if you don’t have a roller).

2. With your left hand, reach across to the gap between your left hip and elbow. Place that hand on the rib-cage. Then, twist gently back toward the floor with the left shoulder. Keep your left knee contacting the foam roller or towel.  

3. Attempt to get your shoulder blade of the left side as close to the floor as possible, and then extend the left arm out to the side.

4. Hold for 20-30 seconds and then repeat on the other side. 

tspinestretchme  tspinestretchmarkandtravis

Keep the knee on the roller.  This will make sure you are working the mobility in the upper spine, and not opening up the hip to get there.

 

Try these stretches either after workouts, on recovery days or after you have spent a lot of time seated.

See which ones feel the most challenging for you.  The odds are that this is also the one you need to do the most.  If you have an asymmetry, work the tighter side one or two more times.

And don’t push through pain. If any of the movements cause pain, back off how hard you are straining.  If you still find there is pain with movement, there may be another issue going on.

Although there are other areas of your body that tend to exhibit pain and tightness when you have to sit all day or have poor posture, I have found the Thoracic spine is one of the more common and easily corrected areas with cyclists whose daily activity is creating pain, which presents limitations on their cycling.

Stay tuned for more articles and posts, and contact me if you have any questions, need a more extensive program, or are interested in setting up a full functional movement screen and corrective exercise session.  my email is: tracy@cyclingcenterdallas.com

 

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Coach Wharton
12:29

21 Days of the Tour de France, 21 Tips for Cycling in July! - ROUGH ROADS!!!

Cobbles
Can you believe it? We're only four days in to the Tour de France, and there's been enough drama and action for a month's worth of cycling!

It seems like the people that design the course every year, scheme of ways to challenge the cyclists and their teams, while providing incredible sights for tourists and the global audience. Today's section, with over 18 miles of roads built from cobblestones, will literally jar the handlebars out of a regular cyclist, and when the weather is poor, these roads are almost impassible.

Riding a bike out on the road is always a challenge. There's wind, weather, temperatures, traffic, and of course, construction zones. While we all wish for smooth asphalt, courteous drivers, and no debris, the fact is that this is rarely the case.

When you ride on rough roads, there are a few things you can do to make the ride a little easier.

First, take a little air out of your tires. Modern tires are so good that they can be ridden well below their maximum pressure, and a tire with some cushion can absorb a lot of impact and road buzz.

Second, ALWAYS wear gloves. Gloves help you ride with less strain, and most modern gloves absorb impact as well.

Third - keep your chin up, and look down the road. Usually, there are areas where motor vehicles have already rolled, and their weight has compressed the earth a little, under the areas of their tires. When you ride in the right or left wheel well, things definitely get smoother.

Fourth - this is one area where you MIGHT consider a lower cadence, if only to help you maintain some torque and balance.

Finally, if you encounter rough roads more often than not, consider riding a wider tire, or buying some wheels with wider rims. Modern racing wheels are actually getting wider, and modern tire recommendations are now down to below 100 psi for most cyclists, unless they're really big.

Thankfully, most modern roads don't use cobblestones or brick. Cities and States employ asphalt and concrete. But asphalt can be rough on the joints of a cyclist, and concrete can break up from weather. Ride aware, ride within your limits, and be prepared with good equipment and fitness.

Cycling on rough roads doesn't have to be a drag, or prevent you from exercising. They're just another skill you can award yourself when you've overcome their challenges, giving you more opportunity to ride when and where you want, for whatever reason!

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Coach Wharton
14:25

IMG_4528

Last Saturday, we attended the 2015 Lancaster bicycle rally, hosted by the greater Dallas bicyclists. Tracy and I met up with our neighbor Brian Bacon and rolled down through town for the 17 to 18 miles that it took to get to the gazebo that started the event. The rally is now 17 years old, and it is usually held on one of the best weekends of the year to ride a bike in Texas. The bluebonnets are looming, the Indian paints are out, there are some yellow buttercups, and recent rains always make the rest of the fields lush and green.

We were met at the start by several of our past and present clients. It is always heartening to see your work in progress. However, as these rallies have come to replace road racing, due to the lack of usable venues, and in general unwillingness to pay for other things,The events have become a venue for all of the faster cyclists to get in a vigorous workout on varied terrain. In years past, I have attempted to host "Ride with Richard" events, but this year, because of the extended spring, Tracy and I decided to instead just make it our ride.

IMG_4524
We actually turned this into a century by departing at 7 AM from our house in East Dallas. We were joined by our neighbor, Brian Bacon, who is a retired cat one. The trip down took just about an hour, and we rode past the Audubon Park, and the new horse Park that the city is promoting. Once we got to Lancaster, it was interesting to see how that area is developing with all of the warehouses being built in preparation for the large rail terminal that has been proposed and built finally for about 15 years. The roads down there to look to Lancaster were pretty smooth, but we knew that as we rolled into Ellis County, they would get more rural, and rough.

IMG_4526

When we got to registration, the place was busy and filled with cyclists, all of them clickety clacking in their bike cleats and talking general bike jargon. We met up with two more of our coaches, Wendy Hazelwood, and David Lopez, posed for some photographs with clients, and then made our way to the staging area.

One of the great things about the Lancaster rally, is the drum line. These talented musicians actually receive some of the funds raised by this rally, and they never disappoint. Our Star-Spangled Banner was played by another musician using a saxophone, and when the classic aircraft performed their flyover at the top of the hour, we all rolled out.

Early on, it was obvious that the pace was going to be high, with little room for mistakes. A lot of risky behavior was evident, as athletes tested their legs. I was near the front, with several of my friends, when maybe five minutes in, right before the turn past the airport, we were shocked to hear a lot of banging and clanging and scraping behind us. That almost always signifies a bike wreck. Turning the corner, we all sat up and looked over our right shoulders and saw that yes, there were a number of cyclists down. I also saw several of my cycling center jerseys among them. We neutralized, and I rolled back 100 yards until we reached the scene. Unfortunately, Tracy, David Lopez, and a client, Travis Pope, were all off their bikes and were either on the ground, or were trying to straighten out wheels and handlebars. David's front wheel was trashed, and after a brief analysis and test of range of motion, it became very obvious that Travis had suffered a broken right collarbone. Those of you that follow my Whareagle word press blog, know that in 2005 I broke my collarbone in late July at the goat neck rally, and it was unfortunate to see the same thing happen to a client and friend. All of us waited until we were certain that Travis and David had an easy way to get home and get back to their families, and for Travis, to get in touch with his parents, and then we continued our ride.

By this point, 10 or 15 minutes had passed, and it was up to us to properly announce ourselves and safely pass as a group of four. I believe over the course of the entire 63 miles, we probably passed almost 1400 riders. There is something to be said about proper passing etiquette, announcing yourself and your intentions, and just basically being a good diplomat or ambassador. We knew we were successful in this endeavor when we received a complement about this from a client and her husband on the following Monday.

IMG_4533

As the miles rolled by, Wendy, Brian, Tracy and I all shared the lead and rotated through very easily. We got to ride some incredible terrain, and because of the previous wet weather, the bluebonnets, Indian paints, and yellow buttercups that are so connected with this rally, were out in force. Around 40+ miles in, we passed another coach, Steve Nelson, and he had a helmet cam that captured our group for a few special moments. Tracy was feeling really strong, and she performed several surges throughout the ride that left us all suffering. Wendy, fresh off of a successful Ironman New Zealand, road exceptionally well in an even pace, and Brian showed his experience with smooth poles, and solid positioning when he was not in the lead. I'm not sure what the ridewithGPS.com link will say, but I believe we averaged about 23 mph as a foursome.

We got to the finish line just as we were about to sort of run out of energy. Once again, we were met with several friends and acquaintances who had either missed the rack or written past it, and we spent a lot of time thanking the organizers, almost all of whom are members of the greater Dallas bicyclists. Tracy and Brian both decided that they wanted to hitch a ride back to the neighborhood, but I decided to make it an epic day, and I rode home.

Steve Nelson Handlebar cam

The science behind the ride is a little bit interesting. I need to preface this by saying that I honestly have never been this heavy, nor was I ever this unfed, through the winter. I am now weighing in at about 166 pounds, and in mid-March my threshold was below 230 W. I vowed that I would never let the wattage number drop that low again, and I am working very diligently on trying to get my weight back down to about 158. The weekend in Fort Davis was a kick starter, and it does help now that we have regular weekend events planned throughout the rest of the spring and the summer. I believe the ride was well over 3000 kJ, the intensity factor was around 78%, and my turning stress score was well above 300. If you're using Skiba scores it was just under 300. I believe I drank a 70 ounce camelback +2 24 ounce water bottles of Osmo, and I did also eat two separate 380 cal bars during the ride. I probably could've used a third bar, but I believe I gave it to someone. And I mistakenly thought at the finish line that I had adequately refueled with the cookies and fruit that they were offering. I kind of bonked at around 96 miles, but was still able to control my effort enough to make it home without a pitstop. Finally, when I weighed myself at the end of the ride, I was at or near my exact weight that morning, which was about a 163.

I guess this just reiterates the theme about Which Cycling Ctr., Dallas and online bike coach are centered… When you train for your quality intervals indoors, using perfpro, and then focus on solid aerobic cycling during the week outdoors, it really does make a difference on the weekends! When you combine that with a solid hydration plan and nutrition schedule, your stamina, speed, and strength all improve. I am happy to say that I'm now at about 257 W for threshold, and I'm actually looking forward to testing again soon, maybe even today.

That's really about it, we will have a bigger report on the next rally, and some of Tracy's racing next week. Until then, a member to take the lane, remember to stay on top of your hydration and nutrition, and always be visible, and think positive thoughts for Travis' speedy recovery!


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Coach Wharton
12:12

Ft. Davis HammerFest, March 2015

G0021031

The 2015 HammerFest was an excellent example of Texas Bike Racing, complete with fantastic stage challenges, a healthy mix of athletes and categories.  And, of course, epic views and terrain.

 

I need to provide a few caveats before beginning the breakdown of the weekend the biggest being my fitness.  Bike racing in Texas is pretty small, and we all know each other to some degree or another.  


However, this is my first race in-state since February of 2012, and my first since relocating my cycling studios to new locations.  I was completely void of any real degree of fitness and entered the weekend with a wattage threshold about 60 watts below my prime.  Additionally, my body weight is about 3 to 4 kilos heavy.

 

For me, doing this race was strictly for the benefit of the camaraderie found in racing. The challenge of the venue, and as a service to the new promoter, who, like many, continues to pour her heart and soul and resources into this sport we all know and love.

 G0012331

The weekend turned out to be perfect, weather-wise, as about 100 of us made the trek to the Big Bend area.  Racers were spread out among hotels, and B&B’s in the triad of Ft. Davis, Alpine, and Marfa.  Registration, rollout, and even the finish line were all within 100 feet of the ubiquitous Limpia Hotel on the main strip. Categories were combined for racing; although they were scored separately, in a Points Race format.

 

There were three stages - the first, on Saturday morning, to the summit of Mt. Locke, the second, a point-to-point out on the Scenic Loop to the park of Crow’s Nest, and the final stage on Sunday morning.  which either performed the infamous complete Scenic Loop, or did an out-and-back along the Stage 1 route and beyond.

 

My wife, Tracy, and I, brought along professional videographer and cycling aficionado, Dean Markham, With him, we used about five separate cameras, on handlebars, saddles, helmets, and in follow vehicles, to capture the essence of the races and its’ participants.

 

I know we were not able to get everyone interviewed or get all categories reviewed, and you know how things always end up on a cutting room floor when editing, but I assure you - we tried.  Expect a promotional video in the next few weeks, and longer videos and video segments on our YouTube channel as time allows and Spring progresses.

 

This was Tracy’s first time racing out there, and there was a healthy audience of over a dozen women, from all around the state and beyond.  She is much more competitive these last few years than me, and while I considered it my goal just to finish each stage, she was ready to compete a little.

 

Still, our combined focus on coaching and running a startup these last two years have taken their toll on her as well as me, and she was unused to the altitude and gradients this race provides.  That didn’t stop her from having a blast, and it didn’t stop me from enjoying her races and stories as much as my own.

 

We both finished out of the money but left with enough experience and enthusiasm to ensure that upon our return next year, we’ll both be better prepared.  Sometimes you have to experience a race, just to experience it, rather than attempt to race it.

 G0014557

The Racing: Stage 1
 

The climb out to Mt. Locke started out a little chilly, as expected, but it quickly warmed up about halfway through the route, and I was dropped early on the first real climb, thus making the effort a quiet, solo affair.

 

The second climb, the longest of the three, was just beautiful, as I rode within my limits and focused on good posture for the sake of the camera on my head.  Unfortunately, right at the transition from climb to flat, where there is a good chicane in the road, I derailed.  An awesome helper in a trailing vehicle was kind enough to help me get the thing back on for the final assault.

 

I was well over 15 minutes behind the leaders but managed the climb, and then waited at the top for Dean and then Tracy.  Client Paul Konrad also made the assault, and it made me proud to see a rider who had put so much time in at the studio, perform so well!  Our descent together was a blast, and ALL of it was videotaped, so expect to see some significant action from that segment soon!

 
The Racing: Stage 2
 

Stage 2, held midafternoon, was another point-to-point, this time held out on the first part of the Scenic Loop.  Traditionally, Ft. Davis suffers from increasing winds as the afternoon wears on, and Saturday was no exception.  The racers formed tight packs, played defense, but the riders with teammates sent rabbits up the road for the rest of us to reel in.

 

I was quickly dropped, along with a rider from El Paso, and together we took turns pulling until we reached the finish, a few minutes back from the leaders.  I then went back down with some of the riders, this time enjoying a great tailwind along with the descent, and pulled over to rejoin Dean, who was filming the women’s race.

 

Now I need to note -- THAT was a great display of racing.  Watching the ATC women dominate by sending a talented cyclist off the front, and then holding back the rest of the pack like a tight champagne cork, while finally sending another rider off, to dominate the podium, was just artful.  The other riders and teams never stood a chance.

 G0014928

An interview on camera afterward only confirmed my thoughts - these were true amateur professionals.  They thanked each other, congratulated each other, displayed consummate sportsmanship to the other competitors after the event ended and were cheerful and humble throughout.  They credited each other, and I later learned that they disbursed the winnings equally through the club.  THAT was incredible!

 

Dinner at Marfa’s famous Jett’s Grille, at the Paisano Hotel
Dinner that evening was in Marfa’s famous Jett’s Grille, at the Paisano Hotel. We were engaged by Dean’s stories of his cycling adventures in the 80’s and his return to the sport through our studio just a year ago.  He’s since lost over 40 lbs and purchased a new road bike, and he’ll be eagerly anticipating the local rallies and events that we travel to this year.

 
The Racing: Stage 3
 

For me, Sunday’s race, covered the Scenic Loop while Tracy’s event was an out-and-back along the Stage 1 course and beyond.  Once again, I was reminded just how incredibly fun the course is, as I rode with the group the first 20 miles.

 

I rolled off the front a short bit on the back side to get some excellent camera footage, and then rejoined the pack until the base of Bear Canyon, the first steep climb in the race.  After that, I was solo, and I made a point to focus on cadence, staying hydrated, eating on a good schedule, and enjoying the challenge and the beautiful, mostly windless day.

 

On the ride into Ft. Davis, two Cat 4’s passed me, and they both had that eager, assertive look as they chased each other into town.  I was running on fumes by that point, but reminded myself that there WILL be a next year for us, and we WILL be bringing more people with us to this unique event.

 

Ft. Davis’ Hammerfest is back, and everyone including TXBRA racers should embrace this classic stage race.  There’s something for everyone, regardless of ability or experience, and it is worth the trip.  Call it a pilgrimage, but it is just a fantastic way to see Texas, experience three great rides, and make plans to improve your fitness and enjoy the results.

 

Thanks to Peri and her hard work making this possible, and the citizens of Ft. Davis, who volunteered.

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Coach Wharton
12:00

Who Cares About Long, Steady Distance Training?! We Don't have TIME for it!



Let's face it, neither you, nor I, nor anyone that we may know, is going to quit their day job, hit the lottery, and ride their bikes for the rest of their lives. We are not professional cyclists. We are instead parents, siblings, students, accountants, small business owners, realtors, just anything but our Walter Mitty dreams of getting paid to ride our bikes over this small, yet still beautiful planet. Traditionally, volume in the sense of a season of easy, steady rides, has always been the precursor to a strong cycling season. But who has time to ride their bike at wattage levels that do not create that great a training response? Who has the 15 or more hours per week, plus the income, to go out and ride, feed that ride, recover from that ride, and then be ready for a strong set of intervals, or a fast group ride, between those already mentioned?
 
Cycling Center Dallas really focuses on training with intensity. I learned a long time ago that focusing on intervals in the threshold, maximal aerobic power, and anaerobic areas yielded the biggest bang for the buck, and tended to pull a rider's Functional Threshold Power (FTP) up, like a pair of suspenders on a skinny kid's pants. And now, science really DOES back it up. 

At Cycling Center Dallas, we'll be using Critical Power Testing to basically reduce our training zones from the now-fifteen-year-old 7 zones, to just about FOUR:

  • Aerobic/Recovery (<80% of Critical Power)
  • Threshold (80-100% of Critical Power)
  • Vo2Max (100-150% of Critical Power)
  • Anaerobia (150% of Critical Power and above). 

The goal will be to help improve your fitness through the development of more, better, mitochondria. Here's another GREAT article that explains it much better than I can. 

http://biketechreview.com/performance/supply/48-mitochondria-the-aerobic-engines

The bottom line is this. If you want to get the most bang-per-buck-per-minute, improve your Stamina, Speed, and Strength for better bicycling, then Cycling Center Dallas offers the perfect location, coaching, and programming, for you. How do we do it? Through Intensity Intervals. We're so lucky to have such a long season of cycling in North Texas. Get ready for it by training at either studio, and see what we can do for you. 


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Coach Wharton
13:35

The Beginner's Mind


One of my favorite books, which is now completely out of print, but may be available as an "Ebook" somewhere, is a Coaching and Philosophy book titled "Thinking Body, Dancing Mind". It's a Taoist approach to Sports and Business. If you think about it, the title really says a lot. Our bodies are almost analytical in nature. They mostly move in a linear fashion, automoton-like. The heart beats, the lungs inhale and exhale, hair and nails grow, and bone and muscle are incredibly efficient and passive, ready to go at an impulse from the brain. But it's the MIND that is always dancing - playing 'what if', 'why not', and 'how?' It's a great read, and I recommend it to anyone. In fact, here's a link to some summaries and comments...

http://garthbox.com/?p=1468

Anyway, the reason I bring it up is that there's a chapter in the book titled, "The Beginner's Mind". To summarize, when we work to become adept at something, to learn all of the aspects of a sport, a calling, a line of work, the best approach is to ALWAYS try and hold on to "The Beginner's Mind". Keep an open mind. Be willing to learn more, to listen, to read, and more than anything, to teach and instruct yourself, because often it is in the questions of others that you'll be able to understand where knowledge gaps come from, where you may need to do more research, and maybe learn that there are different ways to approach a challenge, either for you, your colleagues, or your own students. 

Tracy and I did just that this weekend, when we attended the USA Cycling Coaching Summit, held in Colorado Springs, at USA Cycling's headquarters. We heard from over a dozen speakers on myriad topics, some of which were repeats, but many of which were new. The most important aspect of the whole weekend was that we were there, she as a Level 2 Coach, me as a Level 1, not to teach or present, but to LEARN. So even with 22 years of experience as a coach for me, and 12+ years of experience for her, once again, we were students. We were beginners. Beginner's minds are open, they are self-critical, they are filled with wonder. Tracy and I sat as close to the front as possible, listening to these masters of their fields, watching their expressions, taking notes, asking critical questions, listening to the questions of others, and forming our own conclusions. Sometimes these were in agreement with the lecturers, sometimes not. The final review of each topic came between programs, when we met with coaches whom I've met and dined with over the years, as we reviewed the programs, the speakers, and the different ways those lectures and themes could possibly help us, help others. 

My favorite character when I was growing up was "The Professor", in Gilligan's Island. In reality, Russell Johnson, the actor, was SO MUCH MORE than just a character on a 3-season television show. The was a War Hero, a Disabled Veteran, a film star, a producer, an author, and an extremely successful AIDS activist. But he never stopped LEARNING. I remember when I read his autobiography, he remarked that Gilligan's Island was just a short part of his career, but it defined him, and he embraced it. He and Alan Hale, who was better known as "Skipper", would travel to Children's Hospitals dressed in character, to help brighten the days of kids who were incredibly sick, and their families. His ambassadorship brought him incredible joy, and hope. In later years, when he was a well-known AIDS activist and fundraiser, his speeches were always well-received, and he became, basically, his character, as he learned the in's and out's of that horrible disease, its' spread, and prevention and possibilities for a cure or vaccine. So the actor became, alternately, a chemist, a biologist, a spokesperson, and, honestly, a Professor. But he did it not just by preaching or professing. He did it... by learning. 

We at Cycling Center Dallas are proud of our accomplishments and publications in the field of coaching for cyclists. That said, we are, and will always be, students of the sport, first and foremost. It's why I earned first my League Cycling Instructor Certification, and later, my Cycling Savvy certification. It's why I wrote my first book. It's why I continued to write manuals and booklets , and despite having that Level 1 Cert way back in 1997, I continued to attend the Coaching Summits, bought the books from other coaches, highlighted them and dog-eared them, and practiced their modalities myself. It's why I continue to practice, try NOT to be too preachy, and work to explain things as simply as I can. In many ways, I like to think that I'm the "Professor". No, I don't have all the credentials and academic background to claim a PhD, but I DO believe that wisdom comes from listening, thinking critically, keeping an open mind, and then taking a position based on what one knows or understands as best-practice. I'm sorry that the Professor never learned how to build a raft to get the Castaways off the island, but I'm satisfied that while stranded, he learned as much as he could about the island, his fellow islanders, and the surrounding ocean, to give them the best shot for survival and evacuation as possible. Hopefully, this weekend's Summit will lead to greater understanding, and an ability by Tracy and myself to help you achieve more on the bike and in your lives, in a safe, convenient, effective, and clear way. 

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cyclingcenterdallas
12:13

A Weekend With RaceDay Apollo Co-Developer David Tilbury-Davis

A couple of weekends ago, our White Rock Lake studio was honored to host one of the two partners for some very powerful cycling and triathlon training and analysis software, David Tilbury-Davis. Mr. Davis is a triathlon coach with the British Triathlon Union (BTU), and will be relocating from his base in Spain to a new location outside of Houston this year. He came to Dallas to explain to an elite crew of coaches, what RaceDay Apollo is, and what it can do for the coach and the athlete. Read More

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cyclingcenterdallas
09:59

New Year - New Locations - New Services - New Crew - New Everything!!!

Image Well, when last I wrote on this blog, I was letting everyone know about our decision to leave the JCC basement and relocate to not one but TWO locations. That move is now complete, and while there is still a little work to do, we have both studios up and running, with more services, professional staff, and larger capacity so that we can help more people improve their cycling performance. Let's begin with a rundown of locations, then staff, then services, and I'll sprinkle some photos in there as well.  Image The Cycling Center Dallas began in the Fall of 2006, with just 6 CompuTrainers, using the original CompuTrainer MultiRider software. We quickly grew to 8, then 14, and finally 18 stations on two separate machines, and we were responsible for remodeling the basement area of the JCC Dallas, to separate the SPIN studio from the Performance Training studio. I'm eternally grateful for all the help that was given for those expansions. However, running a 'For-Profit' entity inside a non-profit organization, along with struggles about promotion, marketing, advertising, even signage, left us with no choice but to begin considering relocation in August of 2012. In December of 2012, we signed leases at TWO locations, both within 60' linear feet of our absolute favorite bike shops, the Richardson Bike Mart on Coit & Campbell, and the Richardson Bike Mart on S. Garland Rd. The moveout took a day, and moving in took about 10 days, but we were successful, and in early January, we began offering CompuTrainer ErgVideo classes for our new and returning clients. Image The North facility, at 1373 W. Campbell Rd, opened first. We now have 18 rider stations, our own resistance training area, and will be operating our Wattage-based coaching services for cyclists and triathletes out of this retail space. Image In mid-February, we opened the second facility, at 9028 S. Garland Rd., and began offering 12-rider programming, TRX and Core Stability training, and perhaps most unique, we were able to acquire the services of Craig Fulk, a Master Retul bike fitter. Image Craig has been the secret success for my clients and myself for several years now, and to have him in Dallas (his home studio is located in Roanoke, TX) is an incredible honor. Craig was also greatly responsible for painting both facilities, and coming up with awesome ideas for the physical structure, as well as software and scheduling programming. If you have not had a bike fit with Craig, I urge you to make a reservation. I compare it to a day on Savile Row - your bike will fit like an Italian-cloth suit when it's done!! We also need to mention that he is a Certified Cycling Coach. This huge wealth of knowledge gives his fits the absolute edge when it comes to helping a cyclist get the most out of their bike as well as their body, be it bio-mechanically or physiologically. With two locations up and running, a supplemental first rate staff was required to make sure we could juggle the responsibilities of time and understanding of all the vagaries of the software and hardware of our core service - Performance Cycling Training and Instruction. Assistants Dorothy Zarbo and Janna Doss agreed to return and continue helping riders with their setups, at each respective location (Dorothy up north, Janna down south). Both are earning their USA Cycling Coaching Certificates to better serve and communicate with our athletes how training with power can help them improve their Stamina, Speed, and Strength, through the services offered at Cycling Center Dallas. Image Justine Viera is also working with us full-time. She is a Level 2 USA Cycling Coach, with the wattage certification, and will be taking on clients through our OnlineBikeCoach web services in the very near future. Image Finally, Tracy Christenson and Chris Gescheidle will be our USA Triathlon coaches. Both are certified through USAC and USAT, and can accept clients for recreational and competitive coaching programs. Image Our resistance training expert at the Richardson location is Coach Kurt Chacon, who has been named one of the Top 100 Trainers in the USA! His business card literally reads 'Too many qualifications to list!' Other coaches coming on board include: Image Jennifer Stephens, a USA Cycling, USA Triathlon, and USA Running coach, and David Lopez, recently certified with USA Cycling. Other staff will be coming on board in the future, and we will post them here, as well as on our TWO Facebook pages, as their schedules and certs are completed. To summarize, here is a list of our services, and a list of our Coaches and Staff:
  • Wattage-Based Group Training in classes, held mornings and evenings, Monday through Thursday, and on weekends when inclement weather is present.Image
  • Wattage-Based individual coaching and consulting (power meter required and 3-month commitment required) for Cyclists and Triathletes.Image
  • Resistance Training for individuals and small groups, to enhance cycling ability through core strengthening and balance improvements.
  • Nutrition Consulting for cycling performance and weight loss
  • Retul-based bike fitting (South Location only) - appointments may be made via www.dynamicbikefit.com
  • Threshold Testing to establish wattage baselines.Image
  • Group bike handling skills clinics, women's bike handling and group riding clinics, and Cycling Savvy classes, available seasonally. Image
  • Personal Shopping Services and Assistance through Richardson Bike Mart.Image
Our goal is to be the Pinnacle of knowledge and information for cyclists and triathletes at any and all levels of experience, help them set achievable goals, and then accomplish those goals inside and outside of the studios, so that cycling, triathlon and fitness performance become a more regular part of their lives. Coach Wharton is celebrating his 20th year as a Certified Cycling Coach, and his experience, along with this fantastic crew and locations, give North Texans unparalleled access and opportunity to train themselves in to faster, stronger, longer-riding cyclists! If you haven't seen our sites just yet, please feel free to come on by for a morning or evening visit, or call us at the following numbers to set up an appointment. Those that haven't yet tried the programs are welcome to one free session, and registration for class series and individual classes are available through the website: www.cyclingcenterdallas.com Thanks again to everyone for all your support - we'll be posting a LOT more frequently, so check in and see what's what, and watch us grow!! Image

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