Riding to keep warm!

Just because the cooler weather’s here doesn’t mean the action stops at Lead Out! This month, we’re finessing our sprinting technique & speed during the weekdays, while doing some long endurance rides on the weekends. Something I’ve learnt during my time with Lead Out is that eating during longer rides is really important. When I haven’t eaten enough, I might find it harder than usual to keep pace with the group or I become a bit “hangry”. The coaches are really knowledgeable about the recommended guidelines for how much to eat on the bike and when, and have some great suggestions for food to keep in my back pocket – bananas, muesli bars or even a peanut butter & jam sandwich. Something like this picks me right up and I’m back to my usual self in no time. Of course, it’s best to avoid getting hungry in the first place so you’ll see me snacking away early on into our rides!

DCIM109GOPRO

Late last month, Lead Out held their second Sportive. These Sportive’s are quickly gaining a reputation as a fun way to explore new places to ride – they’re of a similar format to our usual weekend rides, just away from the popular riding routes like Beach Road and The Dandenongs. This ride saw us meet at the You Yangs Regional Park and head out for some adventure. We get extra-special treatment on these Sportive rides, with a support Team car to carry warm clothes and extra drink bottles, and a roving photographer to snap some great pics of us riding by. But my favourite part of the day by far was the BBQ when we returned to our meeting spot. Yum!

Since I started at Lead Out, the training schedules emailed out monthly have included a session to complete on a wind trainer on a Wednesday. Up until a few weeks ago, the understanding was that people would do this session at home, on their own, to complement the Tuesday and Thursday morning sessions. But as a true procrastinator, I found any excuse not to do it! An indoor session at Elwood lead by a coach on Wednesday mornings for everyone to attend was recently introduced. This keeps me accountable and I’m really starting to appreciate that this type of training can be really beneficial to my riding and fitness.

Indoor training sessions at Elwood don’t just happen on Wednesdays. When the forecast for a scheduled outdoor Lead Out ride is looking particularly wet and windy, the coaches will simulate the planned ride (or just smash us!) on a wind trainer at our Elwood indoor venue. It’s a safe and warmer alternative to riding through puddles and on slippery roads. The coaches have their eye on the forecast for the following day and have become pretty adept at picking the likelihood of rain!

DCIM109GOPRO

If the rain catches us by surprise on the morning of a scheduled outdoor ride, the coaches might decide to run a skills session undercover. Skills sessions are my favourite type of Lead Out training – we ride to a nearby underground location that is dry and warm, and practice a variety of bike handling skills that might include cornering, emergency breaking, balance drills and much more. There’s always something new to learn – at past skills sessions I’ve learnt to do things like bunny-hopping, track-standing, wheelies and riding with my hands off the handlebars. All these little tricks really help my bike handling and I feel more confident navigating (un)expected obstacles I encounter in my everyday riding.

Some lucky/clever Lead Out-ers will escape Melbourne’s winter on a trip to Noosa in late July. Ten Lead Out members will be accompanied by 2 Lead Out coaches for a long weekend enjoying some fantastic riding, fun and relaxation. Before they leave, there’ll be a famous Lead Out Super Set and the annual Tour De France Jersey Competition – plenty of action to keep me motivated through the cold mornings!

In 2013 Bridget won a competition to be our ‘Zero-to-Euro’ Sponsored rider. During the 12 months Bridge trained with us barely missing a session. She accepted any challenge that came her way and by the years end with thousands of k’s in the legs and numerous races and events she was truly ‘Euro’! Bridge joined as a member in 2014 and continues her monthly blog. Enjoy