Showing posts from December, 2012

Creating your own Local Training Loop

A few years ago while diligently studying a Mountain Bike magazine I came across an article that taught how to train for cross country races. It was built on the idea that you should create your own short loop. This is a trail system that is easy to reach and is reasonably challenging but most important of all, it has to be fun. It has to beg your attention more than once a week.
Simple concepts often whisper truth in a language we assume that we understand. My assumption was wrong. Hopefully others can benefit from the mistakes I made.

I thought the short loop was a great idea so I started tracking one out near my home in Massachusetts. Unfortunately I made a series of amateur mistakes. First, I couldn't settle on one set course. I kept changing my mind. Second, each time I altered the route it got a little longer. My desire to get in a complete workout while also advancing my abilities was like weight lifting on a treadmill.
I tried to include every hill, berm, drop, jump and c…

Night Riding in the Carlton Reserve

One of the joys of Mountain Biking is the sense of exploration. The opportunity to escape the confines of paved lines and stop signs, to distance oneself from the sounds of honking cars and busy lifestyles. Nothing says exploration like trying something for the first time. Recently I got the opportunity to do three different things for the first time and all of them took place on the same ride. 
My new friends at Real Bikes Englewood told me of a regular Tuesday night group ride. They would all meet at an agreed upon location at sundown, armed only with the normal riding fare plus a few thousand lumens worth of light. I decided to give it a try. I bought a basic model light for my bike, clamped it to the handlebars and met the riders at the Sleeping Turtle Preserve in Venice, Florida.

Remember those three things I have never done? Here they are - I have never gone on a group ride in Florida, I have never explored the Carlton Reserve Park and I have never done a night ride. On this co…

Personal Record at the Frosty 5K

Who says you can't have snow or a snowman in Florida weather? I saw them both at the Frosty 5K run at Twin Lakes on Clark Road in Sarasota. Ok, the snow came from a machine and appeared to be more foamy than frozen and the snowman was wearing running shoes. Regardless of these minor details, 500 competitors enjoyed the 60 degree weather during a fun morning of racing, charity and comradery.

The park is somewhat smaller than I imagined but it did have a fun 1/2 mile jogging course that circled round a small pond. This meant that most of the race course went through adjoining neighborhoods. These were quiet suburban back roads that made for flat, straightforward runs. Parking was packed, this is clearly a popular year end race. I know that the Zoomers Run Club uses it as their race series final so I was happy to get in at least one score in 2012.

The Frosty 5K is put on by the Active Suncoast Foundation and they did an excellent job. The goody bags were huge and full treats includi…