Around this time of year, we get a little nostalgic over the highs and lows of the previous season. We reminisce about all the laughs and the things we learned. Then, we start thinking about the next season, goals, races, sprints, etc. In this Spidermonkey of the Week Holiday Edition Part 1, we’ve collected Words of Wisdom from the team’s ride leaders. In Part 2, our fearless leaders (see image above) will write something inspiring for next season (don’t hold your breath).
- Did you know that we have ride leaders on all Spidermonkey rides? They are Spidermonkeys with lots of Spidermonkey group ride experience. They set the tone of the ride at the ride start. You can count on them to keep an eye out for the safety of the group. If you have ANY questions about Spidermonkey Cycling, the ride, the route, etc…don’t hesitate to ask them.
- There are many opportunities to get involved with Spidermonkey Cycling. You can become a ride leader, a fundraiser, a weekend rider, a Wednesday Night Rider, a bbq/sunday brunch host, a fundraiser, a cross racer, a road racer, a crit racer, a century rider, a social gathering coordinator. You can count on Spidermonkeys to support any activity you’re involved with!
- You should come to Vegas for our training camp…incredible riding and great fun! A great way to get to know more of the team.
- We are about completion, not competition. We get really excited about all of it!
- Don’t be intimidated to come out on your first group ride, we were all new once! I showed up for my first ride with a bike lock and rode in the “little wheel” (known to everybody else as the “small chainring”) the whole ride.
- If a car drives over your foot or any part of your body, it’s probably not ok and you should scream even if it doesn’t hurt at the time.
- At least once every couple of months, do a long ride with friends that doesn’t involve a registration fee, a race number, or a heart-rate monitor.
- No matter what direction you ride, you’ll always have a headwind coming home.
- Riding is NOT like sex, it’s better to be predictable.
- Warm gloves are crucial in the cold months. If your hands are cold, your entire body will be cold.
Rebecca Paulson Meyers
- Girl’s rides are awesome! Totally worth the loss of sleep.
- Being a Spidermonkey is about becoming an even better cyclist and becoming part of an incredible group of friends. Can’t wait to see everyone on the road in 2013!
- If you’re new or not sure about the pace, stay in the middle to the back of the group, until you feel comfortable with the route and the way the group works together
- Be patient with the process, we were all beginners at one point, even Dean!
- Girl’s rides are awesome and a perfect way to start a Tuesday morning! Also, it is a very supportive environment, where you can learn a ton.
- Wednesday Night Rides can seem intimidating at first, but the only way you will get faster is by riding with those who are better than you are!! If you know the route, come out and hold on as long as you can. Most of us get dropped so set small personal goals each week. Mine is always to hold on longer than I did the week before.
- Cyclocross and mountain biking is way fun so come join us off roaders!! Did you know there is a pretty good group of Spidermonkeys who are taking on the trails these days :-)
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions. I am amazed what I learn every day from this great group of folks!
- We all have good and bad days on the bike. Learn to accept this early and you will have a lot more fun :)
Kelly Clarke (ride leader in training?)
- Get to know the route, even if you’re not leading a ride. It’s safer when you take a pull at the front and if you do a faster ride (Wednesday Night Ride*) it won’t be a problem if you get dropped. I do the WNR and get dropped all the time – it’s been a great learning experience for me, but it would be scary if I couldn’t navigate my way once I lose the group. (Even though, we’ve since instated a ‘B’ group that regroups and goes a little slower so you always have someone to ride with). *WNR is a drop ride, which means it’s expected to be faster and we don’t wait for everyone. Saturday rides are a little slower and we don’t let the group separate.
- Always have a spare tube and an inflator! This is the absolute best portable inflator out there and our friends at Get a Grip carry it.
- We were all bike newbies at one point, if you see a new rider spinning a too easy gear or mashing too big of a gear or accelerating through their turn at the front of the paceline, etc, speak up and give some constructive pointers. I’ve definitely had a lot of help along the way.
- Communicate. 1. When you’re on the front of the paceline, make sure you talk to the person next to you and coordinate when you pull off. 2. We’re a big team, if you don’t know the person next to you .. introduce yourself, we’re all mostly friendly. :-)
That’s it! Not all the ride leaders chose to respond to repeated pestering emails so you’ll have to take a look at last year’s wise words here to see some wisdom from Josh Green, Brandon Diffenderfer and SM alum John Lyon. And stay tuned for next week’s SOTW Holiday Edition Part 2 … (drumroll starts now).