What: Fast training ride, 8 miles x however many laps you can handle
Where: NOMA front steps
When: Tuesday night – First lap leaves at 6 sharp, catch later laps on a roughly 30 minute interval
A ways back, Zach Thomas and Robert Driskell, of Bayou Bikes, started doing a training ride that consisted of laps around an 8 mile circuit. The course consisted of a loop around City Park, plus Lakeshore Drive from Marconi to Wisner, including a spur that encompasses the Bayou St. John bridge. Several obvious sprint segments emerged, along with a neutral zone through the park for much-needed recovery. Like all things rad, the ride became wildly popular with people who know what’s good.
Now hosted by Semi-Tough Cyling Club OG, Townsend Myers, the ride has developed a strong following. As of late, attendance has been at a dozen or more. Search Facebook events to “RSVP” and check out your competition.
Boedi and I started riding with the group last spring and have had a consistent reason to step up our game. This crew is fast. Really fast. The course has a couple really nice turns, a challenging bridge climb section, and long straightaways for sprinting. The multi-lap format is a lot of fun because it offers many opportunities to duke it out on popular Strava Segments, plus the visceral thrill of repeatedly pushing each other to ride faster through the sprints.
This ride can be hard and can teach you a lot of things. It is essentially an extended interval workout, as there is really no full rest opportunity except between loops. You must maintain a decent pace at all times, and dial it up at sections to avoid getting dropped in a sprint. So, you will learn when and where to conserve energy, as well as when to burn it. If you are not familiar with group riding, this ride will teach you what you need to know; single paceline, double paceline, how long and fast to pull, how close to follow a wheel, how to cross tires or bump elbows without getting shook. This ride was my first introduction to what racing would feel like, a few weeks before my first road race, and it really did a lot for me. You get a feel for what types of things will happen, such as breakaways or jam-ups, and how to respond.
This ride will get you fast. And if you’re fast, it will get you much faster. Regardless of your skill level, it will get you stoked on riding, connected with some really cool and talented people, and glad to be alive. Come find us in the park.
Yeah You Ride