Saturday, April 6, 2013

Tale of two George's and a Broun...

Wanna improve your cycling?  Learn from the best.  I currently have the enviable position of being able to gain lots of cycling knowledge from three of Australia's best coaches... each of them unique in their coaching styles, and all with a wealth of experience.

- Steve George @ Crankstar

My "training program" coach.  Steve's the guy who tells me what to do, day after day, week after week.  He stops me before I start overtraining, but lets me know when I need to go harder.  Steve encouraged me to start weights at the gym late last year when I was concerned that this might not be the right thing to do.  Steve also picked up on the fact that my cranks were the wrong length, and quickly changed me over to 165mm ones.  Now 5 months later, I can see how the weights, and more core strength exercises and stretching, along with the shorter cranks, and my regular on-the-bike training, has really improved my power and my ability to spin.

- Rob George @ Roadie Rob's Bicycle School

My MTB skills coach.  Rob's the coach who can tell you how to ride a bike, without you even realising he's teaching you stuff.  Having self-taught myself how to ride a bike in my early 20's, I have never had the skills that people have when they've started riding as a small child.  Lesson for the future: if you have kids, get 'em on a bike as soon as possible!  Rob has a huge knowledge base from his days as a world cup downhill racer, and from many, many years of teaching students around the Gap Creek trails (Brisbane) and knows exactly how to make difficult trails seem super easy.

- Kirsty Broun @ Kirsty Broun Cycling

My road bike skills coach.  Several months ago I did not realise the benefit of improving some of my skills on the road bike.  Sure, my MTB skills are in constant need of improvement, but not my road bike skills... ?  After just a few sessions with Kirsty, I have also come to understand that cornering, unclipping with different feet, using different hands to grab water bottles, bumping shoulders with other riders, and many other on-the-bike skills are often taken for granted. I realise now that a lot of stuff that I was doing on the bike was "adequate" but not really done "properly".  And similar to being shown the right line on a MTB trail with Roadie Rob, Kirsty has really opened my eyes to the skills we should all have to ride (and race) more safely and confidently on the road.  In particular, being there to see Kirsty coach some groups of cyclists over the Easter weekend was an eye-opening and rewarding experience.

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