Updated: Feb 26, 2020
In the Begining
At first, you ride your bike to get some exercise and enjoy the outdoors. Then before you know it, you are riding with a small group of friends on long rides and events. Before too long, you find yourself riding with a local training group with many riders better and faster than you, and the chase begins!
Fact: As long as you ride a bike, there will always be somebody better and faster than you. You don't have to be racing to be chasing either. Our instincts and focus are to catch what is in front of us. That's a good thing for cyclists because, more frequently than not, it is the chase that produces our personal best performances.
Closer than you think
When we are chasing or trying to hang on to an accelerating group, it has to be 100% commitment and effort.
I know when the pace goes high, my pain and stress get REAL! Both mentally and physically. Nobody wants to be dropped in a group ride, race or even a Zwift event:)
Fact: If you are suffering most likely, so is everyone else in the group.
Just know that the pain is temporary, and the attack will ease up. Try to stay calm and focus on your physical effort. All too often, a strong rider misses the break group and gets dropped because they let up just seconds too soon. Instead of being within the leading group, they are left behind and frustrated. Don't allow your mind to limit what your legs want to do!
The more experience you have, the better you can predict the "pain ceiling" for specific groups, races, and riders. The better the rider/group, the longer and higher pain tolerance is required. Always try to train and race with riders within your same fitness category/level and gradually move up as you progress.
When you think about it, cycling is a series of individual breakthrough moments. Like staying with the A group for the first time. Making it in the winning break or out sprinting a rival you never thought you could! The more you have, the more confidence and success you create. Take a second and think back to your own breakthrough moments as a cyclist. What was the scenario? Who were you riding with, and how did it make you feel? Chances are you were fueled and motivated by other cyclists just like you pushing each other to our limits! That's the whole point.
The fact you are chasing wheels is what matters most. Even when we fail in our attempts to catch what we are pursuing, it is building a better, faster, and more confident rider for the future. Embrace the Chase!
You are only as good as those you are chasing. I am lucky to have so many talented wheels to follow all these years. Thanks to all my cycling mentors, competitors, and friends, Cheers to all!
Karen L, Mark H, Sven L, John D, BK, Mark S, Scott F, Robert M, Daniel C, Brad W, Scott M, Tim S, Lisa P, Steve M, Sandy M, Matt M, Dan B, Jim C, Brady P, Hollywood, Brendon H, Sonia P, Michael O, Scott H, Stuart B, Dave 0, Bart H, Tim S, Alejandro J, Michael M, Robert A, Jill C, Robert A, Charlie T, Dee Dee W, Thomas P., Tom G, Donny D, Chad, M, Charles P, Stephen H, Tom B, Laszlo A, Chad W, Michael L, Lisa P, Raul Jr, Ryan H, Tom R, Tim L, Andy K, Peter O, Tim B