Transforming from a Road Sprinter to a Gravel Endurance Rider in less than 9 months can sound impossible. The goal can be achieved and here's the story.
I learned a bit about the true grit in gravel racing. Sometimes you win, sometimes you learned. I learned that what will tear you down the quickest can be your own inner critic.
Preparation, Skill and Luck. Typically, most of us hope for at least two out of three in order to come in ahead of most of the gritty and dusty pack.
Starting road race season the first weekend in January last year seemed like such a great idea ... so what happened?
You are much more likely to try really hard and do your best if you have encouragement from a support group. In the case of competitive cycling: that certainly means the support of a great team!
I have successfully avoided 'Stage Races' and 'Omniums' for my entire racing career - until recently. Regardless of my historical reservations and fears concerning performance: I learned a lot about surviving Stage Races and actually did surprisingly well! ...With that being said: I'll share what I figured out.
This article is for you ladies that believe in pedal power and pushing the limits! After all: Houston may just have the very best group of local competitive cycling chics, ever. Other areas in this great state of Texas don't necessarily enjoy the same comradery in ladies competitive cycling.
I have come to realize over the years that there is value in scoping out a regularly occurring competitive event (like a seasonal Criterium Race or a Cyclocross Race) before you Go for the Gold. If you do happen to win a regularly scheduled repetitive race the first time you ride it: awesome. But that is not a normal expectation because there are some dynamics at work that, even after all this time, I have only recently come to consciously realize about learning the flow.