Yes! Back by popular demand(ok one person asked) it is I, Bike and the Fat Man, here with a question for all who ride in some of the local groups…what makes a great training partner? Seems like an easy question but is it really. I personally think you first have to look at your current physical fitness (or in my case…physical limitations) and find a partner stronger or equal with you. I have lucked out in this aspect. I actually work with a few cyclist and we train together on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Yesterday was a great example of what you should look for in a training partner.
We were having our Tuesday training ride and it was just me and the Beast (if you are wondering who that is…look at post “we don’t die”). Needless to say, there was at one point I was drafting and realized his calves look like medival mace clubs( you know the kind I am talking…the club that has that massive metal head to it). His physical fitness is so far beyond mine as of right now, that he had to soft petal in the big chain ring just to get a pump in his legs.
This brings me to the second aspect of a great training partner…he knows he is better than you but still willing to work with you. Beast is a monster on the bike. Pulling and holding 25mph is just a good ride for him. Myself, 17-19mph is a hard workout. On this ride, the wind was in our face to start and I drafted for a while but once we got off the main drag, we doubled up and he pushed me by not letting me pull but kept me in front with him. Then when we’d get to certain points he would tell me,”OK, ready we will pick it up here.” or “Let’s sprint out of this corner”This is where it showed how much he was better than me. He might as well said, “I am better than you and let me demolish you and make you feel like your walking your bike…HAHA!!!(insert evil laugh here)
This brings me to my final point to a great training partner…encouragement! The whole time he was demolishing me…he kept saying “Great job. You are so much better then you were when we stop for winter break. Man you did well against that wind.” I can imagine in his head he really wanted to say,”YOU SUCK! GET BACK TO THE JUNIOR LEAGUE WENIE BOY! TURN IN YOUR RACING JERSEY FOR A FLORAL PRINT ONE!” But that is what makes it awesome that cyclist are a strange breed. Cyclist in general are a competative bunch. They like destroying the competition and make them hurt (and cry at times) but they are willing to work with someone who is really trying to get better.
I’d like to thank Beast for working with me, the Machine for giving me advice and answering every question I throw out there and the ABC racing team for ascepting me even though I am not ready but they know that it is a passion of mine to be the best I can on the bike.