Thursday, June 21, 2007

Live like a PRO

Remember when the French press began their whole "anti-Armstrong" campaign, insinuating that LA cheated in order to win the Tour? Lance and company fired back at critics with this simple and effective piece emphasizing Lance's dedication to training and preparation.

The message extends beyond Lance to other cyclists who take their sport seriously. I am too old to dream of turning PRO, however, I continue to take my riding seriously. I am careful of the types and quantities of foods I eat, I monitor how much sleep I get, I listen to my body, and I focus on my machine and the equipment I choose. I make sacrifices in life to get the most out of my body. I enjoy reading about the lives of the PROs and I look to them for training methods and practices that I believe make me a better cyclist. This is why I am drawn to insight about teams and their preparation and the reason I seek out information written by the mechanics, DS, coaches, and the doctors who care for the riders. The PRO cycling world is out on the front lines testing and refining methods. Teams are broadcasting much of this information for us to receive, analyze, and implement.

Cycling is one of the few sports where, as a fan, you can be as close to the PROs as possible. A cyclist can watch a race and relate to the pain felt and understand the effort put in during training and the sacrifices made during the season. I have no idea what it's like to get hit by a 181 kg linebacker or to travel at 560 kph in a drag car, but I do know what it feels like to run empty during a long ride, or to suffer during a 40-minute climb. I have seen 205 flash on my heart rate monitor while bridging a gap or while trying to hang on the wheel of the local TT king. So, whether you are screaming in a PRO's face on Alpe D'Huez or riding the exact same bike as your favorite rider, cycling is a sport that allows the fan an up-close and hands-on experience.

The parallels between the average (serious) cyclists and the PROs allow us to have an understanding of what is required to compete at a high level and gives us the ability to truly be in awe of these great athletes.

Live like a PRO was originally posted on 12-30-06


GWR said...

Exactly! And one suspects that a higher proportion (when compared to other sports) of PRO cycling fans are actually riders. Perhaps it's also why doping hurts the fans so much. Riders on 'secret training' for half the season whilst dipping into the drug bank for all manner of illegal recovery tonics, IVs and blood bags, and monitoring haematocrit levels, is far removed the cycling ethic that we amateurs respect and seek to emulate.

Radio Freddy said...

guy_wr - full disclosure of a PROs life would most likely yield that we live a cleaner lifestyle.

Anonymous said...

Go to bed before midnight Friday night.
Wake up. 6 am. Saturday.
Coffee (French Press, sans sugar).
Nutella + banana slices on whole wheat toast (2 slices).
Drink glass of water.
Finish coffee.
Drink glass of water.
Prepare bottles and food.
Dress, apply chamois cream + BKW.
Pump tires, check skewers.
Helmet + sunglasses.
Load iPOD.
8am roll out.
Arrive home half past noon.
Change into dry boxers.
Repeat Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday ad infinitum.
Fall deeper into obsession.