Why Racing Might Be Calling You - Cycling Magazine

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Saturday 27 May 2017

Why Racing Might Be Calling You

Why Racing Might Be Calling You

If you’re a road racer, it’s likely that you already know it. One sure sign: You are already skimming this book for the sections on training, nutrition, and getting a leg up on the competition. Bike racing tends to appeal to the driven, the stubborn, the gutsy, and, of course, the competitive.
There is something very enticing about speed. The wind in your face, the burning lungs, the thrill of pushing corners with just over 2 centimeters of rubber between you and the road—in the sport of cycle racing, that velocity is mostly dependent on your strength, fearlessness, and cunning. How quickly you go up, how much risk you take to be the first one down the hill, how wisely you use the energy of the riders around you—and possibly your team—to conserve energy all make a difference in a race situation.
To become a good racer you’ll also have to enjoy structure. From following training plans, to observing strict nutrition and hydration standards, to getting the hours of sleep that are key to repairing muscles to take the next day’s beating, road racing can be more than a hobby. Due to the time commitment, it can quickly become both a lifestyle and an identity.
People who are new to cycling but attracted to racing tend to have an athletic background. Runners, skiers, and basketball, football, tennis, and hockey players find themselves looking at two wheels—either to add to their training or as an option after an injury pushes them out of their current sport. Activities that are hard on joints or have a high incidence of injury are creators of racing cyclists. However, you don’t need to be an athlete to enjoy the sport. All you really need is a competitive streak.

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