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Training Tips

Maddie Godby Shares Cycling Tips

By: Page Heller  August 18, 2020

Maddie Godby is on USA Cycling's Olympic Long Team for Track and she has competed in track sprint cycling for 10 years. This discipline is very dependent on technical ability as you are racing at 45 mph on a bike without brakes, within inches of other riders.

Godby offers some great tips for those wanting to develop their cycling skills and anyone just getting started with the sport:

In order to be comfortable riding the boards at a speed slow enough my tires are slipping or quickly reacting to opponents in a keirin, I have spent many hours practicing skills by myself or with training partners. The necessary skills vary in what is required for each discipline: what I practice in training looks very different from what a BMX freestyle athlete will be doing. However, there are several things people can do to develop a higher comfort level on a bike whether you are competing in your first race or looking to cycling as a recreational activity.

-One thing that is often overlooked is a proper bike fit! Investing in a good fit can help decrease chances of injury, increase comfort level especially if you are endurance-focused, and make technical skills much easier if you are centered and have control over the bike.
-Many local programs/teams host group rides or skills clinics where experienced riders will help assist newer riders with a variety of topics ranging from race tactics to bike handling. Head into your local bike shop where employees are happy to answer questions and point new riders to resources available in the area!
-Anytime you are practicing new skills, I recommend going to an open area where the landing may be softer and not discouraging, such as a grassy park. The first time I learned how to ride in cleats and clip-less pedals I went to a field near my house and practiced twisting my foot in and out of the pedals so if I fell over I wouldn’t get any road rash.
-To keep my brain engaged and frustration to a minimum, my coach sets up a routine where I practice skills for 10 laps, ride on the apron for 5 laps to take a break, and then 10 laps with a new skill or a harder version of the previous skill. He also gives us competitions after every training session, such as who can hold a track stand the longest. This allows new skills acquisition to be fun while also giving a rider the repetition that is needed to learn a new skill.

Photos Courtesy of Casey Gibson