fbpx
Why I Ride

Why I Ride

Mental Resilience: How to stay mentally strong

by Jeremiah Reider

Jeremiah is an excellent cyclist who rides with Asheville Winter Bike League regularly and battles with seasonal depression. Here he shares a few paragraphs about his struggle and how AVL WBL and the iDream Athletes Foundation have helped him cope. 

Jeremiah has attended ALL of the AVL WBL rides this season so he is on his way to winning the coveted AVL WBL mug! 

I write this the day prior to the Winter Solstice, for I have endured the shallow arc that the sun is taking across our beautiful Western North Carolina sky. The fact that daylight is now scarce comes with a range of emotions. Some happy and elated because of the holiday season. Some dismal and depressed wondering when spring will begin to show its renewal on the land. Like many of you, I choose to keep pedaling through the winter month, often looking out the window and seeing the cold northerly wind dancing in the trees or the barely above freezing rain falling from the sky. Motivation to ride my bike becomes a fleeting thought.

I choose to ride for the child-like freedom and joy that cycling brings. For the challenge, camaraderie, sense of adventure and Strava KOM’s. Just kidding! I haven’t posted a ride to Strava in almost a year and plan to keep my streak alive ;-).

I prefer to ride off of feel, checking in with my mind and body to see the game that I want to play on any given day. Above all, I ride for my mental health. I have been on a 15 year journey of mental health rejuvenation, for I experience crippling depression and anxiety as I’m sure many of you do. Loneliness and despair can rein supreme if I choose to let them. Over the years I learned that I have a choice when these emotions become all consuming. My choice is to keep pedaling, even when my mind is screaming at me to keep curling my body up in a ball at the end of my bed.

I turn to group rides to keep my emotions in check. To motivate me on the days when my mind wants to ruminate and tell my body to simply stay put. The Asheville Winter Bike League rides have become a mainstay for me and another coping skill when my depression and anxiety rear their ugly head. I encourage you all to come out and reach out to one another through our common ground, and I bet that you will discover that you are not alone when it comes to the emotional and mental health challenges that you face.

Ride steady, ride strong, and above all ride for your emotional and mental health.

Want to learn more about Asheville Winter Bike League?

Click here, or sign up directly by clicking on the button below!

Past iDaph Blogs

Black Bear Half Marathon Pre-Event Information

Black Bear Half Marathon Pre-Event Information

We can’t wait to cheer you on at the Black Bear Half Marathon on  Saturday, October 10th at Jackson Park in Hendersonville, NC. Thank you for supporting our event and our small business. Please check here for updates as we get closer to race day! THIS EVENT IS...

Building Speed and the Goldilocks of Rotation

Building Speed and the Goldilocks of Rotation

Building Speed and the ‘Goldilocks’ Amount of Rotation (not too little..not too much)

Swim Workout Thursday, January 9, 2020 

Build

Begin swim slow and relaxed focusing on good form while gradually increasing effort and speed. Because you finish the distance at a sprint, these will be difficult. So if the set is 2 x 100 Build, start slow on first 25 establishing a good stroke, then make each subsequent 25 faster. The last 15 yards to 25 should be an all out sprint. You restart your “build” with each swim of the set. So in the example of 2 x 100 Build, begin the 2nd 100 slow and relaxed again gradually building to spring at end.

Rotation focus

Use how far you turn your head as a guide to the amount of rotation. When you turn your head to breath attempt to get the top eye completely out of the water while keeping the bottom goggle or eye underwater. Your whole body rotates together. Imagine a skewer the length of your spine so that hips and shoulders turn together the same amount.

200 Choice Warm Up

4 x 25 Build (20 seconds rest between 25s)

Freestyle - Build Freestyle:

Group 1: 4 x 50 on 2:00 - Build

Group 2: 8 x 50 on 1:15 - Build

Group 3: 5 x 100 on 1:45 - Build

4 x 25 (20 seconds rest between 25s) - notice if goggles are above/underwater

Keep bottom goggle under and the top goggle above water when breathe. Keep hips and shoulders in line with each other:

Group 1: 4 x 50 on 2:00 - Freestyle - notice goggles

Group 2: 8 x 50 on 1:15 - Freestyle - notice goggles

Group 3: 6 x 100 on 1:40 - Freestyle - notice goggles

Endurance Freestyle – Long and strong stroke. Feel the power but keep a relatively slow stroke turnover. (relatively means compared to sprint stroke turnover at end of build swims)

Group 1: 2 x 100 - 30 seconds rest between 100s

Group 2: 1 x 300 - 1 minute rest then… 2 x 200 - 30 seconds rest between 200s

Group 3: 1 x 500 - 1 minute rest then… 1 x 400

Cool Down - Choice 5 minute swim

Distance before 5 minute cool down:

Group 1 1,000 yards

Group 2 1,900 yards

Group 3 2,400 yards 

 

Past iDaph Blogs

Black Bear Half Marathon Pre-Event Information

Black Bear Half Marathon Pre-Event Information

We can’t wait to cheer you on at the Black Bear Half Marathon on  Saturday, October 10th at Jackson Park in Hendersonville, NC. Thank you for supporting our event and our small business. Please check here for updates as we get closer to race day! THIS EVENT IS...

Lessons learned from the first AVL WBL Ride of the Season

Lessons learned from the first AVL WBL Ride of the Season

.Important Tips to Note for Successful AVL WBL Rides: Please Read

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our first AVL WBL ride of the season! It was great to see so many familiar faces — and new ones! What a beautiful day for a ride! We hope everyone enjoyed themselves and will join us for our second ride on Saturday, November 23rd presented by Motion Makers

Here are some things to note based on our first group ride last Saturday.

1. Please arrive EARLIER! All participants of the AVL WBL rides need to go inside to check-in BEFORE every ride. Please check in with us so we have a record of your attendance and for your safety. We suggest that you have checked in no later than 9:30am so that you have time to gather your cycling gear, use the restroom, chat with your friends and then hear the announcements at 9:50am. We start packing up the admin table (so that we can also ride) at 9:50am. We leave promptly to ride at 10am. 

2. Please fund the program! The AVL WBL is funded entirely on your donations. While there is no fee, we ask for a suggested donation of $5 at each ride to help cover the costs of administrating these rides, leadership vests and the AVL WBL swag and Mugs. If you don’t have cash, we can take a credit card or you can write a check for the entire series all in one swoop.

3. Print your own Cue Sheets and/or Download Route onto your GPS Device: The ride leaders are there to help guide the group, not to give directions. It is your responsibility to know the route! 

4. Listen to your Ride Leaders: Your ride leaders are there to help guide you and the group to be the safest possible and to help the group ride the most efficiently. If a leader gives you feedback or asks for you to correct something, it is not personal! It is to help the group to ride more safely or efficiently. The AVL WBL is all about honing in on good group riding skills. Also, at re-group spots, please wait until the ride leader says it is time to go. 

5. Keep the Momentum: There are only 10 more AVL WBL Rides left! When you attend the entire series you get one of the coveted AVL WBL, locally-made pottery mugs. Everything tastes better in this mug! Stick with it and make the AVL WBL a regular routine for yourself. You will get through winter feeling accomplished and stronger than ever. 

6. Two Important Cycling Tips: Please do not cross the yellow line. There should be enough room between the double pace line for cyclists to move off the front and come back to the group after they are done pulling. This means there needs to be at least a bike width space between the group and the yellow line. Don’t hug the yellow line!! This is so dangerous for our cyclists! If your group is riding in a pace line (A, B+, B groups tend to use either a double or single pace line) PLEASE stay directly behind the wheel in front of you. It is more efficient group riding when each cyclist stays directly behind the rider in front of them and so much safer. We don’t want cyclists wheels to get crossed and when you ride beside or in between riders it is more likely to happen!  “Your position on the road is behind the wheel in front of you, NOT in front of the wheel behind you.” quote by a local Master’s Cyclist.

 

Past iDaph Blogs

Black Bear Half Marathon Pre-Event Information

Black Bear Half Marathon Pre-Event Information

We can’t wait to cheer you on at the Black Bear Half Marathon on  Saturday, October 10th at Jackson Park in Hendersonville, NC. Thank you for supporting our event and our small business. Please check here for updates as we get closer to race day! THIS EVENT IS...

What to Wear Cycling in the Winter

What to Wear Cycling in the Winter

What to wear when you’re riding in the winter: Cycling Coach Reid Beloni shares pro tips and hacks

by Stephanie Buss

Wearing the correct gear when you’re cycling in the winter can make the difference between a positive experience, and a miserable one. What you wear MATTERS, so we feel it’s important for riders to research the right clothing and be prepared for the fluctuating temperatures during our North Carolina winters.

Reid Beloni has been a professional cycling coach for six years and is one of Asheville Winter Bike League’s most experienced ride leaders, with over 15 years of riding experience under his belt. He is a USA Cycling Level 2 coach, and one thing he always stresses before a winter group ride is being prepared for wetter, colder temperatures.

So what’s the first rule of what to wear for winter riding? LAYERS.

“In order to stay comfortable when riding in the winter, you will need to layer,” says Reid. “You will be dealing with a lot of changing temperatures, and moisture. You’ll get hot when you climb and then super cold when you decent…so layering is super important.”

Reid recently gave a talk at the Kick-Off Party for AVL WBL, where he went over what to wear based on the temperature you are riding in. He started with what you would wear on a warmer day, like 65 degrees, and worked his way down to 30s and 40s.

“If we are starting on the warmest weather day, start with bibs and a jersey,” Reid says. “Then as it starts to get cooler, the first two things I grab are a base layer and arm warmers.”

Base layers wick away moisture, Reid explained, so it keeps you cooler when it’s warm, and warm when it’s cold. Even when it’s 65 degrees out, Reid likes to wear a sleeveless base layer for this reason. Depending on what you prefer, there are more heavy duty base layers available as well, but what Reid prefers is a lighter sleeveless base layer with arm warmers. That way if he gets too warm on the climb, he can pull the sleeves down, and then pull them back up on the descent.

As temperatures drop, a vest is best!

As it gets colder, Reid adds, you’re going to want a vest — which he highly recommends with pockets, “so you can access your snacks.” The front of the vest is windproof and the back is more of a mesh material, so when the front is zipped, it keeps the wind from hitting your core. The vest is crucial for riding, Reid adds, and works for a lot of different temperature ranges.

As far as the legs go, riders have the option of leg and knee warmers. Both are similar, but leg warmers cover a little more skin than knee warmers tend to do. If you’re choosing between the two, Reid recommends going with the leg warmers. You can always unzip them at the bottom and roll them up if you get too warm.

Cycling in 50 degree temps

So you’re on your bike, you’re wearing leg warmers, arm warmers and a vest, and you’re still cold. It’s time to add something to your top, but a long sleeve jersey may be too warm for 50 degree temps. Reid recommends pairing a long sleeve base layer with arm warmers instead, that way you can rip off the arm warmers if you get warm.

“This is a good in-between temperature hack,” says Reid.

Cold feet?

Invest in cycling socks — your feet will thank you! Avoid wearing cotton, and purchase different types of socks such as heavy duty, mid-weight and heavy duty wool socks. Wool makes a good choice, says Reid, because it wicks away moisture. Cotton does not.

For 50 degree temperature, Reid prefers a lightweight sock and a toe cover. When the wind is blasting your foot through the vents, you’ll be thankful for a foot cover to keep your toes warm.

Shoe cover hack: Electrical tape or duct tape.

“You can take electrical or duct tape and cover up the vents in your shoe in the winter. This is a great idea if you tend to get really cold feet.”

Cycling in the mid 40s (brrrrrrrr…..)

Now it’s mid 40s temperatures, and it is getting colder.

“You will want something a little more heavy duty,” says Reid. “Add a layer to your lower body, like a pair of tights.”

Tights are made to be windproof in the front, but not in the back, which adds to their comfort.

Pro cycling hack: Buy tights without the shammy. That way you don’t have to wash your tights after every ride, AND the shammy’s that come in shorts are more comfortable anyway than the ones that come in tights.

As for your upper body, you will want to add an insulating layer underneath the windproof layer, says Reid. Cycling jackets are a good choice because you can often take the sleeves off or open up the vents, so you’ll stay cool if needed.

Gloves: Keep your hands toasty

Much like your ride socks, Reid strongly recommends having different types of gloves for different temperatures.

“I ride with two pairs of gloves,” he says. “I start with heavier duty sometimes before I’m warmed up, and then I’ll switch to a dry (lighter) pair. This can make a big difference in terms of the quality of your ride. You can get away with one type of jacket, but you need different types of gloves and socks.”

Reid also recommends not layering up your gloves, because it tends to cut off circulation. Same with your feet; wearing two pairs of socks is not as efficient as wearing one pair of socks with a shoe cover. Reid personally likes to wear a lighter ride sock, like a summer sock, with a heavier duty shoe cover, and save the heavier duty socks for when it’s really cold outside.

If you use toe warmers, avoid putting the warmer in your shoe; instead, put it on the outside of your shoe and in your shoe cover to avoid cutting off circulation. The shoe cover will hold it in place.

Keep your head warm too!

Wearing a hat under your cycling helmet can help keep your head warm, and this can be a light-weight cap. Just make sure the helmet fits properly over your hat. Buffs are also a great option for your head and neck. Swap to a heavier duty hat if it gets really cold.

“If you keep your hands, feet and head happy, you’ll have a more enjoyable ride,” says Reid.

Bring an extra piece of clothing for “emergencies”
Bringing a lightweight windbreaker or light weight rain jacket can be critical, Reid explains.

“Say it got way colder than you expected, the sun went down on your accidentally because you had to fix a flat…then a super lightweight shell is really invaluable.”

If you can, choose a high visibility jacket that has reflective material. Not only will you stay warm, you will be visible to others and increase your safety.

Put lights on your bike for safety

Lights are fundamentally important to winter cycling. The sun is lower on the horizon, and with more twilight in the morning and evening, cars will have difficulty seeing you on the road. Front lights are a good idea in general, but having rear lights is also very important. The more you can appear visible on the road, the better, so make sure you charge up those lights before heading onto the road.

Additional resources

Reid is happy to answer any questions you may have about winter riding, and you can contact him by emailing rbeloni@trainright.com.

He has also provided a What to Wear in the Winter sheet, which we included below.

Looking to make the most of your winter riding season? 

Asheville Winter Bike League Club Coaching through our sponsor Carmichael Training Systems is LIVE! Message Reid Beloni with questions.  LEARN MORE

 

Past iDaph Blogs

Black Bear Half Marathon Pre-Event Information

Black Bear Half Marathon Pre-Event Information

We can’t wait to cheer you on at the Black Bear Half Marathon on  Saturday, October 10th at Jackson Park in Hendersonville, NC. Thank you for supporting our event and our small business. Please check here for updates as we get closer to race day! THIS EVENT IS...

Asheville Winter Bike League 2019/2020 Winter Gear Available

Asheville Winter Bike League 2019/2020 Winter Gear Available

Ride in style this season!  

Our new Asheville Winter Bike League designs are here! We are offering custom-designed, men’s and women’s fitted –  Jerseys, bib shorts, long-sleeve jerseys, wind vests, winter insulated vest and knickers made by Giordana Cycling Tenax Pro edition. 

Tenax Pro offers a more relaxed fit, perfect for training and touring. Made from multiple, all-way stretch fabric, these items offer an aerodynamic fit that eliminates flapping or bunching in the riding position.

For more information about Tenax Pro, click here

For a size chart, click here.

To order, click here to the link to our Giordana store!

Orders due Thursday, September 5th at midnight! 

NOTE: We need to place 10 orders per item in order to place this order with GITA! Help us reach those minimums! This is great fitting, stylilsh and quality cycling gear.

Past iDaph Blogs

Black Bear Half Marathon Pre-Event Information

Black Bear Half Marathon Pre-Event Information

We can’t wait to cheer you on at the Black Bear Half Marathon on  Saturday, October 10th at Jackson Park in Hendersonville, NC. Thank you for supporting our event and our small business. Please check here for updates as we get closer to race day! THIS EVENT IS...

Leave the spandex at home

Leave the spandex at home

Leave your spandex and helmets at home and put on some proper ‘going out on the town clothes’ & join us for the AVL WBL Kick-off Party and What-to-Wear to ride in the Winter bash on Wednesday, November 14th at 6:00pm at Liberty Bicycles in Asheville

Find out what the AVL WBL is all about at our Kickoff Party… meet up with old friends and make some new cycling friends before we start our AVL WBL community rides. Also, come meet your AVL WBL Group Ride Leaders and ask all your burning questions about the upcoming Asheville Winter Bike League

We will provide a handy guide on what to wear on the bike in various winter temperatures at the party. Even experienced, tough veterans can find this matter of dressing for fall and winter rides confusing and difficult. Showing up at a ride smartly dressed doesn’t only ensure a comfortable outing and add to your enjoyment—it also marks you as a smart rider. Bring some cash to purchase some last minute winter riding gear from Liberty Bicycles

Let us know you’re coming - RSVP!

 

BRING SOME CASH!
Buffs can be purchased for $10 each at the Kickoff Party and the first ride! We only have 100 buffs so when they are gone, they are gone! All funds go to scholarships for the local community iDream Athletes Foundation.