Group training, coaching and tours

Ciclismo : how to start training

Ciclismo is all about riding your bike.   If you are new to riding or want to improve your skills and fitness, that’s what Ciclismo is about.

We have group training with experienced coaches as well as personal one on one sessions if you really want to focus. We have various weekends away as well as an annual tour to Italia.

Contact us to find out more about how to improve your riding.

Newsletter 28th August

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Mental toughness
When Chris Froome crashed on Mont Ventoux on stage 12 of this year’s Tour and immediately switched from churning out 6w/kg on the bike to running as fast as his legs would carry him, it proved more than just his physiological calibre.   Froome’s fitness is honed, his power to weight ratio optimised and his endurance phenomenal.   But to compete at the highest level, physical fitness isn’t enough.  To be a truly great cyclist like Froome, having a strong body is just half the challenge;  you must be mentally unbreakable too – when you get knocked down, you get back up and do whatever it takes to win.
So where does that mental toughness come from ? What allows a cyclist enduring long hours of training in every type of weather and terrain maintain the motivation, dedication and consistency to perform at their best ? And what can you learn from those who have that mental toughness to increase your own ?
Mental toughness can be subdivided into three distinctive elements.   The first element, familiar to anyone that competes, is robust, unwavering confidence; the belief that you can succeed in whatever you set your mind to do.   Research has found this confidence not only makes a competitor more comfortable and relaxed but also allows them to work harder in a race, persist longer in endurance events and be less likely to make tactical mistakes – all vital to being a great cyclist.
The second element is constancy; your willingness to set and follow training and competition goals, hold a resolute attitude and maintain a strong determination to meet the demands of your race.  Again, this is vital to becoming a great cyclist.
Finally you need a high level of control over both your life and your sporting performances to ensure you can cope with adversity.   You need the feeling that you can bring about your desired outcome in whatever you do.  Those without this level of control get injured more easily and find it harder to stay resilient following setbacks.
Cyclists with all three elements of high mental toughness are best able to use energy positively during challenging and demanding situations, and have a mental stress buffer helping them rebound or adapt after a setback.

Adapted from Cycling Weekly

Ciclismo Newsletter August 21st

When following a wheel & Soft pedalling

When following a wheel the instinctive reaction is to grab the brakes when you see the gap closing to mere inches. But that’s the wrong way. Braking should be the last resort in a paceline /bunch riding or anytime someone is close behind. It slows you too abruptly and might cause them to do what you’re trying to avoid — hit a rear wheel

This is the art of continuing to turn the crank but slowly enough so that you aren’t applying power.  You’re coasting but it doesn’t look like it.   This should reduce your speed just enough.  As soon as you drift back to your comfortable distance, begin reapplying pedal pressure to maintain the gap.

Soft pedalling makes you much smoother than alternately coasting and pedalling.  Suddenly stopping and starting is a sure way to annoy your riding partners too.  When everyone in a paceline is always turning their cranks, it’s a beautiul thing.

Two other non-braking tips :
Sit up. As you soft pedal, this helps you catch more air to reduce speed.
Move slightly left or right. This slows you more quickly by putting you slightly out of the slipstream, and it makes sure wheels won’t touch.  Do it smoothly and minimally for the safety of riders behind.  The flow back in line as you switch from soft pedalling to normal pedalling.

Newsletter 14th August

read the full newsletter August 14th 2016

Training : Wednesday 17th and Friday 19th August at 5:45am.


As it’s getting lighter for the morning sessions, we will be starting to work on more bunch & race skills.

This week we started practicing sprinting & trying to get comfortable in the sprint position.

Eventually this position should become so comfortable it will become second nature.

Things to perfect when sprinting

1. The hand position should always be on the drops because you are lower thus more aerodynamic.   Just take a look at the pros in a bunch sprint – none of them will be on the hoods.
2. When you are on the drops, you can move your body position further over the front wheel that way you are taking the weight of your upper body away from your legs which equals more power. And if you are far enough forward your saddle won’t touch your inner legs.
3. Your head and neck position should be relaxed and in line with your back (not tilted back as this feels uncomfortable and will place strain on your neck). Try & look through the top of your sunglasses so that way you don’t need to tilt your head back to see where you are going.
4. Some times in the sprint you will need to shift into harder gears so get used to having your finger over the lever so you can shift if need be.
5. Practice this at slow speed firstly and gradually increase the pace. Also it’s important when sprinting that you must hold your line otherwise you could be disqualified or cause an accident.

Ciclismo Newsletter Week beginning August 1st.

Training : Wednesday 3rd and Friday 5th August at 5:45am.

Training rides
A training ride should be just that – training and riding together safely.  It’s advisable on Sydney’s roads to present a uniform bunch by :

  • Clearly riding paired up
  • Not half wheeling each other
  • Not overlapping wheels
  • Riding at a consistent pace
  • Never being more than two abreast
  • Being predictable so the traffic can ascertain your speed
  • Keeping the back of the bunch tidy
  • Calling riders over to overtake safely

None of this is hard on paper but it is harder to do in practice than you might think.  It might mean some of the stronger riders riding well within themselves but doing a longer turn on the front.   Some of the weaker riders might have to do a short turn on the front or maybe no turn at all.
Bunch etiquette is there to keep us all safe on the road.   If you would like to ride at the back of a group you don’t know, remember to introduce yourself and ask if it’s OK that you sit on the back.  If you come through and do a turn with the group, also ask if it’s OK that you come and do a turn.  Most groups will be happy to have someone else to do some work – however if they would prefer you just stay at the back you have to respect their wishes.
Always try to overtake on the right as per the traffic rules.  If, for some reason, you really have to overtake on the inside, call it loudly and clearly.
Communicate the obstacles and the holes and be very clear in your calls of “Wait” and “Over” if you are calling the group into the overtaking lane.
Try to keep the pace at the front of the group consistent and smooth – that is don’t surge and also don’t slow down.  If your pace is slowing too much, it’s time to roll.
We ride in a city where the traffic is particularly unforgiving and we all need to take extra care because of that.

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