This place looks awesome!

In October I wrote about our plans to take participants from my classes to the 183 mile Cabot Trail for the ride of their lives. Link to Map My Ride Profile.  In the new year that adventure was dubbed Take the Trail and we began serious planning.

My riding partner is by profession a Pilates instructor and personal trainer who is fascinated by balance and stabilization.  Between us we developed a plan for indoor training which includes both cycling classes and strength and stretching sessions.  Some of the work must be done by participants during the week but we all get together for an extended ride and other activities on Sunday mornings.  When the trails and roads permit we will move our Sunday activities outside for longer and longer rides.

Each participant has received training goals in terms of hours of activity, both on and off-bike for March and April.  They have also received a handout/lecture on training load and a simple log sheet.  I am already hearing chatter about how people are using the logs.  At the end of this month I will collect the logs and create some summary graphics as well as create a graph of weekly loads for each participant.  We”™ll use those individual data to help each person set goals for increases in training load.

All but a couple of the participants are regulars in my classes so they have been part of the periodized program which began in January.   We do regular threshold tests and we will repeat those (and incorporate the new people) every eight weeks so they will have that additional data point to track their progress.

The owner of a really good local bike shop hosted a private session for riders who might not yet own a bike or want to upgrade.  It was a fantastic two hour presentation which was all information, no sales pitch.  Even if people eventually buy from another shop they will be armed with sufficient knowledge to identify the best bike for them, the most suitable components and add-ons and know if they are being fit properly.

We have been clear from the outset that this is the group”™s endeavor, not ours.  To that end we already have volunteers to book lodging, identify long-term parking and investigate van rentals.  We have also created a schedule of ride captains for our outdoor rides.  And best of all - we have a volunteer to host our first social event later this month.

How many people are involved?  We have 15 training with us right now and there are many people around the periphery who might join us.  I am most excited by the fact that three teen-age girls (and one dad) are considering doing the Trail to fulfill requirements for the gold level of the Duke of Edinburgh awards  Two of the girls and the dad have been active in my classes so this is not a stretch.

I am excited about the ripple effects this activity will have in our small community in terms of promoting physical activity and encouraging individuals to set and achieve personal goals.  I”™ll send another update and some photos once we get outside.

Note from John: Christine included a sample of the presentation she uses to explain the trip and training plans.

Christine Nielsen
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