One of the many questions that swirl around the Little 500 track during the spring is whether Little500 racers can be considered true bike racers. Little 500 is clearly a unique event that requires a particular skill set but is obviously closely linked to more conventional road or track cycling. Looking at the results from bike racers around the greater Midwest it seems there are less Little 500 riders racing their bikes over this summer than in years past. Is this a greater plan by Little 500 coaches, a sign of rider disinterest or a thought that 2010 summer racing is of no use to 2011s Little 500? On this flip-side there are a few riders putting themselves into the pain cave on a regular basis including all of the returning Cutters, Chris West (PDT), Ryan Kiel (GGC) amongst others. Are these riders helping their prospects in next years race (assuming they care about it)?
Did this help Feldman and Kiel on the cinders? (photo Caitlin Coar)
All L5 racers need a break after the mental and physical stress of Little 500 but after a month off then what are the Pros or Cons of summer racing?
- Keep cycling-fit over the summer BUT- Risk burning out with year-round intensity
- Banging bars in Crits or on the velodrome helps with bike-handling in a pack BUT- Risk a costly crash in those events.
- Learn race tactics? BUT- Risk a costly crash and what use are non-L5 tactics?
- No need to race as plenty of time to find form over the winter BUT- Isn't it better to come to winter training with a stronger platform?
- Track racing improves the spin BUT- The Little 500 bike/ track is a unique circumstance so there is little cross-over.
- It's fun to ride/race with friends BUT- I have other friends who don't race and I want to hang out with them
- Other teams don't race through the summer? BUT- In recent years the Cutters do race and....
- I have to work through the summer. BUT- People with full-time jobs can ride fast as well.
There is no right or wrong answer to this question as clearly L5 excellence has come from riders that never raced over the summer (see almost the entire Womens race). However this would appear not to be the norm in the Mens race and for me racing over the summer at whatever level would seem to be beneficial. I guess it comes down to whether you like riding/racing your bike or whether you like being a Little5er. Both are just fine but the results may be better one way or the other.
3 days ago