The fall semester brings with it many new beginnings. New classes, new faces, and new goals. For Beta Cycling, however, the goal remains the same this season: win the Little 500.
Talk to anybody who has spent time in Bloomington and they will tell you that the fall is an incredibly beautiful time of the year. Talk to any Bloomington cyclist or Little 5’er and they will tell you that the fall makes for an even more beautiful time to ride bikes. It’s the time of year where riders endure ninety plus degree days followed by a brisk, cool day. Weekends consist of long days on the bike with your best friends trekking through the rural hills of southern Indiana. The mood is relaxed, spirits are high, and the miles are tallying up.
Then, the weather begins to slowly change. The air cools and the leaves begin the fall; the first sign that winter is approaching, and with it, a much more regimented training program.
The fall was filled with long endurance rides that many cyclists refer to as “Base”. Attaining a solid base before the intense track training that the spring brings is the theory behind this. Currently, we are in still in the middle of our base training. This will take us right up to our winter break training trip: the culmination of base training and the transition point toward more intensity based training.
Since 2014, Beta Bikes has traveled to Panama City Beach, Florida over winter break for a week long training session. Speaking as a rider who has been on the trip previously, I can say that it is always a highlight of the season. The flat terrain and (usually) warm weather allow us to crank out miles and usually finish the week anywhere between 400 and 500 miles. As with any long endurance rides, they tend to get monotonous at times. This is where we incorporate interval training or drills into these long rides to switch the flow up, as well as keep us sane on the bike.
Apart from the training, this trip affords the team a great chance to grow closer as riders and friends. As the youngest rider on the trip last year, I can say with confidence that this trip allowed me to grow closer to my teammates and really develop my role. This is why I am so excited the team is bringing a slew of young talent on the trip this year.
Colten Renier and JJ Jaggard, our two sophomore riders, will be making their first trip to PCB with the team this year. They have been training hard and it will be exciting to see them showcase all of their gains made this fall. Our youngest rider, Sam Hagedorn, a freshman, will also be joining us. He has been training with the team this fall and it will be great for him to get exposure to the trip at such an early age. Joe Laughlin, John Hyndman, and myself are all very excited to be back training in PCB once again this year.
Along with our current team, we will be bringing along some Beta Bikes Alums for support. These guys are instrumental in the smooth running of the trip in that they cook wholesome meals for us, prepare ice baths, and drive us to and from the bike shop. Chris Craig, Kyle Knight, and Aj Sood are excited to be helping out Beta Bikes, this time from a different angle. The benefit of having former riders will be huge in that they can get out and ride with us, as well as provide all of their knowledge, experience, and insight to the younger guys on the trip.
With the trip approaching, I wanted to take this opportunity to reach out and thank all of our supporters. Without you all, a trip like this wouldn’t even be possible. So thank you for your continued support, and on behalf of the entire team, we can’t wait to make you all proud and win ourselves a bike race this April.