Winter Break Recap
29th Jan 2014Posted in: Blog, Featured Posts 1
Winter Break Recap

Before I dive in, I’d like to introduce myself.  My name is AJ Sood. I am a sophomore, and this is my second year with Beta Cycling.  I grew up in Carmel, Indiana, where I came from a tennis and track background.  I am now an International Studies major and am also taking classes to fulfill the pre-med requirements.

Since the last update from Joe Laughlin, things have been very busy for Beta Cycling. With the last two weeks of our winter break, the team packed up and made the annual journey from Indianapolis, IN to Panama City Beach, FL for 8 days of training. This year the trip included our four active riders, Chris Craig, Kyle Knight, Joe Laughlin, and myself.  In addition, we were joined by our veteran Coach Eric Anderson, as well as two seniors, Jacob Gorgol and Cody Biddle, who were willing to join us as chefs and cameramen.

Photo Jan 09, 5 44 00 PM

Surviving the Drive

This was my first year to have the opportunity to go on this training trip. I had heard stories of Little 500 teams going south for winter break dating back to the ’60s, but I had no clue what the week would bring. As we left for the 12+ hour drive, I had a feeling that it would be a week to remember.

As we drove through the night to Panama City Beach, we passed the time by sharing music, personal stories, and arguing over horror movie synopses. By morning we were exhausted, and all very eager to see the crystal clear waters of Panama City Beach. After settling in to the condo, which had generously been donated to us by the Anderson family, our support staff set out to get groceries for the week. After having eaten McDonalds twice in the past 8 hours, we were all pleasantly surprised to see the guys return from Sam’s Club with eggs, chicken, yogurt, hummus, fruit, and of course, raisins. Over the course of the week, I think we can all agree that we consumed more food than we had in the previous two weeks of break. After a short 40 mile spin, we went to sleep, excited to start our training the next day.



Over the course of the next week, the days flew by. The team put in around 500 miles on the bike. This amounts to about 26+ hours of intense training, with countless hours spent doing recovery stretches and ice baths. Our rides ranged from centuries (100 miles) to 60-80 mile rides with high intensity intervals, with one 30 mile recovery day thrown in. Ironically, we rode the coldest ride of our careers in Florida. It was on the third day, and we decided to set out on a 110-mile ride with the Black Key Bulls, another strong Little 500 team. With the temperatures in the low 30s, and a 20 mph wind bringing wind chills in the low teens, we spent all day on the bike, hammering out the miles with numb feet and hands. Another memorable ride was our team century from Tallahassee to Panama City Beach. The ride was plagued with heavy traffic, mud, fog, and too many flat tires, but we managed to make it back to PCB at sunset. In addition to putting in the work on the bike, this trip was a great opportunity for us to come together as a team.


Ice Bath Bonding

Looking back on the week, I feel very blessed to have had the opportunity to train for a week with my brothers. With this, I believe we owe a few people a sincere thank you. First off, we would like to thank our chefs and cameramen Jacob Gorgol and Cody Biddle. Their finished product has just been released and it can be found below. In addition, the team would like to thank Jeff Frame, for taking the time to carefully fit all of us to our bikes. Finally, the team would like to thank all those past and present donors and supporters of Beta Cycling for allowing us to continue this tradition. We couldn’t train and compete at the level we do without your backing!

Moving forward, we are freshly motivated and excited to back in Bloomington training. We are all adjusting to our new spring schedules, and are eager for the track to open. In the meantime, the team will be involved in Indiana University Cycling Club, which participates in collegiate cycling in the Midwest. Here’s a rough outline of our racing schedule for the next 3 months.

2/21 : Fast Friday #1
2/22+2/23 : Lindsey Wilson (Columbia, KY)
2/28 : Fast Friday #2
3/7 : Fast Friday #3
3/15 : Long Run Park Circuit Race (Louisville, KY)
3/22+3/23 : Tour of St. Louis (St. Louis, MO)
3/29 : Qualifications
4/2 : ITTs
4/5: Miss ‘n Out
4/12 : Team Pursuit

We are all excited to race on the road and track together, but in the back of our heads, we are all looking ahead to one race on April 26th…

in _kai_
AJ Sood

One Response

  1. Steve Harbaugh says:


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