Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Bike Week tip- find a mentor when you first start cycling

Most mentors are older, two of mine are younger. Bill Marshall and Shadd Smith. Both are good friends and are racers. 

In the picture Shadd is in the middle and Bill on on the right, this is a trip to Moab they were on.

When I met them back in 2001, it was at the Star Bucks in Prairie Village. I was just starting to commute full time and at that time was carfree too.

Even though Bill and Shadd were elite cyclists, they would always take the time to chat with me. If I had questions about cycling they would answer them. And they would always encourage me.                 

At that time I was about 50lbs heavier than I am now, and I remember thinking how cool it was that these too guys, younger than I, would mentor me.

The advice I received was great-tips on equipment, pedals, types of bikes, bit fit, how to ride in traffic, places to ride and stories of their rides. All helped formed me into the cyclist I am now.

So, find a mentor, someone with alot of experience. Cycling, although very simple in many ways, has alot of complexity to it, especially if you are commuting by bike. Knowing someone who is willing to share their experience can make you a safer cyclist and make your riding more enjoyable, especially as your confidence grows.

Thanks Bill and Shadd!

Peace, Bill P

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