Hunter Allen is a USA Cycling Level 1 coach and former professional cyclist. He is the co-author of Training and Racing with a Power Meter, co-developer of CyclingPeaks Software, and is the CEO and Founder of the Peaks Coaching Group, based in Bedford, Va.
Mountain bikers train on the road a lot. Do road cyclists often train on trails?
Many road cyclists train on the trails. Mountain biking has a much higher muscular strength component than road cycling. Road cyclists tend to pedal faster and not harder, whereas mountain biking demands hard pedaling because of the terrain. In the off-season particularly, mountain biking helps road cyclists with sprinting and bike handling skills.
Should mountain bikers shave their legs like roadies?
You won’t gain any ‘aero’ advantage with shaving your legs for mountain biking. Mainly it’s a fashion statement and it’s a bit easier to wash off the mud, grit and grime from your legs after a hard ride or race, and it makes post-workout massages less painful.
How do I avoid back soreness on long road rides?
Most of the time when muscles get sore during longer rides, it means that those muscles don’t have enough endurance. One of the best things you can do to strengthen your lower back is an exercise called “The Superman.” Lie down on your stomach, then tighten your buttocks and lift your upper body up off the floor as far as you can. Hold the upper body off the floor for 30 seconds and extend your hands in front of you to fly like Superman.
I see riders dropping gel packets on the ground during races. Is it kosher to litter if it’s an official event?
If you have the ability to get a packet out of your back pocket, then you also have the ability to put it back in there. Best would be to dump a bunch of gels into a re-usable plastic flask and then you don’t have to mess with tearing the top of the gel packet off.