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Cycling Training Camps – Have you tried one yet?

Cycling Training Camps - Have you tried one yet?
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Cycling Training Camps – Have you tried one yet?

We have been running road cycling holidays and cycling training camps in Spain since 2004 and have met riders from around the globe. It is true to say from meeting all these cyclist that over the last few years road cycling and triathlon are the 2 fastest growing sports (definitely in terms of increase participation) around the world. Whilst many of you have taken to two wheel adventures in your own country of residence some riders are still reluctant to take their passion about pedalling and turn it into a holiday choice. We have heard numerous reasons why as cyclists may delay the inevitable, here are a few that spring to mind

  1. I am too slow and will hold everyone up/will I be able to keep up or Will I be too fast and have to wait around for slower riders
  2. Riding in a large group is intimidating/ I have never done this before
  3. It is too much hassle to take my bike
  4. Will there be good hire bikes
  5. Are the roads very busy
  6. Will it just be a bunch of Racing Snakes on Strava fuelled thrash fests
  7. Where to go/Who to go with/How do I choose the correct destination for me

These are probably the main concerns of many riders and choosing the correct cycling holiday / training camp destination, it can appear to be pot luck on finding a good one. You may ask other riders for their suggestions on appropriate destinations but this can be like asking a fellow cyclist ‘What gear should I be riding in`. What suits one person may not be good for another, it is definitely not a ‘One glove, or gear in this case, fits all` scenario.

On some road cycling / training camp destinations if you can not keep up with your group/guide then you are dropped and left to find your own way back. Some riders relish the ‘Survival of the fittest` group rides where only the strong survive, however, many would be filled with dread about this style of cycling holiday / training camp.

One of the main things to consider is the terrain that you will be riding in and how this compares to your rides at home. At most popular cycling holiday / training camp destinations there will be a considerable amount more of elevation per ride than what you are perhaps use to when riding at home. We frequently get asked about the speed the groups ride at. This is an almost impossible question to answer as it will change week to week depending on the riders that are here, whether they are training for a specific event and where they are within that training plan eg doing the base training or peaking. Whilst our average speeds here in Montecorto may look slow on paper you need to take into account the elevation within the ride. For example a 50km ride on flat terrain will be faster than a 50km ride which has 1000m of elevation. The time you loose riding up hill is never regained on the descents. Even our strongest of clients on a 125km would struggle to average over 25/26kmph and that is because there would be around 2400-2800m of elevation.

Here are my thoughts on the 7 points above

  1. You will never know if you are too slow if you do not come and give it a try. A good road cycling /training camp holiday company will provide multiple ride options for you to choose from on a daily basis. We have a No Drop Policy on our rides. We encourage riders to ride at their own pace (usually not peloton style group riding) and we regroup at key junctions and tops of climbs
  2. If you have never ridden in a large group pick a small family run business (they would probably have smaller groups) and speak with the owners/guides when you arrive to let them know your anxiety about group riding
  3. It can be a hassle to bring your own bike but there are many bike box hire companies who will pack and rebuild your bike for you. We also offer assistance at this end for building and packing away your trusty steed. We also do a bike safety check before you ride your bike to ensure it has been correctly reassembled and is road worthy.
  4. Bike Hire. I have heard a few horror stories about bike hire over the years. This is probably one aspect you will not find out about until you have arrived and then it could all be too late!! We change our bikes every 2-3 years (depending on usage) and all bikes are serviced between each client. Bear in mind that things can go wrong on a bike but if you turn up and the tyres are bald, brakes are worn and the bike is dirty and looks generally poorly maintained, do you really want to be riding it?
  5.  The roads in and around Montecorto are very quiet. Even the main roads are not overly busy. We can very often ride for 20 minutes with out seeing a vehicle on the road
  6. Racing Snakes. Again you may not know this until you arrive, however, if you have multiple ride options to choose from each day then your selected cycling holiday / training camp company would/should ensure that there are non racing snake ride options for you to enjoy
  7. Where to go. Well a little bit of research is required and you can get the general feel of a company by reading reviews on the web, looking at their Social Media pages (are the clients in the pictures a similar age to yourself). Do you want to be a number in a large peloton that only sees the guide from a distance, usually from behind, or do you want to meet the owners/guides have a pre ride coffee and chat and be able to ride with and talk to them on a daily basis, this is not always the case with larger companies

Here at the Andalucian Cycling Experience we endeavour to look after all our clients needs and our aim is to encourage and nurture our clients/riders to become better/stronger/faster but more importantly to ensure that they have a great time riding here in Andalucia. When you leave you feel that we have challenged you on a number of occasions, that they have improved but have not been completely destroyed in the process and you leave with a great sense of achievement and enjoyment from the week.

Do not hold off booking your road cycling holiday / training camp.  It is a great way to explore the world, meet like minded cyclists and to spend your holidays. We still go on cycling holidays and love it. We hope to see you soon but if we do not we hope you enjoy riding abroad where ever that may be.

Happy cycling!

As ever we hope you remain Passionate about Pedalling, you are Mad about Mountains and Bonkers about Bikes


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