Spring training in New England

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Fortunately my early season pace allows for plenty of reaction time, because the roads are rough out there right now – full of potholes and frost heaves.

Take a look at this doozie I came accross today along a pond in Harold Parker State Forest. It’s a good two bike lengths long. What’s nice is that the line of sight also includes the ice on the pond. Ah, spring training in New England…

Learn to race, even if you’ll never race

The Northeast Bicycle Club (NEBC),  a developmental club with a variety of programs and events for riders of all ages and capabilities, is putting on their annual bike racing clinic.

It’s a great program that features two off-bike discussion sessions in March, and four on-bike clinics out at Fort Devens on Saturdays in April.

The “graduation” exercise is participation in an actual bike race, on a short and safe course in Newton, the Wells Ave racing series run by Boston Road Club.

Even if you’ll never race

Even if you have no intention of racing, this clinic is a fantastic way to learn to appreciate the sport of bike racing, and to seriously upgrade your skills for safe and fun riding in groups or with clubs.

Check out what is covered:

  • Bike handling: Cornering; pacelines & double pacelines; riding in close groups; incidental contact.
  • Racing skills: Sprinting; time trialing; climbing and descending; starting and finishing.
  • Tactics and strategies: Road racing as a team sport; applying team strategies and tactics in race situations; using the race course and your strengths to your advantage.
  • Training and equipment: Periodization and specificity; training effort zones; racing bicycles & equipment; maintaining and performance tuning your equipment; proper bike fit.

The instructors are great – patient, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic about the sport and educating riders. The price is cheap, too.

Find all the details on BikeReg here: http://www.bikereg.com/events/register.asp?eventid=12615

And hurry! Registration closes on March 18th, but this class tends to fill up quickly.

Photo credit: spunkinator

New Massachusetts Law on Bike Safety

Massachusetts just passed a new law about bicycle safety. It simply seems to codify a number of common sense issues. What’s most surprising is that it took 8 years to get everyone to agree on these items. MassBike has done a good job of summarizing the new law. Check out their info on this link:

It still seems to me that the best overall approach is to ride as defensively as possible. If there’s an issue between a car and a cyclist, the cyclist loses every time, regardless of who’s right. Knowing that someone may potentially get fined $100 if I get doored doesn’t dampen my desire to not get doored.
The “right hook” thing mentioned in the MassBike summary just happened to me on my ride today. What’s amazing is that the car passed me before making its abrupt right turn right in front of me. I find this intriguing, as the car had to have seen me — they had just passed me. Oh well, hopefully all the press this new law is getting in Massachusetts will raise some awareness. Though, judging by the comments posted on Boston.com, there is a lot of hostility between the parties who participate in many of those discussions…. Can’t we all just get along 😉