The Art of the Pack

School of fish.  Pack of wolves.  Flock of birds.  Surfer on a wave.  When you decide to race your bike, you are assigning yourself to this kind of obedience and lack of control.  Group think, primitive reflexive response to the flow and changes of the herd and conditions.  You know what I am talking about?  Then maybe you haven’t raced, cause when you decide to ride with a group of riders without the formality of pacelines or ride leaders, chaos ensues and the rules of how you thought you should ride your bike are out the window, and you need to become “subject to the herd”.  

The good news is that once you learn the subtle art of riding with the pack, you will enjoy it and find much satisfaction from being able to fly along at twice your normal speed for hours on end, rocketing over the hills and dales of the country until the next climb starts.  You will be able to take advantage of the turbo speeds, and launch yourself to the stratosphere of bike speed and performance, there is no other way to fly.  The bad news is that not everyone makes the jump to good pack riding, and some of you will give up long before you ever accumulate enough skills and experience to truly enjoy the experience.  There is always racing Time Trials,  Triathlon, Mountain bike and Cyclocross, so don’t worry.

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This weeks free clinics and rides at Cycle U

This Saturday May 2nd we do our Fix a Flat, lube your chain and basic maintenance clinic at West Seattle store 11-11:45am.  We then lead a free shop ride at noon of about 20 miles with Head Coach Craig Undem.  Learn to paceline and ride correctly along with finding a new route!

Sand Point shop there is a free ride at 11am, going to Seward Park and back from the shop.  This is a classic “bread and butter” route that everyone needs to know, from here you can launch to Mercer Island, South end of Lake Washington or anything on the East Side.  We don’t want to see anyone riding up through the Arboretum (down or North is OK if you are going fast) because there is no shoulder.  Learn the right way to navigate through the North end to South Lake Washington by bicycle.

Our 11th anniversary sale also continues with everything in both stores on sale 20-60% through this weekend. 

Ride with Cycle U


Other upcomming free events in May:

How to Fix a Flat and Lube your Chain, basic maintenance. 
-Saturday May 2nd 11-11:30am West Seattle shop. 

Try Road Racing!  Clinic at Pacific Raceways.  info at Budu Racing the race promoter website
-Tuesday May 5th 5:55pm AT Pacific Raceways 

How to Commute by Bicycle or use it as basic transportation.
-Wednesday May 6th 6:30-7:15pm West Seattle shop.

Get Ready to Ride! safety, mechanical and fitting check on your bicycle
-Saturday May 9th 11-11:30am West Seattle AND Sand Point shops, same times at each.

Winning Cyclocross, the secrets to a winning season by Head Coach Craig Undem
-Tuesday May 12th 7:30-8:30pm Sand Point shop.   Link to sign up, limited seating

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Push the pedals down…ALL the way down

The thing that most new cyclists don’t know, is that they won’t die.  They can push harder than they can imagine, and when I started racing I remember it was my biggest hurtle, learning how to suffer more, because that is where all the big gains are.  The more I pushed myself, the more I was able to push myself, the stronger I got, the more I enjoyed riding.  It helps if you get a little angry or remember when someone was mean to you, fuel for the effort.  Your not going to fall off the bike even if you are near exhaustion, your already sitting down! 

 The focus and willingness to work hard…

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Major Taylor Project Rocks Flying Wheels

by Coach Dan Harm

June 24, 2009


Youth from the Major Taylor Project are gaining momentum as they train and prepare for the much anticipated Seattle to Portland bike ride. Flying Wheels was seen as fun-filled preparation day for the youth focused on completing the S.T.P.

During the week the Major Taylor youth, with the guidance of program instructors and volunteers, bike together on scenic training rides. Through the course of these rides the youth learn fundamental bike maintenance and proper riding safety. On the weekend the club ventures out on longer, more epic rides that explore areas of Seattle many Major Taylor youth have never even seen before.

Danielle Rose, an instructor and coordinator for the Major Taylor Project tells her story of Flying Wheels:

“On Saturday, June 13th, thirteen youth ages 14-18 from the Major Taylor Project at Global Connections High School and the YES Foundation of White Center joined 3,000 other riders for Cascade’s Flying Wheels Summer Century. The students arrived at the Velodrome at 8:00am and looked nervous and tired, faced with the day’s ride ahead of them. Most were signed up for the 45-mile loop in preparation for the upcoming STP ride. One of the youth who suffers from Cerebral Palsy, on only his second day riding with the Major Taylor Project and using a hand cycle borrowed from Outdoors for All rode the 25-mile loop. He plans to ride the STP, if Outdoors for All has a hand cycle available for him to use.

During those 4-hours, the students seemed affected by the transformative effects of pursuing a long and challenging ride. When the group congregated in the parking lot at the end, there were many friendly volunteers and fellow riders to thank for their encouragements along the way, and stories to share of near misses and endless hills. The most commonly asked question at the end of the day? When are we riding next?! Now the group is training intensively for STP, with 10 youth signed up, and 6 more possibly joining us, we’re going to have a big group. Thanks to all of the riders in advance who will cheer them on as they work towards their biggest riding accomplishment ever! If you’d like to volunteer or donate, please let us know.”


Major Taylor Link

Click to read more about the project