Mitch, Billy, Jeff and Richard battle through some one-legged squats

I’m very lucky in that I really love my job. On Mondays and Wednesdays at 6:15am, however, I have the privilege of coaching a group of cyclists that have repeatedly helped me better understand exactly why I enjoy coaching so much. They have offered me an indirect form of learning about the sport and roles that I can play in it. I like that form of learning. To paraphrase an (in)famous poet: A field is one thing for a painter who wants to give you his impression of it; but it’s something else for a farmer who plants things to watch them grow.

One of the things that is starting to take root in my approach to cycling is to better articulate it’s role within the multifaceted lives of my clients. To make this post short, this Mon/Wed group has “high-level banter” (!). Yes, they are all successful; they all train very hard; and they’re all good athletes…but they can also yap on and on…and on and on… about their families and all sorts of interests: music, art, architecture, politics, business, machines, electricity etc. And don’t bother getting into a teasing match or you’re going to come second without even realizing it. Importantly, the vibe is always relaxed and friendly. Cycling is a part of this broader openness to what life gives and takes. Performance-orientated coaching should account for this and thus how I think of group rides and dynamic group training must develop.

There is one topic, however, that Mitch, Jeff, Richard, George, Brahm and Billy talk about more than any other: skiing. When normal folks walk out the door and notice it is cold, they shiver. When this group notices it’s cold, it is a stimulus to imagine what the weather is like on various ski hills around the world. On Mondays their legs are often tired from skiing, and if not, they’re a touch resentful. In fact, on Fridays, they do some strength training with our strength coach, Richard Tardiff. If he makes their legs sore, they only talk about it in relation to how it affected their skiing.

That provides the perfect segway to the photo series and vids that follow. Check out the videos, especially the one starring their good friend Ricky Dubrovsky. You get a real sense of … just check it out!

A couple weeks ago, Richard, Mitch, Jeff and Billy were doing this:

Mitch, Billy, Jeff and Richard battle through some one-legged squats

Meanwhile, Brahm took some photos of similar activities that he, George, Ricky and some other friends were doing:

Sort of like squats but...NOT!

"Trust me boys... I'm doing a one-legged squat!"

weight-lifting vs skiing: heaving vs heaven!

In the background of this photo, you can see strength coach Richard Tardiff taking a photo of the boys doing single-leg deadlifts:

"These single-leg deadlifts are really helping my posterior chain!!"

And here’s a photo of the rest of the gang’s strength coach during the ski trip:

"Keep your weight a bit further back Brahm... the camera angles will be off and my beauty will never forgive you!! Good work!! Now give me three more quick photos of majestic me with no rest between!!"

Now for the awesome vids shot by George. The first one of Ricky gives you a sense of the vistas in Blue River :

Here’s one of Brahm in powder. It starts with everyone trying to figure out what day it is–always a good sign on a trip!

To finish, here’s one of George loving every second of it:

Gotta love it!

About Scott Toguri McFarlane

Scott Toguri McFarlane is a former Elite racer, and the founder of Toguri Training Services. For more than a decade, his approach to training has helped aspiring professional racers, provincial team members, and recreational cyclists of all ages and ability achieve their goals, including gold medals at National and Provincial Championships.

What our lovely readers have said about it:

  1. JR says:

    WOW! So jealous, those look like some unbelievable turns.

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