To prepare for draft-legal riding, 2012 Olympic team member Gwen Jorgensen had to take her bike skills from zero to 60. Steal some of these tips from her coach.
Although she came from a solid running programme at the University of Wisconsin, Gwen Jorgensen had just started riding a bike when she met coach Cindi Bannink through the USAT Collegiate Recruitment Programme in 2009.
For the pack riding Jorgensen would be doing, Bannink, who was recently
named USAT Coach of the Year, knew she needed to gain bike skills—fast.
Here’s how she helped Jorgensen develop the skills she needed to go pro, nab an Olympic spot and hopefully medal in London this August.
» “We started in a parking lot just learning how to negoti- ate corners, starting slow and building up to race pace. First practising alone, then following the wheel of an experienced rider and then negotiating with others around her. She practiced in both directions.”
» “We would do ‘hot dogs,’ a course set up with a 180-degree turn at each end—learning to approach and choose a turn angle that al- lows you to ride out of the corner faster, and then punching it up to speed coming out of the turn.”
» “We practised riding close to others and placing a hand on a partner’s shoulder to get used to riding close and maintaining control of the bicycle.”
» “To put all her skills into practice in a race setting, Gwen has started participating in some bike races.
This really helps reinforce the skills and allows her to assess where she is doing well and areas which need improvement.