Want to get better, faster, stronger on the bike but don't want to sacrifice an evening outside for sweating indoors on a trainer? With the days growing longer, the sun getting warmer and the calendar inching closer to summer, neither do we. Those warm weather days are a hot commodity here in the Midwest and the last thing you--or I--want to do is miss one on account of some precious training hours.
Good news: Vision Quest Coaching has a solution. Their Taste of VQ cycling sessions have aided cyclists, triathletes and newbies to gain experience, improvement, power and even expertise on the bike. But it was all indoors at their training facilities in Chicago, Highland Park, Naperville and Florida, where participants would bring their bikes, set them up on CompuTrainers, and ride the given workout with its combination of flats, hills and threshold work. (I tried it last winter and after the initial trepidation, I was so hooked I went back for a second session .)
Until now, that is. Vision Quest is amping up the stakes on its programming and bringing Taste of VQ outdoors this spring. Not only is this perfect timing for the training season ahead, but it's a perfect way to enjoy the improving weather conditions and workout at the same time. And since you'll be off the trainer, you'll be working on your bike handling skills--a plus for the craziness on the Lakefront Path that has already ensued on those recent 80-degree days.
If you've participated in Taste of VQ before or have spent a winter riding on your trainer, you'll be able to put your power skills to the test and combine them with your bike handling know-how. Talk about a sublime marriage of necessities on the bike--at least I think so since my handling is sub-par--and in a somewhat controlled environment too. The VQ coaches will help you master your power while working on cornering, accelerations, pack riding, pacing and more. If you've ever been scared of going out on a group ride--perhaps a fear of getting dropped or colliding with your neighbor--you'll be giddy to get out there next time.
The outdoor season of Taste of VQ starts this week and runs for 8 weeks. Classes take place on Wednesdays at 6 p.m. at Fort Sheridan (Old Elm and Sheridan Road in Highland Park) or Fridays at 6 a.m. at the Northbrook Velodrome ( directions here ). Spots still remain and the session costs $150.
For more details, check out the following Taste of VQ video.