You just signed up for a major riding event! Now what?

Maybe you were inspired by ringing in the New Year. Or maybe you have a really persuasive friend. Maybe it was a bucket list item that’s finally getting checked off.

No matter the scenario, you likely have one thing on your mind: you just signed up for one of Cascade’s major riding events and suddenly find yourself wondering “now what?” 

Cascade’s major events range from 20 miles to 200. And no matter what kind of rider you are and how much experience you have, it’s always great to spend some time on the bike before showing up at the start line.

Luckily, Cascade has a program that can help. 

If your plan for 2020 is to tackle one of the big rides like the STP, RSVP or even Flying Wheels, the Cascade Training Series (CTS) is a great first step. Beginning in April, the training series consists of comprehensive trainings designed to increase your endurance and prepare you for long-distance events. Participants can expect to learn safe group riding skills and suggestions for cross training, strength building, nutrition, and lots more. The training rides are held on Saturdays and grow progressively longer and more difficult to help participants build endurance for some of Cascade's longer rides later in the riding season. 

CTS is best suited for riders who can already comfortably ride 20 miles at their chosen pace without stopping. If you are not comfortable with these distances, but are still interested in participating in the series, we encourage you to check out Cascade’s Free Group Rides and join a community ride to start working up your endurance to that level. You can check out rides that are happening in your area by visiting Cascade’s Free Group Rides calendar page. You can learn more about the Cascade Training Series and sign up by visiting our webpage when CTS becomes available for registration on January 2.  

If you’re already an experienced cyclist and would like to gain experience leading rides within the program, we’re also recruiting for associate ride leaders for the 2020 CTS season. If you want to know more, check out the experience of one former CTS associate ride leader below: 

“After riding with Cascade Bicycle Club for several years, I was invited to be an associate ride leader (ARL) for the club’s Cascade Training Series (CTS). It was a great opportunity to jump-start my ride leader training working with a group of certified, seasoned, and exceptional ride leaders and directors to develop leading skills and gain confidence in working with a large group. It was the highlight of my summer. I felt ready and enthused by the end to become certified and give back to the cycling community. Leading Cascade rides while connecting with friends, old and new, continues to be a hugely rewarding part of my life. 

I learned different things from each ride leader during the series, including how to: learn the route in advance; think ahead to get a line of 20 past a pothole, around a turn, or across a road; work as a team to fill in gaps or help with mechanicals; and support each rider in the group. 

By observing what a "good group route" looked like, I learned to plan my own routes. I also learned the local region better because I had to start paying attention to where I was going rather than blindly following others. I was hooked. The Cascade cycling community is an incredible collection of great people. Becoming an ARL is a wonderful way to discover the rewards of being a ride leader while finding and nurturing friendships that will last well beyond the series.” 

Cathy Henley
Associate Ride Leader Training, CTS: 2013

To learn more about the Cascade Training Series and becoming an associate ride leader for the 2020 season, visit cascade.org/cts.

Diana Bryant's picture
Diana Bryant