Last night 14 DEVO athletes took part in a bike fitting at the rec center by Dr. Ryan Siggins and former road professional David Farmer. The crew at Durango Bike Fit took their time with each athlete and raising seats, lengthining stems were the common theme. Thanks to Ryan, Raequel and David for the help!
Dan Bowman is a Fort Lewis College graduate and is currently on the Kelly Benefits Pro Road Racing Team. He lives and trains in the hills surrounding Durango. A local man of mystery and an international road racing workhorse, Dan is currently racing overseas and has his sights set on the Iron Horse in may and the national championships on the mountain bike in Sol Vista this July.
Q: How did you find out about FLC cycling and what brought you to Durango?
A: Mountain Bike Worlds were in June and I didn’t think I could be fit by then living in Michigan. I was going to graduate High School early and go live with my Uncle in San Diego, but my dad didn’t like that idea. He talked with the Junior Development Cycling Foundation and they recommended trying Collegiate Cycling. I applied at a few different Schools, but I only had about two weeks before the winter semester started and Fort Lewis was the only one that let me in on such short notice. I had never been to Durango, but it worked out and I am still there ten years later.
Q: You came to town as a mtber right?, When did you decide to focus on road racing instead of mountain bike racing?
A:I did my first road race ever with FLC cycling that spring. It was right when Lance was winning the Tour de France and there was a lot more coverage of road racing. Plus, there were so many more opportunities for support with the National Team and development teams that would give me bikes and get me to races. So I did a few mountain bike national races early 2002 and then was just doing road races by June. I still did some Collegiate Mountain bike races, though.
Q: What team are you on and what is your role on the team? Has it changed over the years?
A: I am racing with the Kelly Benefit Strategies Pro Cycling Team. I am a climber/ hard race guy. But depending on the coarse, I help the sprinters or get bottles. Our team is great in that we all work together to achive the best result for the team. I could get 12th in a field sprint, but I would rather work to get my sprinter in a good position and end up 87th in the sprint, because he has a better chance to win in that situation. Where the sprinter will help me before a climb, because I have a better chance for a result.
Q: What is your favorite 2 hour road loop from town?
A: I like the Valley loop. There is not a lot of traffic and I can throw in a few climbs. I love the Missionary Ridge Road.
Q: Who were your cycling heros as a junior? Who are they now?
A: As a Junior I looked up to guys like Ned and Tinker Juarez. The 1998 Tour de France came on at 3 in the morning and stayed up and watched Marco Pantani win the tour on a huge climb. I thought that was pretty cool. At first, I was nervous lining up with the guys that I had only seen in the magazines. But I got over that and realized they are just guys. They really aren’t as cool as you think. I guess Ned is a pretty cool guy.
Q: What was the junior racing scene like in Michigan? Where there any junior programs around where you lived?
A:There is a pretty good series of mountain bike races. I could pretty much race every weekend with a 3 hour drive or less. There were a good group of juniors that battled every weekend. My dad also raced and we would go to the races together. There was nothing like the Durango Devo. I was sponsored by Billy’s Bike Shop. Billy would give me a deal on bikes, help me with coaching and hand me bottles at races.
Q: What advice would you give to a junior mountain biker looking to make a profession of cycling?
A: I would not be afraid to try some road races. It is good for the fitness. Most top mountain bikers race or have raced the road. It will help you develop and there are a lot more guys getting paid racing road. There are many development teams that will give you bikes fly you all over the world to race. You can always race both, I am going to race Mountain Bike Nationals in Granby this year.
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Last Friday several Devo coaches and an athlete headed over to the grand opening of the Durango Performance Center. We arrived just as Dr. Bruce Andrea was explaining his services that will cater to the local athletic community. Local pro road rider for the newly formed Bahati Foundation Team, Neil Coleman was the guinne pig as cycling coach Rick Crawford ran through a Vo2max/blood lactate test for the crowd. Along with the athlete testing services, Dr. Andrea has started up a non-profit in the aims of studying heart performance in youth athletes and diagnosing disease. Called the Philippides Project Inc. after the famed pre-Olympic message runner who died instantly after running over 300 miles to inform the land of the competition ahead. The project is looking for funding to begin working with the communities youth athletes.
From Field Blevins, President of Durango BMX
“Hello Everyone. Many thanks to the volunteers who worked on the track yesterday. It is ready to ride. It has been packed and is in pretty good shape for this time of the year. There is still a fair amount of loose dirt on the top, especially in the turns, but there was a positive report and a lot of smiles from the riders who practiced today. As soon as the city feels it is warm enough to be safe to turn on the water, we can finish getting it into great shape. We need to be able to wet the track to be able to finish packing the surface.”
“We will begin gate practice this Tuesday. 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm, but I anticipate some riders will be there before 5 pm. Please watch the web site, as I anticipate that we will have our first race very soon (dictated by weather and track conditions). The web site will announce practice and race dates.”
Matt Shriver is the Head Coach for the Fort Lewis Cycling team. A former collegiate champion, Matt retired from professional cycling in 2008 to focus on coaching. Its 2010 and Matt is still coaching the powerhouse Skyhawks, and has picked up coaching work overseas this summer in Germany for the U23 and Junior National riders through USA Cycling. It also is becoming apparent that Matt has not really retired. He is still super fast, and quite possibly faster than ever.
Q: You coach collegiate cyclists, what are the similarities and differences between the junior and collegiate athletes in terms of training habits?
A: It is surprising how many similarities there are with junior and collegiate athletes. The majority of the riders come straight out of high school and the junior racing scenes in their region. Most of them are very green and have a lot of things to learn as riders and adults. Their training habits really depend on the disciplines that they have raced and how competitive the racing was in their region. The mountain bikers tend to be a little bit more relaxed with their training, less structured and just roost trails whenever without a lot of structured training. The road riders usually do a little more structured training, and put in the miles.
The biggest difference between collegiate racing an juniors is that it’s a major step up in experience. The age and experience of the collegiate riders is across the board. We have 18 year olds traveling and racing alongside veteran pro’s for both road and mountain biking. In collegiate, you learn a lot about training and racing from your teammates as well as the coaches. That is probably the biggest difference from racing junior to collegiate, just the amount of experienced riders and enthusiasm for racing and training is a lot higher.
Q: What is the best thing about collegiate cycling? as a coach, and as a former collegiate cyclist?
A: Collegiate cycling is my favorite cycling atmosphere. There aren’t a lot of egos and the playing field is level. The passion for the sport and desire to succeed is at its highest in the collegiate years. There is so much energy and it really is racing at the purest form.
With collegiate cycling also comes the pride of your team and school. When you put on the Fort Lewis College jersey, you are a part of the best cycling program in the country. In the cycling world, coming from Fort Lewis College means so much because of the rich cycling history we have and the quality riders and people we have produced.
Some of my favorite times racing bikes where as a collegiate rider. The friends you make and the character of your teammates are unmatched. You meet lifetime friends and make connections that will last a lifetime. My favorite racing experiences are from the collegiate days, when nothing mattered but doing the best you could for your school. It wasn’t about sponsors, money, or trying to get a contract. The racing was about chasing your dreams and representing your teammates, your town, and doing the best you could. It was an awesome experience and I would do it all over again if I could!
Q: What is the common thing your collegiate athletes need to work on in terms of racing and or training technique, when they first come to the FLC program? (what did they neglect to train as a junior?)
A: Every rider is different. This is one thing that many coaches neglect with designing training plans. What works for one athlete may not work for the others. Finding each riders weakness takes some time to sort out and isn’t always easy. One of the most common areas the riders neglect is their recovery. A lot of them train enough, but forget that recovery is half of their training. Add the college lifestyle of a little more freedom and it can be disaster. Really getting their recovery dialed is important and for them to recognize that recovery is just as important as the training rides. You have to recover as hard as you train
Another common mistake is that the riders get carried away with base training. They come from racing juniors to stepping it up into the collegiate ranks and the upper catergories. Many riders put in way to many hours, more hours than some pros! Yes, it is important to get in a good base for the season. However when you are in school as a full time student, maybe working part time, having a life it is to much. That’s like having three jobs. Something’s going to give from all that stress and it’s going to be your body. Keeping the rains on the collegiate riders and their base volume and hours is important to me. It’s common for them to make the mistake of to much too quick and frying themselves before the season is even over. It is a fine balance, and balance is the key. Structured training is important and logging some miles, but so is enjoying your college experience and it will help your cycling overall.
Q: Has the transition from junior cat 1 racing to pro racing changed since you were a developing junior?
A:The transition from Junior to Pro has changed immensely since I was a junior (1998). There were only a few juniors that could compete with the Pro riders, so making that transition was huge and difficult. Some of the Juniors were even too fast too soon, and they made the transition no problem but were so burned out that they didn’t last long. Making the leap was really tough and discouraging without some guidance and leadership. We didn’t have programs like Durango Devo to help guide us on a good path for a successful and FUN career in cycling. Having programs in place like Durango Devo make that transition to the higher ranks much easier. There is a lot more opportunity for juniors now than before in both road and mountain biking.
Q: What is your favorite mountain bike workout in town?
A: There are to many to count! Right out my front door would have to be just shredding Horse Gulch. I love to ride hard up the Talker Trail into the Gulch, hit the meadow to Telegraph and down Yellow Brick road to Sidewinder. Hook up with the sweet flow of Cowboy trail over to South Rim and back up the Crites connection trail. Finish it up down Anasazi descent and an up Stacey’s down and out! It’s a killer sample of some of the finest trails the Gulch has plus some good climbing. I stay on it the whole way non-stop usually. Getting all that in about 2 hours always leaves a grin on my face. I can’t wait for the trails to dry up.
Q: What do you think about the Tellegraph Hill climb as a training tool? WOuld you be interested in coming out with us this summer and trying to break the record? You currently have the second best time ever at 15 min 3 seconds(?)
A: The Telegraph Climb is a great gauge of fitness. It is important to have indicators during the season to keep an eye on your form. Doing this climb once a month or a test similar is recommended. Actually, this past fall I smashed the record on the 5” Bike. 14:28 from the bottom to the top. 2009 was a good year and adding a new personal best Telegraph time trial was another milestone. I look forward to coming out in July and doing some of the time trials and Devo rides for Leadville 100 training. A lot of my summer will be spent in Germany working with the US Juniors and U-23 Mountain bikers with USA Cycling.
Q: Any sweet junior training tips?
A: Dabble in as many disciplines as you can and be open to learn. I hear a lot of mountain bikers say how they don’t like road racing. Or the roadies talking about mountain biking the same way. The truth is that they compliment each other and you really can’t be a great mountaan biker without some road racing. Road racing teaches you how to read a race tactically. Roadies need the mountain biking skills. Mountain biking also builds incredible strength for climbing. Get some education in training and racing from your coaches! Most of all keep it fun. This is so important at all levels, even the highest. If you think about why you love riding, love racing and why you do it, it’s for fun! Once you lose this perspective then it becomes difficult. It goes back to the balance of it all. Keep it fun!
Happy April. DEVO has begun and that means tons of things are about to begin. Monday the U19 men and women will start their Computrainer fitness tracking at The Hub. 8 athletes will take a threshold test to help chart their progress throughout the season. Speaking of season, the first DEVO Team Race will take place in Fruita, Colorado the 23rd to the 25th. We’re guessing around 25 U14,19 athletes and another 25 parents and coaches will camp out and race together at the Rabbit Valley recreation area, right next to the Utah border. But even before all that, Top Secret Training Camp will be offered to all U14,19 athletes in the New Mexico desert. This will be the 3rd running of the training camp and we’re pumped as ever. The camp brings all the DEVO athletes and coaches together to train and get some skills under their belt. And the friday after TSTC is the first DEVO Telegraph Time Trial. The athletes do this once a month to gauge fitness and just because its so dang fun! Who knows when that track will be dry. Speaking of the weather, the JrDEVO kids must be bummin, because their 8 week program has been moved back a week due to soggy trails. Look for their fun bright yellow jerseys out on Durango’s sweet trails beginning the week of April 12th. Oh and there is the Bike Fit night for all DEVO athletes at the Rec Center. If you are doing DEVO, bring yer bike on wednesday night from 6-8pm and have your bike professionally fit to you by Ryan Siggins of Durango Bike Fit. And lastly, money is hard to come buy at the moment so save all your unused cycling stuff to sell at our big spring fundraiser during the Iron Horse Weekend, The DEVO Bike Swap. Thousands of people will be in town to race the train and we’ll sell your stuff to them. Sounds like a plan. Have a nice springish day.
As of April 1st, the Durango DEVO 2010 season will be cancelled and ended at once. We have been in contact with numerous weather-men and they have all advised an all out cancellation due to never ending winter-like conditions. “The snow will never stop, so we must.” said coach Chad Cheeney. April Fools
Rumor has it that there is a top secret training camp rapidly approaching. Would you want to show up to train on your bike adjusted to last season’s body? Aren’t you taller now? Stronger? Come to Top Secret DEVO Bike Fit Night at the Durango Rec Center on Wednesday, April 7th from 6-8pm to get your bike fitted so you can ride faster and harder. Dr. Ryan Siggins, a certified Retul bike fitter, helps fit the pros including riders on the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Team and the Fort Lewis Cycling team . Ryan will take your bike and fit it to this year’s taller, stronger, meaner body. Get ready for the best season ever with a bike fit by Ryan Siggins.
Local Horse Gulch lover, Adam Howell has created a blog to keep us all informed on the progress of the Horse Gulch development plan. It is scarry to us all and his blog can lend a helping hand. Check it out and get involved. http://horsegulch.wordpress.com/
Russell Finsterwald has made the big show. After a strong final junior season at the Mountain States Cups and a win at Nationals in Sol Vista, he is now traveling with one of the best teams in the nation, The Subaru/Gary Fisher team. Nice work Russell!
Hello Devo Jr. families. Just a reminder: all schedules have been sent out and posted on our website. U14/U19 starts this week, Just Ride/1st grade/kinder starts next week, and all other Devo Jr. groups start the week of April 12th……ahhhhhh why can’t this snow melt already! All the Devo coaches want to ride!
Devo Jr. jerseys are at Hasslefree! Hasslefree is our Devo Jr. shop and has special Devo deals on bikes and biking equipment. Please, please understand that all our Durango bike shops are such a great support to Devo. They are always willing to go out of their way to help Devo and its families. Please know that the special pricing is for Devo athletes and not their parents and/or non-Devo siblings.
If you are looking for a bike. 1st check out Hasslefree, as the have some great Trek bikes for kids! But, also check out our other bike shop partners: 2nd Ave, DurangoCyclery, and MBS. 2nd Ave has some great kids’ Scott’s! OR, the website is being updated and will include a “bike swap/gear sale” link for kids wanting to swap out for bigger sizes. OR, check out DurangoDevo/ Iron Horse’s Bike Swap. OR Devo does have some loaner bikes…mostly 24″.
I hope this is helpful to everyone! Think warm, windy weather to dry out the trails!!
Durango DEVO Director
2010 Spring ride schedules
Hip Hip Hooray, the DEVO 2010 season begins today with the U14 boys and girls practice. Starting at 4pm, the middle school athletes will embark on yet another mountain bike season to remember. With all this snow still around, we are set for an amazing spring of loamy trail conditions. And the flowers are bound to be amazing.
Sunday the DEVO U14 and U19 coaches met early at the Rec Center and went ona fun group ride. The first mission was to see if Animas was good and boy was it ever. The wildlife closure is still in effect, but even that small loop had the group pumped. After that it was off to a quick jump sesh at a nearby curb ramp and then a nice spin over to bread to eat some coffee and drink some bread. We have a super solid coaching squad this season and it was evident after the ride that we all are on the same track. Now lets have some fun!!,
Crested Butte put colorado mountain biking on the map. Take a watch, school is in session.,