Skills in the Snow

Skills in the Snow

"Incorporating skill work into your weekly training routine is as essential as interval training."

by Brianna "Brie" Walle, ALP Cycles Coaching

What better way to embrace the recent snowfall here in Boulder...snow calls for skills and drills!

For our monthly ALP cycles Coaching Ride, Coaches Alison, Paddy, and Brie took the opportunity to cover essential bike handling skills that can be applied across all disciplines in cycling.

The importance of skill work includes: better balance on the bike and in the peloton, maneuvering through a pack of riders during a race, managing obstacles/avoiding crashing and how to pick up speed quickly in a mass start situation (applies to: MTB Cyclocross and Road situations).

We started our ride with our friends at the Specialized Retül Experience Center for some delicious espresso, activation stretches and warm-up...and drooled over the 2019 Specialized bike fleets.

  • Bumping and balance: On the field (used cones to square off a designated space) rode 2-3 abreast, around the square, whilst bumping into each other along the way. Focus being : keeping center of gravity, shifting the bike underneath for stability and aiming to bump without going donw. Elbows and knees bowed out to help with balance.

  • Starts: Lined up across the field (sprinting for about 15 seconds) in the smallest gearing combination, moving to the biggest gear combo and lastly gearing of choice. Focus on being: fastest lines, pedal and crank position, and accelerations.

  • Cornering: Weaving around a section of lined posts, spaced 3 feet apart, practicing maneuvering around 1-2 and then every post.

  • Wheelies & riding over obstacles: Shifting weight, pedal power transfer and core activation.

ALP Cycles Coaching Training Video

Incorporating skill work into your weekly training routine is as essential as interval training. Mistakes will be made, falls could happen, but you get up, have a good laugh and take away valuable lessons. 

Ask your ALP Cycles coach if you need or want help improving your bike handling skills.

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ABOUT BRIANNA "BRIE" WALLE

Brie Walle ALP Cycles Coaching

Brie is originally from Portland, Oregon and comes from a multi-sport background. Alpine ski racing and cross-country running were her early specialties, but cycling has always been #1.

Brianna has close to a decade of racing experience, including Cyclocross. She joins us after racing 5 years on UCI international teams TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank and Optum Por Cycling p/b Kelley Benefit Strategies (currently known as "Rally Cycling"). She was a General Classification (G.C.) rider with strengths in individual and Team Time Trial. Her proudest moments include winning the 2016 North Star Grand Prix, 2014 Tour de Feminin (Czech), 2015 USA Team Time Trial National Championship and working for Mara Abbott (USA National Team) at the 2013 Giro Rosa.

 Brianna specializes in: Road racing and tactics, cyclocross and exceptional communication skills.. She is looking forward to passing on her knowledge and assisting her athletes in reaching their full potential.

About ALP Cycles Coaching

ALP Cycles Coaching is located in the mountains of Colorado, and is a cycling coaching company with over 25 years of professional sports experience. ALP Cycles Coaching is unique in that we have 4 coaches, Alison Powers, Shawn Heidgen, Jennifer Triplett, and Patricia Schwager who each brings her own coaching strengths and personal experiences. We work together to create a training plan that works for each and every person. Visit them online at http://alpcyclescoach


About The Author

Tony Kelsey has 20 years of marketing experience, previously serving as the Global Vice President of creative for an international, $1B IT solutions consultance. Although self-proclaimed "mediocre" racer in high school, his intense passion for cycling and bicycles in general has never waned. Today he is the Marketing VP at Pactimo and frequently writes about cycling as a sport and hobby @tonykelsey