Many of those who circle the circuit adjacent to the Delki Dozzi soccer field are regulars, cyclists who have called this venue home each and every Tuesday and Thursday of the summer for years on end. But the Sudbury Cycling Club (SCC) also attracts newcomers, those who have wandered over, each for their own reason, all holding the possibility of becoming a regular.
Mike Nawalaniec first took the SCC plunge late last summer, getting a taste of what was in store. It was easily enough to captivate the enthusiastic triathlon competitor.
"It's a great place to learn how to cycle and a great place to improve your cycling," he explained. "I read on the internet, somewhere, that it takes seven years to cycle properly. Some of these guys have been riding forever.
"These guys can teach you more in one or two sentences than you will learn in a weekend of cycling," Nawalaniec added.
Originally mentored, to some extent, by a friend who routinely rides from Espanola to Little Current and back, Nawalaniec and his girlfriend are training for triathlons, looking to tackle a pair of half Ironman courses in the fall.
Given that the cycling component covers far and away the most distance for any triathlon event, it seemed only natural to try to improve the middle segment of the race.
"Seat position and position on the bike," Nawalaniec said, addressing the some of the training tips he has come across. "There is so much that goes into the proper height of your seat and the proper position, allowing you to have the right power."
According to this local rider, these tips and others have paid immediate dividends, though he hopes to see more come race-time.
Nawalaniec is scheduled to tackle the Subaru Muskoka Ironman on Sept. 9, moving on to the Beach 2 Battleship race in North Carolina some six weeks later.
"I'm heading down with a group from Parry Sound, about a dozen of us in all," Nawalaniec said. "It's a destination race."
That is to say that the choice of this particular event is as much about having an interest in seeing a certain part of the world as it is about any of the race specifics.
Yet another rider with clear goals in mind this summer is former Cambrian athletic director Michel Barbeau. Now in his 11th year with the club and having celebrated his 58th birthday, Barbeau is riding as fast as ever.
He has targetted a pair of personal best times, looking to break the seven minute mark in the five-kilometre time trial on his home course and then pursuing, more aggressively, a sub one-hour time on the "Bike the Bruce" weekend.
The latter would likely place Barbeau among the top 10 in the province, for his age group, in a 40-kilometre time trial.
Posted by Laurel Myers