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Sitting In With Cycle Camp USA!

April 10, 2012

If’ you’ve been getting our newsletter or checking out our website or our Twitter or Facebook feeds, you’ve likely seen that we’ve partnered with Cycle Camp USA on some clinics this year. I first checked out what was then Austin Cycle Camp nearly two years ago. Since then their name has changed, their program has changed some, but their goal—being your road to better bike fitness—has stayed the same. I recently sat down with Cycle Camp USA’s founders, Trey Steele and Dave Appel, for a chat about what’s new with the guys in blue.

So.  What’s up? Seriously, let’s start with the name. Why the change?

TS:  The goal was always to grow the business and take what we think is the right tool for most riders looking to get stronger on the bike to a wider audience. When we decided to expand nationwide, we wanted to have one name that would work for any city. Rather than be Austin Cycle Camp and Denver Cycle Camp and some other town Cycle Camp, we opted to change to a national-level brand name, Cycle Camp USA.

Whoa! Denver? Cool. Where else aside from here and Colorado are you planning on opening?

TS:  The plan is to open more Central Texas regional training locations in Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. In addition, we’re opening later this summer in Florida and then early next year we’ll open San Diego and Tucson.

San Diego?! I’m in! You’ve branched out of Austin, but you’ve also expanded in Austin as well right?

DA:  Yes we have. Our group fitness program, known as CycleFit, used to be primarily taught in South Austin. Last year, we added a training location in Central Austin near Shoal Creek and Anderson Lane. In March of this year, we opened our third training location in Round Rock West Park, located off McNeil, just West of I35. We’re now offering about 15 CycleFit classes a week in addition to our other training programs.

Cycle Camp USA clients getting fit!

So how many coaches are there? What are their experience levels and qualifications?

DA:  Each city will have between three and five coaches. We currently have three here in Austin, myself, Trey, and Allison, but we’re looking to add more coaches so if any of your readers are interested, they should contact us! All Cycle Camp USA coaches are USA Cycling Certified Coaches. They also complete a three-month certification process to teach each of our training programs. While some of us race, the majority of our riding is recreational. We just like to ride for fun!

Allison Atkinson is Cycle Camp USA's newest coach.

Is your program still geared for the same type of rider it was back when you launched?

DA:  Yes, but I’m not sure when we launched our program we new exactly how to describe the ideal Cycle Camp USA member. After two years and over 200 members, the answer is now pretty easy. If you ride a road bike but have a real job, family, etc., then Cycle Camp USA would be a great fit for you. We have riders of all ability levels do everything from learning to ride in clipless pedals to training for the MS-150 to trying to lose 15 pounds. The thing that unites everyone is their desire to want to improve. This program does not work for people who don’t want to get better!

What exactly do your clients do with you all?

TS:  Ride bikes of course!

Of course!

TS:  Kidding! The program is broken down into three categories—Group Training, Personal Training, and Training Camps. Group Training is where you’ll find our CycleFit program as well as Skills Classes and Training Rides. Personal Training is all about one on one time to help you build better bike handling or fitness. Training Camps are three to five day events where we ride every day. In addition to riding, camps include nutrition instruction, clinics on bike handling, and field testing.

How do clients choose between weekly workouts and other events?  

DA:  It depends on what they want from Cycle Camp. The majority of our weekly classes are CycleFit classes. So if you’re wanting to build up your bike fitness, this is where you’ll spend a good portion of your training time. Weekends are reserved for Skills Classes, Training Rides, Personal Training, and Training Camps.

Cycle Camp USA clients on a Destination Camp in Leakey, TX.

What are you doing to get out in front of people? Any free rides or other things for folks that might be interested?  

TS:  Our members are participating in seven rides this year we call our PowerRide series. The first was Pedal through the Pines. The next PowerRide is Red Poppy Ride and then we’ll be at Real Ale Ride again this year. PowerRides are a great way to meet Cycle Camp as you can see our members and coaches riding together. After each ride, we spend time as a group visiting so feel free to stop by and hang out! In addition, we’re hosting a FREE bike ride from Bicycle Sport Shop Lamar on Sunday April 29th. It’s a two hour ride at about a 13-14 mph average. For some it will be a recovery ride but for others it might be a challenge just to stay with the group. Everyone is welcome to join us!

You’ve done some things with Bicycle Sport Shop already in 2012. How has the Signature Skill Series gone—tell us about that and what the goal is there. 

DA:  The Skills Series is a set of clinics designed to take a rider from the very basics (parts of the bike, shifting gears, etc.) to the more advanced (pace lines, drafting, cornering at speed, hill climbing). If you stay in this sport long enough, you realize that it’s more like swimming or golf than it is like running. Just because you don’t drown doesn’t mean you’re the next Michael Phelps. Swimmers spend most of their time working on better form and technique to make them more efficient in the water. We do the same thing on the bike in our Signature Skills Series. The next one on the list is ROAD 3.0 on April 22nd where we’ll cover some advanced cornering techniques and acceleration drills. The last clinic in the series is ROAD 4.0 on May 6th. ROAD 4.0 is all about making the hills your friend!

What about the Essentials of Road Riding Clinics? What is covered there and when’s the next one?

TS:  The Essentials of Road Riding Clinic is a free one hour seminar we offer at Bicycle Sport Shop. This seminar was born out of the idea that we’ve spent years figuring out the best tires to keep from flatting or the best bottle to keep your drink cold and a bunch of other things that improve the riding experience. We decided to take all that knowledge and pair it down into a one hour seminar where people could save time and money by getting the best products right out of the gate. The next clinic is Sunday April 15th from 12-1.

If someone reading this wants to learn more, what is the first thing they should do?  

TS:  The best resource for information on us is the Cycle Camp USA website.  But I’m still a big fan of the telephone so if you are too, give us a call at 512-861-2354!

Thanks for letting me sit in, guys! If you’re interested in improving your riding skills and techniques check out Cycle Camp USA!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 10, 2012 5:40 pm

    As a current client, I can certainly vouch for the improvements a cyclist can make when giving it his/her all in one of your training classes, etc. Out of class, I’m constantly assessing my form now (Dave ringing in my ear to pull in my elbows and tuck in my knees, or Allison telling me to lower my heels, or Trey giving me some great advice on how to be a better climber) and already feel the improvements in my riding!

    I encourage any and all to give Cycle Camp USA a try! I doubt you’ll regret it.

    • djcurtin permalink
      April 10, 2012 6:07 pm

      Keith: Thanks for reading, and thanks for supporting our friends over at Cycle Camp USA!

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