Cycling Camps: What Should I Look For?
Cycling camps can range from day camps to month long adventures. The structure of the camp can be very lose to a very regimented daily schedule. As an Orange County cyclists, we are privileged to have so many great roads to ride on. However, sometimes it’s nice to treat yourself to a camp with supported rides. You’ll feel like a pro with the support vehicle close behind and you’ll get to test your limits a little bit more. If you have ever though about attending a cycling camp, here are a few things to consider:
Structure of the Camp – Consider how much freedom you would like to have while away at a cycling camp. Are you looking for more than just a supported ride? Do you want an hour by hour schedule of activities such as training related presentations, tactical racing tactics, or performance lectures? Or, maybe you’re just looking for a supported ride and you want to be able to go about your business once you finish.
Level of Coaching – Are you happy with a local coach running the camp or are you looking for high profile professional athletes or the coach of a professional athlete to lead the camp. The higher profile the coach and riders in attendance, the more you should expect to pay for a cycling camp.
Location of Camp – Location will play a big role in determining what type of structure you are looking for. Typically, if the camp is in some remote location with very little to do outside of cycling, then you should probably expect to have a camp with more daily structure. Location will also determine if this is a place you would like to bring your family or significant other. For example,there are a few cycling camps in Mammoth Lakes, CA and they definitely offer so much for visitors. Summers are always filled with fun activities such as concerts in the park, wine festivals, mountain biking on and off the mountain, kayaking, horse back riding, and numerous restaurants. This would be a perfect place to bring your significant other or family.
Friendliness of the Camp – Specifically, how receptive are the other riders to outsiders? You won’t actually know this unless you hear about the camp from someone who has attended. Here are a few things that will give you a good idea of what the camp is all about. Take a minute to look at the camp photos from the year before. If there are no photos, then I would look for a different camp(most will have photos). You can get a good feel for the culture of the group by looking at the pictures. If you see a lot of smiling faces and the people look relaxed, then you can most likely assume that the camp is very warm and welcoming. Intense looks, few smiles, and a hard core vibe may indicate a more intense and competitive cycling camp. The option you look for in a cycling camp should be should reflect your goals.
Caliber of Riders – If you are a highly competitive and intense rider, then you may want a camp with other riders who are faster or equal in ability. Not sure what type of rider attends the camp you are interested in? Just ask the coach or director and he/she should easily be able to tell you.
Camps are a great way to boost your fitness, enjoy the benefits of a supported ride just like the pros, and cycle in some great areas. Before you sign up for any cycling camp, do your research and ask questions. You never want to end up at a camp that doesn’t fit your goals.
Interested in our Mammoth Cycling Camp?