What Kind of Cycling Athlete are You?

You are an athlete. Yes you!

There’s no one “right way” to be an athlete or to be athletic. 

The good news is...you can ride and train in lots of different ways and you are still an athlete!  There is a spectrum of athletics and our place on the spectrum changes at different junctures in our lives.

Here are a handful of athlete types and event types ranging from most competitive to least competitive (but most fun-loving) that you may or may not be aware of:

  • High-level professional athletes:  A small crop of racers who dedicate their lives and livelihoods to the sport. 
  • Competitive amateur athletes:  A larger pool of people who like to compete but don’t care to dedicate their entire livelihoods to the sport.
  • Triathletes are in a category of their own.  Highly ambitious competitive athletes – some pro, some amateur – who dedicate most of their free time to their sports.  The most well-known triathlon is the Ironman.
  • Stage racers:  Competitive athletes who enjoy and even thrive in multi-day race events like the Trans-Alp or Trans-Rockies or BC Bike Race.  There are also non-competitive multi-stage rides like Cycle Oregon that fun-loving people love to ride. 
  • Randonee riders are another special category of their own.  These athletes enjoy diabolical, long-distance, unsupported, semi-competitive cycling within prescribed time limits. The events—are 200km (13.5-hour time cut-off), 300km (20 hours), 400km (27 hours), 600km (40 hours), and 1000km (75 hours). Grand Randonnées are 1200km and riders must finish in 90 hours or less.
  • Gran Fondo riders: Semi-competitive riders who enjoy single day or multi-day road events with timed sections or stages
  • Century riders:  Non-competitive athletes who enjoy tackling 100-mile rides.
  • Adventure touring riders:  Athletic riders who are motivated not by competition but by finding the most beautiful and enticing places to ride for the love of nature.  These may be DIY or with a company that organizes tours like LifeCycle Adventures
  • Weekend warriors:  Athletes who often have families or time-consuming jobs, which only allows time to ride on the weekends.
  • Fitness Athletes:  Athletes who are motivated to ride simply for the sake of being and feeling fit.

It is undeniable that regardless of which type of athlete you are, or athletic endeavor you choose, it helps to do some type of training. Whether it’s just getting your butt in the saddle more frequently or training with an online training program or, if you are really dedicated, with a coach.  I am not one who is motivated to train or even ride alone so it’s essential to have something to keep me accountable. 

  1. Do you like to ride or train with other people? Find a buddy via Join
  2. Do you like to motivate by competing virtually with other people? Check out Zwift or Strava (both sync with your VeloPro account) to meet your competition.
  3. Want to find a solid week to train in the sunshine with other people in the winter or spring? Check out a cycling camp like VeloPro co-founder and Level 1 USAC coach Adnan Kadir’s Marin Cycling Experience or go to the Garda Bike Hotel in Italy.

There are many ways to train and condition yourself.  Don’t limit yourself to one way of training – learn about the possibilities!   Follow some of the links above and see what they offer.

This is the fabulous Stacey Royce.


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