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MCF member clubs welcome new members of all levels. Here are just a few.
Contact:  Jared Roy
Website:  Crossniacs
Coulee Region Youth Cycling
Contact:  Larry Martin
Contact:  Steven B. Knowlton
Website:  SilverCycling

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Half-time: Take A Mid-Season Break

Most sports have an off-season. Not so in cycling.  Even in Minnesota, it’s possible to race all year long.  An off-season break is critical to a good cycling season.  So is a well-timed mid-season “half-time”.

It’s normal for racers to lose motivation and start to struggle after months of hard training and racing. Eventually, everybody who’s racing a lot should rest for a while to maintain form.  It’s much better to plan a mid-season break while healthy than be forced to take one because of burn-out or injury. This may mean sitting out while your form is still strong, reserving energy and motivation for the second half of the season.

Think of a mid-season break as half-time. In other sports half-time allows athletes to rest and refocus. Coaches rally their players and patch up injuries. For cyclists, a fresh perspective and a renewed love for the bike is critical for a good second half. 

Half-time doesn’t necessarily mean completely ignoring the bike.  Mountain biking can improve bike-handling skills and provide a fun diversion from road racing.  An easy ride to the coffee shop, tennis court or the lake for a swim or walk can bring back the joy of the bike as a vehicle, not just a race machine.  By the end of the break, you should be chomping at the bit to get back in the groove.

Ten days is a good length for half-time.  It should include at least one weekend with no racing or hard training. When the break starts, avoid “training” on the bike, but don’t ignore robust, fun exercise. Even if the break is more relaxed, a small loss of form is a small price to pay for stamina and renewed enjoyment in the second half of the season.

You deserve a break and you’ll be healthier and happier because of it.

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