Training: Riding A Bike Is Always Fun, Right?

NOTE -- We had a request by a reader to hear about some of the Training that some of the Salsa Crew and our sponsored riders partake in. They will be coming throughout the next couple weeks. --

ONE OTHER NOTE -- Eki, who wrote this post, and another of our sponsored rider's, Danielle Musto (who wrote yesterday's post), will be conducting a FREE endurance racing clinic this Friday evening as the Salsa Two-Four gets underway here at Afton Alps in Hastings, Minnesota. There will be a riding portion, followed by a discussion/Q&A session.--

I've always been hesitant to write about my training as I fear it would only be interesting to me. So, one can imagine that I was a bit excited to find that someone out there actually may be interested in the topic. I think the concept of training is a very individual thing and what works for some may not work for others. I'll simply comment on what has worked for me.

The main component to my training is finding the balance between the mundane and the fun. If it loses it's fun factor than the risk of losing it all looms. The way I attempt to keep it interesting is by placing an element of adventure into the thick of my training months, which are over the winter. This adventure comes in the form of extremely long road rides in the cold temps of northern Minnesota. My training partners and I call these 'DBD' rides, which simply stands for 'Death Before Dishonor'. In other words, these rides are pushed to the point of wondering if you're going to make it or not. You know that, 'Don't quit, whatever you do, DON'T QUIT' kind of ride.

More specifically, my training is based on hours per week, not miles. The winter months are all about 'saddle time'. I don't worry about speed, just getting consistent hours per week. I try to set a rhythm to these hours with some weeks being heavy, while others are lighter. Snowmobile trails that are frozen solid make up my after work rides, while tar roads in the country on my cross bike meet the DBD requirements. If it gets crazy cold I will reluctantly climb aboard my road bike and trainer and pedal away some hours in the basement. All of these hours are complimented by daily commutes to work and home again. I haven't driven a car to work in over 7 years.

This of course is coupled with a healthy diet and typically some weight loss over the winter (ironically). I guess the weight loss makes sense considering the length of some of the winter rides, sometimes in the neighborhood of 13 hours in the saddle at once.

This regime has worked well for me over the last few years as I gear up toward the early season Trans Iowa. However, I sometimes find that my competition is finding their stride in midsummer while I wonder if I'm growing a bit weary from such a demanding winter and early season racing (i.e. Trans Iowa, Ragnorak, Dirty Kaza 200, WEMS 12-hour solos).

I believe in keeping it simple. I know that there are much more complicated ways to train, but I'm not that complicated of a guy. So, I often just break it down to riding the bike a lot and vary the way I do it. Oh, and make sure it's always FUN!


We've sponsored the Salsa Two-Four In Support Of MORC for the last 3 years. This year's event has really taken a step forward to becoming the bike, art, and music festival that we'd hoped it would eventually become. Massive props to Amanda from MORC for her work on this event. MORC runs it. Salsa sponsors it.

Here is some of what is going on: FREE endurance racing clinic, Friday Night DH Race, 24-Hour Racing, 8-Hour Racing, Bike Games With Salsa, Homemade Salsa Competition & Tasting, Artists Displaying & Selling Bike-Related Art, Live Music, Food, Bonfires, Camping...

And here is the kicker...aside from the racing, this is a FREE event! C'mon out and take part even if you aren't racing! For more info visit Salsa Two-Four

This post filed under topics: Sponsored Riders Tim Ek

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Tim (Eki) Ek

Tim (Eki) Ek

Tim Ek was born and raised in Duluth, Minn., and still calls it home. He’s always had a passion for competition and seeking his own extremes. Tim's true love is the woods: Out in the wild is where he clears his head and finds his peace, and he prefers getting there by bike. Tim Ek: The Eki Chronicles,


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George Mallory | August 24th, 2010

We cannot confirm nor deny the existence of the DBD. 
G. Mallory

MG | August 24th, 2010

Gravel Worlds turned into a DBD ride for me… Not that those exist or anything.

But you and I are a lot alike when it comes to training, Eki… Keep it simple, keep it fun…  Ride a lot.  That’s the secret.


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Tim Ek | August 24th, 2010

Yes, MG, just ride!  Then, when you think you’ve had enough, a little more never hurts.

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