• Posted Apr 20, 2004

...your ergopower is seven speed


Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

-Ferris Bueller

I realized I missed mountain bike racing more than I had expected as I lined up with the Experts at VEISHEA two weeks ago. I knew it was bad when I told a guy in registration I used to cut class with The Waz back in school to ride Peterson Pits, McFarland and the Greenbelt. Hmmm… another ‘back in the day’ story?

There is a wealth of information about the history of racing in Iowa and the Midwest. Scott Wall pulled me aside at Ross’s Revenge, aka The Elkhart Time Trial last week. He confirmed that ‘The Legend of the Iowa Games’ really did happen.

Every day we’re out there writing a new story in the chapters of our life. Every weekend we’re out there creating history ~ who wins, places and lines up.

You’ve got a great group of colleagues out there on the road, enjoy the ride and listen to a story or two… I’m sure you’ve got some of your own that are priceless. I look forward to hearing them.

In this issue, I talk with the USCF Elite Coach of the DMOS/Mortgage Solutions Racing Team, Randy Catron about coaching, training and testing. (Yeah, so what it is my team and my column, eh?). Also, we get to see what makes Wes Hartman tick. This kid started as a Cat5 last year and is now banging bars with the Cat1s racing with Team Mack.



USCF Expert Coach Randy Catron Interview

Click to visit Iowa Cycling Academy Website


Q: Hola Coach Randy. You’ve been coaching a number of racers and rec riders for the past five years or so, and working with many of us on the race team. How did you start in coaching?

A: Hey Marco, actually, it was working with junior riders that got me started in coaching. I enjoyed working with the kids and watching them make progress and gain confidence. And because I wanted to provide the best instruction, I went through the USA Cycling coaching program at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. I’m a licensed expert-level coach now. In addition to working with riders on the DMOS/Mortgage Solutions team, I’m also coaching two triathletes, a time-trialer, and two recreational riders.

Q: What would you say is the main difference between a rec rider and a racer?

A. Good question. Of course none of us were born bike racers. We all went through a process of learning to ride our bikes, and then loving to ride our bikes. When we went faster we enjoyed it, so the next step was learning to ride fast. The two primary differences between rec riders and racers are that often racers have better bike handling skills, and they almost always ride with more intensity. By bike handling I mean they know how to ride a straight line, shift with changes in terrain, maintain an efficient cadence, ride pace lines, echelons, climb, and take corners at very high speeds. By riding with intensity, they have conditioned their heart, lungs, and muscles to work very hard for extended periods of time. They have learned to ride hard even when they are short of breath and their leg muscles hurt.

Q: And how can rec riders make the jump to racing?

A. Join a race team, like DMOS/Mortgages Solutions. Be mentally prepared to learn and probably be humbled especially the first two years. They immediately learn there are many, many, good riders who are willing to help. Just ask questions, try hard, and stick with it. On rare occasions, we’ll find a rider who has carry-over fitness from another sport. Their body may be ready to race, but they’ll probably need work with bike handling skills. A race team will teach the new riders how to ride.

Q. Speaking of intensity, tell us about your “torture chamber.”

A. Marco, you’re telling secrets now. It’s not a torture chamber, but it is a CompuTrainer testing system I have set up in my basement to test and train riders. It is a computer-driven device that measures a rider’s power output in watts, their heart rate at given power outputs, their cadence, and the smoothness of their spin. Typically I use it to test a rider’s anaerobic threshold and maximum heart rate; their maximum sustained power output; and the maximum watts they generate during a sprint. All the data is recorded and stored in graphs and can be downloaded into a spreadsheet. After riders are done with two hours of testing, they sometimes feel like they’ve been tortured. I often provide “verbal encouragement.”

Q. What’s the weirdest thing that has happened to you when riding your bike?

A. In 1996 for the Atlanta Olympic Games I got to bring the Olympic Torch from Missouri into Iowa. I just entered a lottery for licensed racers and got picked to ride with the torch. Well, they had the torch mounted on the back a GT road bike, but the base of the torch was only supported by about four inches of plexigass tubing. The torch tended to flex and bend when riding over bumps or rough road. Making a long story short, when I was riding my leg of the route, the torch popped out of the holder on about a 40 mph descent. So here I was, descending this hill with pieces of flaming Olympic torch skidding down the road behind me. Of course, they had many more torches, and the source flame still burning in the follow truck. I guess I wasn’t the only person that happened to, but I’m glad there weren’t TV cameras around!


Wes Hartman Interview


Q: Okay, you came out of nowhere in 2003 to winning the Pro1-2 State Criterium Championship. How did you get so good so fast and how did bike racing in Iowa prepare you for this endeavor?

A: I would have to thank my parents for a good portion of my success; I was born with good genetics that allowed my legs to adapt quite quickly to the sport. You should see a picture of my legs before I started riding, its amazing how big they got. I also developed a strong confidence in myself after the Wapello-Burlington race, and pretty much told myself that no one could be me. The Tuesday night ride and the local races helped me quickly learn how to race, and I met some wonderful Iowan's within the sport, and their support has been invaluable to my ascent in cycling.

Q: You started as a Cat5 in 2003 and now you're a USA Cycling Category 2 racer and a full-time Iowa State student. What are your plans/goals for 2004?

A: A few of my goals this year is becoming a cat I and a top 10 finish at collegiate nationals.

Q: What is your favorite discipline in bicycle racing and why?

A: Flat Crits, I love the speed and corners.

Q: What is your advice to someone who wants to get started in racing?

A: Well I assume you are talking about winning races. Anyone can race, just get to the race, and pay the entry fee and your set. As for winning races: Join a club or team and listen to what they have to say, research on how to train (internet, teammates, books, etc), and the most important step has confidence in yourself. Know before you even begin the race that you are going to win, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

### Questions:

Name: Wesley Kent Hartman

Hometown: Boone, IA

Age: 21

Job Status: student at ISU

Family Status: single - Mom, Dad, and Sister live in Council Bluffs

1. Current Bike/Components: Waterford R-33/ Dura Ace

2. Dream Bike/ Components: A TT bike with Dura Ace

3. Bike Racing Team: Team Mack

4. Fave Race: Wapello to Burlington

5. Fave Training Ride: Tuesday Nights

6. How I got into cycling: Thought road bikes looked sweet

7. Recent Accomplishments: Cat III Superweek Champ, Pro,1,2 State Crit

8. Do you use a coach: No

9. 2004 Goals: Earn Cat 1

10. Long-term Goals: Sign with a Pro Cycling Team
11. What is the condition of USA Cycling: Okay and getting better

12. What is the condition of Iowa bike racing: Good and getting better.

13. Favorite part about training and racing in Iowa: Meeting everyone that I have.

14. What could be improved: a big race weekend in the DM area.

15. Hobbies: cycling, sleeping, and eating

16. Something that you may not know about me: I am going pro

17. Parting Shot: Mom, Dad, Kris I love you so very much. Thank you for always being there to support me. I owe a very big thanks to so many people for helping me keep the rubber on the road. Opa, Oma, Dave, Nora, Jack, Steve L, Justin, and Will - I can't come close to thanking you enough for everything you have done for me.


Random Notes

Correct me if I’m wrong… but I’ve heard that ‘Back to the Bricks’ in Adel isn’t going to happen for 2004. However, Keith Wells and Midwest Rolling Thunder are going to have information about a new event including a criterium and time trial in Adel on Sunday, May 16 soon.

My force field works quite fine now: ICCC-Specialized rider ‘Angry’ John Olney nailed a top-five at the uber-tough Hillsboro-Roubaix last weekend. Even beat a US Postal guy named Robbie Ventura.

Say it with me now... Cycling Farm... Cycling Farm... Cycling Farm...

Thanks for the pics... Steve Daggs & Cycling Photo News rock! Say thanks and buy some pics from them this year!

DQ for Mayor If Donny Quixote ran for mayor, would anyone notice or care?

THREE CHEERS FOR GILBERT Apparently the 'Stormin' Mormon' Josh Udall and Iowa State got it together and is putting a race on in early May. Look out for more details.

Poking fun at my own eye I hear there is a race not going on at Union Park in Des Moines tomorrow night.

VELONEWS Now Brian 'Naked Guy' Eppen is in Velonews. And one of those Minnesota dudes made it again, too... so pro, eh?

CxKing Goes Pro Jake Stechman, that really fast guy from Minnesota who comes down and obliterates us in cross season signed with Subway Express for road and cross in teh fall. I'm looking forward to seeing him on a Fuji this fall. I'll be ready this time. ;)


Races on deck:

Iowa City Road Race, Saturday, April 24

Old Capitol Criterium, Sunday, April 25

Decorah MTB Time Trials, Sunday, April 25

Keep training, see you at the races!

Next issue: When Squirrels Attack


  • Author:
  • Posted By:







Related Sponsors

Support these BIKEIOWA Sponsors!