Wow, where to start with how much Cycle-Smart and coach Steve Weller have shaped me as an athlete. Lets flashback to three years ago. My first Cycle-Smart cyclo-cross camp. I had just returned to bike racing and was starting to get the ‘cross bug again. I wanted to get better. Didn’t really have any goals or ideas – I just knew I wanted to improve. Enter Cycle-Smart and Steve – now here I am. Three years ago I was a back-of-the-pack masters cyclo-cross racer. Now thanks to the smart coaching and guidance – I’m racing with the elite women – in the front of the race. Over the last three years, my goals have gotten higher and bigger – Steve doesn’t flinch – he just says “Yep, we can do it. And this is how we’re going to do it.” Now we’re doing it – aiming higher and setting the goal to Tabor, Czech Republic in 2010 – thanks Steve and Cycle-Smart – you guys have given me the legs, lungs, and technical skills.
With so many coaches and option out there these days, why choose a Cycle-Smart coach or program over any other?
Price is always an issue, and in many cases Cycle-Smart is a bit less expensive than companies with similar offerings. For our competitors, their ability to make money is by volume, and that means loading up coaches with a lot of clients and giving them a substantial supply of “pre-made” training programs and nutritional information. They essentially have built up an automated knowledge base of pre-fabricated responses, articles, and schedules that may or may not fit who you are and how much time you have. We also offer the flexibility of month-to-month coaching after the first 3 months, and no start-up fees, rather than a big up front cost and long-term commitment. We mostly ask for 3 months commitment because we think it takes that long for a client to show real improvement, not because it makes financial sense to do so.
We take the approach of tailoring training plans and schedules for each individual client. While we have some tools and a knowledge base that we use to try to streamline our coaching, the focus is always on the individual with us. While other companies will likely be a more profitable business model than Cycle-Smart, we prefer to work more closely with our clients.
To us the goal isn’t to get rich, it’s to share the experience of a sport we all love and to which are deeply committed.
We often get clients who previously worked with other companies, and the most common reaction is their surprise in the level of personalization and responsiveness we offer. Our approach of helping people keep their lives in balance makes for more success whether you have a full-time job, or cycling is your full-time job.
This page had been left blank for quite some time, and for good reason. Talking about Cycle-Smart – what it is, what it stands for, what it’s goals are – would be the equivalent of defining who I am, what I stand for, and what my goals are as a person. Naturally, I feared such an undertaking.
Three years on, Cycle-Smart isn’t just a part of me, but has made me a part of it, taking on a life of it’s own, and defining itself along the way. At the start, Cycle-Smart began simply as a way to try and turn all the activities I was involved in on a volunteer basis into something I could do for a living: coaching riders, organizing and promoting races, and managing teams. As I came to the end of the period I spent racing my bike as my sole source of income, I wanted to find a way to give that time and the experience I had acquired more value and importance. I had always done that through volunteerism, but I felt that now I had an opportunity to dedicate myself to those things full time and improve the quality of the work I did.
In pursuing that end, Cycle-Smart has filled many roles. It’s become a business, yes, but business is perhaps the least important part of the whole. Cycle-Smart has become a community, a congregation, and a collective, depending on a large group of people sharing an experience. It’s a place to exchange ideas and to build things. It’s a creative outlet, it’s therapy, insanity, activism, and social construction. Most of the time, it leaves me with more questions than answers.
What is the role of sports in modern society? Is it business? Is it escapism? Is it an opportunity for self-fulfillment and actualization that we can carry over in the other aspects of our lives? Is it a cure for the pain and depression many of us struggle with daily? Cycle-Smart is a sociological experiment in some ways, exploring these issues, and allowing people to cope with them.
Most importantly, Cycle-Smart is a place to do good work. I feel this is the biggest struggle of all in life: to find fulfilling, sustaining work that contributes to the common good. Our mission at Cycle-Smart is to promote and improve the enjoyment and quality of and opportunities for bicycle racing locally, regionally, nationally and internationally, in that order of priority, through rider coaching, event organization, and team management. In doing so, Cycle-Smart seeks to promote cycling as a whole not just as a passive activity, but as a metaphor for life that teaches skills for survival, fulfillment, and happiness.
Adam Hodges Myerson
June 30th, 2002
Thanks Cycle-Smart – your advice, guidance, knowledge, experience, and patience are unmatched. Looking forward to seeing how much higher we can go.