EDWARDS — Most cycling-centric towns have a strong established group ride that is embedded in the community’s cycling culture. It is usually a great training ride that has a social element to make it fun for the riders. Dogma Athletica and E-Town are collaborating to launch a ride like this for the Vail Valley community called Thursday Night Worlds, beginning this Thursday evening.
The Thursday Night Worlds road rides will meet in front of the steps at Dogma Athletica in The Riverwalk at Edwards and will roll out at 5:30 p.m. sharp. The course and start time will be the same each Thursday throughout the summer to create continuity and help build momentum for the ride. The regular route will be a 30-mile out-and-back course that heads west on U.S. Highway 6 for 6.5 miles then turns north on U.S. Highway 131 at Wolcott. The first leg will top out at the peak of Wolcott pass, about 8.5 miles up Highway 131. The ride will regroup there before returning via the same route. Post-ride, participants are encouraged to congregate at E-Town for a fun evening with food and drink specials for riders.
Thursday Night Worlds is billing itself as a fast-moving training ride. Offering an out-and-back course allows riders who get dropped to link back up later in the ride.
“A strong, regular group ride like this provides a great training stimulus for cyclists,” said Rod Connolly, an exercise physiologist and USA Cycling coach.
He is also the owner of Dogma Athletica. “From a physiological standpoint, riders will get different muscle fiber activation than on their solo training rides due to the increased overall speed and the small dynamic of changes in pace that occur within the group. It will be a solid aerobic workout with some anaerobic benefit, too, as riders will hit anaerobic efforts at key sections on the course. A group ride also helps to build cyclists’ riding skills and etiquette as participants learn how to properly position themselves in the group and how to form effective and safe pace lines.”
Riders are encouraged to show up at the meet-up point in front of Dogma Athletica’s steps at the clock tower several minutes early as the ride will depart promptly at 5:30 p.m. Riders are encouraged to wear a helmet, ride a tuned and well-functioning bike, obey all traffic rules and follow good group riding etiquette. The atmosphere is designed to be welcoming to help facilitate a fun training ride.
Ride participants are offered a 15 percent discount on all fueling and hydration products at Dogma Athletica. Riders will also receive a Dogma Athletica rubber wristband to indicate they are eligible for special food and drink deals at E-Town post ride.
“If you are an avid cyclist or road-rider, come join in on the Thursday Night Worlds to help create a wonderful regular ride and social event for the Vail Valley’s cycling community,” Connolly said.