Riders head indoors to get their winter training fix

A class gets down to work at Upper
Echelon Fitness in Northwest.
(Photo: Russell Cree)

Bike racing is a big deal in Portland. This time of year, many of the folks you see biking around town aren’t headed to the store or to work, they’re putting in base miles and doing intervals — all with an eye toward being faster and more fit for the coming race season.

Last year, the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association (OBRA) reported 4909 registered members, a nearly 10 percent increase over 2009. 2010 also saw record amounts of race events and participation levels in all disciplines.

But, you might be wondering, how can Portlanders get those requisite miles in the saddle when it’s so cold and wet outside? Yes, some tough men and women just put on rain gear and head out, but many others are finding that indoor training isn’t such a bad option. They’re lucky because Portland is home to several, high-quality training facilities run by professional coaches that offer a variety of indoor cycling and cycling-specific strength classes.

Great training for those muddy cyclocross battles.
(Photo: PACE)

Nathan Frechen is a fitness guru and bike racer who teaches a class at Therapeutic Associates Portland Athletic Center for Excellence (PACE, 4829 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.). The evening classes are a mix of weights, core work and what he calls, “non-traditional cardio” — which are Rocky Balboa-esque drills like sled pulling, tire flipping and chain dragging. Nathan has taught the class for about a year and says participants have seen “great results.” “Everyone has gotten stronger and leaner. I’m a huge believer in not just riding a bike to get in shape.” Nathan’s bootcamp classes at PACE are $15 per class to drop in or $75 a month.

Edge Performance Fitness (1502 North Ainsworth) is another training facility that offers bike-specific workouts. Located in North Portland right off the MAX line on Interstate Avenue, Edge offers cycling classes focused on agility and core strength. They also have a class that combines a Spin workout with the “TRX Suspension System” that was originally created to train Navy SEALs. Their Cycle Core Combo class (offered in the early morning) combines 15-20 minute biking intervals with agility drills (mini-hurdles, ladders, cones) off the bike. Sounds perfect for cyclocross racers. See the full class schedule for more information.

Portland Bicycle Studio-Upper Echelon Fitness opening-4

On the other side of the river at a brand new location in Northwest is Upper Echelon Fitness (1420 Northwest 17th Avenue #388). We brought you their story back in March (before the move) and now, owner Russell Cree has even more room and more offerings for the aspiring bike stud.

Echelon offers group indoor cycling classes at noon Tuesday through Thursday, a cycling/cross-training class, and even yogo for cycling in their upstairs studio. Riders of all levels are welcome. From stationary trainers and rollers to Powercranks and other high-tech cycling simulators, Cree says, “If it’s a cycling training tool, we have it.” You can get 10 classes at Echelon for $125. See their website for more information.

And if you just can deal with rain and cold or riding indoors, Echelon is hosting their annual training camp in Palm Springs this year. All you do is show up with your bike and they take care of everything else.

For more inspiration and information about racing in and around Portland, check out these sites:
Oregon Cycling Action – Excellent photos, gear reviews, racing tips, and more.
OBRA.org – The official website of the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association. (Sign onto their email list for the best place in town to buy/sell gear).
Grit and Glimmer – Home of journalist Heidi Swift and her inspirational musings on bike racing.

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Alex
Alex
11 years ago

Your link titled “they take care of everything else.” is broken.

Thanks Alex… link is fixed. Click away! — Jonathan Maus

Dave
Dave
11 years ago

Another great coach working out of PACE is Jeff Tedder with Solid Core Training. He runs core strength and cycling classes 4 day a week. Check it out at solidcoretraining.com.

Jim Stuck
Jim Stuck
11 years ago

Tempo cycling & pilates is also a great place. Kirk and Jenny Whiteman. Kirk is a national and world champion track cyclist. Jenny is a certified pilates coach. They make you feel comfortable and welcome right from the start no mater what level of fitness you are at. http://www.tempocycles.com

beth h
11 years ago

For those on a tighter budget who still want to get in better shape, smaller mom-and-pop gyms abound all over the Portland metro area and they often charge significantly less than the bigger/more specialized facilities. I’ve recently joined one that offers all the requisite exercise equipment, plus classes in yoga, boxing, strength conditioining and spinning — without the booming music and meat-market attitudes. The gym I joined (West Coast Fitness) also offers a general fitness program that is self-directed and can be tailored to fit your individual needs. For the DIY athlete on a budget who still wants to train and race, it’s not a bad alternative.

J P
J P
11 years ago

Jim Stuck
Tempo cycling & pilates is also a great place. Kirk and Jenny Whiteman. Kirk is a national and world champion track cyclist. Jenny is a certified pilates coach. They make you feel comfortable and welcome right from the start no mater what level of fitness you are at. http://www.tempocycles.com

I agree – Kirk and Jenny are great. Challenging classes from a world champ!

BURR
BURR
11 years ago

OMG if I ride outside in the winter I might melt

BURR
BURR
11 years ago

or maybe they just don’t want to get any mud on their crabon fibre bikes

:rolleyes:

matthew vilhauer
matthew vilhauer
11 years ago
Reply to  BURR

i clean and lube my full carbon rubaix every 1-2 weeks (depending on the weather) just to keep it shifting and braking properly this time of year.

Hot Rod
Hot Rod
11 years ago

You can always buy a wind trainer and ride in your house. It works, it’s cheap. Turn on the TV to something lively like a basketball game to keep the boredom to a bearable level – and use earphones to listen to music, etc. Put some soft foam under the wind trainer if you live above someone; and go down and tell them what you are doing and to let you know if it’s too loud so you can try more cushioning to stop the noise. Let them know you’ll only be doing it for xx minutes, etc and hopefully they can put up with it. Thank them profusely if they do. 🙂

Keep the cats/dogs/pets out of the moving parts.