In my previous post I mentioned how being accessible to fans is essential for any rider joining BEAT Cycling Club. It’s part of what we call the BEAT factor.
Within the team, we’ve already had long discussions about what this BEAT factor exactly means to us. We’ve also invited our pioneers on more than one occasion to share their thoughts on what qualities a pro rider for BEAT Cycling Club should possess.
As the person who will be managing the pro team, I obviously have to consider many things. A rider needs the physical qualities, talent, stamina and – don’t be too surprised – ability to ride a bike.
Say what? Yes, that’s right. He has to be able to ride a bike. To handle a bike. And to handle it well. Technical skills are incredibly important. Knowing what the ideal line is, positioning yourself in the peloton, saving as much energy as possible during a race… It sounds obvious, but it isn’t. I know riders who probably ride several kilometers more than others in the same race, simply because they don’t have that special skill.
Some have it; some don’t. You can teach it, but preferably it is something a rider has picked up at a young age. You can improve any rider’s power output nowadays. It is scientifically possible to bring a rider to the limits of what Mother Nature provided. But high cadence, bike handling, finding your place in the peloton, taking an aerodynamic position on the bike… That’s a different story.
Fortunately, the riders we’ve been scouting so far all have what it takes in that regard. In the months to come we will take a closer look at the other qualities that both we and the pioneers had in mind when discussing the BEAT factor: passion, fighting spirit, going for the win but being willing to lose, openness to sharing knowledge and expertise, team spirit, intelligence, communication skills…
And if I may add this one in particular: no moping, please! If you get the chance to ride a bike for a living, be happy. You’re one of the lucky few!