CBR interview: Scott Van Maldegiam
Scott Van Maldegiam (Spin Doctor Cyclewerks) and I have have been trading race analyses ever since were citizens together at the 2005 Fall Fling. The 39-year-old mortgage broker has been a friendly face at races ever since and a regular contributor to the comments here. This week I checked in to find out more about him and his team.
As a father of two, any advice on balancing work, family and cycling?
Marry a woman who supports your cycling addiction. While I am very lucky to have a supportive wife, a person needs to find a solution that works for them and their family. Most people have time during the day but need to sacrifice something else like watching TV or surfing the net.
How did the Spin Doctors come to be?
The Spin Doctor Cyclewerks Cycling Club was formed by the shop to meet a need. Many of its customers were passionate about cycling but were relatively new to the sport. The group rides in the area were not meeting the needs for these riders. This was back in 2002. The club has come a long way since then. A few of us started racing at the end of 2005. Our club members have improved dramatically over the years.
We want to encourage new members, experienced and not so experienced. `Our primary focus is the love of cycling and pushing ourselves toward improvement.’We always welcome new members who are fast recreational cyclists or looking to become fast recreational cyclists. If someone wants to race, we encourage that as well. Our primary focus is the love of cycling and pushing ourselves toward improvement.
What are your team’s goals for this season?
The team’s goals are to increase our number of members racing Cat 5 races. I expect that a small group of riders will concentrate on time trials. Our biggest goal this season is to increase our numbers of junior racers. Last year, we had two junior racers. This year, I expect the club to have five or six juniors. I am really excited to see how two of our older juniors will do this year.
Why do some of your guys prefer time trials?
Some of our members just prefer the hurting of the time trial to the hurting of a crash that is always a risk in crits and RR’s. Also, our team has always really enjoyed the team time trial, so many of our members use the time trials as a way of testing themselves in order to improve for the team time trial.
Next year I think we will use a time trial shortly before the team time trial to figure out teams. This year we had three teams and we hope to get four next year.
If you haven’t ever tried this event, I recommend it. When you have three other teammates counting on you, you find ways of pushing you past where you would normally push yourself.
Will we start seeing some of you in the 3’s?
Paul Miner will start out the year as a Cat 4, but I expect that he will get a win or two at the beginning of the year and then upgrade to. With Mike Moore and I, it remains to be seen. I believe it is a good idea to learn how to win at your current level before upgrading. All three of us, as well as many other members, are already working hard this off-season.
You get a lot of new racers. What do you tell people going into their first race?
I tell them to try to stay with the pack as long as possible and to have fun. I also tell them to not be surprised if they eventually get dropped. It is a great accomplishment not to get dropped in your first race.
More important, how do we get people to try racing for the first time? We encourage people to at least try it once. Usually they are hooked after that.
You recently got your Level 2 coaching certification. What do you hope to do with that?
I got started in coaching the same way that many people do: I was asked for advice a lot and decided that becoming a coach was a natural progression. I have started coaching cyclists under the name High Voltage Coaching. `When you have three other teammates counting on you, you find ways of pushing you past where you would normally push yourself.’ I became a coach in August with my Level 3 certification and got my Level 2 certification in October. I am now coaching four cyclists and talking with a number of additional cyclists. My goal is to help mainly Cat 4 and 5 racers improve and get results.
I have also started a blog where the main purpose is to pass long advice to other cyclists regarding training, nutrition and strategy.
What’s your favorite ride out in Bartlett?
While I enjoy the Tuesday/Thursday evening club ride, my favorite group ride is our club’s Saturday ride. We ride roads popular with cyclists west of South Elgin and Elgin. We ride through the towns of Burlington and Hampshire. The ride is 50 miles. We start at 6 a.m. in the summer and so we are done riding before 8:30 a.m. Also, a few of us ride start the ride at 5:30 a.m. in Bartlett to make the ride about 65 miles. We still have members riding on Saturday mornings even in the cold weather.
It’s 30 degrees and windy and your program has you doing three hours of endurance. Do you do it outside or do you set up the trainer?
Personally I would do the ride outside, but you didn’t specify how windy. This year I will ride down to 20 degrees. If the wind is over 20 mph, I would probably ride the trainer, but ride two hours instead of three.
The rule of thumb I use is that a ride on a trainer is worth 50 percent more than an outdoor ride due to no coasting and usually a more structured workout while on the trainer. If you are asking me as a coach, I might have a different answer. A coach needs to understand what their athletes will and won’t do.