My First Year With Team OAM NOW- Peter Chadwick Reflects on the Transition from Runner to Cyclist
December 4th, 2015 by Team OAM NOW / Athletic Mentors
By Peter Chadwick- Team OAM Now Cyclist
My cycling career started with a suggestion from Dr. Matellic from Orthopedic Associates of West Michigan, who told me my running career was over, in particular running marathons. He indicated that cycling might be a good solution for me since I liked to do long endurance events. Initially I was reluctant, but kept the thought of what he said in my mind.
I purchase a road bike, but I had no idea what to do. I began to ride with the club side of Team OAM / Athletic Mentors on Tuesday’s and Saturday’s where they spent time helping me become a better group rider. As I progressed, I felt fortunate when I was allowed to join the team this year as a member of the Elite Club Team. I probably have driven most of my teammate’s crazy by asking a bunch of questions throughout the last year, but they have always been so gracious in their answers so that I can learn to become a better cyclist. I have spent a lot of time watching how various cyclists ride their bikes throughout my rides as well as races.
I entered Barry Roubaix and the Lowell 50; it was a huge challenge for me to ride gravel, but my teammates were very supportive. As my confidence has grown, I decided to enter some races. Initially, I was quite concerned but with the help of the team, I found my apprehension lessening. I entered Tour de Frankenmuth, Le Tour De Mont Pleasant and Maple Hill Race for Wishes. Each of these road races were at Cat 5 level and with each one, I was able to improve my cycling skills. By the second race, I ended up in the top ten and the final race at Race for the Wishes, I ended up 6th.
I went to a team sponsored event to learn about riding in a criterium. This event helped me understand some of the things that go on during races which were extremely helpful. It’s another great example of our team giving their knowledge and time to others. I did take on another challenge to attempt to ride in the Gaslight Criterium. This most certainly was stepping outside of my “comfort zone”; however, I needed to have another challenge. Not knowing necessary what to expect or if I could handle this type of ride, I found out very quickly that it’s a different kind of ride than a road race in that there was no letup throughout the race from corner to corner. Finishing the race was a great accomplishment for me and I am thrilled that I did it.
The last race I did was the Lowell 50 which as most know is a gravel race. Being a wet and cold day, it forced me to handle my bike better. I was very happy with my results as my overall time was better than the Spring Lowell 50 and I ended up 5th in my age group.
I know that riding in the “club” and Cat 5 is at the beginner cycling levels on the team, but it was a big change for me. Going from what I loved in running marathons, to cycling was a big deal for me. This basically started all because of a suggestion from Dr. Matellic at OAM for which I am forever grateful. I also would like to say that I appreciate all my teammates for their help since I started cycling.
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