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VQ & You: Alan Pollack

I joined Vision Quest Coaching in fall 2005 with the intent of learning the art of group riding. I had previously been a runner for a number of years and gave it up in the mid-90s (too many Advils for too few miles). I started to attend spin classes and ultimately bought a hybrid bike to ride for exercise. I grew to enjoy biking.

Soon I tested a carbon frame road bike, fell in love with it and continued riding on my own. I ventured into group riding and initially found it alternately exhilarating and terrifying with many riders offering suggestions, tips and advice, but having no context or foundation to sort out the good from the bad (riding at 20+ mph, 12 inches off a wheel...trial and error seemed out of the question). I felt VQ would be the place to accelerate the learning curve and offer an environment and coaching to learn the art and science of riding in a group.

I came to VQ for the group skills and stayed for the program and friendships. VQ has been instrumental in offering coaching, actionable advice and training for group riding and has allowed me the luxury of learning group skills while developing proper training habits. The programs at VQ have been challenging while still managing to provide a safe and consistent method of instruction within the framework of good riding practices designed to keep riders as safe as possible. The community at VQ is very attractive and positive and operates, not just on a meritocracy of skill, but effort. Any VQ athlete, no matter the skill or ability, who is willing to make the effort to undertake the work necessary to meet self-prescribed goals will find support, help, advice and encouragement from the highest elite level athletes and coaches as well as from the mere mortals.

The process at VQ is highly respected and those who embrace it and take ownership of it are rewarded many fold by not only progressing toward individual training goals but learning the power of the group and the importance of teamwork and cooperation. VQ can be an intimidating environment until one realizes it’s all about the effort and energy you bring to a workout or ride. And in time that in turn will bring results and a great sense of accomplishment.