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Coach's Page

WDCC Tryout Update

Hello, I'm Paul Wood. Let me tell you why I'm here on this you know, the World Deaf Cycling Championship is happening on June 10 - 17th in Mont Tremblant, Quebec, Canada. I'm now giving more updates on the tryouts. I've already mentioned about the tryouts in one of my previous videos, but the latest I'm giving are very important so please be alert.

Okay, for those of you wondering about the logistics of the tryouts, there is a new form for filling out your race results. Please go to and look for "Forms" in the left side bar menu. Under the "Forms" page, there is a list different forms, but select "Racing Results Form in XLS Format" to download. ALL OF YOU ARE REQUIRED to complete this form with your racing results. Since now it is winter, use the time to work on the form as part of your "off season" training and do your best in finding all of your race results from 2010 and input them in the form. Then attach this form and email to me using this email address:

Before you email this form to me, be sure to include everything. That includes how many riders started in your field. if you cannot remember, then try to make estimate based on how many riders were on each side of your row at the starting line and then multiply by approximate how many rows were in the front of and behind you. But if you do have actual numbers, that is great. Also be sure to include your finish placement (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or any other placement). In the next column of the form, "Pack," it means how many packs were formed after the main group broke away due to sprints and etc.

In the next column, you are to put down the website links where your results could be found online. If any of your results weren't posted online, leaving this column blank is fine, but I do expect you to use honor system with the accuracy and as much details as you can of your race results on the form.

Before you email me the attachment of your completed race results, please do include in the body of the email telling me what kind of cycling you specialize in (mountain, road or both) and which events you are really interested in doing. It will help give me ideas while I look at all of your race result forms.

Again, it is my emphasis that ALL OF YOU are required to send me your results. It doesn't matter if you are in CAT 1 or CAT 5. If I don't get anything from you, I will take it to mean that you are not interested in participating in the WDCC. That is very important if you really want to be part of this.

Along with sending the results, it would also be nice (but not required) if you could create and attach a copy of your racing resume to me. A racing resume includes cyclist's racing highlights of his total racing career. It would be great to do it also for your own benefit because you could send out copies of it to your sponsors if you need help with fund raising. I did that myself and it really worked. Including pictures with your resume will even be better because they are worth a thousand words. Your racing highlights can be from former Deaf competitions such as Deaflympics or in hearing competitions. They will help me get to know more about your total racing experience. That is also something you should work on during the "off season" from racing. Having a racing resume ready on hand would be good should you need to readily showcase it as part of your interest in being part of Deaflympics or such in the future.

The deadline for emailing me the results (even better if along with your resume) is by March 15, 2011. You should have enough time to complete everything, but I would strongly advise you to not wait until the very last minute. The earlier you send me the information, the better! Time is sensitive because I need to start looking through all of your results as soon as possible after the deadline. If you are able to find the time to do a 3-hour bike training, that means that you can find the time to do the paperwork, especially during the winter!

If you have any concerns, questions and such, please feel free to email me. We could even set up a time for us to talk on the videophone if you have one. I will do all I could to help give you with advice or tips.

That is the end of my latest updates for now. I wish you Happy Holidays and hopefully you can make it through during the winter keeping your fitness and conditioning whether it be running or such. But don't overdo also and get burned out early. Spring time will come when you can start training. Just be sure to keep in mind with pacing so that when you peak, it is in exactly right time.

Posted on December 31, 2010

US Deaf Cycling's New Coach and Goals

Hello I am Paul Wood. USDCA has just selected me as the new Deaf national head coach for both road and mountain cycling. I am really thrilled at being selected as I have over 22 years of competitive cycling experience. I had competed in six Deaflympics and two World Deaf Cycling Championships. I won the National Championship (Masters 30 - 34 against the hearing).

Throughout my cycling career, I have learned so much from racing including errors and such. Now at the end of my career, do I just toss away all what I have gotten? No way. I am going to make use of that experience and share to other cyclists whether they be veterans, novices or taking interest in cycling. That is my goal. Also, as the new coach with goals, responsibilities, and is my emphasis to keep the communication between USDCA, USADSF, the cyclists all over, and myself be all on the same page. Also, the level of awareness among the cyclists (about the USDCA ,etc) is very low. I want to raise it higher. I do not want any of Deaf cyclist to be in the dark about the future Deaf competition opportunities including Deaflympics and World Championships. I WANT all of them to be aware of those opportunities...regardless of whether they may be interested in going for or not.

In order to do this, more information will need to be shared through use of videos on the internet. Another responsibility in my role as the head coach, of course, is to focus on assisting potential Deaf competitors by giving them advice and tips on how to train and race effectively. I want to develop strong communication between them and me. That will also include determining which events each cyclist would do well in. The number one goal of the whole thing is to earn medals...not just going there (Deaflympics and World Championships) for entertainment.

Another thing that is important to me is to give motivation - to instill passion and "put fire under" each competing cyclists. This can be accomplished by making sure they know everything about the events of the competitions. And "knowing how to win" is the key that I need to implement. Once a cyclist tastes the sweetness of winning, then that is it- s/he will be really hooked into wanting more of that. It is all about bolstering confidence. In order to do this, it is my vision to include more vlogs of me giving various of tips and details on how to race smart.

For anything you need to know about, please feel free to get in touch with with me( I can be contacted via email or videophone) and I will do my best to offer answers. In my years as a Deaf competitive cyclist, I have experienced a lot of challenges and frustrations (due to communication barriers). I had to work hard to overcome those obstacles by joining bicycling clubs and being assertive in asking questions on the tips and techiques of cycling (correct measurement of bicycles, seat height and etc).

Now with all of what I have learned the hard way, I am hoping to make it easier by giving you all what I know. I look forward to working, motivating and encouraging you all.

Posted on November 20, 2010

Tryout Info for 2011 WDCC

Hi I am Paul Wood, the National Deaf Cycling coach for both road and mountain biking. I want to give update on the upcoming World Deaf Cycling Championship in June 2011(2nd week). For those of you who are wondering about the tryouts and who would be selected, please feel at ease. I am mindful that the time is approaching really close. Ralph Fernandez, the former National Deaf Cycling coach will give me all of the racing results that some of you had submitted to him. If any of you have racing results that you had not submitted yet to Ralph, please have them be sent to me.

Now, about your questions about whether you would be on the team or not or how to be part of it, I want to be straightforward with you (as part of my selecting process). I will start with knowing what CAT you are in, based on looking at your racing license. That will be self-explanatory on your current level in racing. However, that doesn't mean that anyone who has CAT 1 can just lay back, expecting to be into the team automatically. He is still expected to stay active in racing and to submit his latest results for me to look at. It will help me know who has good racing standings. In this regard, those who are in CAT 1 have the priority of making it on the team as well as those in CAT 2 and 3. To successfully compete internationally against the Deaf cyclists, one has to be CAT 1 - 3. Chances for success are slim for CATs 4 and 5. However, I may consider giving those in CAT 4 and 5 the opportunity if the CAT 1 - 3 pool were limited due to various reasons such as scheduling or financial conflicts.

I want you to understand more about the cycling events- there are four of them: 1) 1000M sprint 2) time trial 3) road race 4) points race. It is these events that is going to help me determine my selection of cyclists to be on the team. If any those of you who thought I am going to pick the top 5 cyclists for all of the events, this is a misunderstanding...I am going to select the top 5 for each event, but the same cyclist may be selected for another event if he is also very good at it. For example, an excellent 1000M sprinter would most likely also do well in the points race, a talented time trialist would also likely excel in the road race, and such. I will also have to consider the terrain of the courses- some cyclists may be excellent on flat courses over hilly ones. BUT most important of all, I will need to receive your racing results to help me with my selection process. It is those results, not the tryouts, that would help me determine who to select to be on the team. This also applies to mountain cyclists. The schedule will be staggered to hold road and mountain racing events. Check for more information in that regard...they will be rotated every other day (road, mountain, road...)

So, like I said, please do send me the results as soon as possible if you haven't...or as soon after each race you have just done. Time is really approaching. Please do feel free to contact me for any questions or concerns you may have. If I get the same question/concern from many, I will post a vlog to address them so that everyone would be on the same page. Thanks.

Posted on November 20, 2010

International Deaf Cycling Events

Howdy, I'm Paul Wood and I would like to say more about the different cycling events at the aero and the World Deaf Championships so you can get an idea of how these events are managed.

For road cycling, there are four events. For the 1000m Match Sprint, here is what the race is like. The race starts with the preliminary round where participants focus on getting the best time for their sprint, one by one.

The courses used for 1000m Match Sprints are usually flat. Depending on the location of the hosted event, the race may be 1000m straight from point A to B, sometimes it may consist of a 4-corner loop, sometimes from point A to a hairpin turn and then back to point A, or such, depending on where the event is being hosted. Here is how this sprint is timed: the rider starts by cycling and increasing speed with the goal in mind of having a "flying start" by the time he reaches the last 200 meters of the course. That is where the timing starts. Once the rider crosses the 200m starting line, he has already attained (or about to) his top sprint speed. The goal of the racer is to maintain his top speed all the way to the finish.

Anyway, once all of the sprinters have gotten their individual sprint times recorded in the preliminary round, the top 16 riders with the best times (from top to bottom in order) are selected and paired to compete with each other for the next sprint (match) round. How seeding works is that the rider with the best time (top) will be paired with the rider with 16th best time (bottom). 2nd rider with 15th rider and so on. Riders who were placed 17th or above for their preliminary sprint times are automatically out of the event.

During the match rounds, depending on riders, they may employ different kinds of strategy while riding against each other on the 1000m course until right before reaching the last 200 meters. They may decide to go slow, keeping a wary eye againts the other, trying to stay behind the other rider, do a surprise jump ahead or etc. Once they reach the start of 200m, it is all flat-out sprint to see who reaches the finish line first. The loser is out of the competition for good. The winner moves up to compete in the next match which would consist of 8 remaining competitors. The pairing procedure is similar, the top paired with 8th and so on. After the second match, the four competitors who won will advance into the 3rd/semi finals match. Meanwhile, the other four who lost will still be "in the game." They will compete with each other for 5th to 8th places.

For the four who have advanced, they will be paired to race against each other up to three times. The person who wins two out of three sprints will advance to the championship match against the other person who also won 2 out of 3 (the losers in the semi-match will compete for 2nd and 3rd places).

That is what the Match Sprint event is like.

Next event is the Time Trial. The length of the course is usually 35k which is equivalent to near 22 miles. But it all depends on where the event is being hosted. It could be 30km or so. Perhaps you have seen it on TV where cyclists ride in an aero position, being hunched over, holding onto extended bars that were affixed to the front of the handlebars of their bikes. And that they wear teardrop-shaped helmets and having solid disc rear wheels.

The point of this race is that they ride solo with each cyclist starting off at timed intervals instead of mass-start. Once started, the rider rides to his maximum effort with no slowing down to recover until he reaches the finish line. Placements of each individual time trialist follow how much time it took them to cover the distance of the course. The course may be flat, hilly, point A-to-A in a straight line or most commonly, in loops. It all depends on where the event is being hosted.

Next is the Road Race. The distance of the road race tends to be around 100k or about 62 miles. It is a mass-start race. Traditionally the race course is a circuit-type requiring to complete 8 - 10 laps (depending on the size of the loop) to finish. In the last six Deaflympics, the course design has gotten tougher with more number of climbs, including the length of ascents. Once the race starts, it is all up to the individuals/teams to decide whether to lead the peleton in slow or fast pace. The advance of keeping the peleton slow or fast all depends on what, where or when the riders have in mind to use various of strategy(ies) such as breaking away from the main body. The goal of cyclists using strategies is to have better chances of seizing top place finishes when they reach the last stretch of the course.

Last road cycliing event is the Points Race. Its distance is usually 50k. It can be quite a confusing race. This event also uses mass start. It is a criterium style of race with each loop usually equaling to 1k. That means doing 50 laps total. How does winning this race work? Points are awarded to the top four cyclists who complete every other lap. The number of points are: 5, 3, 2 and 1 respectively. That means cyclists will need to employ different tactics such as when to sit back in the main bunch between laps to recover before attacking for the point-earning sprints. By the end of 50 laps, the winner is the one who earns the most points of the race.

Next is related to mountain cycling. Mountain cycling is a new addition to Deaf-cycling competition, the first one at the 2006 World Deaf Cycling championship at San Francisco. The next one is in Montreal, Canada. There will be three mountain-cycling events.

The first one is Short Track Mountain Race. It is a mass-start event involving riding short laps around various of terrain. The second one is Cross Country Mountain, a long distance event. It also has a mass start. The third one is a new addition, called Marathon, presumably 26.2 miles long. For mountain biking to go that distance requires a lot of endurance. Those are the three events for mountain cycling.

Overall, that should give you an idea of what all of these events look like that are offered in the Deaf-cycling competitions.

Posted on November 20, 2010

Basic Information about Road Cycling

Hello I'm Paul Wood. I would like to explain to those who may be fascinated or have motivation to learn more about bicycling but have no idea or is a novice about this sport. You know, here in America, the favorite pastime in sports is football, basketball, and baseball...the same, same, same old thing, I'm sorry to say. But I am not going to talk more of why I have this opinion...I am just making a point that if if one gets interested in the sport of cycling, it is something fresh and unique and requiring a lot of knowledge in.

For anyone who says "what do I need to do to get started being part of this sport of cycling?" and etc...of course, the first thing you will need is a bicycle! A road one (this video focuses on road cycling. Check my other video on the basic info about mountain cycling). A road bicycle (for racing purposes) is not something you can find in department stores which are inferior in quality. But it is not also necessary to get a top one...just get a good regular road bike that is at least 18 speed. It should also include 700c wheels and a drop handlebar. Nothing fancy necessary like I just said. However, what is very important is selecting the kind of bicycle shoes and clipless pedalss. These are critical. If you are concerned about not being able to afford high quality shoes and pedals, that means you may need to look for a cheaper bicycle if that means having some money left over to get these shoes and pedals. Having excellent shoes and pedals is the key for successful cadence and power transfer while while pedaling. Having a top-of-line bicycle without efficient pedaling has nothing over a cheaper bicycle with successful pedaling. That is very important to keep in mind.

And of course, other than a bicycle, shoes and pedals, you will need to get a helmet. You may want to buy gloves, which is not really a requirement, a jersey and a pair of bicycle shorts...a snug pair that contains padding in your seat and groin area. If you use regular shorts, you will get sore for sure caused by chafing. Another important thing to keep in mind when wearing bicycle shorts...DO NOT wear anything under the shorts, not even a pair of underwear! Some riders may want to use a kind of lubricant to prevent saddle-chafing. In my case, I do. I use the brand "Noxema." You know, the brand that women use on their faces. It is very affordable, around $4 and can be found in Walmart stores. I usually apply it between my legs before putting on my bicycle shorts.

When you are ready to ride, get out and ride anywhere you can on roads. It is a good start to get a feeling of being on a road bicycle. If you see another road rider(s), feel free to ride with them and when following, practice staying at their wheel (a few inches apart, wheel to wheel). Also give yourself opportunity to get to know other riders. Are they experienced? If so, study and learn their riding techniques and what they have to succeed.

When time comes that you are interested in racing, start first by going to a bike shop and ask for information about bicycle clubs. Joining bicycle clubs is really beneficial for bike-race preparation. Through a bike club, you will learn of what training rides are available to be part of. Participating in a training ride will really help you know where you stand in being prepared for a race. How strong are you as compared with other riders, including those with racing experience? Will you be dropped? And such. Knowing more about yourself will help you train more smartly. Keep in mind to check my future vlogs where I will give more training tips, or feel free to contact me for advice or further details. In time you will find yourself be closer in your preparation for your first race.

When time comes that you are ready to do your first race, keep in mind that you MUST have a racing license through . It is easy to apply for the license. When you get it, you will be placed at the bottom of racing rank. That means in category five (CAT 5), a category for novices. Once you get the license, you can race! Being in CAT 5 means you are only eligible for CAT5 races.

Sign up for races as much as you can and earn experience from them. You will learn a lot about yourself as a racer. Do you find yourself being dropped ala lot or being able to stick with the peleton or even moving up in finish placements? Before you are able to move to CAT 4, you will need to do at least 10 races with good finishes. But I would suggest that you focus on being able to win some before considering moving up to CAT 4. The reason for my suggestion is because I want you to taste what it is like to win first. Once you taste your first win, it will really bolster your confidence and drive to win more in your next races. Then once you move up to CAT 4, do the same thing before moving to CAT 3 and so on.

I really hope you will really fall into this sport. Oh, again, I must caution you that being involved in the sport of cycling is very expensive. However, if you look at cost of playing golf and tennis, they are more expensive. In cycling, the major cost is buying a bicycle. A good one may cost around $1500. With other equipment and accessories such as helmet and clothing, be expected to pay over $2000. But once you have all of that, riding is FREE! You can ride anywhere you want to go, either for leisure or in training. However when it comes to racing, it does cost money for entry fees (more expensive than in the past like from $30 to $50 per race depending whether it is a local or a major one such as regionals), for traveling to race sites, food, and possibly overnight stays.

When starting to race, I would suggest you to start with small local ones before moving up to bigger ones. I really hope that once you get started with your interest that you would really get hooked into that!

Posted on November 20, 2010

Basic Information about Mountain Cycling

Recently, I've just explained about the basics of road cycling for those who are novice to the sport. Now, the basics of mountain cycling are next.

Really, there are similarities in mountain cycling as road cycling such as needing a mountain bike and equipment. With the rising popularity of mountain cycling comes an increased advancements that comes with the bike' design. That includes adding shocks to the front wheel, shocks to the rear wheel, brake discs and etc.

What I would suggest for a beginner who is interested in mountain cycling is to start by getting a bicycle equipped with shocks for the front wheel only. Getting the one that is a softtail (shocks for the rear wheel) is not really necessary unless you are interested or want to specialize in downhill racing where shocks are a necessity to go over bumps at high speeds. The reason I am suggesting to go with a bike with shocks just in the front wheel is because of weight. A bike with shocks in the front and back is heavier even though today's technology has made shocks more lighter than before.

Also, like I mentioned in my other video about the basics of road cycling, you need to find a club that specializes in mountain bike riding for the purpose of helping you quickly learn all the ropes of MTB training and racing.

One thing about racing that I know for sure that is important. Starting lines usually consists of bikers forming a long line in the front the starting line and once the race starts, the path towards the race course narrows until there is no longer enough room for bikers to pass each other. They will have to ride in single file until there are some paths along the course that is wide enough for passing. If you really want to get the chance to win, it is critical what you do at the start of the race starts. You will need to pourl all of your energy you have into your sprint with the goal to break away from the pack and reach the narrow path first. Once you hit the narrow, single-file path, you can ease back and recover because there would be no way other bikers could pass you until the next "passing zone." Even better, if you are in the lead, you won't have to face the risks of crashing caused by attempts to move up in place.

Training for MTB racing doesn't only involve riding on the mountainous trails, but also on the road. Based on what I've read, 75% of the training that MTB racers is on the road, using road bikes. That also includes drills, endurance conditioning and such. The rest of 25% which is off the road, the riders focus on the technique of how to handle the terrain such as bumps, curves and twists, through the trees and other obstacles.

One tip to become a successful MTB racer should focus on sprinting. This kind of training should be done on a road bike. An example workout of how to develop your sprinting skills is to start by giving all of your energy into your sprint and stay with it for about 2 minutes and then recover for a good 10 minutes by easy pedaling (or more to make sure you are fully recovered) before repeating the sprint. Do this up to 3 times. And then increase to 4 times the next week, 5 the following week and so on. Once you are able to do full-sprint drills up to 7 or 8 times, it should really help you be prepared for an explosive sprint from the starting line and be the first one to reach the single-file path first.

Posted on November 20, 2010

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