What is the Cascade Training Series (CTS)?
CTS is foremost a training series. You will build endurance over the course of the series by riding increasingly challenging rides. For some riders, the increase in distance will be the biggest challenge; for others it will be the elevation gain. It depends on your physical ability, riding skill and equipment.
CTS consists of a pre-series orientation, hands-on classes, informational seminars and weekly rides. The classes and seminars will assist you to fully participate in CTS and are especially relevant if you are new to cycling or new to CTS.
Riders are divided into self selected pace groups. There are four pace groups, based on pace on the flats without wind:
- Red at 10-12 MPH (leisurely pace)
- Yellow at 12-14 MPH (steady pace)
- Green at 14-16 MPH (moderate pace)
- Blue at 16-18 MPH (brisk pace)
The slowest pace will be 10-12 mph on the flats and a commensurate level of effort on hills. This is generally considered a “leisurely” pace, and you must be able to ride at this pace to participate. The fastest will ride at a brisk pace of 16 - 18 mph. If you want to ride faster than 16 - 18 mph, you should consider more advanced Cascade rides on the Free Group Rides calendar.
Each pace group will be divided into sub-groups of approximately 20 riders. Each sub-group will have a Ride Leader, a Ride Sweep, and (typically) a Floating Leader as well. Maps and cue sheets are available for download, and since these are stay-together rides with frequent regroups, you can be confident about not getting lost.
All Ride Leaders (RLs) are experienced cyclists who are there to help you train. Be sure to ask them any and all questions you have about preparing for your big summer event. They are available at rest stops and after the ride to answer your questions about riding skills, equipment, training or anything else cycling-related that is on your mind.
Riders will be able to move up to faster groups as their fitness and skill improve. The distance progression culminates in a “century” ride shortly before STP. After the last CTS ride, we celebrate the times we’ve spent together and how far we’ve all come with an outdoor party.
We ride once a week, so we strongly recommend augmenting CTS by following the CTS Training Program on your own. This comprehensive training plan will have you ready to ride and have fun on your selected major ride. The Cascade Free Group Rides calendar has additional riding opportunities during the week. Another great way to get more miles in is to commute to work on your bike. Look for plenty of resources during the month of May—“Bike to Work Month.”
People younger than 18 can register for CTS, but must be accompanied by their parent, legal guardian, or a designated non-custodial guardian.
CTS begins in late February/early March with orientation and pre ride seminar/classes. The ride series begins in April.