World Champion, Sarah Barber, shares her UpCycle Edge.

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Autumn is a natural time of transition and introspection.  The seasons change, my priorities shift, and I get to look back on a busy summer of multi-sport racing and training. I consider the thrills and challenges, the goals I achieved and the ones that eluded me. It’s that second group—the goals that eluded me—that have me thinking about next year already. If I have any hope of checking those boxes, I can’t wait until next year to get started. The progress toward those goals needs to start now. And if I’m honest, it’s a little scary when everyone from meteorologists to Farmer’s Almanac enthusiasts suggests that this winter in Boise might be similar to the previous one.

However, I also have confidence in my ability to pull it off, no matter what, thanks to my work at UpCycle. The record-setting snowfall forced me to do more cycling indoors than I have ever had to do in the past, and because I have the attention span of a Labrador puppy, most of those rides were pretty short in duration. The benefit of shorter, less frequent rides is that I was able to really crank up the intensity, focusing on quality instead of quantity for my workouts. The bikes at UpCycle use the same Stages power meter that I have on my race bike, so I was able to monitor my power output and target different ranges for threshold work, VO2 max intervals, and even recovery rides.  This is crucial, as most multi-sport events are heavily weighted toward cycling; in other words, in order to perform well, I need to be a solid runner, but cycling is where I have to really be outstanding.

I used the data to guide my training, and by June I was winning my second National Championship title for the short-distance duathlon (run-bike-run). Two months later, I competed in my first international competition at the ITU World Championship Duathlon held in Canada this year. The crazy part? I got so lucky with perfect conditions and a course that catered to my strength as a cyclist… I still can’t quite believe I won the race!

In the midst of all that I was participating in a handful of local bike races with my small but badass team of women who are sponsored by UpCycle. We all felt lucky to have UpCycle as a resource this winter—so much so that we taught a “ladies only” class one night a week during the cold months, and we look forward to more of that soon. Meanwhile, after a short break, I’m back on a regular teaching schedule at UpCycle. Monday mornings at 6 am might sound like a brutal commitment, but I can’t overstate how much good it does for me. The regulars count on me to be there. What they don’t know is that I also count on them. They infuse me with so much energy and motivation that I get more out of my time there than I ever could on my stationary trainer at home alone in my garage. So what are you waiting for? Come ride with me!

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The bikes at UpCycle use the same Stages power meter that I have on my race bike, so I was able to monitor my power output and target different ranges for threshold work, VO2 max intervals, and even recovery rides.