The Tour de France is here! If you are looking for a great way to add some spirit to your summer classes, the tour is a great way to do it. Today, we’ll take a look at several resources available that will help you bring the Tour to your classes.
The first place you should start is the actual Tour de France website. The website provides all the details you need to see where the riders are, what they are facing, who is winning, who’s wearing which jersey, and more. Just using this website you can do several things:
- Obtain elevation profiles of the terrain being ridden on a given day. This will allow you to customize a ride that “matches” what is actually being ridden by the racers.
- See who’s ahead, who’s behind and read the stories from the road. These often dramatic tales of winning, crashing, and falling behind can be quite inspiring for your students, independent of doing an actual “Tour” profile.
- Read up on who gets the yellow jersey and who wears green and why. Once you know, you can award your own jerseys to your classes. Pick up a couple of T shirts or similar, bring them to your classes to award your riders and help them feel the spirit of the race and the win.
The next places to look are indoor cycling forums, where you can pick up profiles from other instructors who have reviewed the terrain and created their own profiles to match. This is helpful if you have trouble understand the elevation profiles or if you want to see how others who have interpreted the terrain and made it fit into an hour-long class. I’m a member of Pedal-On and Innercycling. Both are populated with highly knowledgeable instructors with great ideas for bringing the tour to your class.
Since the Tour has already begun, it might not make sense for your gym to attempt to put together an entire Tour-based program. However, with the right planning, you can deliver a summer program to your gym that will assist with summer retention and improve student involvement. This can be as simple as awarding points to students who attend the most “Tour-designated” classes and then giving prizes to the high points, or as involved as assigning jersey numbers, putting together teams, or raising money for charity. The sky is the limit here! We’ll discuss this again next year!
For now, just focus on the little ways you can let people know the Tour is going on:
- Show Tour footage in your classes if you have access to projection screens or can bring a display in to class.
- Wear a special racing jersey to teach, especially if you usually deck out in traditional fitness clothing.
- Pass out elevation profiles to students so they can observe how your profile imitates the race.
- Hold a time trial or a race day if your students are ready for the challenge.
You should also check out Spinning Master Instructor Jennifer Sage’s blog for ideas on how to ride each day with the Tour. She is dedicated and has great advice on how to ride like the pros! She’s at FunHogSpins. Tell her Krista sent you!
You don’t have to be elaborate or create some wildly involved profile. Even just mentioning the race and increasing your participants awareness of the Tour and how they can be inspired by following the racers can be enough. However you bring it into your classes, I hope you all have a great time on the Tour!