ATAC March 2017 Newsletter
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Welcome to the second ATAC newsletter for 2017, and the first from our new editor, Sander. 

In this newsletter we have some new and some old sections:
  • In the Spotlight: Tony Stoffels 
  • Pre Race Interview: Howard Liem
  • My First Crit by Brian Gibson
  • Calendar highlights: Spring rides are kicking off and our Seasonal Kickoff is coming
  • Mechanic Tips: Get your bike ready for spring rides
The ATAC newsletters are to be found on the ATAC website under newsletters.

Your editor, Sander Boerkamp
In the Spotlight

This month we salute our former Comms Director Tony Stoffels. We know Tony as a fighter, he will bust your b**** until you had enough. Humble loser but better winner. A pavement hugger, motivator, social lubricant and comeback kid. He likes a challenge, is not afraid to fail. But what has Tony to say about Tony? Let's ask!  

Next month we will feature a Triathlete. Let Sander know who you would like to see featured.
Food for Cyclists:
Torte au riz at the Torterie after the rue de Foxhalles climb in Tancrémont Ardennes.

Worst cycling experience:
Going rubber side up….hard (and too many times)

Best cycling experience:
Riding the Trio du Ventoux within 7 hours finishing with a fifth Strava time on the descent from the top to Bedoin. That was before I ever fell, couldn’t do that ever again.

Maiden ride:
Riding the alternative “11-stedentocht” 260 something kms without training when I was 22 (yes that's 12 years ago!)…3 days of fever afterwards. Started riding the roadbike in the winter of 2014-2015, mostly in the rain and dark, I caught the bug. No more riding in the rain after the first two years on the bike though: I lost the youthful enthusiasm.

First cross experience:
October 2014, what a fantastic sport, my favorite! 

Best book about cycling:
From Santander to Santander by Peter Winnen

Best training area:
Calpe and surroundings

I feel I'm a cyclist because
Because I love the feeling of form in the legs.

Favourite rider (M/F):
Robert Gesink

Will stop if/when:
When my heart stops beating

Number of bikes:
2 (ok 3, but in the process of selling the third… OK: 4 when you include the cross-bike)

Liege Bastogne Liege full distance, a mystic experience for you and your bike. Rode it 6 months after I started riding, that was a life-changing experience. How I loved every meter of it.

Why nobody else came up with this:
Dangerous riders to be banned from the bike forever.

Favourite training lap:
Every time a different lap please. 

Favourite bike brand:
Canyon for the engineering and the price-quality but such booooring paint jobs. Uhm black… or black… they say its what the customer wants, not me though.

Best climb:
Mont Ventoux, but I can also enjoy the shorter climbs in the Ardennes. Ow no, the Cumbre del Sol (Vuelta finish, where Tom Dumoulin overtook Froome just before the line!) it is probably my favourite climb ever as this is where I overtook Sander just before the line… hehe thanks San.

Getting older:
As slow as possible, still in: denial.

Secret training routine:
D1/2 sessions on the indoor trainer, you get to know what your body wants and needs after doing a double Ironman within 40 days.

Best crit/cyclo/race ect:
Velomediane Claudy Criquelion Cyclo in the southern Ardennes, that one is hard! Trois Ballons is also very nice.

If I didn't bike for 2 days:
Than I have fresh legs and they will be tested.

When it rains:
You won’t find me outside, or if the forecast is rubbish

Which rider would you like to see back in the peloton:
Marco Pantani

To stay fit and healthy into my old days

After my cycling career:
There won’t be anything like a career, just want to have a lot of fun on the way. OK and beat Sander and Hamish.

Pre Race Interview

with Howard Liem

Howard is running the Rotterdam Marathon this Sunday (April 9th). The public wants to know how he prepared and what his goals are. In the next newsletter we can expect the post race report. Then we'll know how all these predictions held up....
42.195m, why?
After I came back in October from a 3 week holiday I picked up training again but I wasn’t really motivated. Since a long time I didn’t have a training goal and the autumn/ winter period is when I tend to slack in the amount of running because of the bad weather and darkness. So when I heard that I could enter the Rotterdam Marathon through my work I decided to sign up. This way I would force myself to keep on training throughout the winter period. Eventually I ended up running in all possible weather conditions Holland has to offer...cold, rain mist, ice and snow...
What was your training plan, did you try something new and did everything go well? 
This will be my third marathon distance. I did the Berlin Marathon in 2015 and the Ironman Maastricht last summer.
What I did was take my old training schedule from Berlin and add some cross trainings like swimming and biking. All went well despite some setbacks like a sprained ankle and severe cold in the training period. 
With less than 2 weeks to go the training is over, do you feel ready?
For me this is the hardest phase…tapering. You never feel ready and start asking yourself ‘have I done enough to prepare’ or ‘I should have run that night I skipped because Instead I went drinking with colleagues...’. Due to work and (really) bad weather conditions I couldn’t train as much as I did for Berlin. But my previous race experiences have made calmer since I sort of know what my body is capable of. 
How do you prepare, are there any rituals you have on the morning before the race?
Usually it starts the evening before the race. First thing I do is attach my race bib to my shirt and making sure it’s attached properly. After that I gather the rest of my gear and pack my bag. One thing I learned from my Ironman race is that you have to make sure you don’t have any stress before the race. So leave nothing to chance and prepare everything as much as you can. The morning before the race I have breakfast 3hrs before the start and I start hydrating with sports drinks. The one true ritual I have is that on the way to the race I always listen to the same pre-race playlist on Spotify which I made a few years ago. 
Do you have a race plan? What's your goal?
My race plan is to keep a steady pace of 5 min /km. Depending on the weather and race conditions I might increase speed after 10km and see if I can maintain that tempo. Let’s see how it goes. My goal is to finish between 3.30 and 3.40. If I make it in that time I will be more than satisfied.

My First Crit

by Brain Gibson

The 40-Year-Old Virgin is a 2005 American comedy film about a middle-aged man's journey to finally have sex. There is a scene in the film where the main character Andy, played by Steve Carell, and his buddies are playing cards and engaging in “locker room talk” about their various female conquests. Things become awkward, when the group turns their attention to Andy and begin to grill him about the girls he has had sex with. Andy is quickly unmasked and it is clear that he has never had a physical relationship with a woman.

In cycling, a rider’s progress follows a similar path as relationships do. Starting with the Sunday morning ride (first base – innocent kiss) and stepping up to group riding (second base – snogging). Then comes the more serious stuff like riding a cyclosportive (third base – umm… for lack of a better word: groping). But “going all the way” or the home run is reserved for the riders that ride the criteriums – crits for short. This is full-on racing on a closed circuit. Despite my many years as a cyclist – I have to admit that I never rode a crit. Yes! I am a 40(plus)-Year-Old Virgin. Well, I was until a couple of weeks ago.

Finally, after years of hesitation, I decided to ride a crit. Which brings me back to the film... eventually, Andy meets Trish (played by one of my favorite actresses Catherine Keener)… SPOILER ALERT – Andy and Trish finally have sex in the last scene (which hilariously lasts for 15 seconds). This was very similar to my first crit – after surviving in the back of the group for just two rounds. I couldn’t keep the pace and dropped like a haggard dog from the group. After collecting what was left of my self-esteem, I let the group lap me and was able to get back in the bunch and finished with the peloton.

Despite my less than spectacular day, I’ll definitely be back to race again – I felt pride looking at the average speed that I was able to ride and sitting with the guys and girls back at the clubhouse talking about the day’s race gave me that sense of accomplishment.

Interested in racing? We will be racing every Sunday in Spaarnwoude – check the Meetup.

Calendar highlights and more on Meetup

Mondays - Running intervals going strong
Tuesday - ATAC indoor swim sessions
Wednesday- WNR (see below)
Wednesday- TT traiining (see below)
Sundays -  Anna's social ride
Sundays - Spaarnwoude Crit
April 8th - Veenendaal Veenendaal - 110 or 135k toertocht
April 15th - Amstel Gold Race - toertocht, different distances
April 22th - Liege Bastogne Liege - toertocht, various distances up to the iconic 273k

Always keep an eye on Meetup for more!

Seasonal Kickoff - Thursday 4th May

Just like every year, make your way to the cosy Cafe Kostverloren Thursday, the 4th May for a one-stop shop of beers, burgers and bloody good advice! 

More details & sign up on Meetup!

Popular Wednesday Night Rides

As the days are getting longer and the legs are getting stronger, we kick off two of our most popular rides. For the triathletes that's the Time Trial trainings. For the cyclists we have the Wednesday Night Fast Ride. 

TT Training

When - Wednesdays at 19:00 sharp
Where - Meet at Amsteldijk 831 (at the intersection stop lights)
What - 2 or 3 time 'Ronde Hoep' with handicapped starting order
Bike - Aero set up is highly advised
More info on Meetup

Wednesday Night Fast Ride

When - Wednesdays at 19:00 sharp
Where - De Ruijterkade, ferry terminal behind CS
What - Fast ride (32-35avg) with faster sections (40+)
Important - This is a fast groupride: no tri-bars 

For both rides:
- Safety first, these are fast rides, pay attention to the briefing and follow instructions
- Bring lights and helmet
- Wear your ATAC kit
- More info on Meetup

Mechanics Tips - Getting ready for Spring

It is spring, the days are longer, the sun is out, although it may not be warm, it is spring and time to get the bike out. Before you head out on your first ride a few tips to make it more enjoyable.

How to get your bike ready for the first spring rides. Here is a simple checklist that will help:
  • Quick-clean your bike using a damp cloth or baby wipe. Clean everything, chain, frame,  wheels, the works!
  • Check the wheels and tires. Make sure there are no cuts or nicks in the tire. Have a close look at the side wall, and make sure there are not any holes or unusual treads showing. If you have unusual threads or cuts in your tire REPLACE THE TIRE!
  • Then pump up your tires. Have another quick check of the side walls.
  • Check your brake pads - Check the indicator line on the brake pads to see if they need to be replaced.  If you cannot see a line, or they look really small, head to the local bike shop for new ones. Brake pads are cheap - rims are expensive.
  • Take two minutes to remove the seatpost from the frame. It can bond to it permanently unless you do this on occasion. Wipe the seatpost clean, then smear a little grease on the part that fits into the frame.
  • Spin the wheels and make sure they are straight. 
  • Check the headset by pulling the front brakes on and try to move the bike forward. If you have a wobble in the headset, take it to a bike shop to be checked.
  • Check your under saddle bag to make sure it has a tube, pump, tire levers, and you know how to change the tire.
Happy Spring riding!


Anyone can lead a ride, not just the usual suspects. If you are heading out, post the ride, as it is much more fun to ride with your friends

Keep an eye on MeetUp for all of our events
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