Professional golfer and avid cyclist Camilo Villegas says his cycling life “is consistently inconsistent: I’ll have maybe four weeks off the bike and then three weeks on, over and over throughout the year.” That first group ride hurts, he admits, “but I hate being dropped, so I’ve learned how to hang on.” You can, too.

Stay fit - however you can. “I lift weights and do my mobility work year-round. I take care to maintain my weight and body composition. When I get back on the bike, it’s painful. But I’m not out of shape, so I can push through.” 

These four core exercises are tops for cyclists (video courtesy of our American sister title Bicycling):

 

Be smart in the pack. “In golf you’re pretty much on your own. In cycling you can position yourself on good wheels and use the riders around you to perform better.”

Look deep into your soul. “Cycling isn’t as crazy mental as golf is, but it still requires unbelievable focus and strength. You have to ask yourself how much you want it.”

Remember that it gets better. “[Santiago] Botero, who has become a great friend of mine, asks, ‘How do you take so much time off and freaking ride like this?’ I grind it out because I know that those first three days back will be the worst, and then in a week and a half I’ll see big improvements.”­