The multi-disciplined professional cyclist Ruby West has a pretty short off-season, but she still uses the time well. West, 24 races on the road, gravel, and track–which can make for a full year! Still, she does have a little bit of time where she can rest and recover and prepare for the next year. In 2023, that was a few weeks after the world championships in Glasgow, which took place in August.
The great outdoors
“I am someone who is big into doing stuff off the bike. It’s not just hiking or running, but I also believe in functional movement,” she explains. “That means chopping wood outside, shovelling the goat stalls, generally being active.”
Her parents have a farm in Dundas, Ont., so there’s lots of things to do outdoors. “I think doing different activities is good for athletes, since we do so much of the same thing on the bike. It makes you a better human, which can help prevent injuries,” she says. “The other day I twisted my ankle a little bit, and I think if I didn’t walk or run and do some of the other things I do, it could have been broken, as opposed to twisted.”
Use the most of her time off
Although most of her friends are now in Girona, where she lives with her boyfriend, professional cyclist Derek Gee, West does try and say yes to more things during her offseason. “So I try to make the best of the time, socializing, seeing friends when I can, or hanging out with my parents,” she adds. “I’m less strict than during the season, so I can stay up a bit later, see a concert for example.”
West just completed a training camp in preparation for the Pan Am Games so her off-season is now just a memory. Gym work-wise, she will still do that in the winter. Actually, she does strength work all year round. In the cold months, there’s definitely more volume but she tries to keep it up as much as possible during the summer, too.
Mix up activities
The national team rider jokes that her parents say cyclists are fit athletes, but not fit people so it’s no surprise she tries to vary up her activities in the off season. During the race season, she’s either training or resting and recovering, so there’s not much time to do anything but.
“When I went to watch Derek at the Grands Prixs, I walked 30,000 steps! It felt like I had done a race,” she says. “I sometimes think us pro cyclists are the laziest fit people!”