Join the Ride
Resting in the wintertime is totally overrated,” says Robbie Ventura, founder of Vision Quest Coaching and co-owner of TREK Bicycle Store in Highland Park. “Especially in the Midwest, we need to maintain all the fitness that we gained throughout the summer, but a lot of athletes just stop. It’s cold out, they get depressed. Coming in here two or three times a week can not only help maintain their fitness level, but I will promise all of them that they will be better come spring.”
Training in Vision Quest’s indoor training facility offers athletes of all levels, from beginners to professionals, the unique opportunity to push themselves to the next level at a time where they would usually be falling out of practice. The state-of-the-art Computrainer system allows up to 24 cyclists at a time the ability to lock their own bicycles into machines that have been programmed to respond to each athlete’s specific skill set and provides them virtual real-world courses to ride in an exhilarating indoor group ride. For the first time, that invigorating atmosphere can exist year-round in the most advanced and professionally relevant training center in the Midwest. “There’s just a camaraderie and energy that you get between like-minded people that work out in a group atmosphere,” says Dave Noda, President and co-owner of Vision Quest. “Especially for tri-athletes who usually ride on their own to get that kind of group energy is great while still getting a workout specifically tailored to the individual.”
The fact that the ride occurs indoors removes the many distractions of an outdoor ride, allowing the athlete to really focus and take control of their riding form and focus on their goals. Ventura shares with his Vision Quest clients the invaluable knowledge he gained as a professional athlete; over the years, he has been a professional cyclist, Lake Forest College hockey player and inductee into its Hall of Fame, commentator for the Tour de France, Certified Triathlete and Cycling Coach, and professional bike fitter. However, 10 years after its inception, Vision Quest isn’t only for cyclists, it has the ultimate training programs for triathletes, offering specifically designed workouts for running and swimming in addition to strength training which is incorporated to help at every stage of the game.
“We capture all this cool data and we figure out what’s working, what isn’t, and we only keep the stuff that makes them better,” says Ventura. “The bottom line is that the athletes here improve at a faster rate and more efficiently than athletes who train on their own or in an environment that’s not focused on run, bike, and swim.” Vision Quest also offers “women only” programs at its eight locations nationwide.
The Taste of VQ program is the perfect introduction to what Vision Quest can do for you. It’s an eight-week program where you come to the facility once a week to train on their Computrainer system. The first week, they create a baseline assessment of your current skill level and a reference point to show your improvement after the seven weeks that follow; practically every participant sees a 10 to 11 percent improvement in their cycling output in just eight weeks. “It’s the most productive 90 minutes that they will have as a cyclist,” says Ventura. “They will get better in here than they will outside. There’s no question about it.”
Vision Quest Coaching shares space with TREK Bicycle Store in Highland Park at 1925 Skokie Valley Road so that bikers have convenient access to all the latest gear at their fingertips. For more information about Vision Quest visit visionquestcoaching.com.