Motorpacing in Boulder

Photo Credit: SportifImages

Looking to get faster on your bike? Many different things go into this solution. One of those ingredients is some intensity in your workouts. This can be accomplished many ways but one way is by motor pacing. Garret Getter started a new business of offering motor pacing as a service. We caught up with Garrett and asked him a few questions.

[303Cycling] Lets start off by telling our readers who Garrett Getter is?
[Garrett] Well, I'm a native of the greater Buffalo, NY area.  I lived in Buffalo for 25 years before moving out to Boulder to attend school at CU and ride my bike.  I've been living in boulder since August of 2009.  In 2007, I graduated from a small school in upstate NY with a dual degree in Finance and Economics.  I worked for just over 2 years in banking and corporate finance before I realized that sitting in an office crunching numbers all day and working until 9 at night just wasn't the life I was ready to live.  I've been riding/racing bikes since I was 13, after graduating from college I found myself getting more serious with training and eventually hired a coach and purchased a powermeter.  From there, and while sitting bored at work I found myself researching article's related to training with power/nutrition etc. During this time I became quite a fan of article's written by Allen Lim, Neal Henderson and Frank Overton.  I discovered that I was spending all of my time researching and learning everything I could to become a better cyclist.  It was about this time that I started to consider going back to school.  CU was my first choice because Neal Henderson and Allen Lim had done their graduate work and research in the Integrative Physiology department.  Plus, how could I not be tempted by the awesome cycling community Boulder and much of the front range has to offer.  I'm currently working towards a Bachelors degree in IPHY and hope to move on to grad. school at CU as well.  I work several jobs in town when I'm not motorpacing; currently I coach and man the desk at Boulder Indoor Cycling.  This was the second job I had when I moved out here, made friends with one of the owner's; Steven Herzfeld and the rest is history.  I'm also the lead coach for Boulder Junior Cycling's Devo mountain bike team.  The team consists of kids age's 10 and up that are interested in improving their skills on the bike and trying to race.  This is my second season as the lead coach and I couldn't be happier.  The group consists of some of the coolest/nicest kids in the area that absolutely rock on the bike.  It will be fun to see what kind of riders they are in just a few years.

[303Cycling] What services do you offer?
[Garrett] The only service I offer is motorpacing.  We motorpace riders of all ability and all disciplines.  I don't offer coaching plans and I don't coach anyone, the idea was that there aren't many coaches in this town that do offer motorpacing as a service to their athlete's.  There are several reasons; coaches don't have time, scooters are certainly not cheap, and the insurance's/liability can be a burden.  I have taken on all of that, I have a fairly flexible schedule, I hold a USA cycling coaching license and I have many hours of experience both pacing athlete's and being paced.  I am, in all way a 'third party' motorpacing company, I don't coach athlete's, I don't do VO2 max/lactate threshold testing, all I do is motorpace.  Coaches can rest assured that I'm only trying to help make their athlete's faster in a safe environment.

[303Cycling] Why motor pacing for training?
[Garrett] I consider Motorpacing a great alternative to a hard group ride (bus-stop/gateway) and/or a race in a more controlled and safe environment.  Motorpacing gives riders the chance to push a big gear while maintaing a high cadence.  In most cases, athlete's will see an avg. cadence over the course of an hour session to range between 100-120 rpm while pushing their 53-12.  Plus, the scooter offers riders a chance to simulate drafting off of other riders and practicing echeloning in variable wind conditions.  Motorpacing can be a really good option for hard sustained intervals.  The motor becomes similar to a carrot, it pushes athletes to stick on that wheel, digging deeper than they might if they were to get out and do these intervals on their own.  I also have a Garmin 500 on the scooter, which gives me the ability to monitor Heart rate and power #'s if the athlete has specific training zones they'd like to focus on throughout the session.

To get ahold of Garrett you can email him at garrettgetter AT gmail DOT com

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Motorpacing definitely is an

Motorpacing definitely is an effective training tool and this sounds like a good idea for those who don't have a girlfriend willing to drive a vespa around the backroads for three hours a day.

That being said, I hope I never get to the point in cycling where riding is comprised of following a scooter with my eyes glued to the SRM.

some things can't be

some things can't be quantified... for example, no one can explain what adaptation occurs when you do 15-25 minute high resistance, low cadence "strength endurance" intervals, but they work.

Motorpacing is another un-quantifiable training method, but if you've never tried it, don't knock it. Don't know how it works, but it works.

The key...

is that you don't mimic the power output you can accomplish by yourself, you go above and beyond. If you can 300W by yourself, the key would be for your coach/driver to take you to a speed that would require so much more. You'd find the power, the strength, the leg speed to hang on.

I've motorpaced on the velodrome before, and I can tell you that you can/will do so much more than you could imagine, and it will make you FAST!

Illegal motorpacing

Hi all,

My name is Garrett and I own GoVelo Sports. So, I will tell you that in the two years that I've been pacing in this town I have never ran into any problems with the police of Boulder county. I do not dis-obey any traffic laws; we stop at all stop signs and follow all speed limits. I also have a fully insured and licensed scooter. I've taken a motorcycle training course and have my license to operate the vehicle. On top of all of this I have liability insurance through USA cycling as a coach. I understand your concerns but with the various insurances, experience and awareness of local motor vehicle laws I don't see why the practice of motorpacing would be illegal.


Right on!

I'm with you... assuming you ever did get a ticket, you should have no trouble in the world convincing a judge that what you're doing is reasonable and prudent. Heck, just last year I had the chance to go to Belgium for 10 days, they even motorpace on the bike paths there. Man, the bike path nazis here would go crazy, but they zip along the bike paths at over 30-35mph behind scooters all over the place.

So what does the law say?

Colorado Revised Statute Title 42 governs vehicles and traffic in the state, although local authorities may establish their own ordinances regulating vehicle and traffic. Boulder County adopted the “Model Traffic Code for Colorado” (i.e. CO Title 42) as its Ordinance for the regulation of vehicles and traffic (Ordinance No. 2010-1).

The only reference to following to closely in the Colorado code holds that:

“The driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicles and the traffic upon and the condition of the highway.” § 42-4-1008(1)

Although the code section refers specifically to “the driver of a motor vehicle”, it also applies to a bicycle. An argument could be made that since the ‘motorpacer’ and ‘motorpacee’ are working in concert towards a specific purpose, obeying traffic laws, are able to communicate effectively and are otherwise in agreement as to what they are doing, that they are in fact acting “reasonably and prudently.” If so, there is no violation of County ordinance or State statute.

If this argument doesn’t fly, you’re guilty of a Class A traffic infraction ($15 to $100 fine, plus court costs and 4 points against your driver’s license)