Four-time Verizon IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon gets his jump on the field by training on two wheels instead of four.
Dixon is a competitive cyclist as is his NASCAR teammate at Chip Ganassi Racing, Jamie McMurray. These are just two big-name drivers who train on bicycles.
Dixon rides with fellow Indy car driver Tony Kanaan quite often.
“It depends on the individual,” Dixon told SPEED SPORT. “A lot of guys that have run across different platforms don’t like to run so they bike. I like the endurance factor of going out for two hours, for three hours or a 100-miler for five hours. For me, it’s a great conditioning tool and one that I think is important for endurance.
“In the car, you aren’t going to get the peaks that you do for integral training and running. I like the difference of the two. You get bored pretty easily running every day.”
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Dixon’s longest rides are the 100-mile journeys that are organized by Jim Leo of Pit Fit in Indianapolis.
Dixon’s road bike is a Trek Madone and his speed bike is a Trek Concept 9.9. The road bike costs $12,000 and the triathlon bikes are up to $14,000.
“They are super trick, too,” Dixon said. “All of the shifting is electronic.”
Dixon’s favorite cycling trails are Nebo Ridge in Carmel, Ind., and another one that starts at Eagle Creek in Indianapolis for 48 miles.
To the south of Indianapolis are some of his favorite trails.
“There are some really good ones down in Brown County,” Dixon said.
Dixon puts the bike away after October and then does an online interactive biking program indoors. During race weekends, Dixon may take his bike on the road with him, but most race weekends are so compressed he doesn’t have time to bike.
Among NASCAR drivers who benefit the most from cycling is seven-time Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson. Not only is he one of the most cerebral drivers in NASCAR, he’s also one of the most physically fit.