How do I know when my aerobic base is sufficient to move on to more intense training?   Experienced cyclists need less aerobic base conditioning, usually 8-10 weeks is enough. Novice cyclists need between 10-14 weeks before undertaking more intense training.

  Any suggestions on how best to develop a smooth and efficient stroke?   Smooth pedaling can be developed by high speed spinning, one legged workouts and mountain biking--yes, mountain biking.The low speed pedal off-road while climbing helps you learn correct power output for the entire pedal stroke.

  After a really hard race when you have done some damage to your legs. Is it better to do active rest, i.e. spinning easily around the suburb, or do nothing? Surely getting blood into the legs will repair them quicker than taking complete rest?   Active recovery, meaning easy riding at less than 65% of your maximum heart rate will help speed the recovery process and lessen muscle soreness.