Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Ride a bike? Thought about starting? Here's a tip or two.

Ok, here's a list of things that can help make a satisfied cyclist. These tips should help anyone from the novice to the experienced racer. I'll keep the more extensive stuff off the list so that it doesn't bore you too much. Gotta keep some secrets right? So here they are, in no particular order:

Comfort: test various parts on your bike - seats: seat types, makes/models, heights, angles, fore-aft, everything - bars: bar types, makes/models, reach, height, angle, all of it - pedals/shoes: test out various models before buying, comfort is hugely important. Take a guess who I'd recommend getting bike stuff from? They really are good at what they do. Also, If you can afford it, a professional fit would help for sure. There's more than one good option around, but there is definitely a clear favorite here in town.

#1 important part of cycling is to enjoy it. Make sure that you aren't forcing any of it. To be good at it, you gotta enjoy being out on the bike first and foremost. See new places, meet new people, and be adventurous with it.

When cornering, especially downhill, keep the outside leg down and put real weight on it. Whatever weight you can put on your inside arm will help too. Please follow the outside leg down rule! If you don't, you will eventually wreck and people behind you may pay the price as well.

Dress appropriately for the weather. No matter how experienced you are at cycling, this will always be a challenge. In the cold weather, it's better to wear too much than too little, but not so much that it cuts off circulation to anything, anywhere. It's easy to plan for the hot stuff, just wear as little as possible and try to choose reflective colors. Spring rides can be the hardest. You have to plan for everything from rain to heat to wind storms.

Get aerodynamic, especially on the flats, to go fast. Less frontal area presented to the oncoming air equals less air pressure slowing you down. Once you've got a svelte body from riding a lot, there is way more to be gained from aerodynamics than losing more weight.

Make your hard/intense days really, really intense, as intense as possible. Make your easy days really easy, both on the time and intensity side of things.

Tires are super important. Choose wisely for what you need them for. A pair for training and a pair for racing is a wise choice.

Be motivated for the races you have planned. Set goals and shoot for those. Aiming for too many races will burn a racer out, been there done that. 1 month out is a very important time frame.

Don't become too focused on riding and racing only. Make sure to do other things in life or you'll over cook it and want to quit. Eventually the rule of deminishing returns can and will come into play. Been there, done that, got the shirt.

This should suffice for now. I may add on if anything really important comes to mind.

refer to the "#1 important" section over and over if neccessary -
Over N' Out-
Whisky, Mike


Justin Rose said...

all i saw in that essay was "frontal area." you just couldn't leave that out, could ya? you should make it #1!

Trava said...

You write very well.

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