by Stan Purdum In my recent article “The GPS in Your Head”, I mentioned that not every cyclist seems to have the “aptitude that makes stringing streets, roads and paths together to create bike routes easy.” Kerry Irons, one of the readers who commented on the article, confirmed that observation by telling of riding with a PhD physicist in a county where virtually every road … [Read more...] about The GPS in Your Head, Part 2
1Training & Health
By Coach John Hughes This is the first line of Mother’s Little Helper written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards in 1966 when they were 23 — they’re now 76. Mother’s Little Helper is Meprobamate a tranquilizer and in the song the mother keeps taking more and more until she overdoses. Then on August 20, 2019 the Stones wrapped up a three-year tour. Getting old hasn’t slowed … [Read more...] about “What a Drag it is Getting Old”
You're out with the local training bunch and hanging fine on the rolling hills and windy sections. But every time the group goes around a corner, you get gapped by 20 or 30 feet. Cyclists tend to go hard out of corners. Cynics would say it's mob mentality. Some riders are fit enough to sprint away and so they do, simply to torture their peers. … [Read more...] about Quick Tip: Don’t Get Dropped in Corners
Have a purpose on every ride. If you do, daily training becomes even more productive. Your fitness and bike-handling skills will improve faster. For example, organize your riding buddies into a paceline instead of a sloppy pack. Do hard turns at the front, then sit in to recover. This type of riding pays off in better drafting skills and a faster cruising speed. … [Read more...] about Quick Tip: Have a Purpose for Your Ride
One of the common (and irritating) mistakes riders make in a paceline is accelerating while taking over the lead position. Maybe it happens because riders don't want the others to think they can't handle the pace. Rather than risk slowing down, they err by speeding up. The correct way is to maintain the speed as the former leader pulls off. Then you move forward, in … [Read more...] about Quick Tip: Check Your Speed Before Leading the Paceline
This quick tip comes from Coach Rick Shultz, an IBFI Level 3 certified professional bike fitter. More cleat float is not necessarily your solution to knee pain. Sure, you want a little float But it’s much more important to have your cleats adjusted correctly. And it's even more important to have the right crank arm length, as well as the correct saddle height. Most cyclists … [Read more...] about Quick Tip: It’s Not Just About the Cleat Float
By Gabe Mirkin, M.D. At some time, one out of three cyclists suffers serious knee pain (Am J Sports Med, 2010 Dec;38(12):2494-501). It often occurs with a new bike, upon returning to cycling after a long hiatus, or when you are trying to increase either your intensity or your mileage. If your knee starts to hurt while you are on your bike, stop riding and try to find out the … [Read more...] about Don’t Straighten Your Knees When You Ride a Bicycle
By Coach John Hughes Last week I wrote about What a Beginning Cyclist Should Eat, which applies to all roadies. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends, depending on how big you are, consuming 25 to 60 grams of carbs (100 to 240 calories) per hour after the first hour of exercise. Note that the recommendation is only for calories of carbs. … [Read more...] about Ask the Coach: What Should a Beginning Cyclist Eat and Drink, pt. 2?
A strong wind is lots of fun when it's coming directly from behind. Most roadies have learned to make the most of it by sitting high with hands on the bar tops, exposing their back to the gale. Here's a way to get max benefit from wind that's coming from a rear quarter, more of a crosswind than a tailwind. Let's say it's blowing from the left. The trick is to angle your … [Read more...] about Quick Tip: Turn Your Back into a Sail
By Coach John Hughes Last week Taylor Q. asked How to Avoid Boredom on Long Rides? The column had three excellent suggestions: Opt for scenic routes, if possible.Vary your courses. I ride flats, hills and rolling stuff on my road bike, do some mountain biking on singletrack and also ride a cyclocross bike on routes that mix pavement, dirt roads and canal bank … [Read more...] about More on Avoiding Boredom on Long Solo Rides
By Coach John Hughes I turned 71 in April and rather than rueing my age, I’d set a challenging goal of cross-country skiing at least 71 days. I skied 75! My second goal was to continue to improve skiing the classic diagonal stride. I’m fortunate that last summer we moved to the mountains of Colorado. As I write this on May 4 it’s spitting snow, I’ve built a fire … [Read more...] about 10 Essential Bike Handling Skills for Roadies
By Gabe Mirkin, M.D. Always try to keep at least a slight bend in your knee when you run or bike. When you run, you are supposed to land on each foot with a partially-bent knee. Otherwise you transmit the shock of your foot hitting the ground directly onto your knees, hips and back. Straightening your knees when you pedal markedly increases risk for knee pain by increasing … [Read more...] about Don’t Straighten Your Knees While Running or Cycling
By Stan Purdum As a cyclist, how’s your route-finding ability? Mine’s pretty good, though I can’t claim any credit for it, especially since I never did anything to cultivate or develop it. But I apparently have good geographic memory, an aptitude that makes stringing streets, roads and paths together to create bike routes easy. … [Read more...] about The GPS in Your Head
By Coach John Hughes Mike W.: Thanks for the column on How Can a Beginning Cyclist Improve? It was very helpful. I have a related question. I see lots of ads for bars, gels and drinks. The guys I ride with each recommend something different. What should I eat? Does it matter? … [Read more...] about Ask the Coach: What Should a Beginning Cyclist Eat and Drink, pt. 1?
By Coach John Hughes An endurance workout on a trainer doesn’t have to be a multi-hour grind. These workouts are designed to maintain endurance fitness in 30 to 60 minutes plus warm-up and cool-down. An endurance workout should be done in two training zones, which bring about specific adaptations. If you go harder or easier your body doesn’t adapt the same way. The benefits … [Read more...] about 11 Trainer Workouts for Endurance