Bikezilla

Ride the Puddles

Eureka!

Posted by bikezilla on April 1, 2010


Went out to Waterfall Glen, today.

Again, all big gear riding, trying to work on my leg strength. I did two circuits and figured out a couple things.

Two circuits is roughly 20 miles, especially with the short, accidental detour into a parking lot.

On the first circuit I started out in the easiest big gear (big gear up front, big gear in back) and each time I rode 1 mile I’d decrease the rear gear size (bigger back gear means less effort required to pedal).  Since I have ten gears in back this fit the course almost perfectly.

This meant that when I got to The Big Hill I was taking it in the two smallest gears (mile change 3/4 of way up). Holy effin crap, a man with no legs and one arm could’ve dragged himself up the first section of that hill faster than I was going.

Then I hit the water in the path about 1/2 mile  before the 101st st parking lot, where I park most of the time. It was just as deep as yesterday and maybe a couple inches deeper. In my hardest gear it was all I could do to keep going fast enough to keep from falling over when the water was at its deepest.

For the second lap I kept it in the highest gear to start, then decreased 1 gear per mile.

And somewhere along the way I discovered something!

You know how a lot of log time cyclists (especially elite professional cyclists) have crazy defined quads? I just never seemed to work mine in a way that would EVER let that happen. But I figured it out today and the combination of that and riding all in my big gears really worked my quads like mad. They were wiped by the end of this ride.

This technique works great up and incline and well enough on a flat, but doesn’t feel at all right on the downhill.

Push your butt back on the saddle until the top of your hammies / bottom of your butt is pressed right up against the curve of the seat. Then, as your pedal comes toward top dead center, let your heal drop (as opposed to keeping in level) and then push (or press, as if on a piece of gym equipment) forward on the pedal. You’re still pulling UP with your other foot, but rather than concentrating on pushing or stepping down with the one, you’re pushing forward over the top.

To my surprise, this also worked my lower back muscles pretty hard.

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