Until I took the red pill (see initial post), I spent 95% of my working life in healthcare; specifically workflow methods and technology.  As I got more and more involved on the clinical side of the equation, I began to learn about a distinct approach to the real life practice of delivering care to the patient called Evidence Based Medicine.  In some ways, it looked to put to bed some of the same issues I feel burdened with as I continue to teach Indoor Cycling Instructors and coach competitive riders; that of competing opinions or treatment protocols for the same set of symptoms or circumstances.

In the case of practicing medicine, researchers and physicians in the day to day work of caring for patients were trying to answer the question “Is there a best practice here?”  Instead of going with the status quo, or citing the research material that best support a given physician”™s personal preferences, those who ascribed to tenants of Evidence Based medicine would often conduct their own research.   This was often coupled with retrospectively looking at a lot of data from patients treated at their specific facility in order to uncover the patterns or practice protocols that yielded the best outcomes.

Perhaps this is why I started down this path early in my initial days after opening my own cycling studio in the suburbs of Pittsburgh.  I started the studio from day 1 as a facility for mountain bikers, road cyclists & rails to trails recreational riders; to produce better fitness, better results, and more enjoyable riding.

Little did I know that there were entire groups of indoor riders who didn”™t even ride outside.  Little did I know that there were seasoned outdoor riders that would never ride inside if their life depended on it.  Little did I know that there were techniques of riding inside that seemed to have nothing to do with how actual bikes are ridden.  Little did I know that outdoor riders would actually trade good training and a comfortable environment for the status or challenge of enduring all manner of horrendous weather conditions, as a sort of “badge of honor” among the super dedicated.

Consequently, I was faced with groups that already had clear lines of demarcation and identification, and the harmonious “blending” of activities and venues I had a vision for was proving to be a bigger pipe dream than I had anticipated.  The harmonizing I was looking for was much closer to dissonant jazz than a crooning quartet, and if I were to make any progress, it was clear that I was going to have to “prove my case”.

Now almost 5 years later, after pirating the practice methods, I”™m borrowing the term and calling it Evidence Based Cycling.


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