Not praciticing the hand-off - but what comes next...

Not practicing the hand-off - but what comes next...

One of the many benefits of riding and training indoors, is not worrying about crashing and ending up on your head. So we practice our; pedaling technique, or Sprint form or whatever, without thinking about balancing or where we're going.

Now if we were riding our road bikes on trainers we could also practice reaching down, grabbing a bottle, taking a drink and then returning it safely into the cage. Not an easy task for many new (and a few old) outdoor cyclists.

Bicycle Safety Tip

2012 Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins pictured above/right may be an awesome cyclist with phenomenal bike handling skills. But he's not demonstrating proper hand position with one hand off the bars. The correct (safe) position for his left hand is on the cross bar, very close to the center / stem. Why not out at the end where he has it in the picture?

It's a matter of leverage. The further you hand is, away from the center/pivot, the easier it is to turn the bars. Without your other hand to counteract the force, riders with just one hand, on the outer end of the bars, tend to ride erratically = not in a straight line = dangerous.

Speaking of proper hand positions > I discovered this video while researching this article. Nothing to do with cycling, but it will get your heart rate up when you watch it 🙂

In celebration of today being the Super Bowl (the biggest sporting event in North America) we played drinking games. Not the typical; take a shot whenever an announcer uses some predictable cliche - that comes later today.

In class we played a different type of drinking game.

Although we're not on real bicycles, there's still a valuable technique we can safely practice during class; drinking at a high level of effort > @ or over FTP/Threshold/AT/Lt whatever you call it. More specifically; learning to regulate your breathing so you don't choke, launch into a coughing fit, swerve over and ultimately take down your riding buddy - or end up in the ditch.

NOT drinking enough during a long ride is the sure path to early fatigue. During a hard group ride there may not be a lot of breaks where you can recover and hydrate easily. So today we only drank during hard efforts, not during the recoveries when you would normally towel off and take a sip.

The first Sunday of each month is an FTP Assessment. Here's my class.

Class length 75 minutes + Cool Down

Warm Up — 10 minutes. 5 minutes of gradual increases in wattage. During the second 5 mins. we”™re finding the wattage where everyone is first noticing a change in breathing; VT1 / Aerobic Threshold = the top of the Recover Zone. This establishes a rough understanding of a base wattage that we use throughout the rest of class.

3 x 30 sec. Hard / 30 sec. Easy - Openers to AT/LT. I cue these by first having everyone find the amount of load @ 70 RPM that has them feeling they should (not just could) come out of the saddle. The 30 sec. Hard is then simply accelerating to 90+ RPM which results in some pretty impressive power numbers. The 30 sec. Easy is back to 70 RPM — many will stand during the Easy portion.

1 minute rest - I encourage riders to focus on their recovery. Once they feel calm in their breathing, bring back the Base level work wattage.

3 min. Hard Effort — Here”™s a “Best Effort” to establish a benchmark PTP Personal Threshold Power (top of the Perform Zone) or ride at 110% of FTP if known. It”™s very helpful to riders to have that understanding of their personal upper wattage number. The “Best Effort” Threshold # + the Base Threshold # we found earlier form the three Power working zones I use in class.

2 min. Rest

3 x 1 min. Hard Effort x 1 min. Rest. These should be above the 3 minute average wattage.

3 min. Rest

20 min. TT / FTP Assessment effort - Quickly establish the average wattage at or near the 3 min. Interval. > Stage Button and then maintain. You may want to offer slight changes in cadence & load, while keeping wattage = to the initially established watts #. I was off the bike at the 10 min. to go, coaching, encouraging and then just watching them with a big smile on my face. This is a great group and they looked incredible — I”™m so in my element with these classes :)

5 min. Rest

Base Wattage (aerobic) flat road to finish — use these time to congratulate everyone and give tell them a bit about what you have planned for them next week.

Cool Down

Here”™s my Playlist from today”™s class FTP Class Playlist


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