Gil our guinea pig is training for our next EBC (Evidence Based Cycling) project. The problem is his bike is in the shop, so he might just have to sit this one out.
Unless you have a whole team of guinea pigs as talented as Gil, you will have to recruit students or fellow riding buddies to participate in your quest for Evidence Based answers as it relates to cycling and cycling training. Naturally, fellow “data geeks” will be your low hanging fruit. However, since any over-concentration on one type of cycling demographic may skew results to just that population group, you will want to get as broad a representation of your cycling group as possible.
That being said, you can also do EBC that purposefully only applies to a given type or group of riders. For example, you may want to investigate the best ways to get a brand new rider used to the dreaded bike saddle. While opinions and experiences vary, the fact that this is an initial obstacle or deterrent to newbies would be something worth studying. This topic would easily be pertinent to just that type of rider (what we may refer to in the future as a demographic or population group).
Outside of those students that have a penchant for data and understanding the What, Where and Why of their cycling performance, you will need them to have training tools for measurement. While we do not pooh pooh subjective comments and the ever-popular RPE scale (well, maybe a little pooh pooh is justified at times), ultimately we will want to quantify our results. This in turn should lead us to a method of arriving at a more objective conclusion and testable recommendations.
Assuming you”™ve identified the glorious geeks among us, you”™ve confirmed that they own or have access to training tools, and you”™ve got a good cross section represented in your EBC team, you”™re ready to get started.
The next step is to select a topic of investigation; an initial project that will get your feet wet and help you and the group begin to learn about and experience the basic Scientific Method. Those fundamentals will be covered in the next post.
- Keiser Tour de Power - April 18, 2023
- Meterless Doesnâ€™t Mean Powerless - March 15, 2023
- Constructing a Hypothesis - February 10, 2023
Here is some ‘other’ evidence that you might be interested in.
1) FACT: CLASS BUILDER BUILDS INSTRUCTOR REPUTATION. EVIDENCE: Acquired use of Class Builder almost one year ago. Class size steadily grows to capacity even in good weather. More “another great class today” comments than ever before.
2) FACT: Whoever said we instructors do it for the affirmation, was right. EVIDENCE: 🙂
3) FACT: MOST RIDERS IN CLASS DO NOT RIDE OUTSIDE. EVIDENCE: Just ask for a show of hands.
4) FACT: MOST RIDERS HAVE NO TRAINING PLAN. EVIDENCE: See 3.
5) FACT: IF AN OUTDOOR RIDER ACTUALLY ATTENDS AN INDOOR CYCLE CLASS THEY FALL INTO ONE OF TWO CATEGORIES: 1) Didn’t have time to ride but needed a cardio workout. 2) The indoor cycle class is cycle specific, usually longer than 60 minutes and likely has an instructor well versed in using video. EVIDENCE: Whenever I get the word out that I’m planning a 90 minute virtual ride, only the outdoor riders are left at the end of 90 minutes.
6) FACT: Outdoor riders never say “great class”. They usually just nod on the way out. You know that they liked your class by the EVIDENCE: They come back to the next ‘virtual ride’
I have had the great fortune to become a ‘revolving sub’. I have the opportunity to, and do teach at 12 different studio’s in the San Francisco Bay Area on a regular basis.
It is a rich experience as I get to test my stuff against the ‘regular’ instructor and with riders I don’t know. I have to win them over in 60 minutes or I will not be called back. For the record I get called back.
Since I get to teach to so many different indoor riders I feel that there is a body of EVIDENCE to support the following statement: The average indoor rider could care less about training plans, what outdoor riders do, good form, what a peloton is or where the instructor learned what they’re teaching.
What they do care about is an instructor that cares, working to good motivating music, being given great verbal cues that set the tone of the effort at hand, not having to do too much thinking and leaving feeling like they worked hard and burned a bunch of calories.
The moral to this long winded comment is simply this: what we’ve all learned from all of our sources (hopefully including – someday – Evidence based cycling studies) is to blend what we know into a safe, fun, entertaining period of exercise on an indoor cycle, that keeps the participants coming back. As instructors we are a means to an end not only for our riders but our employers as well.
I love this concept of using evidence to confirm what many consider “facts”. I see far too many simply nod their heads in agreement to things that don’t stand up to even a small amount of analysis. When it comes to teaching classes, we don’t get much in the way of feedback from our students, confirming that they both understand our directions and act appropriated … which gives me an idea…
Care to share?