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.


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