We are less than 60 days from our ride around the Cabot Trail.  The group has been very active - increasing distance to 55 km for morning rides, grades to 7+% for hill repeats and making lots of connections between the indoor and outdoor efforts in my classes.
We closed the opportunity to join us last week so that we”™d have a consistent group with whom to train over the next two months.  Twelve people will ride the Trail.  At a maximum we had 17 people on one of our Sunday training rides.   As word got out, friends of friends started to attend and we welcomed their interest.  They will be invited to re-join us for some weekend jaunts this fall.

Here are some highlights relevant to the indoor/outdoor cycling interface.

We did a quick reconnaissance of the route last weekend and some of the descents are daunting.  As I negotiated the road in a car I became painfully aware that no amount of indoor cycling can help people learn how to descend.  We have been working on those skills outdoors but can”™t reproduce the Trail experience nearby.  I have contracted a Can-Bike educator to give the group a lecture and clinic.  Meanwhile we”™ll content ourselves with the knowledge that less prepared people ride the Trail every year and none of them have ended up in the ocean.

The transformation of individuals from bikers to cyclists is noticeable.  I am most thrilled by Judy who panicked and bailed on her first attempt at a road ride last fall.  She was the first to buy a new bike this spring, always turns in her training logs and is now one of our strongest riders.  Better yet, when the group organizes its own trips during the week, she consistently chooses the one that will give her the greatest challenge.  I am writing up an interview with her which I think will interest you as she describes the indoor to outdoor experience.

I teach in a facility with a mixture of non-power and power bikes.  That precludes classes which are entirely focussed on power.  Recently, though, I have been able to let everyone re-visit their FTP (60 min).  The numbers range from 1.4 to 1.9 watts/lb (measured over 20 minutes and corrected for 60 minutes (x .90)) for the group who is doing the Trail.  Remember - these were non-exercisers/non-cyclists a few months ago.  They have all seen a huge increase in their power over that period.  Better yet, their results are completely consistent with what they see in one another on the road.  The power info has really helped the weaker riders understand the connection between indoors and outdoors.

You can read my earlier posts about preparing a group of Indoor Cycling students for our trip to ride the Cabot Trail  here.

Originally posted 2012-07-04 05:38:16.

Christine Nielsen
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