When a friend and I returned from a cycling trip in Croatia last June my IC classes were curious about the experience and I told them lots of stories. One day I mused “Now that we have done some hills in Europe I guess it”™s time to do the hills here at home. We”™ll be riding the Cabot Trail next.” http://www.mapmyride.com/s/routes/view/bike-ride-map/canada/nova-scotia/cape-breton/8895784
Follow that link to see just how big a challenge this will be 🙂
Within minutes the class had come up with a scheme to ride the trail as a group. Word of our plans has spread and new people have arrived in my classes to be part of this adventure. Most of them have never done any serious riding outdoors and several do not even own bicycles. We are aiming for a four to six day trip in late September 2012. Right now we are making plans for winter training and a spring reconnaissance ride for the ‘leaders”™.
Yesterday, with temperatures in the mid-teens (â„ƒ) and under a sunny sky, a few of the group got together for their first ride. We did a safety check on the bikes and headed out with the promise that no one would be left behind. I placed experienced riders at lead and sweep and had a spare to accompany anyone who turned back. The most ambitious riders did 28 kilometers and realized after the fact that they could have done more. I was very supportive of their decision to ride within themselves. It will be time to test their limits after they have improved their form and bike handling skills.
Next time we do this route I will encourage them to do a 52 kilometer loop. They will all be amazed at how much farther and faster they will travel than they did on their first outing.
In anticipation of this weekend, I put together a profile for my classes which simulated parts of the ride and, in particular, highlighted how to avoid red-lining on the hills. Several people told me that they relied on that information when they found themselves in doubt during yesterday's efforts. As proof that they find real-time data useful --- every one but me had on their heart rate monitor! I had an opportunity to ride with and coach each member of the group. One person stood out for me - her ability to receive verbal guidance and apply it was outstanding. Her skills improved dramatically and she was rewarded by being able to ride a hill she had had to walk on the way out. Another rider surprised us all - she was very strong even though she had previously only ridden on rail trails. She attributed her performance to her indoor experiences - improved endurance and better form.
Next up: a clinic on gears and shifting and a discussion about bike choice. Most of the group will be purchasing a new or new-to-them bike in the next few months.
Originally posted 2011-10-20 05:11:38.
- Taking the Indoors Outside - October 28, 2020
- What's holding you back? - August 12, 2017
- Take the Trail – Preparation Continues - May 7, 2017
With one program you have covered it al and are literally taking the indoors outdoors. By setting a goal for an ambitious ride next year you get your group to do winter training, buy new bikes and slowly build saddle time even in the presumably harsh Nova Scotia winter.
I think Gene Nacey should post your program on his site and give it a ‘Gold Star’
Thanks, Chuck. I am already seeing changes in behaviour following the ride last weekend. One woman who joined my classes a few months ago has quietly resisted all of my cadence coaching. After accompanying us on the ride (her second outside in 10 years) she now “gets it” and I saw her working outside her cadence comfort zone in classes this week.
This is so exciting! Talk about a “goal” and teamwork. I can only imagine the encouragement going on between your classmates.
What an “ah ha” moment about cadence for your new joiner.
I am looking forward to seeing how your trip goes. Good for you all!
Thanks, Amy. I did a gears/shifting clinic this weekend and had a great response. You won’t be surprised to learn that all of the people who attended didn’t actually know how the gears function to affect their workload. After a lecture on gear ratios and a hands-on look at their bikes, we did some riding (flats and hills) in a contained area so they could experiment without being left behind. My favorite quote of the day: “It is amazing how one little thing can change everything.” When I enquired about what “little thing” had made the difference, the reply was “I understand it now.”
I’ll send a few updates through the winter as we do some focused training and start to sketch out a program for the spring and summer.
Were they going too fast indoors originally? or too slow -too high resistance? (now that they ‘get it’)…
What an awesome way to get people to enjoy the outdoors
after training indoors! 🙂
You go, girl 🙂
No one goes too fast in my classes!!! I am quite definite about that very early on and I am well-armed with a rationale so people are VERY compliant.
The woman I referred to has been unwilling/unable to ride at a cadence much above 80. She could do it if I stood by her bike and actively coached but always fell back when I stepped away. She came to me with a knee problem so I think she was unconsciously protecting the knee even though it is stable now. That one ride outdoors has helped enormously. She now recognizes 1) that her brain was getting in the way and 2) everything I said about higher cadences (at a lower resistance) being less fatiguing was true.
Come to think of it, there is one woman who, like your lady, sounds very similar – and likes LOW cadence riding. She literally looks like she’s “wrestling an alligator” whenever she rides; flailing from side to side-in slow motion- with what looks like too-high gears (Tom’s quote – thank you!) 🙂
She is really stubborn about this type of riding…
she’s also elderly…hmmm, I wonder if that has anything to do with it??
Michelle rides with ‘appropriate’ resistance – in other words, her cadence is not dictated by her choice of a ‘too high’ resistance. It’s definitely her brain getting in the way of her body. Yesterday I was able to prove to her that her brain was interfering. When I gave her mental tasks (unrelated to IC) her cadence went up. As soon as the tasks were over her leg speed fell again. Now I have to help her develop ways to create that disengagement until she gets to the point where her body just takes over.
She’d probably bristle if I categorized her as elderly (since she’s younger than me!) but I do observe that there’s an inverse relationship between age and preferred cadence when people start classes. I find that I can usually bring the cadence up slowly through drills, logic and the relaxation that happens after people have been to 10 or 20 classes.