Wednesday, July 7, 2010

900 Cycling Tips

I am cycle obsessed. I am fat and slow on the bike and determined to get better. As is my nature, I've started my OCD ways of googling Cycling Tips, searching for books through inter-library loan and downloading podcasts on cycling.

Now, keep in mind. I don't want books or research materials which refer to peloton, paceline, echappee, or domestique. I am looking for "Bicycling for Dummies". I need to understand when to use my small gears or my large gears, what my cadence should be and how it all affects my speed.

I did find one book through the inter-library loan which I didn't think would be over my head. "Bicycling Magazine's 900 All-Time Best Tips". Should be simple, right?

"If climbing isn't your forte, make sure you're at the front of the group when the hill starts, then go up at your pace. If you gradually drift back you'll still be with everyone (or close behind) at the top."

Are they speaking directly to me???? Cause my Dolce can attest to the fact that climbing is NOT my forte.

Under the heading of "108 Tips for Skill Builders", I found this tip perplexing:

"If you latch onto a passing rider, it's bad etiquette to just sit there enjoying the draft without offering to take some pulls. {????} The other rider may decline if he's doing a workout, but he'll appreciate your offer and feel less annoyed by your wheelsucking."

Take some pulls? What are you offering? What does it matter if he/she is doing a workout or not?

However, the book did have some decent tips on descent and hill climbs. I will have to re-read those sections a few times....each night for the next 21 nights. (That's how long it takes to create a habit, right?)

I took some of those tips while fresh in my head out on the road this morning for a quick ride. I would like to show my Gary Garmin information download, but of course Gary was being fickle and didn't want to download to Connect.Garmin. I'll have to try again. Anyway, this picture is one of few flat sections at the beginning of my ride. The hills on Augustin and Schmidtgall were just unbelievable and challenging, but I felt good for the first 9 miles until I turned into the headwind....and my speed dropped way down low. BUT it felt good to be out on the road, in the sunshine with me and my Dolce.

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