Getting faster ...
Those new to cycling are sometimes enamored with getting faster ... to keep up with their newfound teammates. That makes a lot of sense. But how to get there without getting hurt?
One must get stronger in order to ride faster, particularly over longer distances. The best cure for getting stronger is riding as much as possible (not as long as possible). Cycling every day will do more for your stamina and strength than about anything else. The more you ride ... the more you can ride. You'll get faster and be able to go further.
Getting faster is somewhat a mental game too. The more you think about it the harder it is. Be aware that every day you go out on your bike, your body is not the same as yesterday or the day before. You'll have some days where you ride strong, others not so much. Mentally you start to wonder about those "bad days" ... and I say "don't let it bother you." It happens.
Another key to getting faster is to ride solo more than 50% of the time and DO NOT look at your speed. Concentrate on cadence and let your legs give you whatever they have for that day. Doing this many days in a row will provide surprising results -- you will get faster.
Now get out there and pedal!
Cycling in weather -- like rain, snow, fog -- is usually not fun. But you have to be prepared for it. And you need to ensure your bike recovers from it.
The weather can take a huge toll on not only yourself but your bike as well. It is vitally important that you provide the appropriate attention to your bike after a weather event.
Specifically, your drive-train should be rinsed and re-lubricated appropriately. Your derailers likewise. Your chainring and bottom bracket likewise. Your breaking mechanisms likewise.
Yes, pay attention to your whole bicycle. Keep it clean and functioning to ensure your next excursion is as worry free as possible.
A properly functioning dual pace line will be a joy ... this one is moving along at 20.5 mph.
To white line or not ...
More on pace lines
Should you ride the white line or stay to left of it or to the right?
If it's wet, never ride the painted lines.
If there is as much as 2ft or more to the right, then ride to the right of it.
Otherwise, ride where it is the smoothest! A smooth ride for the pace line is always preferable than worrying about anything else. The lead of the pace line needs to pick out the smoothest path forward. Always.
What if you're #2 in line ...
More on pace lines
If you're next up to pull the line there are a few things to keep in mind:
Taking a sip in-line ...
More on pace line etiquette
When partaking of your water bottle, please keep in mind the following:
Walk this way, Talk this way, Look this way ... just give me a _____!
More on Pacelines
You go where you look. If you find your paceline getting bunched up, or braking in a hurry -- beware! Don't stare at the back wheel in front of you. Look for an opening, or look at the shoulder of the road.
You go where you look and if you focus on the issue, you become one with the issue. Look for a solution. If you run off the road, don't panic as you can probably come back on, or come to a stop -- either of which needs to be done SMOOTHLY.
Pacelines ... on the front
Getting in a paceline is sometimes not voluntary ... it just happens. If that is the case, you suddenly are forced with a decision: stay or opt out. If you stay, you're going to have to develop some trust with the other riders pretty quickly. 5-10 minutes of a paceline should be enough to let you know if you want to continue -- else, opt out.
Everyone in a paceline has to TRUST you also. For them to gain trust in you ... that's where smoooooth actions come into play. Always be SMOOTH, this is rule #1. When steering, pedaling, going for your water bottle, texting, lighting a cigarette, and especially braking, always make the action as smooth as reasonably possible.
Pacelines are great for everyone involved. It helps the group ride faster than you can ride solo, it helps with sighting obstacles (more eyes on the road), and you gain experience by watching how others "go with the flow" of the paceline.
Contributer: Ennis Pleasants
There are many aspects about pacelines. Let's start with PACE and LINE ...
Pace -- maintain a constant pace. That's pretty simple. On the flats keep the pace constant so those in line can follow easily without the slinky effect. Rollers will cause the pace to decrease as the constant pace shifts to constant effort (i.e. down-shift as necessary on the up-side).
Line -- means ONE or TWO lines (otherwise known as a double paceline). This certainly infers no triples, halfsies, gaps, or anything other than cyclists in-line, making good use of the draft that develops.
Stay tuned for more ....
Pre-ride prep ...
So much to discuss here, but let's begin with the bottom-line ... how far do you plan to cycle next?
Distance and amount of previous cycling really determine how much prep you need to pursue.
Hydrate ... the longer you plan to be on the bike, the more well hydrated you need to be when you START your next ride.
Planned power output ... you know whether you can comfortably ride at 16mph so if you plan to ride with the 18mph group, you've got some energy requirements to plan for. That could involve some meal planning, consuming such about an hour before your ride.
Solo event ... you have to do all the pulling yourself. This is a mental preparation item. Know the weather, know the wind, select a route where you can achieve your objectives (e.g. speed, destination).
Team event ... mentally prepare for riding with others whether in small groups or large, long pace-lines. You should be able to ride further and faster with a group than solo. Don't be afraid to select a longer route than you've done before if you know a few others will be helping pull you around.
Previous cycling ... attempting a century ride while only having stayed on a bike ~2hrs previously during the season is not advised. You may be able to do it ... once. And then have some consequences the next day or so. You don't have to have ridden a 100k ride in order to attempt a 100k ride, but you should have completed a couple of 50 milers so you know how your body responds in the given conditions. Word to wise: work your way up in distance and speed. Much of this prep, again, is mental, not just physical.
Mentality ... I've already mentioned the mental aspect of cycling a few times. This cannot be overstressed. Have a picture in your mind of your ride, set goals (even simple ones like "I plan to make it back home in one piece"), and think about what you'll do post-ride. Cycling is a physical exercise but the requirements mentally are just as demanding. But don't forget ... the experience of being outside, sometimes with others, is a mental joy as well.
Navigating life with MS ... Diet, Exercise and Healthy Behaviors
For a person living with MS, physical wellness involves much more than disease and symptom management. Research shows that a healthy diet, exercise, not smoking, ongoing preventive care and management of other medical conditions not only contribute to overall health but can also impact a person’s MS progression and lifespan.
MS management is an essential component of optimal physical wellness. Managing MS includes:
Welcome to the Team Captain's bLog ... where the Captain will share various information about the Cyclepaths, cycling, and perhaps some general amusement.
Some topics to look forward to:
The Captain welcomes your topic suggestions!
Team Captains come in all shapes, sizes, and general temperament. Please keep that in mind. :-)