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April 7, 2015

Tri Talk Tuesday: Preparing for the Outdoor Cycle Season

Today I’m Linking Up with You Signed Up For WHAT?!Blisters and Black Toenails, and The TriGirl Chronicles for Tri Talk Tuesdays!  This month’s theme is The Bike.

Now that spring is finally springing (is that a word?), we can put away the trainers and hit the open road.  I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of running in coldgear and pedaling indoors. 

But, first things first – It’s time for a spring tune up.  I don’t mean me, I mean my bike – well, me too, but that’s a whole different blog post.  Before I hit the road, I like to make sure my local bike mechanics get their hands on Bella – oil her up, check her brakes, give her a little spa treatment.  She deserves it!  Afterall, she’s gonna be lugging me up lots of hills for the summer.

 I’m also having some second thoughts about whether I’ve shifted a little in how I ride Bella, so I’m thinking I might have another bike fitting – see if any adjustments are necessary.  I feel like I’m riding a little low and the bend of my leg is a little off.

bikefitbikefit2

 

I don’t want to be wasting more energy than I have too working too hard in the saddle because I could’ve used a half inch raise.  For me, the beginning of the outdoor season is all about building endurance.  As an Athena athlete, I really spend time practicing how to use my excess weight to get the most out of downhills because the uphills will suck the energy right out of me.

Beginner Triathlete has a great building endurance plan for athletes like me – check it out if you’re looking to build endurance and maybe shed some pounds in the process.

I would still consider myself a novice when it comes to cycling.  Outside of learning some of the cycling lingo and understanding the basics, I have a lot to learn about this aspect of the sport.

bikevocab

Source – i ride bicycles

 

What I can offer are some of the tips I’ve picked up in the last couple years from hanging around true cyclists.

  • Learning how to change your gears appropriately between the big and small chain rings both during the ride and when coming to a stop is critical for improving your cycling.
  • Learn how each muscle group performs during the revolution of your pedal.  This will help you understand the importance of each muscle group.

bikefit3

  • Cadence is really important – Spin 90!
  • Never leave home without hydration strapped to your bike and make sure they are positioned on your bike for ease of access while riding.
  • Learn the rules of the road – nothing irritates me more than participants in a race not using proper bike etiquette on the course. Announce yourself, pass on the left, warn riders behind when you spot obstructions in the road like pot holes and debris.
  • Learn how to dress for the weather.
  • Don’t forget how to ride your bike for fun – I ride two different ways, on my own for training purposes and with my family on family bike rides.

Remember when you used to ride your bike for hours as a kid (no handed nonetheless)?  Grab that memory and hold onto it as you train.  There’s no reason training can’t be fun too!  Happy Cycling!

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8 Comments on “Tri Talk Tuesday: Preparing for the Outdoor Cycle Season

Amy
April 7, 2015 at 2:01 pm

Good tip: remember how to ride for fun. I am asking for a fixie for mother’s day because I think that will make it easier for me to just tool around with my kids.
Amy recently posted…Seven things all female cyclists should know how to do all by themselvesMy Profile

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Kelli
April 7, 2015 at 6:13 pm

Good references! I feel so much more legit for knowing words like “chainstay” and “top tube.”
Kelli recently posted…Triathlon: Pacing on the BikeMy Profile

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Courtney@The TriGirl Chronicles
April 7, 2015 at 6:38 pm

A good reminder that bike fits don’t last forever. I find myself scooting back on my saddle more then usual lately. Time to get an adjustment for sure!
Courtney@The TriGirl Chronicles recently posted…Tri Talk Tuesday – Buying Speed To Become a Better CyclistMy Profile

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Smitha @ FauxRunner
April 8, 2015 at 10:19 am

Informative!! I didn’t realize that I had to go back to bike fits!
Smitha @ FauxRunner recently posted…PINspiration Wednesday: The Little Engine That CouldMy Profile

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Cassandra @ Powered By BLING
April 8, 2015 at 1:20 pm

It’s extremely important to periodically get re-fitted on your bike. I’ve had my bike adjusted 3 times over the course of my first year riding. If you change any components on your bike – seat, pedals, handlebars, etc., you will definitely need an adjustment to the fit because your position may be different than with your previous components. Another reason why it’s important to get to know your bike mechanic…they’ll throw some favors your way from time to time!

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Amber@Eat2SaveYourLife
April 8, 2015 at 2:33 pm

Great tips here! It would be great if all beginning triathletes learned a little riding etiquette 🙂 We spend so much of our training riding alone (compared to rodies) sometimes new triathletes don’t learn some of the simple rules that are important for safety. There is nothing like hitting a crowded section of the course and having to weave in and out of other athletes who are staggered all over the road instead of being able to pass nicely to the left 🙂 Good luck on the new season!
Amber@Eat2SaveYourLife recently posted…Banking Those Miles: How to improve your cyclingMy Profile

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Cassandra @ Powered By BLING
April 13, 2015 at 9:34 pm

Right, Amber? So irritating. I sometimes feel like the nag on the bike course reminding people to announce themselves as they are passing, reminding them to only pass on the left, etc. And there’s nothing worse than being the one that’s announcing yourself and the rider isn’t paying attention because they don’t actually know what the cues mean. It is such a safety issue there should almost be a requirement that participants show proof they’ve completed a ride with their local bike shop on riding etiquette. Good luck to you, too, on your 2015 season!

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Sandra Laflamme
April 8, 2015 at 9:49 pm

I am still new to triathlon and even though I have been cycling for awhile I always feel a bit like I am flailing when it comes to the bike. Thanks for the reminder to take my bike in for a tune up before I hit the road and all of your great biking tips!
Sandra Laflamme recently posted…It’s Tri Talk Tuesday! Talking about riding a bike trainer.My Profile

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