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.
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.
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.
- 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!