Tuesday, February 20, 2007
-Wearing a non-aero helmet vs. an aero helmet is worth 4x the drag as non-aero wheels vs aero wheels;
-Wearing gloves causes as much extra drag as a non-aero front wheel over an aero front wheel;
-Water bottle on the seat tube is more aero than no water bottle on the seat tube;
-WB on the down tube is worse than no water bottle;
-rider contribution to drag about 75-85%, bicycle roughly 15-25%. Not much to work with for the bicycle.
Source: Bicycling Magazine
- Maintain cadence to avoid stress on your knees
- Start in a lower gear; upshifts are easier than downshifts
- Keep upper body relaxed; elbows in, back straight, loose grip on the bars
- Confidence will help you ride the entire hill without stopping
- Be mentally tough and push yourself; the mind tires before the body
- Concentrate on form and breathing; the hill will soon disappear behind you
- Eat before you are hungry, drink before you are thirsty; every 20 minutes
- Rests should only last a minute or two; don't let the body think it's over
- Practice breathing and climbing techniques to be more efficient on the bike
- A comfortable gear will be a factor of your fitness level
- Choose a gear that will allow you to spin comfortably; avoid excessive knee stress
- Use a lower gear to avoid exhaustion during the climb
- Endless climbs
- Combine sitting and standing to stretch and work different muscle groups
- Concentrate on your breathing; try to keep it at a constant level throughout the climb
- Remember to eat and drink every 20 minutes to maintain energy output
Sunday, February 18, 2007
- "My best advice is to wear a helmet, watch traffic and have fun."
- "Learn to drink water when you ride. It's a skill worth building."
- "Invest in a decent pair of biking shorts or tights with a seamless chamois. My first ride was 14 miles in regular athletic clothing over cotton underwear (ouch). My next ride was the same distance in proper shorts right next to the skin- what a difference! Well worth the money."
- "Don't spend too much time watching the racing team in your area.
- Ride for fun and fitness!"
- "Be alert when riding. Cars and pedestrians are everywhere!"
- "Be patient! Resist the temptation to ride a zillion miles right away! You'll only make yourself sore and possibly turn yourself off as far as biking is concerned."
- "Ride a bike that fits you. Nothing hurts more than pulling yourself off of a bike made for a man (or woman), someone taller, etc. Your bike should fit you. They can check that at a bike club meeting or your local bike store."
- "Start slow gradually increasing average speed and distance as your fitness improves."
- "When you fall - get back up, lick your wounds and ride again."
- "Most of all, HAVE FUN!"
Dear Matt, I read that it is not recommended to stand up when cycling and also that it is better to use the lowest gear you feel comfortable with. I have always found that, on steep hills, standing up in a higher gear is easier than faster pedal action at a lower gear. Should I attempt to change my riding style?
Sports science studies have shown that staying seated in the saddle and "spinning" at fairly high revs is the most efficient way to climb. This puts less strain on the muscles, while taxing the heart and lungs. So, in practice, you have to have a tremendous aerobic engine to ride this way.
And exceptions are to be made: if there is a sudden, short change in gradient, it is often best to get out of the saddle and "honk" your way over the steep part, as we old cycling lags say. Some people, with a very different physique and physiology, may find it more comfortable and effective to climb out of the saddle for prolonged periods, perhaps pushing a bigger gear.
So experiment by all means, but I doubt you should alter your style much. Do what feels right for you.
With autumn not only do we see the falling leaves, but we tend to see the falling rain. The combination of the rain and the leaves can make cycling very dangerous. However, there are some things that you can do to prevent injury and make your ride safer.
- Wear bright yellow or orange to make yourself more visible
- Consider reflectors or lights for your bicycle
- Wear a visor or cap under your helmet to shield your eyes from rain and dirt
Braking in the rain or anytime your rims are wet, remember that the first few revolutions will only dry the rims and pads. Allow yourself more stopping distance. Once the rims and pads are dry you may find yourself suddenly stopping, be ready to loosen your grip. Skidding can result if you are not careful.
Hazards of the Road
- Avoid painted line or steel surfaces
- At the beginning of a rain the dirt and oil may be more treacherous
- Keeping your tires slightly under inflated increases contact with the road
Fenders maybe a good investment, especially if you commute. They are fairly effective at keeping the rain and dirt off of you and your bike. Keeping your bicycle in good form, by waxing the frame and keeping the drivetrain well lubricated you can help prevent some of the wear and tear of the weather. Also, servicing your bike immediately upon completion of a ride will help.
Just wipe the bike down with a towel and lubricate the chain. Some prefer using a water dispersing spray on houses, cables, gear and pivots of the brakes.
For serious riders investing in rain gear may also be an option for personal cleanliness.
Now go get on your bike!
Source: About: Bicycling Website