Keeping the ride interesting

Beating the system - the cycling commuting section

Learning how to ride

Postby casual_cyclist » Wed Mar 25, 2009 9:06 pm

Pax wrote:
casual_cyclist wrote:I don't have a cadence computer but do try to keep a high cadence as it is less tiring. According to Sheldon's gear calculator for yesterday and today at my top speeds of 25km/h on 40/23 my cadence would have been about 110 and 27km/h on 40/21 my cadence would have been around the same. I find over 100rpm is a bit too high for me, but as I said my knee has been fine yesterday and today.


OK I am sticking with the cadence theory. 110 is highish but not OTT by any means. I aim for about 102 or a bit higher on the flat, plenty of other experienced cyclists also aim for that kind of rate, some aim higher and plenty also aim a bit lower (there is a element of personal choice rather than a perfect cadence that we all should aim for). The fundamental issue though is the spin, and it sounds like you are reaping the benefit of spinning a bit more than you ususlly do. Experiment a bit but try to keep it highish you'll get used to it and the ongoing benefits (to your knees, your speed and your endurance) may surprise you :D

PS...you don't need a computer with cadence: just use the stop watch/timer function and count your reloutions for 10 seconds then multiply by 6...(ie 17 revs = 102, 18 revs = 108 etc)


Ok, so I am learning how to ride a bike. I went for a 30km ride after work today and found that pedalling too fast just puffed me out and pedalling too hard made my knee hurt... somewhere in between though is a spot where I was just lightly pushing down on the pedals, but still maintaining my speed (the sweet spot?). For me, pedalling too fast is just inefficent with my bike bouncing up and down... a waste of energy. Riding in the sweet spot is much more energy efficent for me. I just finished a 30km ride and felt the same as when I get home from work after a 9km ride. I could have kept going but I got hungry. BTW I don't think that my knee is sore from poor riding, it most likely sore because I have gone from being a complete couch potato to riding over 600km since the 23/2/2009. I am glad my knee is sore anyway because it reminds me when I am not riding in the sweet spot. Riding in a single gear all the way to work and back is making the ride more interesting too.
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by BNA » Thu Mar 26, 2009 9:53 am

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Re: Keeping the ride interesting

Postby hartleymartin » Thu Mar 26, 2009 9:53 am

I have thought about taking my little Raleigh Utility on my commute instead. Single (very slow) speed makes it interesting - so does the coaster brake. It'll also be interesting because I have had front and rear carry baskets fitted. I am pretty sure I could fit 3 of those re-usable shopping bags onto the Utility, if not more.
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Re: Keeping the ride interesting

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Mon Mar 30, 2009 3:32 pm

I count the number of other cyclists on the route. There are more on Tuesdays.

Am I obsessive compulsive? Hmmm.
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Re: Keeping the ride interesting

Postby pickle » Mon Mar 30, 2009 7:33 pm

ColinOldnCranky wrote:I count the number of other cyclists on the route. There are more on Tuesdays.

Am I obsessive compulsive? Hmmm.


Thats interesting, I wonder why its Tuesdays.
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Re: Learning how to ride

Postby munga » Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:21 pm

casual_cyclist wrote:Ok, so I am learning how to ride a bike. I went for a 30km ride after work today and found that pedalling too fast just puffed me out and pedalling too hard made my knee hurt... somewhere in between though is a spot where I was just lightly pushing down on the pedals, but still maintaining my speed (the sweet spot?). For me, pedalling too fast is just inefficent with my bike bouncing up and down... a waste of energy. Riding in the sweet spot is much more energy efficent for me. I just finished a 30km ride and felt the same as when I get home from work after a 9km ride. I could have kept going but I got hungry. BTW I don't think that my knee is sore from poor riding, it most likely sore because I have gone from being a complete couch potato to riding over 600km since the 23/2/2009. I am glad my knee is sore anyway because it reminds me when I am not riding in the sweet spot. Riding in a single gear all the way to work and back is making the ride more interesting too.


are you using clipless pedals and shoes? how about toeclips and straps? if so, concentrate on making 'circles' with your pedal stroke. guaranteed, your cadence will improve, and your desire for a better saddle will make itself clear.
having said that, i think 100rpm is fine. under 80rpm and you're just not trying (or a massive masher with strong knees).
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Re: Learning how to ride

Postby casual_cyclist » Mon Mar 30, 2009 9:48 pm

munga wrote:
casual_cyclist wrote:Riding in a single gear all the way to work and back is making the ride more interesting too.

are you using clipless pedals and shoes? how about toeclips and straps? if so, concentrate on making 'circles' with your pedal stroke. guaranteed, your cadence will improve, and your desire for a better saddle will make itself clear.
having said that, i think 100rpm is fine. under 80rpm and you're just not trying (or a massive masher with strong knees).

Clips and straps for me. I have been riding that way for 20 years and can't see myself changing now! I chucked my bike in a single gear for the trip to work for some fun and too see how it would go. Since doing that I have found there is a zone in between spinning furiously and mashing away where is doesn't even feel like I am pedaling to maintain my target speed. That means that some days to work/home I can smash it if I feel like it and try to beat my best time, or practice zone riding for my next Audax. I love riding in the zone but it requires so little effort that I don't think it's good exercise!
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Re: Keeping the ride interesting

Postby Pax » Tue Mar 31, 2009 7:31 am

ColinOldnCranky wrote:I count the number of other cyclists on the route. There are more on Tuesdays.

Am I obsessive compulsive? Hmmm.


Hmmm, did this today...27 bikes in 30 k (but to be fair it was a veird start, I'd seen 6 bikes before I left my estate....and I usually don't see any.

Is OCD contageous???
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Re: Keeping the ride interesting

Postby BandedRail » Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:31 pm

When I'm in "cruise" mode I like to twitch (yep, one of them weirdo bird watchers). My best is 39 species over the 13 km commute, I'm sure it would be higher if I stopped & pulled out a pair of binoculars (but that's not allowed 'cause I'd never get to work). Total number of species so far is 65 but my favourite has to be the red-tailed black-cockatoos (usually destroying something).

Edit: Oh yeah, another "rule" is keep watching where you're going! Anyone ele noticed just how obsessed those ducks are with figs, especially the ones on the bike path? :)
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Re: Keeping the ride interesting

Postby Old Man Well » Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:50 am

During my commute I like to switch between the bottom and top of the drop bars, doesn't sound like much, but it keeps me interested.
I ride 90 percent of my commute to work on a closed bike path that has some pretty tight curves and bends, I try to see how fast I can take the turns whilst staying on the path.
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Re: Keeping the ride interesting

Postby RobRollin » Wed Apr 01, 2009 12:05 pm

Some days I will concentrate on my spinning technique, making circles, keeping it above 90rpm.

I work on keeping my heart rate in the right zone.

Once a week I will try and beat my best commute time.

If I see another fast rider I will grab his wheel and pull at the front or drop him. Depends on avg speed, how I feel etc.

Not too often I cruise along looking at the scenery.

I try and say hello to msot of the other riders, a casual nod, a "how you going" maybe a word of encouragement.
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Re: Keeping the ride interesting

Postby nickobec » Wed Apr 01, 2009 6:26 pm

Much the same as the rest of you:

Vary the first 5km of the ride, explore different options like a hill climb you never knew existed and your bike is not geared for. Or hammering down a twisty bike path which is overgrown by trees in darkness at 35-40kmh (an old favourite of mine)

Then 34km of cyclepath with one road to cross, the 1st 18km you have to watch out for snakes (Nov to Jan you see one every couple of days sunning itself, you don't want to run over a 1.5m tiger or brown snake), get outrun by kangaroo in a nearby paddock. Generally the peaceful part of the ride, no traffic, you might see a couple of other riders coming in the other direction. Then you hit light traffic, but generally no snakes for another 9km. The you are along the river, plenty of riders, pedestrians and usually a group ride in the opposite direction to dodge.Then 3km of city streets and traffic to dodge, that keeps your mind on the job.

The return trip is into a 25 to 40 kmh headwind, so just getting there is enough. The nice transport people built a train line next to the cyclepath. So most evenings 25km in and at 6:30pm (earliest you can take your bike on a train). I take the train the next 18km and ride 2km home.

Alternate between roadie and singlespeed, though the singlespeed is getting taken more often lately.

Though I want to add a classic road bike and commuter with panniers to the mix.
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Re: Keeping the ride interesting

Postby nickobec » Fri Apr 03, 2009 11:45 am

Pax wrote:Is OCD contageous???


I think it is
Morning commute along the freeway bike path, broken down by train stations
7 riders from Kwinana to Cockburn Central
8 riders from Cockburn Central to Murdoch
2 riders from Murdoch to Bullcreek
11 riders from Bullcreek to Canning Bridge (including group of 6)
8 riders Canning Bridge to Perth

26 rides in 32km. 20 going away from city, 6 going in.

Maybe next time I break it down by bike type, pedals and backpack or not.
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Re: Keeping the ride interesting

Postby casual_cyclist » Fri Apr 03, 2009 12:48 pm

Pax wrote:Is OCD contageous???

Not at all. I start counting and then forget that I am counting. I forgot 6 times on the way home and 3 times on the way in this morning.
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Re: Keeping the ride interesting

Postby sharktamin » Mon Apr 13, 2009 12:35 pm

casual_cyclist wrote:
Pax wrote:Is OCD contageous???

Not at all. I start counting and then forget that I am counting. I forgot 6 times on the way home and 3 times on the way in this morning.


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