Philosophy Feedback

I received a great email the other day. It was from a former ski racing friend who has recently taken up competitive cycling and asked for some guidance a few weeks back. I started to put together a couple key points that helped my stay on the right track over the past four years and before I knew it, the paper grew into a bit of an epic. I shared some of the key points on the blog a few weeks back (Part 1 & Part 2) and in response to reading the philosophy, he sent me his recent thoughts and experiences on the bike.

Needless to say, I was extremely pleased to read about his discovery.

Enjoy!

Jason, Mike, Roman and I also did a small but challenging criterium race in Camas, Wa today. The course featured a 30 second effort (very steep hill) followed by a tight and fast descent to lap around in just around a minute. It was great fun slogging it out between us all. Good workout. A link to the Oregon Cycling Action can be found here and photos can be found at the end of this post.
* * *

Hey Ben,

Here is my first response to your email, starting with the muscles I feel when I ride.

Use every muscle. You have about 10-12 major muscles available if you have a very efficient pedal stroke. Try to think of them and email them back to me:

I focus a lot on this, as I have always assumed the more muscles you use and the more efficient your pedal stroke the more powerful and effective you will be. I feel the core, the lower glute, the muscles through the foot, the calf, the upper glute, the inner quad, the outer quad, the hamstring, the hipflexer, the muscles along the shin. I am sure in that mix there are a bunch of muscles, but I am not expert in anatomy. What I have noticed is its easy to think about all these muscles, they can fight one another with poor timing or like a great singer in tune they can work together with a flow that is tremendously efficient and powerful. On a good day I find that and can push it at what seems like any cadence for any amount of time. For me this is one of the most satisfying experiences on my bike and for sure the most rewarding.

Other things that have sunk in so far from what you wrote:

Ask out loud, do I want to ride? I like this a lot and what it made me realize is becoming a professional cyclist isn't about ability or skill, its about wanting to be on a bike more then anybody else. Yes, skill and ability come into play, so does nutrition, and lifestyle in general but no matter how much these factors come into play, you need to want to be on a bike day in day out. So ask yourself, do you want to ride? If yes, then with the skillet, genetics, nutrition and lifestyle one might have a chance at succeeding at what ever was set as the goal. At the beginning of the year I always go out too hard and I point at the biggest mtn in sight and climb it as fast as I can. I know it's the wrong thing to do as my body is completely fucked for a week minimum, but the worst part is mentally I have put myself through so much pain it's hard to get back on the bike. I never worry about burn out as its the first week or so of the season but that mental feeling of not wanting to get back on the bike is for real, and to burn out mentally seems detrimental. So asking oneself, do I want to ride right now? And listening seems like a smart way to continue enjoying the bike and all that it can bring.

Breathing through the nose:

Whats held me back from doing this is getting snot all over my face. I pushed through that and have dramatically seen improvements. The biggest one is O don't cough at night or wake up short of breath. Also I know i am expending less water, and getting more oxygen to my muscles.

Stretching:

I have stepped up my stretching this year but have always been a stretcher and understand it's value.

That's all for now. I will come back with more soon.

Thanks again, it's much appreciated!!!

* * *

Mike Northey & I
Le Cornering

Labels: ,

Cycling in a Toque: Philosophy Feedback

Saturday, 31 July 2010

Philosophy Feedback

I received a great email the other day. It was from a former ski racing friend who has recently taken up competitive cycling and asked for some guidance a few weeks back. I started to put together a couple key points that helped my stay on the right track over the past four years and before I knew it, the paper grew into a bit of an epic. I shared some of the key points on the blog a few weeks back (Part 1 & Part 2) and in response to reading the philosophy, he sent me his recent thoughts and experiences on the bike.

Needless to say, I was extremely pleased to read about his discovery.

Enjoy!

Jason, Mike, Roman and I also did a small but challenging criterium race in Camas, Wa today. The course featured a 30 second effort (very steep hill) followed by a tight and fast descent to lap around in just around a minute. It was great fun slogging it out between us all. Good workout. A link to the Oregon Cycling Action can be found here and photos can be found at the end of this post.
* * *

Hey Ben,

Here is my first response to your email, starting with the muscles I feel when I ride.

Use every muscle. You have about 10-12 major muscles available if you have a very efficient pedal stroke. Try to think of them and email them back to me:

I focus a lot on this, as I have always assumed the more muscles you use and the more efficient your pedal stroke the more powerful and effective you will be. I feel the core, the lower glute, the muscles through the foot, the calf, the upper glute, the inner quad, the outer quad, the hamstring, the hipflexer, the muscles along the shin. I am sure in that mix there are a bunch of muscles, but I am not expert in anatomy. What I have noticed is its easy to think about all these muscles, they can fight one another with poor timing or like a great singer in tune they can work together with a flow that is tremendously efficient and powerful. On a good day I find that and can push it at what seems like any cadence for any amount of time. For me this is one of the most satisfying experiences on my bike and for sure the most rewarding.

Other things that have sunk in so far from what you wrote:

Ask out loud, do I want to ride? I like this a lot and what it made me realize is becoming a professional cyclist isn't about ability or skill, its about wanting to be on a bike more then anybody else. Yes, skill and ability come into play, so does nutrition, and lifestyle in general but no matter how much these factors come into play, you need to want to be on a bike day in day out. So ask yourself, do you want to ride? If yes, then with the skillet, genetics, nutrition and lifestyle one might have a chance at succeeding at what ever was set as the goal. At the beginning of the year I always go out too hard and I point at the biggest mtn in sight and climb it as fast as I can. I know it's the wrong thing to do as my body is completely fucked for a week minimum, but the worst part is mentally I have put myself through so much pain it's hard to get back on the bike. I never worry about burn out as its the first week or so of the season but that mental feeling of not wanting to get back on the bike is for real, and to burn out mentally seems detrimental. So asking oneself, do I want to ride right now? And listening seems like a smart way to continue enjoying the bike and all that it can bring.

Breathing through the nose:

Whats held me back from doing this is getting snot all over my face. I pushed through that and have dramatically seen improvements. The biggest one is O don't cough at night or wake up short of breath. Also I know i am expending less water, and getting more oxygen to my muscles.

Stretching:

I have stepped up my stretching this year but have always been a stretcher and understand it's value.

That's all for now. I will come back with more soon.

Thanks again, it's much appreciated!!!

* * *

Mike Northey & I
Le Cornering

Labels: ,

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