Today’s post is a compilation of the skills we learned on the first day of RLAG Road Biking Camp. We thought sharing them with you would be a great way to remember them ourselves. Note that we have included both photos and video (click to play those).
Bart (former Pro cyclist) was our primary instructor. He (along with Cody and JoAnn; two national champions in their own right) taught us many new concepts and skills. They had an eager and captive audience.
We learned to …
Use not just our quad’s but hamstrings and hip flexors to get the most from our pedal stroke, how to use our lungs to save our legs (especially on hills) and how to strive for a more consistent effort versus spikes and dips (e.g., mashing pedals up the hill and coasting down). Bart Bowen demonstrates:
Stand and Pedal (uphill and downhill):
- Shift into a higher gear (so you have resistance)
- As you stand, let the weight of you body “fall” onto one of the pedals, and then let the other foot “fall”
- The bike will move from side to side, let it tip towards the bent leg ~ like dancing with the bike, find a rhythm
Eat and drink while riding:
- Retrieve our water bottles and have a drink (without stopping)
- Keep one hand on the brake lever (so you are ready to brake if needed) while you use your other hand to pick up your bottle
- When going downhill, use only your rear brake (right lever) as you reach for your bottle, as using the front brake on a descent could flip you over your handle bars
- Find our pockets, pull out food and goodies – while riding!
Navigate Through Gravel Patches:
- Don’t slow down or coast through gravel; this makes you are more vulnerable to fish-tailing
- Keep up a fast pace and ride straight through it
- We had lots of practice given the several construction projects along the Aufderheidi
Pose for Photos:
Cred to JoAnn, Bart and Cody
All of these achievements have been made possible by the amazing coaches from Bowen Sports Performance, Bart, JoAnn and Cody.
Oh, and did we mention that they cook for us?!?!
Day One, that’s a wrap. Tomorrow: Climbing, descending and grass drills (gulp).