The Tri Town Times: 5/4/20

The Tri Town Times: 5/4/20

Thoughts on cycling cadence; Tour de France rescheduled; bicycling boom.

Hi all,
 
Here is your weekly TT Times newsletter:
 
Events We're Looking Forward To:

- Trying to avoid a complete cancellation, the 2020 Tour de France has been postponed to August 29th through September 20th.

- 70.3 Des Moines, originally planned for June 21st, was postponed this week. 70.3 Coeur d'Alene, which is scheduled to take place just a week later on June 28th has not (yet?) announced any plans to postpone.

 
Training Thoughts and Updates:
Today's thoughts are all about cycling cadence. Common advice for beginner cyclists and triathletes is to always keep your cadence at 90rpm. This advice oversimplifies the role of cadence in cycling, ignores personal differences between athletes, and overlooks the role of high-torque pedaling. More thoughts and resources below:
 

- When it comes to pedaling and going fast(er) on a bike, you have only a few options: push a bigger gear at your normal (or lower) cadence, or push your normal gear at a higher cadence.

- A well-rounded cyclist should develop the proficiency to pedal smoothly within a broad cadence range: say 40-100rpm.

- The longer your event (i.e. Ironman), the lower your average cadence will tend to be.

- Low cadence (40-60rpm) cycling is sport-specific strength training. You're essentially weight lifting on the bike. This is why hill training is so regularly prescribed in a training schedule: the low cadence and high torque pedaling develops great cycling-specific strength.

- Many of us have been told to 'engage our glutes' while pedaling. You will be more able to engage and feel your glutes firing at a lower cadence. Hint: if your butt is not sore after a "big gear" ride then you're doing it wrong.

- Further studies show gross efficiency may be best between 40-60rpm depending upon age.

- World Champion Dan Bigham states that racing at a lower cadence helped his team break world records on the track- a discipline famous for its emphasis on high cadence cycling.

- The most successful long distance triathlon coach of all time, Brett Sutton, recommends a low cadence to help lower heart rate and improve run splits off the bike.

 
Ultimately, focus on developing a pedaling 'toolset' that allows you to grind away at a bigger gear, while also being able to spin smoothly at 110 rpm when necessary. The low cadence work develops cycling power, while the high cadence work develops the fine muscle coordination needed to pedal a bike smoothly. A well-rounded cyclist will develop both skills.
 
Shop Ops:

We continue to be open during our normal business hours, albeit with a reduced staff. Our hours are:

10am - 6pm Monday - Friday
10am - 4pm Saturday
Closed Sunday
 

Our free mobile pickup/delivery service continues to be available on Monday mornings and Thursday evenings. Thank you to everyone who has taken advantage of this service, and we are committed to making mobile pickup/delivery an ongoing component of our business. You can schedule an appointment for pickup or delivery here.

 
Quote that Struck a Chord:
"When one compares the energy consumed in moving a certain distance as a function of body weight for a variety of animals and machines, one finds that an unaided walking man does fairly well but he is not as efficient as a horse, a salmon or a jet transport. With the aid of a bicycle, however, the man’s energy consumption for a given distance is reduced to about a fifth. Therefore, apart from increasing his unaided speed by a factor of three or four, the cyclist improves his efficiency rating to No. 1 among moving creatures and machines." - S. S. Wilson, a lecturer in engineering at Oxford University during the 1970's bike boom.
 
If You Have a Moment to Spare:
These last couple months have opened peoples' eyes to the joy of riding a bicycle. The cycling industry may experience a boom as many rediscover the simplicity and practicality of riding their bike for fun, fitness, and transportation. The bicycle can be a solution for parking issues, gridlock, and pollution in many communities. Dozens of articles from a variety of sources have recently been published and touch on this topic:

- The bicycle as the vehicle of the future.

- The 1970's, and the bicycle boom during lockdown.

 
 
Have a great week!
 
Antonio Gonzalez
Tri Town

 

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