We warmed-up and cooled down as a group and then did some 500 meter sprints on a 2.5 km loop, so there was a nice long rest in between where some people remembered to change in to an easier gear and pedal over 94 rpm (stickers will be awarded!), and some reverted back to old habits, but I'm sure you'll be picking up the pace after a few more rides with me reminding you to "pick it up".
This was the first outdoor ride for many this season and it reminded us that riding on a trainer is very different then riding outside. Although the power and the pedalling technique, and the gains in aerobic endurance transfer over, the feeling of the wind, the rough pavement, the hills, the ability to rock the bike, are all things we need to get used to again.
Although many reverted back to old habits, it didn't take long to incorporate what you've learned this winter on to the road and the sprints that we've been doing inside with all the gear changing were a warm up to what we did outside.
So here are the key points:
* Keep your cadence over 94 - or aim for 100 rpm - when conserving energy
* Listen to your legs as to when you should change gears, when it gets too hard - shift, when it gets to easy - shift. By listening to your legs, rather then anticipating what the road ahead will be like (i.e.: you see a hill and shift immediately in to your easiest gear losing all your speed), you will be more efficient and your momentum will continue to move you forward.
* When producing maximum power slide your bum back in the saddle, arch your back a bit, hands in the drops, elbows in, body low, and push forward with your feet. There was a great shot from Ghent-Wevelgem this past week-end of a rider going up one of the 17% grade hills and from the front I could see the entire sole of his shoe as he "pushed" forward with his feet looking to power over the hill. So flatten out the feet, heels down, and push forward rather then down.
So without further ado, here is the video I made from our ride this past week-end. I promise the shooting and editing can only get better!