riding

Setting Tempo

Dirt road riding, lambertville NJFrom the latin “tempus” meaning time, tempo has come to represent a large number of definitions across different parts of life.  Typically read on a page of music notes, determining how fast or slow a piece should be played, it takes on new meaning when applied to cycling.  We’ve all heard the ubiquitous phrase of “setting the tempo”, usually at the front of a peloton (note that said phrase is often augmented by specific adjectives denoting suffering, like “infernal” or “blistering”.  And more often than not, someone of the Jens or Fabian stature is the said disher out of epic pain, simply adding to the mystique of the setting of that tempo.  But I digress…)  We’ve come to realize pace, speed and tempo are almost interchangeably linked, much like the internal tempos we become acutely aware of the deeper we delve into the cave of pain, either of our own volition or that of those sitting in front of us.

Getting back to tempus, we could articulate many different bodily machinations as fitting it’s definition.  The pounding of our heart as we grind our way up our favorite climb is a perfect example of the rhythmic undertones of tempus.  Our breathing falls into this category too, as inexorable as the march of the second hand on your wrist watch.  But in cycling, as in the face of a clock, we think of tempo as the metronomic revolutions of our legs upon the pedals, incessantly ticking away a beat to accompany the rhythm section playing throughout our bodies.

By |September 25th, 2014|Motivation, narrative|0 Comments

Exploration By Bike

High Bridge NJ TunnelAs I mentioned a while back (in Bike Therapy,) in the past two and a half years my life has transitioned from the quiet contemplation of the Hudson Valley to the hustle and bustle of New Jersey.  Along with the change of location came a change in scenery; familiar roads were gone, trusted bike shops were distant, and new relationships had to be formed.  While there’s trepidation in the unknown, there was also a distinct thrill of discovering new places, new clubs, new roads and new people.  But why does it take a new place to get us in to mood to explore?

Perhaps more importantly, what lessons have been learned through this period of forced transition and how can we apply them without having to relocate 200 miles away?

By |April 10th, 2014|Cyclocross, friends, group riding, Motivation, narrative|0 Comments

Climb Like A Pro – Part 3 (Podcast #23)

Climbing up Tower HillClimbing is often the albatross that follows us around on our two wheeled adventures. Long climbs.  Short power climbs.  Varying pitch.  Everyone has a weakness when it comes to climbing.  I’ve spent the past two episodes of the Tailwind Coaching Podcast defining what “makes” a climber and the importance of leg speed skills in your climbing, hoping to give you the confidence to go out and hit the hills like a pro.  This time, I’m going to put the last pieces of the puzzle in place.  You’ll hear about breathing and rhythm, reading the road, breaking a climb into parts, and finally the discussion will turn to how to tackle a variety of climbs that you may encounter, including:

  • Short “roller” type climbs
  • Short “power” climbs
  • Mid length climbs
  • Long “grinding” climbs
  • The ultra steep, long climbs

As I promise in this podcast, I’m including a couple of links to previous posts that I’ve published:

Breathing (part 1) – Physiology

Breathing (part 2) – Putting Skills into Practice

Reading the Road

As always, if you’re on iTunes, please leave a rating: it helps the show move up the rankings and allows me to bring this information to more and more people.  And if you have any questions, feel free to contact me with questions.

By |August 14th, 2013|climbing, Coaching, podcast, technique, Training|0 Comments

Coaching: Don’t Fear the Group Ride (Podcast #4)

Group RidesSome recent commentary on being afraid of “not having the fitness” to participate in group rides (along with some comments that I was a little critical of group rides in my last podcast) has inspired this week’s podcast.  This week I’ll be discussing the skills necessary to succeed in group rides, even if the group happens to be stronger than you.

I’ll be discussing some techniques and skills that will help give novice group riders and riders with lesser amounts of fitness a fighting chance of hanging with the group and accomplishing their group ride training goals.

I’ll cover the following:

By |December 2nd, 2012|Coaching, group riding, podcast|0 Comments

A Pedal For Your Thoughts?

Pedal for your thoughtsHow many times have you heard the expression "a penny for your thoughts?"  

While it's true that life can be complicated, the idea of paying for someone's thought process (especially the valueless penny) seems odd to me.  No, I propose an amendment to that phrase, offering up a pedal for your thoughts.  But what can a pedal give you that a penny can't?  

How about solace and freedom?

By |July 21st, 2012|Motivation, Road riding|0 Comments