Thursday, May 13, 2010

Cadence finally makes sense . . .

I am not now, nor have I ever been the most technical rider on the planet.  Frankly I've spent more on riding in the last two months than in my entire life up until April combined and multiplied by a factor of 100.  Up until now, Cadence was one of those things that other people worried about who were racing or whatever.

Recently it just clicked in my head.  The light bulb went on!

Obviously, I'm still getting to know Serenity.  She's still in the break in period, and because she's a brand new, never before ridden ride, and of a type I've never had before I'm still learning.  Or re-learning, things I knew, things I never really thought about.

Like the difference between spinning or grinding.

In some of my early rides with Serenity I was making better speed up some hills and it seemed like my legs were having an easier time of it.  Recently the same hills seemed like I'd lost ground, going up them slower, pushing my legs harder, getting less cardio out of the hills than I was.  Couldn't make sense of it, why where they harder now than when I first started riding again.  Which is when it hit me.  Cadence.

I'd been reading some articles on the subject, and my recent issues just clicked finally.  Some of those earlier rides where done with the middle chainring because using the larger one kept causing the chain to come off.  I've long since had that issue fixed, so I've gone back to powering through the hills.  Just pushing my legs to make it, using only the rear gears to get there.  21 available gears and I'm only using 7?  Well that's just silly no?  So yeah, I've not changed, the gears I was using changed.

So when on the morrow I'm taking that hill, I'll remember to downshift.

From a technical standpoint as I'm starting to understand it, I'll get better use of my muscles, less build up of lactic acid, faster recovery and it will be better for my whole body.  In my floating around the net reading, and learning, I've found even Lance Armstrong has radically changed his riding and training style to favor "spinning" over "grinding."  Or simply put using a lower, easier gear to do the same job done.

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