Road cyclists are avid, even over-the-top enthusiasts for their sport. Nose to tail, they seem to ride in packs. Drafting is all part of the competition. They move through air turbulence together, sharing the benefits.
Roadies have a handle on what is happening technically and biomechanically as they pedal their bikes. They know how to increase energy and efficiency by engaging new muscles and ‘spreading the load’. They purposefully ride vortices in wakes. Based on the cadence (RPM), they adjust to high- or low-heel pedaling techniques. They demonstrate how effort in pedaling combined with gravity affects acceleration and deceleration. As experienced bicyclists, they can transfer power and avoid ‘the dead spot’. They’ve revived talk of ‘ankling’, an old technique. It entails “drawing force across the bottom of the revolution arc and upwards to the start of the downward thrust”. (1) Roadies’ ‘talking the walk/ride’ feeds their own enthusiasm.
However, coaches offering advice to pro-racers on road bikes will often set aside the advanced level talk in favour of simple visual cues:
On the upwards stroke:
- “As the foot nears the top, think about pushing your knee toward the handlebar”.
On the downwards stroke:
- “Pretend you’re scraping mud off the sole of your shoe”.
These cues are ‘activated’ well in advance of when the foot is actually at the top or bottom of the pedaling action. (2) The roadies are on it!
Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 1 Corinthians 9:25 (NIV)
TRAINING – COMPETITION – PODIUM