Improve Cycling Technique:
Create Your Indoor Cycling Studio
Indoor cycling can help you master cycling technique. And with great technique, you develop better speed, strength, endurance, handling and safety. And you enjoy riding a lot more!
After all, why invest your time, money and energy in a pursuit that gives you no satisfaction or enjoyment?
I didn’t deliberately set out to study cycling technique or to develop a self-study curriculum for others. And I certainly didn't leave Kona, Hawaii to start cycling indoors!
After leaving Kona, I moved to Lake Placid, New York – another “Ironman town”. But there was a big difference between Kona and Lake Placid – 5 months of winter!
Cycling indoors is inevitable in Lake Placid. Sure, there’s nordic skiing – which I love – and the training benefits cross-over well to cycling. But, I still felt the need to “stay fluent” with my bike. I bought a stationary trainer. I found that I actually loved cycling on the stationary stand!
And, I started working in a bike shop. That’s where I first saw a bike fit studio – an indoor cycling studio, with mirrors and tools. Destiny was calling to me. So I enrolled and completed the Serotta Bike Fit Certification.
I became a bike fitter. Strange as it may seem, my college degree in Modern Dance and my years of experience as a semi-professional dancer were invaluable to my expertise as a bike fitter.
My dance background provided me with a well-trained eye for sensing and analyzing biomechanics in others. As a bike fitter, I quickly realized that my role was equal parts biomechanist and educator. I have enjoyed assisting hundreds of road and triathlon cyclists to discover greater enjoyment and performance.
Adjusting seats and stems in the bike fit studio, I can help you to passively discover more harmony and synergy with your bike. However...
You need to take an active role in this quest: Improve your cycling technique. The indoor cycling studio is a perfect place to do that!
As a bike fitter, I feel compelled to educate my clients about their technique. I took this role to heart: I began an intensive study to identify the elements of cycling technique, and a method to discover and explore these.
During the long, cold, dark winter months in Lake Placid, I spent countless hours focusing on indoor cycling.
I got a little extreme: I created my own private velo studio. I emptied my living room of furniture, lined one wall with mirrors and brought in my stationary bike trainer. My velo studio felt just like the dance studio of my earlier life!
Create your own indoor cycling velo studio. It doesn’t take much! Here’s what you need:
- A space large enough for your bike mounted on a stationary trainer that is free of distractions. Your basement or garage is fine – if you are willing to train there.
- A way to exclude small children and pets from your “laboratory”. (You might want to exclude your mother-in-law as well - unless she's your coach.)
- A quiet fluid-chamber stationary trainer. You have to keep the peace! (Go here for more info.)
- A rear tire that will withstand the roller’s resistance without wearing excessively. (Go here for more info.)
- A floor mat (if you want to protect your floor from sweat).
- A towel (if you want to protect your bike from sweat).
- A fan (if you want to sweat less).
- A mirror that you can mount or prop against the wall. A full-length closet door mirror is ideal, but one half that size works great.
Your velo studio is your personal laboratory for intensive investigation. Develop your cycling technique while you conduct your indoor cycling workouts. Here’s how:
- Use a mirror: Using front and side views, begin to monitor your posture, alignment and biomechanics. You can’t do this when you ride outside.
- Close your eyes: I call this "blind training". When you close your eyes, focus on feeling your relationship with your bike. You can’t do this when you ride outside.
I used these techniques – mirror observation and blind training – very effectively to refine my cycling technique. I did this during sessions that ranged from easy recovery spins to priority high-intensity sessions.
Once you are familiar with the methods, you will improve your technique as you conduct the workouts you are already doing. You won’t need to add extra workouts – unless you want to. You will learn how to use your warm-up and cool down time for drills. You will learn how to use focal points to improve your technique as you train.
Velo mastery is not about the lightest or most aerodynamic bike. It’s about cycling technique and your relationship with your bike.
The world’s most expensive bike will not make you a great cyclist. What makes a musician a virtuoso? Not the rarest or most expensive instrument! It’s the dynamic, harmonious, intimate, articulate relationship s/he has with her/his instrument.
The Zendurance Cycling Self-Study Guide assists you to develop that unique and articulate relationship and master cycling technique. This guidance starts with indoor cycling.
Do you want to create screeching agony or beautiful music with your bike? Just as a musician will sit in a quiet room and practice, you too can practice in a quiet room.
For further discussion on the methodology behind the Self Study Guide Products: Zendurance Cycling Methods.
If you are pursuing “velo mastery” – for the sake of performance or enjoyment – you must have a bike that fits your body and your goals. For more on bike fit, visit Bike Fit Beta.
A great bike fit is just the beginning. Another obvious component is your training as a cyclist – the neuro-muscular and aerobic conditioning so essential to cycling performance.
For more on training and conditioning as a cyclist and triathlete, visit Endurance Training: Hard-Learned Secrets.
from: "Indoor Cycling Technique"
Zendurance Cycling Home Page