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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    3,099

    Another "tip" to help climbing

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    This tip was in this weeks RoadBikeRider newsletter and since everyone seems to be climbing lately, thought I'd pass it on:



    Slide on Climbs

    On long, gradual climbs you can emphasize some muscles and relieve others by changing where you sit on the saddle. Move to the rear to accentuate the strong gluteus muscles in your butt, pushing the pedals forward as well as down. When you're feeling too much muscle tension and tightness, slide forward toward the nose. Now the quadriceps muscles in your thighs are emphasized, your cadence can increase and your glutes can recover. Sliding back and forth like this fights fatigue and makes the most of your energy. It also changes pressure points to improve saddle comfort.
    Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, champagne in one hand, strawberries in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming: "Yeah Baby! What a Ride!"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Middle Earth
    Posts
    3,997
    This is what I have been doing anyway... now there is some "theory" behind it... most excellent...


    Courage does not always roar. Sometimes, it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying,
    "I will try again tomorrow".


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    WA, Australia
    Posts
    3,292
    Quote Originally Posted by CorsairMac
    This tip was in this weeks RoadBikeRider newsletter and since everyone seems to be climbing lately, thought I'd pass it on:
    Slide on Climbs
    On long, gradual climbs you can emphasize some muscles and relieve others by changing where you sit on the saddle. Move to the rear to accentuate the strong gluteus muscles in your butt, pushing the pedals forward as well as down. When you're feeling too much muscle tension and tightness, slide forward toward the nose. Now the quadriceps muscles in your thighs are emphasized, your cadence can increase and your glutes can recover. Sliding back and forth like this fights fatigue and makes the most of your energy. It also changes pressure points to improve saddle comfort.
    Thanks Corsair - I need all the help I can get on those old hills.
    The most effective way to do it, is to do it.
    Amelia Earhart

    2005 Trek 5000 road/Avocet 02 40W
    2006 Colnago C50 road/SSM Atola
    2005 SC Juliana SL mtb/WTB Laser V

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Adelaide, South Australia
    Posts
    165
    I've been doing that instinctively when my muscles scream "I've had enough". Glad to hear it's an approved technique. Thanks Corsair.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    898
    Quote Originally Posted by Yasmin
    I've been doing that instinctively when my muscles scream "I've had enough". Glad to hear it's an approved technique. Thanks Corsair.
    I'm with Yasmin. I've done this for years, just a natural response on one's body to adapt to changing work loads............. I think the more you ride, the more you discover the techniques that are effective. It is MUCH better, tho', to have advice from knowledgeable people than to have to work it out on your own. The learning curve is SO much shorter. Wish something like this board had been around when I first got into serious riding. THAT was long enough ago that there was no internet!! How DID we survive back then????

    annie
    Time is a companion that goes with us on a journey. It reminds us to cherish each moment, because it will never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we have lived." Captain Jean Luc Picard

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    On my bike
    Posts
    2,505
    Annie, we just gutted it out back then. Before women's cycling clothes were available & we had to make men's shoes fit. When women were ignored in bike shops like we were invisible - or worse - snotty nosed kids tried to fit us on bikes that had springs underneath the seats.

    But I digress....

    Another hill climbing technique is to pedal in circles. The pulling back works the hamstring. On most of us cyclists, the hamstring is a neglected muscle & our quads are much more powerful.
    To train a dog, you must be more interesting than dirt.

    Trek Project One
    Trek FX 7.4 Hybrid

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    898
    Quote Originally Posted by Dogmama
    Annie, we just gutted it out back then. Before women's cycling clothes were available & we had to make men's shoes fit. When women were ignored in bike shops like we were invisible - or worse - snotty nosed kids tried to fit us on bikes that had springs underneath the seats.

    LOL!! You make us sound like dinosaurs! I prefer to think of us as "Sage and Wise Mentors."

    On a more serious note, wasn't it you, DogM, that brought up on one of these threads, not only pedaling in circles, which can be difficult to visualize, but pedaling THROUGH the entire pedal stroke by thinking of a back and forth motion, instead of up and down? I know that works for me. It isn't easy........... I need to concentrate to do that. It has the effect of evening out the force of the pedal stroke. You described it very well. Perhaps you could do so again? And pass on your "wisdom" to the newer riders, oh wise sage?

    annie
    Time is a companion that goes with us on a journey. It reminds us to cherish each moment, because it will never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we have lived." Captain Jean Luc Picard

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    On my bike
    Posts
    2,505

    Pedaling in circles

    OK, I don't know how wise I am, but I probably qualify for the old part...

    Break up your pedal stroke into 4 very rough components - think of it like a clock (NOT a digital clock, for all you kids out there!)

    1. Push down with quad (we all have this one mastered) 2:00 to 4:00
    2. Pull back like you are scraping mud off of your shoe 4:00 to 8:00
    3. Pull your heel towards your butt (8:00 to 10:00 - this is the hamstring grabber!)
    4. Push across the top 10:00 to 2:00.

    OK, here's the part that puts it all together..

    Picture the motion coming from your hip - your hip is the main pivotal point. This will help you visualize and use all of your power. Compare it to snapping a kitchen towel. If you hold the towel in the middle & snap it, you won't get as much "oomph" as if you hold the towel on one end & snap it. Same with the pedal stroke. If you picture it as coming from your knee or quad, you don't get all of the power that is available to you.

    And, since we all have oodles of time on our indoor trainers or spin bikes, do one legged drills. This really helps cement the feeling of a full pedal stroke. Try doing one leg for 30 seconds & the other leg for 30 seconds.

    As an aside...

    If you're in the weight room right now (and aren't we all? ) working legs, try to do your exercises using one leg at a time to even out your strength. For example, I do laying down hamstring curls using alternate legs... left, right, left right. Same with lunges, leg extensions, etc. It's a little tough to do squats like this - you better have good balance! But on many of the machines, you can alternate legs - left right left right. Don't do all on one side & then all on the other. You want your brain to register "left then right then left then right" just like pedaling.
    To train a dog, you must be more interesting than dirt.

    Trek Project One
    Trek FX 7.4 Hybrid

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    3,150
    It's helped my hillclimbing and overall cycling hugely (I'm not sure it isn't "the thing" that kicked me over from 12-mph, 70 mi/wk to much stronger) to have done a single indoor training ride with video, where they explained "go round and round, not up and down." Couldn't help but notice that when I remembered that, suddenly other riders were getting closer instead of receding into the distance on our little upgrades.

 

 

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