May 23, 2014

Coffeshop Rides Makes You Stronger

Every year I try to get better, stronger, faster, and smarter.  The aspect of training that has given me the biggest step up - believe it or not - is resting.  When it's time to go hard, it's pedal-to-the-metal (or an athlete's case)  When it's time to rest - there's no going halfway.
J. Knotzke
One of my easy day activities is coffeshop riding.  I pedal without much resistance.  I would get dropped by a kid on a trike if I was riding with them.  But I'm not riding with anyone who is going faster than me on a coffeeshop ride day. So, it never counts as getting dropped.  I know a whole crew of riders who can't handle being overtaken by another cyclist.  I'm telling you, you'll be stronger once you can. 

Spinning easy, I "flush my legs out", loosening them up from the previous days' hard efforts.  My destination is usually 45 minutes away, either in a direct line, or winding around the city, through streets and neighbourhoods that I don't typically explore.   Coffeeshop rides are for discovering
Sometimes I choose a route that goes through some of my toughest training spots.  Pedaling through easily is good for me psychologically.  It's a reminder that I don't always have to be in the pain cave, cross-eyed and loopy-minded on those particular streets.  It's how we maintain a good relationship, those areas and I.  Coffeeshop rides are for enjoying, zen-style.

In the summer I try to visit many small, independant coffeeshops in Montréal.  I have my old favourites, and there are always new ones to discover.  I order the same thing every time - espresso.  No messing with sugar or milk; straight-up, and short.  I talk to whoever's on the patio and wants to chat.  About anything.  When I train, I don't talk to anybody.  I push hard on the pedals until the job is done.  Coffeeshop rides are for socializing.

The coffee itself is like the icing on the cake for the easy ride.  Taking a break for a day and having no power numbers to hit, on intervals to push through, or races to think about is a good thing for the heart, the legs and the soul.  Cœur Jambes Esprit!

May 16, 2014

TWENTY16 Dials In - A video from ZIPP

"Fluid in the drops, dancing on the pedals,Team TWENTY16 pros are both naturals and highly trained on their bikes. Fit, form, function united by Zipp Service Course SL bars."

This is the first season that I've had the opportunity to ride Zipp bars...and the first time ever that I've realized how important bar shape is to the control and feeling of a bike fit.  Even after years of professional racing, I've never felt so confident on a road bike in my life, especially ripping it downhill.