Effective spinning? Ideas?



ccorrick

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Dec 9, 2003
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Hey guys,

I recently bought my wife a bike and she has started riding. She's thoroughly addicted and wants to ride every day. I do not yet want her out on the roads alone, and I haven't even made her change a tire yet.

Here's my dilema. She's very new and her fitness level was basically non existant so we are just now up to about 13-14 mph for an hour. It's increasing quickly actually!! She's doing great.

This pace is very sloooowwww. I just took up riding again about 4 months ago, so I'm not back yet, but I can maintain a bit of power now and the recovery time is starting to come down a bit. I want to ride with my wife, but get some benifit out of it. Sure, an hour on the bike in itself is benificial to me as my body is still adjusting to the bike. But my solution has been an extremely high cadence when I ride with her. I'm talking as fast as I can to the very brink of bouncing in the saddle. I've been doing this for about a week just for the fun of it and my cadence is actually increasing. I can go faster without bouncing than I could a week ago. I can get my heart rate up a bit and feel that there is some benefit.

Is there? Is there any basis for an extremely high cadence for an hour most days? I go on and ride more after she has finished, but some days I only do the hour or so with her. I feel my pedal stroke is a bit smoother, and I know my top side cadence has increased.

Sould I just ride along with her and not waste my time with spinning like a baffoon? :D

I really couldn't find much on spinning like a mad man for training, and I doubt it's the best thing in the world, but any ideas how to ride with the wife? I would just ride along and be content, but if there is some way to help myself as I help her, why not?

thanks!
C-
 

Doctor Morbius

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Mar 15, 2004
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ccorrick,

I wouldn't be too hasty to dismiss your high pedaling cadence. If I'm not mistaken there are a number of benefits you can gain from training this way.

1). Safety. You mentioned that you preferred to ride with your wife than to have her ride by herself. I agree. There are strength in numbers when riding anywhere there are cars. Two riders are generally more visible than one so it would be safer for both of you to ride together than alone.

2). Pedaling technique. You can use your high spinning rate to work on your pedaling mechanics, i.e. perfect circles. This is generally a preferred method of pedaling to mashing.

3). Recovery rides. You could consider the time spent at the higher cadence to be a recovery ride between your hard glycogen depleting rides.

4). Base training. I'd be willing to bet that your heart rate monitor (you DO have an HRM don't you?) still shows you are getting a decent cardio training effect from spinning faster. You mentioned that you were just getting back into cycling 4 months ago so you may still wish to keep some base training into your weekly regimen. You will no doubt recover more quickly from riding at a faster cacence and therefore can ride for longer periods more frequently. Spinning faster won't cause much micro-trauma to the muscle tissues and other connective tissues involved. No doubt about it, spinning at a faster cadence is easier on the knees. You may appreciate that when you are 50.

5). Drafting. Although this would benefit your wife mostly, she could draft behind you and gain some speed while you take it on the chin so to speak. This would provide a little extra resistance for you and will ease things up a bit for her.

I know there are those that would state that Lance Armstrong spins at a high cadence during his training and time trials. Although this is beneficial to Lance, I don't recommend that everyone jump on the bandwagon and train like Lance just to be emulating an elite champion. Chris Carmichael has an army of people working with Lance to make him a better athlete. Also, he's a genetic freak! However, spinning faster does have it's merits.

Frankly, I don't think 13 - 14 MPH sounds that slow. I usually ride a little slower than that but I am a clydesdale and ride a mountain bike with knobby tires on most of my rides.

Speed isn't everything. Keep up the good work.
 

ccorrick

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Dec 9, 2003
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Dr.M

Thanks for the info tips and info.

Some things that popped into my head as I read your post.

1. Yeah, I would not even consider letting her out on her own yet. I'll definatly be riding with her.

2. I'm a masher by nature. I usually run 60-75 and grind it out, so spinning will be a good tool for my stroke.

3. Yeah, good thought. It's hard to consider it a "Ride" at all. I don't feel a thing. I'll just think of it as rest...

4. Nope, 4 years ago I trained with one. Haven't broken down and bought one yet. Need to, just don't have the cash to spend. Will be the next purchase if I can manage not to break any components ;)

5. I do probably need to teach her about drafting and such. She's a bit nervous about being to close to anything still, so this may help her learn to trust herself.

Thanks!

Speed is EVERYTHING!!! hahahahahaha ;)
 

scottmoroschan

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Feb 5, 2004
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I have the perfect solution for you...BUT A TANDEM!!!

Speaking from experience...I would say that riding a tandem is the best solution for two people who differ in ability. Additionally by exercising together my wife and I find that riding a tandem has strengthened our relationship. Knowing that we have worked together to get faster, ride longer, or even conquering a steep hill together really makes us feel great....Team Work!!!

Give it a try if you have the chance to borrow or test ride a tandem.

Have fun,

Scott
 

ccorrick

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Dec 9, 2003
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Originally posted by scottmoroschan
I have the perfect solution for you...BUT A TANDEM!!!

Speaking from experience...I would say that riding a tandem is the best solution for two people who differ in ability. Additionally by exercising together my wife and I find that riding a tandem has strengthened our relationship. Knowing that we have worked together to get faster, ride longer, or even conquering a steep hill together really makes us feel great....Team Work!!!

Give it a try if you have the chance to borrow or test ride a tandem.

Have fun,

Scott

I've been thinking long and hard on that.....
My parents are tandem riders, so next time we're up that direction we will be trying it out for sure. Thanks for the tip.
 

elrohwen

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Jul 13, 2003
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Check out Arnie Baker's book "Smart Cycling" for some ideas. Page 68 has lots of tips for riding with a weaker rider. For training ideas, Baker suggests riding in a single gear (he suggests 42/15) for the entire ride to improve strenth on the hills and spin on the flat. Another suggestion is to sit upright on the bike and place your hand on your wife's back and push her up a hill. Baker says that this worked wonders for his hill climbing ability. Basically, his suggestions involve making your ride more inefficient so that you get a good workout while staying slow enough for her.

Another tip is something that my dad used to do when he rode with me. When I was first getting into shape for riding and couldn't go for very long rides, my dad would do our regular 5-mile loop standing up for one lap and sitting for the next. After we had gone around 3 or 4 times, he was exhausted.
 

rkohler

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Sep 11, 2003
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Just drop her. Eventually she'll catch up.





JUST KIDDING! I like the tandem idea

Originally posted by ccorrick
Hey guys,

I recently bought my wife a bike and she has started riding. She's thoroughly addicted and wants to ride every day. I do not yet want her out on the roads alone, and I haven't even made her change a tire yet.

Here's my dilema. She's very new and her fitness level was basically non existant so we are just now up to about 13-14 mph for an hour. It's increasing quickly actually!! She's doing great.

This pace is very sloooowwww. I just took up riding again about 4 months ago, so I'm not back yet, but I can maintain a bit of power now and the recovery time is starting to come down a bit. I want to ride with my wife, but get some benifit out of it. Sure, an hour on the bike in itself is benificial to me as my body is still adjusting to the bike. But my solution has been an extremely high cadence when I ride with her. I'm talking as fast as I can to the very brink of bouncing in the saddle. I've been doing this for about a week just for the fun of it and my cadence is actually increasing. I can go faster without bouncing than I could a week ago. I can get my heart rate up a bit and feel that there is some benefit.

Is there? Is there any basis for an extremely high cadence for an hour most days? I go on and ride more after she has finished, but some days I only do the hour or so with her. I feel my pedal stroke is a bit smoother, and I know my top side cadence has increased.

Sould I just ride along with her and not waste my time with spinning like a baffoon? :D

I really couldn't find much on spinning like a mad man for training, and I doubt it's the best thing in the world, but any ideas how to ride with the wife? I would just ride along and be content, but if there is some way to help myself as I help her, why not?

thanks!
C-
:D
 

scottmoroschan

New Member
Feb 5, 2004
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Teathering.....An interesting idea, but, I would definetely question its safety.

I can remember seeing pictures from adventure racing in which teams of five or seven riders' mountain bikes were linked together with bungy cords. I guess they must of had the strongest rider up front, followed by the next strongest and so on.

Please do not take this as a serious suggestion. It is just a bit of trivia.

Scott
 

ccorrick

New Member
Dec 9, 2003
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Originally posted by scottmoroschan
Teathering.....An interesting idea, but, I would definetely question its safety.

I can remember seeing pictures from adventure racing in which teams of five or seven riders' mountain bikes were linked together with bungy cords. I guess they must of had the strongest rider up front, followed by the next strongest and so on.

Please do not take this as a serious suggestion. It is just a bit of trivia.

Scott

ROFLMAO!!! I can imagine the look on my wife's face if I tried to hook a bungee to the front of her bike!!!

C-