Sunday, July 01, 2007

Day 11 - Just don't stop pedalling

I've developed a new training program for cyclists of all levels. To use this program, you will need the following:
A single speed bicycle
Welding machine
Braveheart DVD
and a sense of humour!

In addition to this you will need 110km of mountain bike trail with the following components:
A small downhill mountain pass
Long flat sections
A long slow downhill section
and a technical single track section.

So now, first watch the video....notice how they charge into battle knowing they are about to be slaughtered. The title of the DVD can also be useful but this could also be replaced by Dumb and Dumber.

Now take the welding machine and weld the gears together so that wheels and the pedals turn together. If you pedal forward, the bike goes forward. If you pedal backwards, the bike goes backwards. If you stop pedalling, the bike stops. If you stop pedalling when the bike is at speed, then your legs get ripped off at the joints.

Now hop onto the bike and head off on a 10km warm up ride across snow covered roads. If the temperature is at -1C, then the puddles go crack instead of splash - an advantage of sub-zero riding.

On the mountain pass, try to ride downhill with your feet clipped into the pedals. Once you are up to 180 pedal strokes per minute (normal is 90 - 100) unclip your feet and hang them in midair away from the pedals which might hurt your ankles when they connect.

During this process, remember to balance and break - don't forget about the bumps to steer around as well. Your riding partner, whose name could be Kevin, will probably say that your riding style looks cute.

Now find a long flat road. This section is easy - just sit and pedal for 2 hours without stopping. Remember those hip joints.

Next onto the technical single track. You'll master the technique of pedalling while your rear wheel is in the air so that your pedals do not hit big rocks - normal bikes just backpedal to do this. This is the most difficult aspect to master. Do not feel bad if you need to dismount a few times. You can also learn to break by pedalling backwards.

Finally, find a long downhill stretch. You will now use all techniques described above to get down as fast as possible. This may be the first time that you are exhausted from riding downhill as the need to spin at 180 rpms, unclip your feet to get more speed and handle technical river crossings at speed is very tiring.

And that was my day of riding a fixed single speed. My sense of humour is still intact at least and I am making progress.

The scenery was spectacular - snow covered peaks followed by a drop into the Karoo when the world suddenly became flat again.

We skipped our official rest stop and pushed on a few more hours. We invited ourselves into a farm called Long Acre where our hosts Philip and Jen did a wonderful job looking after their surprise guests. I should get my parts tomorrow in Craddock.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Andre.

Train while you race. Noval idea. Maybe you can patent it. How your spares arrive and that they work.

Good luck.

The other Riaan (AGA)

6:56 PM  

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