Ride Light=Ride Right! A Few Tips To Achieve This Key Goal
This is such a key concept and I'm amazed that more people aren't dialed in to it. I know nothing about bike fit except what I've learned over 20 years of being 200+ lbs and many, many miles. The NUMBER ONE lesson I think Clydes and Athenas could learn is this type of balanced position. You call it riding light, and I'd agree. When it's good, you feel like you're flying!
For me, there are a couple of important things to think about when trying to ride like this;
First, your position on the bike should be balanced. Some weight on the bars, some on the pedals, some on the seat. If your hands are going numb, or your privates are getting tingly (and not in a good way) then that's an indicator that you're putting too much weight/pressure on that area. People point to broken seat posts as a sign of size and power. No thanks, not for me! I'm able to transfer about 450w without breaking anything! Good position draws power from arms, shoulders, legs and back.
Second is the concept of constant adjustment. I change my hand position every few minutes. I move on my seat based on cadence, power and whether I'm climbing, descending or just spinning. I'll even move the pressure points (minutely) in my feet by focusing on circular pedal stroke, knee position (out and in the wind or in tight to the top tube), etc., etc. This becomes second nature before long and very natural.
Third important concept is to make adjustments to the bike. So often, I meet people who complain that the bike isn't comfortable, that they're feeling numbness or pain. But when I ask what they've changed, they'll look at me like I'm an alien. It's not rocket science but people seem to be afraid to adjust their position. So they ride with pain and get hurt or quit. Don't make a bunch of radical changes. My rule is small changes, one at a time. Find some basic bike fit info on line (http://mikesbikes.com/how-to/bicycle...hniques-ig131/ or a really interesting article from Keith Bontrager who knows a few things at http://www.sheldonbrown.com/kops.html.)
Bottom line is that the concept of riding light (riding right) will provide better balance, control, endurance and most importantly, pleasure. Using this technique I've been able to ride my stock Giant TCR1 with Mavic Cosmic rims and carbon seat tube at weights as high as 280 lbs. I can descend at speeds upwards of 50mph, bunny hop small obstacles like potholes and expansion joints and am still on the same set of rims that came with the bike almost 2600 miles ago!
Trust me, I'm no athlete. If I can do it, others can too!