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Old 06-20-08, 08:02 PM   #1
Tom Bombadil
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Interesting Advice from Olympic Cyclist

You might need to be a New York Times registered user (free) to read this:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/19/fa...fad&ei=5087%0A

While intended to illustrate the training techniques for potential Olympian Christian Vande Velde, some of this advice could be useful for everyday riders.

A few excerpts follow:

" “If you want to race, you will have to spring for a $1,500 to $2,000” road racing bicycle, said Jonathan Vaughters, the manager for Christian Vande Velde’s cycling team, which added a sponsor this week and is now called Team Garmin/Chipotle with H3O.

But don’t feel pressured to overbuy, Mr. Vaughters said. “The difference between a $500 bike and a $1,500 bike is huge,” he said. “The difference between a $1,500 bike and an $8,000 bike is very small.” Invest the saving in good-quality bike shorts with a firm, thick pad and a price tag north of $75. “That may be the best thing you can buy, in terms of comfort,” Mr. Vaughters said."

and

"WHO NEEDS HILLS? Study the altitude-gain profile of the race you’re doing, Mr. Lim said. “Then climb at least that much, at least once or twice a week.”

“If the race has 3,000 feet of climbing, find a hill that’s 500 feet and climb it six times, fast, no resting between,” he said.

But if you live in a flat area, listen to local weather reports and note the direction of the wind. A strong head wind can simulate hill climbing, Mr. Vaughters said. “You need to push hard into the wind,” using “a big gear, for at least six minutes and no longer than 45 minutes” once or twice a week “to get the aerobic benefits of climbing big hills,” he said. (In recompense, you get a tail wind all the way home.) "

and

"Then set about increasing your average wattage. Mr. Vande Velde does this by punctuating rides with five minute “power bursts,” dropping into a low gear, pushing his pedals as hard as he can, his wheels turning at his top sustainable watts and barely 50 revolutions per minute. In the next five minutes, he’ll click up into an easier gear, pedals whirring at low watts and about 90 r.p.m. (which any recreational rider should be able to maintain). Then he’ll repeat.

Less-experienced riders should throw in similar spurts during several of their weekly rides, Mr. Vaughters said, but for as little as 30 seconds to a minute at first."
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Old 06-20-08, 08:27 PM   #2
Suzie Green
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Sounds like good solid advice to a rider of any age! Sometimes we get too involved in the details and fail to make the simplest things work for us.
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Old 06-21-08, 02:51 AM   #3
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I think it is solid advice especially on price. The super light high end components drain the wallet. It cheaper to lose a few pounds to get a lighter bike. In the end it is the rider that makes the difference not ceramic bearings.
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Old 06-21-08, 07:21 AM   #4
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On my rides I tend to stay in easy gears and spin away. I'm challenging myself to shift into higher gears, which are harder on the knees. I can sure feel it in my quads the next day.

As far as bikes are concerned, for me and I bet most riders, the way to go is to get an "entry level" CF bike. At my skill level (as it were), anything over a good solid set of wheels and Shimano 105 is a luxury.
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Old 06-21-08, 04:13 PM   #5
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Good read!!!! especially the bike shorts!
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Old 06-21-08, 04:50 PM   #6
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Interesting reading.

I recently saw Lance Armstrong on Letterman. He said that while training he usually did about 300 miles per week, and estimated that he had done about 300,000 miles riding.

Since I used to commute 90 miles a week and sometimes as high as 170, maybe I should have tried just a little harder.
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