I just got John Howard’s book “Mastering Cycling” and have been reading it for a few days. I got a chance to meet John at this year’s Furnace Creek 508 and having seen his accomplishments decided he might be worth listening to if I wanted to take my riding up a notch. Some of his stretching exercises and weight training may take some getting used to but it will be worth a try.
The section on bike fit was interesting because it duplicated what my professional bike fitter suggested. I was skeptical but I decided to give the suggestions and settings a try. True to what John said setting my bike up and engaging the gluteus muscles more by pointing my toes on the down stroke seemed to give me more power.
However at the end of a rather fast 40 miler with a few rollers and a few sprints I got home and after my shower I had a whole new set of muscles that were sore. My upper core felt more relaxed but my legs were pumped from the waist down.
I realize that over the long run using more muscle groups will make longer rides easier and help with climbing but for now change is painful.