Notices
Masters Racing (All Disciplines) Race on the track or road or on your mountainbike in the Masters Category? Want to talk tactics, strategy and training with your peers?

Data Devices

Old 12-28-15, 08:39 AM
  #1  
~>~
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: TX Hill Country
Posts: 5,931
Liked 182 Times in 121 Posts
Data Devices

Back when I started racing a mechanical stopwatch fitted to the h-bar was the sole, and very valuable data tool: Times ruled training.
Typical internal dialogue in the TT:

"Sub 30:00 to the turn around, sub 30:00 to the turn around.......33:10? Must be a head wind...."



The introduction of the Cycle Computer in the mid-80's was a revolution: Speed, distance, time and later cadence and AVS at a glance. Wow!
Gone were the days of conversations w/ training partners like:

Rider1: "Dude we must a done 50 miles and that city limits sign sprint in Comfort was pushing 40 mph!"
Rider2: "Actually 34.7 miles and I came off your wheel to hit 31.3mph........"



Heart rate monitors were adopted at the end of my career, and other than scaring the bejjesus out of the elderly were a useful tool paired w/ cycle computers.

"190BPM at my age! I'm gonna Die!"

I deleted Strava from my 'phone after setting up a Segment in the extremely heavy security gated community nearby for idiots to get detained attempting a KOM.

"Officer I was not sneaking through behind the UPS truck for nefarious purposes, there is a 12.3MPH KOM to bag.!"

Never ridden w/ any advanced doo-dads but I did overhear Captain Fast at Starbucks braying:
"53/11, 400 Watts and HTFU!"

-Bandera
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
stopwatch.jpg (8.6 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg
Avocet1.jpg (12.1 KB, 0 views)
Bandera is offline  
Old 12-28-15, 09:49 AM
  #2  
Has a magic bike
 
Heathpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 12,590

Bikes: 2018 Scott Spark, 2015 Fuji Norcom Straight, 2014 BMC GF01, 2013 Trek Madone

Liked 425 Times in 157 Posts
Haha. I started riding almost 3 years ago. I bought an entry level woman's road bike and the salesman sold me a $25 bike computer and a heart rate monitor to go with it. I wondering if I *really* needed that or if the guy was just upselling me.

One month later, I was back for an Edge 510.

Six months after that, I got a "real" aka Magic bike. Follwed shortly thereafter by a back up road bike.

Six months later, [MENTION=71001]Hermes[/MENTION] says 'you should consider getting a power meter'.

Three months after that, I need a coach.

After six months of bad data, I buy an SRM power meter. Then a second one, for the back up bike. Then I buy a TT bike and therefore need a 3rd SRM.

I've never ridden a bike without data of some sort. Shut up. I know. Its over the top. The thing is, I really don't like to ride without the data. I look at it all and get what I can out of it after every ride. Depending on what I'm doing, I look at it during the ride too. But of all my friends, I'm probably the least numbers-obsessed- in that I don't chase numbers the way a lot of people do. I don't even get sad anymore when I miss my interval targets (there's always something new in the pipeline to try). And I dare say, there is no one I know who enjoys cycling more than I do (although I know plenty of people who enjoy it just as much.)

I get a lot of flak from the "wind in your hair" type of cyclist, though. They think the data has to make people sad. But they have no idea.
Heathpack is offline  
Old 12-28-15, 10:09 AM
  #3  
Banned.
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Uncertain
Posts: 8,651
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Speaking as a "wind in my hair" (what's left of it) cyclist, I don't think the data makes you sad. It is often useful, and there's no reasonable doubt that if you know what it means it can reduce wasted time and effort in training. I do think it has its limitations, though, and leads people to what I would call illusory precision. We have good days and bad days and I'd suggest that listening to your body and being prepared to abort the numbers-driven schedule is an important training aid.

As far as pleasure is concerned, you can't count it.
chasm54 is offline  
Old 12-28-15, 10:21 AM
  #4  
LAJ
So it is
 
LAJ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Westminster, CO
Posts: 21,500

Bikes: Luzerne, 684, Boreas, Wheelhouse, Alize©®, Bayamo, Cayo

Liked 4,918 Times in 2,841 Posts
Same-same.

"Just go ride your bike, and enjoy the ride. You don't need all those gizmo's to have fun."

"That's why I don't have a coach. They suck all the fun out of riding a bike."

"Yada, yada, yada"

I ride my bike in the manner I ride my bike. I consider it fun, and have yet to eschew how the "wind in the hair" crowd rides theirs. It actually amuses me how interested they are in my gadgets, and how quick they are to **** all over them.

Making a Strava segment on your front lawn may just be what's needed. Just think how many people you can yell at!
LAJ is offline  
Old 12-28-15, 10:22 AM
  #5  
Has a magic bike
 
Heathpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 12,590

Bikes: 2018 Scott Spark, 2015 Fuji Norcom Straight, 2014 BMC GF01, 2013 Trek Madone

Liked 425 Times in 157 Posts
Originally Posted by chasm54
I do think it has its limitations, though, and leads people to what I would call illusory precision. We have good days and bad days and I'd suggest that listening to your body and being prepared to abort the numbers-driven schedule is an important training aid.
I totally agree. The numbers are describing something that's going on while you're on the bike, they say something. But making the numbers is not the central thing you are trying to accomplish. It's certainly helpful when you're trying to communicate with someone else (like your coach), it's very succint. And it really helps to have a pretty clear game plan for what you're going to work on in a given ride.

Some days you have it though and some days you don't. Some times it makes sense to keep trying when you're trying to hit a number and some times it doesn't. And amazingly, some times there are huge epiphanies that come by failing to meet your numbers. (Although I do think at times I might get more out of these numbers than many people because of my day-to-day working knowledge of physiology.)

When I first started working with [MENTION=95878]Racer Ex[/MENTION], the whole thing was kind of intimidating. There's this huge sense that newby people like me who (at the time) are not competing in traditional road races don't "deserve" a coach. So you kind of feel like you have something to prove. In that context, not hitting my numbers used to bum me out. Now, I just take it in stride. Sometimes you do, sometimes you don't. Sometimes I see the misses coming, sometimes they seem to come out of the blue. Shrug. Its much more of a big picture thing than people realize at first.
Heathpack is offline  
Old 12-28-15, 10:25 AM
  #6  
Idiot Emeritus
 
sarals's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: 60 Miles South of Hellyer
Posts: 6,744

Bikes: Yes.

Liked 13 Times in 4 Posts
This is what I've found and what I do. It applies to me.

I used to look at my data all the time. Used to. On training rides, I still do, but only to be sure I'm within the allotted time for an interval and that I'm in the target range for power, or that I'm not exceeding a power limit on rides where I am restricted (recovery rides, for example). I also look at power during a TT, but I don't stare at it (I have the power readout set for 10 second average).

Heart rate used to be high on my "look at" table, but I learned it was distracting, and it would actually cause me to back off an effort before I needed to. Now I can tell by RPE where my HR is within a few BPM.

Speed is "nice to know". On training rides it means nothing, in a crit it's not worth looking at (looking at the average speed after the race is useful). In a time trial speed isn't even on the page of my Garmin that I have up for a race. Power, time, lap time (for splits), cadence - that's it.

I can tell what my cadence is, but I do refer to it from time to time, especially when I tire. I want to see how much it's sagging.

I record metrics for coach on each ride. I grab power, HR, speed and cadence. It goes into Golden Cheetah, which parcels it into appropriate metrics, which I convert to a .pwx file and send to coach.
__________________
"Can you add a signature line please? The lack of words makes me think you are being held hostage and being told to be quiet"
sarals is offline  
Old 12-28-15, 11:13 AM
  #7  
~>~
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: TX Hill Country
Posts: 5,931
Liked 182 Times in 121 Posts
Originally Posted by Heathpack
They think the data has to make people sad. But they have no idea.
I have a log of the routes that I've ridden for the last 35 years: dates, times, # of riders, conditions ad nauseum.
If the times are graphed for any route it looks like a gradual ascent of Mt. Everest without oxygen.

Sad?
Not really, I'll bet Sisyphus did the same.

"OK: KOM attempt to push boulder up this damn hill # 1 ,378,283. Go!"

-Bandera
Bandera is offline  
Old 12-28-15, 10:23 PM
  #8  
Old & Getting Older Racer
 
Cleave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: SoCal
Posts: 5,343

Bikes: Bicycle Transportation: 2022 Hyundai Kona Electric, 2019 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid

Likes: 0
Liked 11 Times in 8 Posts
Being a nerdy engineer from birth (see The Knack), I like technical toys. Got my first stop watch to time HO scale slot cars for qualifying before our races. Used it to time laps during our first parking lot individual and team pursuits. Got my first bike computer back in the early 1980s when Cateye came out with one. I still have the original Avocet computer in my garage along with a gaggle of other computers. Basically used them to record data that I entered on to paper training logs.

Also got the earliest Polar heart rate monitor in the early 1980s. I used these for training and weekly training races. Didn't put them on the bike for "real" races. They recorded data but you had to basically read a copy the data into training logs. Major pain but I would do pretty regularly.

When Polar combined heart rate monitors with bicycle computers I was all over it. Transferring data for analysis was kind of hit and miss with IR interfaces. Got the first Garmin bicycle computer in 2006 and have stuck with Garmin since. The ability to easily download data for analysis has been useful and kind of fun.

I finally succumbed to purchasing a power meter for the 2013 season. Now I have power for all of my bikes between three different power meters -- hub, crank, and pedals.

I don't have problems looking at my computer during mass start races. I have a problem during time trials and I know that I can put out the appropriate effort through RPE. I also look at my computer too much on long climbs during training.

I think the power data is very useful for analyzing training and races. If I wasn't racing then I definitely wouldn't have power, despite my innate nerdiness.

I tell people my power numbers when I sense they need cheering up or a laugh.
__________________
Thanks.
Cleave
"Real men still wear pink."
Visit my blog at https://cleavesblant.wordpress.com/
Lightning Velo Cycling Club: https://www.lightningvelo.org/
Learn about our Green Dream Home at https://www.lawville.org/
Cleave is offline  
Old 12-29-15, 06:35 AM
  #9  
Senior Member
 
shovelhd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Western MA
Posts: 15,669

Bikes: Yes

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I'm not racing anymore, but I still have power meters on both bikes. I'm still investing in them. I'm not doing intervals, I don't have a coach, I don't ship them anywhere but to Strava and SRMX. I do use the data when riding with others on the road and with Zwift. It helps me keep my RPE sharp, which is all I really care about now. Knowing just what I am capable of doing in a group makes riding more fun.
shovelhd is offline  
Old 12-29-15, 10:05 AM
  #10  
Has a magic bike
 
Heathpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 12,590

Bikes: 2018 Scott Spark, 2015 Fuji Norcom Straight, 2014 BMC GF01, 2013 Trek Madone

Liked 425 Times in 157 Posts
Originally Posted by LAJ
I ride my bike in the manner I ride my bike. I consider it fun, and have yet to escyhew how the "wind in the hair" crowd rides theirs. It actually amuses me how interested they are in my gadgets, and how quick they are to **** all over them
Lol, back when I was having all the data issues with the Stages & was routinely riding with two head units, I can't tell you how many strangers (all male) would ride up to me on the organized century rides to comment/give me $hit about it. Maybe it's being a woman or maybe it's being a native NYer or maybe I just constitutionally tend not to take much $hit from people, but I will not talk to strangers who approach me automatically. And certainly not if your intent is to give me a hard time about my two head units, which I'm already super-irritated about being necessary anyway. So my response eventually was to completely ignore anyone who asked anything about the presence of two head units on my bike. Which was funny, because half the people were just curious and not trying to give me $hit at all. I'm sure they thought I was possibly a little weird.

However, if you're a woman and you want to meet men through cycling, the thing to do is to put a speed sensor on your hub. I've never had a woman notice it. But any group ride I do, I'll have multiple men ask me what it is. Good icebreaker I guess.

Also, just a random funny 'data device' thing. Recently did a Nightcrawler ride on the TT bike. It was just before Christmas and I had gotten people socks, I had two pairs gift-wrapped in my jersey pocket and my friends noticed that early on. One of them asked me about it and I was mysterious about it, because I was waiting until the post-ride coffee stop to give the socks to people. Later he told me that he was thinking that I looked so still and stable on the bike in aero, much better than the previous time he saw me on the bike just after I got it. He thought the secret thing in my pocket was some kind of secret weapon type electronic device that was giving me feedback about my position on the bike & that I couldn't talk about it because it was some proprietary thing from my coach or fitter. Lol, no. Just two pairs of wool Sasquatch socks.
Heathpack is offline  
Old 12-29-15, 10:40 AM
  #11  
Senior Member
 
shovelhd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Western MA
Posts: 15,669

Bikes: Yes

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Didn't Sara start racing with a wired Powertap Cervo and a Garmin on her bars?
shovelhd is offline  
Old 12-29-15, 11:34 AM
  #12  
~>~
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: TX Hill Country
Posts: 5,931
Liked 182 Times in 121 Posts
Originally Posted by Heathpack
Also, just a random funny 'data device' thing.
Many years ago I had a teammate who lived way out in the country and rode very long solo miles on rural roads.
Pre-Walkman days he attached a battery radio to his h-bars to fill the time w/ his favorite C&W AM station.



A rival team out on a training ride saw him fueling up on fried pies and RC cola with the mysterious technology powered off to save D-cells at the Ice House.
Too coy ask "What the h_ll is that Thing?" they sought surreptitiously to learn it's mysterious identity and function(s).
We pretended for a year so or that that it was a Top Secret device designed by NASA providing the Secret to his incredible endurance.

-Bandera
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
radio.jpg (98.1 KB, 1 views)
Bandera is offline  
Old 12-29-15, 11:43 AM
  #13  
Resident Alien
 
Racer Ex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Location, location.
Posts: 13,089
Likes: 0
Liked 10 Times in 6 Posts
I have seen this evolution for both bicycles and racing motorcycles. For the latter we had a tachometer, and when we finally got water cooling, a temp gauge. Now they have black box data recorders that can give you data at x point on lap x of everything from tire pressure to suspension compression.

The data you can get out of one of the head units coupled with a power meter these days is hugely helpful from a coaching perspective. I no longer will work with athletes who don't have one, just too many gaps to fill. And for myself I have three PMs and 10 years of files.

Add in client files and I have well over 10,000 power files, most of which have additional annotations. I have gone back years to pull up power and course data on a particular course for clients, pretty handy to be able to give folks a leg up on the competition.

The Luddite faction is strong in this sport, acceptance of evolution often stops at people's last purchase. There's a cognitive dissonance when someone riding a full carbon bike with carbon cranks and electronic shifting poo poos power meters. Or guys with 11sp mechanical poo on electronic shifting.

And the Rivendell (sp?) faction might even be funnier. A few decades ago they would poo all over made in Japan parts. Now that euro sources for quill stems and steel seat posts have dried up Japanese parts are "finely crafted".

Lycra is terrible, so you should buy our special button down shirt. I think they also sell urban sombreros.

98% of the time I ride my MTB bare bar. About the same for riding with a PM on the road.
Racer Ex is offline  
Old 12-29-15, 02:35 PM
  #14  
Version 7.0
 
Hermes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: SoCal
Posts: 13,184

Bikes: Too Many

Liked 2,543 Times in 1,496 Posts
I have been training and racing with electronics and power measurement for years and find it fun and useful. I suspect those that do not find value in data and technology suffer from the same affliction as the couple in this video.

Hermes is offline  
Old 12-29-15, 03:47 PM
  #15  
Old & Getting Older Racer
 
Cleave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: SoCal
Posts: 5,343

Bikes: Bicycle Transportation: 2022 Hyundai Kona Electric, 2019 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid

Likes: 0
Liked 11 Times in 8 Posts
[MENTION=71001]Hermes[/MENTION], that was hilarious!

I was on the phone the other week with my mother. She always answers the phone with using the speakerphone. I wanted to talk with her about my dad's Christmas present so I asked her to switch to the handset. She ended up hanging up on me trying to turn off the speakerphone -- no surprise. My phone rang, I answered and I could here my mom and dad, saying things like, "No, push that button," and they hung up again. This happened a total of THREE(!) times before my mom called and said she was not on the speakerphone. Wish I had recorded it but it was pure comedy (after I got over the fact that they can't deal with that level of technology).

Anyway, I don't criticize anyone's use or lack of use of technology as long as they don't criticize mine.
__________________
Thanks.
Cleave
"Real men still wear pink."
Visit my blog at https://cleavesblant.wordpress.com/
Lightning Velo Cycling Club: https://www.lightningvelo.org/
Learn about our Green Dream Home at https://www.lawville.org/
Cleave is offline  
Old 12-29-15, 05:57 PM
  #16  
~>~
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: TX Hill Country
Posts: 5,931
Liked 182 Times in 121 Posts
Originally Posted by Racer Ex
I have seen this evolution for both bicycles and racing motorcycles.
I read pages of my 1st coaches' log racing pre-WWII.
It had details of each track's length, banking and construction down to what wood was used/seasoned and how the boards were laid/fitted/fixed/finished/maintained.
Times and gearing for each event as well as the results, the competition and "combines" were recorded along with training and diet.

Data has always mattered to competitive cyclists for training, the tools have changed but the sport remains the same.
Only two things actually mattered in competition: Time or the Order in which one crossed the Line, depending on how the event was measured.

-Bandera

Last edited by Bandera; 12-29-15 at 08:32 PM.
Bandera is offline  
Old 12-30-15, 03:12 AM
  #17  
Banned.
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Uncertain
Posts: 8,651
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
This is a racers' forum. What we talk about in here is competition, and how to train for it. In that context, of course the more information one has the more efficiently one should be able to train, and anyone who seriously argues against having precise and useful data isn't terribly sensible. And the less experienced one is, the more it will matter. @Bandera, after 40 or so years of experience, wouod be able to train on RPE far more effectively than @Heathpack, who's been doing it for a short time and has always had the data to inform/reassure her. And as far as any coach is concerned, of course the data is essential. For the first time, modern coaches can actually see in some detail the impact of training on their athletes, and whether those athletes are actually doing the prescribed work, all that. The data has been transformative.

For the individual athlete, though, I do think a lot of this is psychological. A friend of mine in the gambling industry told me of some research in which they had taken three groups who regularly played the horses. Group A got six pieces of data about each of the horses that were racing, Group B got 9, Group C got 12. Then they were allowed to bet as they liked. Their results were indistinguishable in terms of success or failure. Each group backed similar percentages of winners and losers. But Group C staked more than Group B, who staked more than Group A. The extra data hadn't added to their useful knowledge, but it had made them more confident. I suspect that having the training data to rely on has a similar effect. When Eddy Merckx set his hour record, I doubt if he could have been much fitter. But having data might have given him the confidence to go out slower and not bother breaking the 20k record along the way, in which case he'd almost certainly have gone further.

Out of competition, though? Here's where it boils down to preference. @shovelhd, though not racing, continues to have PMs on his bike and to invest in them. @Cleave says he wouldn't bother with power if he wasn't racing. I'm on the latter side of that fence. At the moment I'm typically still wearing a chest strap and using HR data because I'm doing a lot of base miles and sub-threshold intervals to rebuild my fitness. I'm used to HR data, it's a sort of comfort blanket, but if I'm honest I could "train" just as effectively for my own limited purposes using RPE. Having some data has become a habit, rather than a real advantage. And the question then becomes, what is it for? It really doesn't matter if I know I'm at peak fitness. I'll know I'm there or thereabouts, and precision is no longer relevant. And (here's where the differences really reside, in my opinion) I'm not interested in the data for its own sake. I don't really care what w/kg I can put out, or whether my LTHR has moved up three or four beats per minute, or whether I am now cruising at 20mph rather than 18 mph at the top end of Z2. I know there are many others whose enjoyment is hugely enhanced by knowing all this stuff, and charting it, and that for some that enjoyment is almost independent of their performance in competition - they just like the data. More power to them, I absolutely wouldn't criticise anybody's interest in that stuff. But I don't really share it, the data doesn't add to my pleasure in being a cyclist.

Last edited by chasm54; 12-30-15 at 03:18 AM.
chasm54 is offline  
Old 12-30-15, 06:24 AM
  #18  
Senior Member
 
shovelhd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Western MA
Posts: 15,669

Bikes: Yes

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Very good points chasm. I would add that both Cleave and I have a solid RPE developed from years of riding and racing. We both spent most of our careers training without power. I'm sure that both of us, on a normal day, could tell you how many watts we were putting out at any given moment without looking at the meter. But for me at least, there is value in that RPE calibration. It validates how I am feeling on the bike at any given moment, which in turn gives me confidence, like the gamblers you mentioned. When I'm tired at the end of a long ride and my RPE has sagged, it motivates me to go a little harder to make a number. I could do this with HR only but since I have been racing with power I am used to having it. It's worth the investment for me.
shovelhd is offline  
Old 12-30-15, 10:01 AM
  #19  
Has a magic bike
 
Heathpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 12,590

Bikes: 2018 Scott Spark, 2015 Fuji Norcom Straight, 2014 BMC GF01, 2013 Trek Madone

Liked 425 Times in 157 Posts
Interesting points, [MENTION=195034]chasm54[/MENTION]. In some ways, I agree with you- the data gives you information and the information gives you confidence. Confidence and making informed decisions is huge in cycling. Even just other people seeing you as confident (whether you are or not) goes a long way. You learn that particular life lesson when you are an intern and it carries you a long way as a veterinarian.

But the gambling analogy in many ways does not hold, as most people are not trying to use their cycling data to predict race outcomes. I think most of us would realize that's not going to get you too far. Sticking with the horse analogy, the data would be used by a trainer in deciding exactly how to work that horse today, tomorrow, etc in order to prepare for a given race.

Like [MENTION=196014]shovelhd[/MENTION], I often use the data as cross-check to what I'm feeling. Mostly for me, my RPE is so influenced by context- temp, wind, level of tiredness, who I'm riding with, altitude- that I'm frequently surprised by my power when I glance down. Usually I think I'm working harder than I really am. So the power meter gives me permission to work harder on most rides. I actually think that now when I go out on group rides with my original beginner group and find them inconceivably slow what is actually happening is that I'm just willing to ride harder for far longer periods of time than most of them. Because I know I can. I actually think many of them can too, they just don't realize it.

I think the data is just a huge part of success in cycling for people who want to improve (racing or not) because even though if confers only a small advantage, the advantage is cumulative over time. So I agree that RPE works pretty well and better with more experience. But accurate data probably is always a little bit better. And the little tiny things add up over time.

Its an interesting thing to me, the differences between men's experiences and women's experiences in cycling. I see commonly here on BF some 30 year old guy start posting. He hasn't ridden a bike in 5 years and he's 40 pounds overweight. Three months later, some friend has asked him to join a race team and he's struggling through his first cat 5 races. He already has more testosterone than a woman, he builds muscle faster and is riding consistently with people who push him. He has a better aerobic potential by virtue of being male. Because he has more muscle, he loses weight faster. His little tiny advantages mean that without paying much attention to all the little details, he can be a kind of average athlete but progress more quickly than a woman might.

Compare that to a woman's experience, like my own. I'm so far away at the beginning of my cycling from being able to ride with any of the competitive men's groups. I start with a mostly women's beginner group, whose culture is to wait politely at the top of every hill for the slowest person. No way would you ever push anyone or drop anyone, you could hurt feelings. That's how you learn cycling should be. Maybe you push yourself and start to ride with other groups and see a different way to ride. But all of your physiologic changes, if you are average, happen more slowly. You have to be patient and it's very easy for your confidence to get detailed along the way because you see average men leaving you behind. It's just a way different experience. Of course there are women's race teams but in most towns there are not multiple teams (in mine there are none).

Anyway, my point is- no one tells you any of this when you start cycling as a woman. They tell you all the same stuff they tell newby males. Most women never realize that is normal to be slower than men (even if you're doing well), its normal to build muscle more gradually, it's ok to ride by yourself as needed because hanging with the nice women may not get you anywhere and slaying yourself by attempting to ride with the competitive men is way more detrimental to you than it would be to your male counterpart. And no one tells you that getting to know and love and understand your data, being smart about every aspect of your training, is going to do so much for you. It will give you confidence that you know what to do on a micro level (ie on a ride). But also confidence on a macro level- that you are doing ok as a cyclist, that you are indeed coming along just fine, even though you're getting outperformed by men routinely. It's just huge in certain contexts, not necessarily because of what the data does on any given ride.
Heathpack is offline  
Old 12-30-15, 10:20 AM
  #20  
Banned.
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Uncertain
Posts: 8,651
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
^^A lot of which boils down to, it gives you confidence. I didn't intend the gambling analogy to be taken much further than that, really, it's just interesting how the possession of data seems reassuring even when it's not adding much actual information to what one already knows or can infer.

The woman's perspective is interesting. I've had a bit to do with some very quick young female riders. Not coaching, I'm not a coach, but helping out with training camps, taking them racing, all that. Of course they're starting as adolescents rather than adults, and their physical gains are therefore very rapid early on. It's dangerous to make sexist generalisations, but my limited experience is that they tend to be less confident - maybe less arrogant - than their testosterone-laden male equivalents, even when the latter aren't as near the top of their particular talent tree. As a result the girls are more likely to listen to, and act on, advice.

One of them made it onto the BC talent team, the first rung on the ladder to the Olympic development squad, and won the points race in our U16 national track championships. When she was 14 she told me, in very serious tones, "I'm going to give the cycling everything I've got for a few years, because otherwise I'd never know how good I might have been." Great attitude. I'm sure she'll share your views on leaving nothing to chance.
chasm54 is offline  
Old 12-30-15, 10:44 AM
  #21  
Senior Member
 
IBOHUNT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Western Maryland - Appalachian Mountains
Posts: 4,026

Bikes: Motobecane Fantom Cross; Cannondale Supersix replaced the Giant TCR which came to an untimely death by truck

Liked 26 Times in 10 Posts
Back in the 80's when I was building engines and doing cylinder head work for drag race folks all I cared about was 60 foot and 1/4 mile times. That data told me all I really needed to know about torque and HP, as long as conditions, track, weather and setup, were close to the same. No data loggers, no 'grains of water in the air' etc.

Fast forward to 2012...

I'm about on the same progression as [MENTION=351576]Heathpack[/MENTION] and [MENTION=207647]sarals[/MENTION].
I picked up my first bike, a 26" front shock mountain bike, as an adult 4 1/2 years ago at a yard sale. It had an device on it that told me my distance and time. First ride was 1 hour and a grand total of 10 miles. I seriously debated on burying that thing in the manure pile so it would not be seen until the following spring.

After 6 months I got, like [MENTION=351576]Heathpack[/MENTION] did, a 'magic', road bike and put on a Polar "computer" that also had heart rate. Set the upper end of HR to beep at me when I got my HR to 168. While I couldn't download the data and look at it I sense that I knew when I was blowing up - especially on group rides that I had started doing. Heard a lot of "She's gonna blow!" due to the thing always beeping.

About a year later I got a Garmin and could not only see HR but Cadence and elevation gain so I could compare speeds on rides with elevation gain to see where I was fitness wise.

A while later, on group rides that included folks that raced, I kept getting the 'dude, you are strong, ever think of racing?' bit. Not knowing if I wanted to or not since it could become a 'job' which I didn't want since I quit my other hobby that turned into a job (competitive archery) I joined the race team that I am currently on and added a power meter. I used it a lot and managed to 'self-train' to some extent and picked up some bling and a jersey for the effort. So for me, since I've been 'born into the data age' I have a better handle on what effort is power wise versus what RPE is. Maybe when I start racing 65+ I'll bette runderstand the RPE deal.

While racing (I focus on TT's yes, I hit my head pretty hard) I only display power, HR, and cadence although I only really concern myself with power. During training I make all attempts to hit the numbers that I have set out in front of me but like, [MENTION=351576]Heathpack[/MENTION], I find there are days that I don't hit them. That makes me mad,

Now, all that said I'd rather be a Luddite except(!) I need a computer to look at the data and send it to a coach.
I don't own a PC, I use one for work and I'd rather not have a smart phone but my wife insists on knowing where to send the ambulance the next time I total a truck with my head and shoulder.

Don't ask me how to use the remote to play a DVD on the television. That dog don't hunt.
IBOHUNT is offline  
Old 12-30-15, 10:50 AM
  #22  
~>~
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: TX Hill Country
Posts: 5,931
Liked 182 Times in 121 Posts
Originally Posted by Heathpack
Anyway, my point is- no one tells you any of this when you start cycling as a woman. They tell you all the same stuff they tell newby males.
Keep telling it!

My training partner for several years, respectfully known as "The Pixie From Hell", had gone through college on a running scholarship and came to cycling as many do as the result of chronic running injury. Expecting a quality learning experience and fun she joined up w/ the local "Fast Paceline" ride and was shelled time and again by a group ravaged by testosterone poisoning, posturing and narcissism.
Not all group rides specialize in dropping juniors, women and aspiring Cat5s but this one did/still does.

A mutual friend made an introduction and we rode thousands of miles together working on programs that suited an aged roadie and a rising youngish female talent.

My point(s): Men and women are (Hurray!) different and need specific programs to develop and not all groups are interested in developing new riders, supporting each other and racing effectively. Find a Good club with depth and diversity of ages, sexes and interest in development with a good coach.

Keep telling it!
Bandera is offline  
Old 12-30-15, 11:20 AM
  #23  
Has a magic bike
 
Heathpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 12,590

Bikes: 2018 Scott Spark, 2015 Fuji Norcom Straight, 2014 BMC GF01, 2013 Trek Madone

Liked 425 Times in 157 Posts
Originally Posted by IBOHUNT
I picked up my first bike, a 26" front shock mountain bike, as an adult 4 1/2 years ago at a yard sale...

A while later, on group rides that included folks that raced, I kept getting the 'dude, you are strong, ever think of racing?' bit. Not knowing if I wanted to or not since it could become a 'job' which I didn't want since I quit my other hobby that turned into a job (competitive archery) I joined the race team that I am currently on and added a power meter. I used it a lot and managed to 'self-train' to some extent and picked up some bling and a jersey for the effort.
I say I started cycling 3ish years ago, but the truth is I started before that. I also bought a mountain bike at a garage sale. It was a huge heavy thing and I rode it around on the bike paths some, 10 miles once or twice a week was a lot. Eventually, I stopped riding it though, it was just too hard to ride. Lol, because I didn't realize that the left shifters and the right shifters control different things and I was riding that heavy bike in the big ring the whole time.

But the "dude you're strong, ever think of racing?" part is exactly what I'm talking about. When you start out as a woman its very unlikely that you're even riding with someone who knows anything about racing. So you're not going to get invited to join a team. I got comments like, "you've only been riding for 8 months? you ride like someone with way more experience than that." But never a suggestion I should race or an offer for join a team, etc. Not even really anybody who had a clue about training.

However, I really have zero complaints. I think in many ways figuring out your own path is a bit of luck. You are less limited by what other people think you should do, less invested in or obligated to any group.

I also live in a kind of cycling nirvana. People are really nice and we have pretty good infrastructure and drivers are not trying to kill us. I can pretty much show up on any group ride in town and feel welcome. I get very regular invites to ride with a race-oriented shop ride and I like those guys. But riding with them is like riding with a pack of puppies- they are prone to suddenly taking off at random times, chasing who knows what. And then needing to stop to pee in the bushes. Its fun enough but frequently their rides just make no sense to me.
Heathpack is offline  
Old 12-30-15, 11:40 AM
  #24  
Banned.
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Uncertain
Posts: 8,651
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by Heathpack
I get very regular invites to ride with a race-oriented shop ride and I like those guys. But riding with them is like riding with a pack of puppies- they are prone to suddenly taking off at random times, chasing who knows what. And then needing to stop to pee in the bushes. Its fun enough but frequently their rides just make no sense to me.
They make no sense, period. But you've just described about 70% of all the club runs I've ever been on. All balls and no brains. Socialize in groups, train alone.
chasm54 is offline  
Old 12-30-15, 12:05 PM
  #25  
Senior Member
 
shovelhd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Western MA
Posts: 15,669

Bikes: Yes

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Racers are absolutely, positively using their own data, and other riders data, to predict race outcomes. This is a data driven sport today. Doesn't mean the outcome is always decided by numbers.
shovelhd is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Your Privacy Choices -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.