Tuesday Evening Spin

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We’d a very enjoyable spin this evening, with some of the coaching lessons being successfully applied for the first time. There were 10 riders out, covering 59km @ an average of 29.5kph.

The most important lesson applied was a reduced pace for the opening few kilometers. Instead of the usual ‘greyhounds out of the traps’ approach (and heart beating like a jackhammer), there was a more sedate 27-28kph start to the spin. It enabled muscles to rev up naturally, and avoided shoving riders nearly into the red early in the spin. As the spin progressed the pace picked up naturally, and we achieved a respectable average of 29.5kph almost at our ease. That reasonably paced start, which had been emphasized by the coach, helped ensure a very comfortable spin, without significantly impacting on the average speed.

Another aspect of the spin was a greater ‘smoothness’, without any impact on pace. The rolling over was more regular and frequent, ensuring nobody was up front for too long. Also there was less overall injection of pace during the rollover, making for a less ‘raggedy’ technique.

Lastly, and this is a first this year, but the group departed town as the one group, rather than separate little groups. This was partly achieved by one brave rider playing traffic cop on the departure from the car park!

What’s striking is that there was no rocket science in any of these techniques. They were all known and practised by the club over the years. Unfortunately, it seems the club lost a lot of good habits, replacing them with bad habits, but we seem to be on the way to relearning them (personal opinion there.)


Club Spin + Coach

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We had a very good spin this evening, 49km @ 32.2kph. It was notable in that it included Jamie Blanchfield of Premier Endurance, who was along to observe cycling technique and the dynamics of our group spin. We had eight out, excluding Jamie, fairly evenly balanced between the faster and the less fast cyclists. The general consensus was that it was one of the best and smoothest spins we’ve had in a long time, despite the mixed abilities within the group. Some of the faster riders would have been comfortable at a faster pace, and different riders had different subjective experiences of the spin, but nobody was overstretched, and overall there was a lot of satisfaction with the spin. Mind you, and this is a personal opinion only, but I suspect that the spin might have been less smooth and the average speed higher if the A pupils hadn’t felt that the Inspector was closely observing them!

Jamie, despite his tender years, is an experienced and calm coach, and outlined some areas for improvement in respect of individual technique, e.g. cross-chaining and speed on climbs, but more pertinently had some constructive observations of the group dynamic e.g. half-wheeling, first 10 minutes being too fast, etc. It led into a constructive group discussion of the core issue of mixing fast and less fast cyclists in the one group. Jamie outlined a number of possible solutions, all of which have been implemented (with varying degrees of success) across other cycling clubs. The concept of a Group Captain for the the cycling group(s) was one of the recommendations.

To those members who couldn’t make it this evening, you missed out. The good news is that Jamie will be attending next Thursday’s spin, on basically the same route (not too long). Hope you can make it.