The World According to Nick
My take on Software, Technology, Politics, and anything else I feel like talking about.
Monday, July 19, 2004

Form Is Everything 

I've noticed this at the Lake Mills Triathlon, and now again at the Pewaukee Triathlon. "Real Triathletes" tend to have crappy cycling form. These are guys with calves as big as my thighs, and thighs as big as, well, they're big. With that said, I'm in decent shape, and getting better all the time, but if I rode a bike like they did, I would barely be able to finish the bike section, and then I'd have nothing left for the run.

So how are they riding the bike, and how should they? It's kinda funny actually. These guys use monstrous gears all the time. They haul butt down hills and pass me on level ground. But then, when there is an up-hill just ahead, they stay in those monstrous gears pounding it out. Their legs are just pumping so hard and slow like a freight train. Then there is me. I use big gears down hill and on straight aways sure (I'm just not as fast yet), but then going up hill I get off the aero bars, and down shift. While they're standing up on their bikes pumping on huge gears, I'm sitting down in an easier gear pumping away, my hands on the upper grips for leverage, and I re-pass them! Then we get to the top of the hill, and because I'm in an easier gear, I can accelerate faster. So I add more distance between us as I start to shift to a larger gear, while the freight train I just passed slowly picks up speed. Sure, eventually he re-passes me, but by all rights, if he was riding efficiently, I should never have even had a chance to pass him in the first place.

It must be nice to have so much muscle that you can ride poorly and still win. Personally, I can't afford to ride poorly. Imagine how much faster these guys would be if they only rode more efficiently. Every time I see it, I'm glad I spent the couple of hours talking with a bike coach and getting my bike fit. More than the good fit, the critiques on my form were well worth the time and little bit of money that it cost. You'd think that those big guys would watch me pass them up hill and wonder to themselves "Maybe I'm doing something wrong here".

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Name: Nick
Home: Wauwatosa, WI, United States

I'm a Software Consultant in the Milwaukee area. Among various geeky pursuits, I'm also an amateur triathlete, and enjoy rock climbing. I also like to think I'm a political pundit.


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