CYCLING SAFETY AND OUR QUIRKY CYCLING LINGO.
WE ALL REMEMBER WHAT G.I. JOE TAUGHT US...."KNOWING IS HALF THE BATTLE"
Ever go into a class or a new community and it seems like everyone knows eachother and even has their own language leaving you feeling like you don't belong? No way we are letting that happen here! We are so happy you are here and want to make sure we set you up for the most beneficial experience possible. That being said there are certainly some safety tips that you must know and quirky cycle lingo that will help you get the most out of your workout. Not all cycle classes are the same so let's dig in whether you are a cycle pro or a first time cycler.
Click here to download your quirky lingo Quiz
What to expect:
FORGET MY EXPECTATIONS...SURPASS YOUR OWN EXPECTATIONS
You may be new to the whole cycle class thing, or you may be a die hard indoor or out door rider. All I can say is no matter what your level, you can expect to have the time of your life burning tons of calories, on your own schedule pedaling out to contagious music with great people…virtually. You can expect to get pushed beyond how far you think you can go and respected for where you are in your journey.
Bike Set Up & Safety
CREATE THE PERFECT FIT ON YOUR BIKE BY MONITORING THE FOLLOWING ADJUSTMENTS PRIOR TO CLASS TIME.
Allignment - Alignment is a pretty important topic here. Though I will be calling out corrections and reminders frequently, there are a few points that I would like to sink in. Starting from the bottom up, the ball of your foot should be centered on your pedal, your foot should be flexed, your knees should always be in line with your ankle without rotation. You sits bones should be on the meaty portion of the saddle, while your ribcage is closed and stabilizer muscles are engaged. From there your back should be straight, shoulders should be pressed down and back all the while with your head in a neutral postion. Wow, that's alot. Don't worry I will repeat and correct and repeat often.
Seat Position - Most saddles adjust in height as well as distance from the handle bars. The right height on the seat is when one leg is at a 30-degree angle at the bottom of the pedal stroke. That means that at no time should your knee be straight or completely locked out. The right seat distance from your handle bars should be a comfortable reach to the closest part of your handle bars while seated tall.
Handlebar Position - Everyones preference is a little bit different here. I like my handle bars a little higher, while some like them a little lower. Preference is preference, lets talk about what is important, which is your body. Your body should remain in a position where you can comfortably reach the handle bars without straining your back or any other muscles.
Brakes - Know where your brake is. I know it's not like you will be stopping at lights, stop signs or for the deer crossing, however it is very important that you located the brake to your bike prior to class. There are certain cases where you might like to stop the wheels and pedals from spinning at such a rapid pace. You might want to put the brakes on to stop and grab your water, which is more of a convenience thing. On a more serious note, if for any reason you find yourself with one foot in the straps and one foot out, or say your shoe lace gets stuck in the gears you will want to use that break and straddle your legs to the side until the pedals stop. Capesce? If for any reason you feel something is not right, brake and take percaution.
Class Positions, Cues & Quirky Lingo
HERE ARE SOME QUICK QUIDELINES AND TIPS THAT WILL BE THE KEY TO FOLLOWING ALONG IN CLASS.
Position 1 – In first position your hands are on the first handle bars gripping the center of the bar lightly.
Position 2 - Second position is where the hands will be for most of the class — right on the same bar you were gripping for position 1, except this time placing your hands roughly shoulder width apart.
Position 3 - This 3rd position is normally only used when standing and climbing up those “hills.” Here from a standing position your hips shift back toward your saddle as your hands reach to the farthest handle bar grips. All the while keeping your core stabilized.
A description of few terms that we use to measure the resistance. AKA What I am really trying to say.
Resistance Scale 1-10 Guide – Every instructor is different. For me I use 5 as flat with a bit of effort - 10 as max hill. 4 maybe as a rest occasionally. Anything below that you will never hear me call out since on a real bike if you were going down hill you would not be pedaling, but coasting.
1 – 2- 3- 4- 5- 6- 7- 8- 9- 10
Quarter/Half/Full turn up/down – All bikes are not created eaqually, however the majority of spin bikes have a knob or control in the center that allows you to add resistance in increments. You will hear me call out adding and taking away increments. Using a clock analogy you will increase and decrease resistance accordingly. For example if you are given the cue 1/4 turn up you would move the knob position from being on the hour to 15 minutes past the hour. Turn your dial to the right to increase and to the left to decrease.
Flat ground – You should not feel much resistence, nor should you feel your legs spinning out of control. Flat should be a comfortable resistance requiring a bit of effort to pedal continuously . Those pedals shant be pedaling by themselves, but this is certainly not a hill.
Sprint – Full speed ahead. During a sprint you will pedal as fast as you can at whatever resistence we are at. There should always be enough tension that you are controlling the movement of the pedaling and it is not controlling you. If you suddenly find yourself riding next to ET, as cool as that may be, either increase your resistence or use your brake.
Hill – Once we crank up resistance you will feel that it is tough to pedal and we describe that as being on a hill. Now keep in mind this is a stationary bike, and while we know that when we are climbing a hill in real life on the road, we lower the gear to make the pedaling easier and more managagle, but with the stationary bike you have to use your imagination a little. We simulate hills by adding resistence to create that climb like feel There will be varying degrees of hills that we will climb. Remember we are not actually on the road so it’s not quite literal, but the descriptions help. Our intent is to get the best workout possible.
Lite on Your Hands - Have you ever watched someone drive a car just hanging on to that steering wheel for dear life? I have, but not as much as I come across it in a cycling class. I am here to remind you that handle bars are to be held as a aid to stability, however they should remain quite lite. You need to be in controll at all times and by putting too much weight on your hands you put exess pressure on your elbows and wrists rather than supporting the weight of your body with your core stabilizing muscles. Don't worry, we will talk about this a lot!
Stand straight up – Pedaling with your hands in first position standing straight up almost like your jogging in place. Remember never lock your knees, so be sure to maintain a slight bend in both knees with each revolution.
Hover – A hover can be done standing placing your hands in third position. To achieve the hover it requires your bootie to be as close to the seat as possible without sitting down. This requires an extra deep softening of the knee, yet still keeping your knees behind your toes, your core activated and your bootie to the back over the saddle.
Under the Table – Essentially this is hover, but done in first position where the goal is to try and keep your head at the same level as if you were under a table while continuing to pedal. For this postion both knees will be soft and your head will stay in line with your tailbone in an upright jogging like position.
Jumps - A movement from a seated position to either standing in first or third and back to seated position.
Tempo – Is the speed of your pedaling revolutions.
RPM – Revolutions Per Minute. This is the amount of times your pedals make a complete revolution or circle within
Snake N Bounce – Some times the music just gets you into the party zone, which I personally am not against. Dance your heart out on the bike if that’s what it takes to keep consistent in your workouts. You will need to gage your posture throughout the class and push yourself to your threshold. The more stability in your posture the more you will be challenged. Snaking and getting down with the beat is not wrong, it’s fun, though most instructors frown on it because it is not the most efficient use of your body position while cyclling. Know the difference, use your muscles, but if a song moves you rock out. You will not hurt yourself by having a little extra bounce in your pedal. Work Hard & Have Fun! Do whatever it takes to keep yourself moving and maintaining a healthy lifestyle!
Threshold – Reach your threshold by combining resistance and tempo at a rate that makes you work to your personal capacity. This can be measured by feeling like your pushing a little harder than your comfortable or by monitoring your heart rate.
Measuring your tempo and resistance
On our bike we have a resistance knob that controls the resistance. If you turn it to the right the resistance increases and makes you feel like you are pedaling up a hill. If you turn it to the left the resistance decreases and feels like you are going down hill.
How to Get the Most Out of Class:
TO GET THE MOST OUT OF CLASS SIMPLY SHOW UP AND GIVE 100% OF WHAT YOU HAVE THAT DAY.
The simplest way to control that you are getting the most out of class is to always be pushing your threshold. Pedal just a little faster than you think you can or add just a little more resistance. Remember, though I will guide you through the ride the resistance and speed is personalized to you and will be different for each rider. For example one persons sprint speed might be slower or faster than another as we are all at different levels. The same with climbing hills, One persons max hill might be steeper than another as it is all relative to our current level of endurance. You can expect this to change over time. To remind you of this I might say PUSH or THRESHOLD. You will hear me shouting out different terms as reminders during class. All that we ask is that when you show up you do the best you can to honor yourself by utilizing your time effeciently and doing right by your body. Give your best to yourself and make it worth the ride!
DON'T FORGET YOUR QUIZ!