Road Cyclists Blogs Spinning

Lessons From Sand

Going nowhere really fast!  While on a recent mountain bike trip to Fruita, Colorado I encountered a long stretch (several miles) of deep sand - definitely NOT my favorite riding conditions… I was reminded of some basic Spinning® tenets and techniques: 

Sand Lesson #1 - use an easy gear and be realistic about your speed

Pushing a hard gear will dig you down into the sand.  And pedaling too fast will cause you to lose control. Spinning® Application: When riding a seated flat - marry the appropriate speed (80-110 RPMs) with lighter resistance (light to moderate) to maximize the training outcome. Trying to peddle too fast without appropriate resistance gets you nowhere really fast and too much resistance bogs you down (nowhere really slow…)

Sand Lesson #2 - relinquish control and let the bike find the line

Trying to steer in sand places too much weight on the front wheel and can cause you to bury or wash out your wheel.  Spinning® Application:  Staying in the moment and learning to go with the flow rather than trying to “steer the river” allows us to maximize mental and physical training. Learn more: The Chopra Center

Sand Lesson #3 - relax your grip, your breath, your attitude and don’t fight the sand

The sand will always win!  Spinning® Application: The relationship between increased anxiety and impaired sports performance is clear. Learning to relax into effort increases our ability to perform well in both sport and life.

Sand Lesson #4 - look ahead where you want to go

A solid cycling adage for both on and off road - looking ahead as opposed to in front of your wheel will keep you in your seat and on your line. Spinning® Application: Lifting the gaze up allows the neck and shoulders to remain in neutral spine - contributing to neck and shoulder health while reducing pain and potential injury.  A recent study by San Francisco State University Professor of Health Education Erik Peper, Ph.D., found that simply altering body posture to a more upright position can improve mood and energy levels. So look up to feel better and stay the course…

So while I was going nowhere - I learned to relax into my effort and enjoy the moment. The desert was gorgeous, and the company outstanding. That’s what life is all about - enjoy the journey… 

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