Q & A Cycling tips and hints

All the time I get asked all types of different cycling questions. Here are just a few. If you have any questions that you would like answered just drop me a line at barry@thecyclingblog.com

Q : My day is very full. Where can I get the time to train?

A : Get up earlier. Cycle to work or part of the way there and back, or cycle in one day and home the next. This takes a little bit of planning ahead to have clothing etc organised but is very worthwhile.

Q : What is the most noticeable change that I can make to my bike for free?

A : Pump your tyres. It’s amazing how many people ride around on under-inflated tyres. I ride 100psi in front and 120 in the rear. This makes the bike feel lively and also reduces the chance of getting a pinch flat out on a ride.

Q : What was the difference between Sagan and Kristoff in yesterdays World Championships?

A : Aside from about 5cm, it was mentality. Sagan knew he could win. Kristoff desperately wanted to win. Sagan knew that Kristoff would be the wheel to follow as he wanted so much to perform in front of his home crowd. The same thing often happens in domestic races in Ireland. If you get in a breakaway with a local rider you know that he will give 110% to stay away to the finish.

Q : How can you take the monotony out of indoor training?

A : Interval sessions break up the time but the danger is that you will get ‘form’ in November or December. Another option is Zwift but this too can get you going a bit too well too soon. A good way to stay in touch with the bike and maintain a bit of fitness is to watch a series on Netflix. Most have episodes that last 42 mins which is plenty of time to be spending on an indoor trainer for maintenance fitness.

Q : What is an easy way to understand ‘Training Zones?’

A : Think of it like this :

Zone 1 – Easy – You can speak comfortably

Zone 2 – Slow – You can chat easily

Zone 3 – Steady – You can just hold a conversation one sentence at a time

Zone 4 – Threshold – Short sentences only

Zone 5 – Hard – Only one word at a time

Zone 6 – Very hard – Gasp !

Q : What is the key to keeping on improving?

A : Listen to your body. You have to take rest and recovery seriously. If you are tired then rest. You don’t get better by pushing a tired body

Q : What is the biggest mistake amateur cyclists make compared to professionals when racing or riding sportives ?

A : They forget to eat and drink. Just look at the pros, they are constantly eating and drinking on the bike. Go to the finish of any domestic race or sportive and take a look at the amount of bikes with just a single water bottle that is still half full.

Q : Why am I getting dropped on every climb even though I am not overweight and have trained as much as anyone in my club and am not overweight?

A : This can be a number of factors. If your saddle is too low you are loosing out on available power and your quads become tired more quickly and all of this becomes more noticeable once the roads slopes upwards. You might also be overtrained if you are training a lot and not allowing for sufficient recovery in between. You might also need some power training on hills. This can be done by riding a larger heavier gear at 70 rpm whilst staying seated for 5 – 10 mins at a time.

Q : What is the furthest you have ever cycled in a single day?

A : 593km Mizen to Malin in 21 hours

Q : Should you always use Chamois cream on every training spin ?

A : No. If you use it all the time it will make your skin soft, just like a babies. Cyclists need to have a bit of toughness in that area so the best solution is to use no chamois cream on rides under 2 hours but to use it once you will be going over that time/distance.

Q : How do you stop your cycling shoes from smelling like cats pee after a wet ride?

A : Stuff them with newspaper first overnight. Then remove the newspaper and put one scented tumble dryer sheet into each shoe and they will smell like new.




2 thoughts on “Q & A Cycling tips and hints

  • November 21, 2017 at 4:09 am

    Wow, 593Kms in a single say. That sure does say something about your cycling prowess and will definitely be reading the rest of your articles for more information on cycling. I loved how you included the question about the smelling shoes on your list. Handy tip about the newspaper. Thanks for sharing the tips.


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