Shifting Gears

I just noticed something at my last cycling workout. I shift gears incessantly.
I adjust my gearing at the slightest change in pressure to my thighs. I use them as my signal to shift down or up. This is because I don’t want to be powering through the ride, but rather using the mechanical advantage of the bike’s gears to the fullest extent.
So I try to keep to 90 RPM mostly. I watch my perceived effort and try to keep that constant no matter what. If the effort rises on a slight incline, I feel the pressure on my thighs and thus shift to easier cog and go at a higher RPM. I’d much rather go at 95-100 RPM than power through at 80 RPMs. It’s too easy to wipe my thighs on a long ride.
If I reach 100+ RPM, then I shift to a smaller cog and then I’m back to 90 RPM, or else my HR rises too high and stays there too long.
I think about Lance. He is famous for riding at 100 RPM and conditioning his body to do so. There must be something to it if Lance does it….
By doing this, I shaved 6 minutes off what was a 48 minute ride of about 12 miles with a big climb up and down Mt. Eden Road in Cupertino. That’s pretty cool. Something must be working right!
As my coach is fond of saying – “Ride Fast, Not Hard”.
Tour De France coverage on OLN starts tomorrow morning – Exciting!

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