Hurray! At last, I understand cadence! After six month of cycling the idea of cadence has finally clicked with me and I get it! Not sure I can explain it though – but very simply – it’s better to be in a high gear with your legs turning comfortably that huffing and puffing in a low gear. I call it ‘comfy cadence’ and by judging the road ahead you can make sure your in the best gear for the road. This link is the best explanation I’ve found – but really the best way to ‘get it’ is to go out on your bike and experiment with and get to know your gears.
In the month since my last blog post, not only have cadence clicked for me, but I have seen a real improvement in my cycling. My legs feel stronger and Strava tells me I am faster too – this is down to three things;
Joining a Cycling Club
I was nervous about joining a club, afraid that I would be too slow but I’ve had such a warm welcome from my local club ‘Clwb Seiclo Madog’ I haven’t looked back. I join them every week for a Wednesday evening chain gang ride. This involves cycling in a group, in pairs side by side – moving from the back to the front one by one. The encouragement of the group means I got faster and stronger and I also picked up some fantastic tips from others in the club. Its got me to be a lot more focused too – up till joining the club I had been pooteling along on my bike – day dreaming, chatting, taking pics and enjoying the views – actually that sounds like heaven!
Conwy Gran Fondo
Doing Conwy Gran Fondo in April was fab – it was 46 miles around the Great Orme in Llandudno and lovely villages in North Wales – an amazing event. The atmosphere was great in Conwy and again the friendship and encouragement of other cyclists keep me going to the end. Being one of the very few cycling in trainers finally made me decide to get clipped.
Getting clipped in – it’s early days, I have been using my shoes for a week and three rides only – but so far no disasters or embarasing accidents YET. It wasn’t so much the fear factor that stopped me but the cost – as a parent its hard to justify spending money just on yourself and going a bit faster on a bike – but in the end I decided it would be worth the investment and splashed out nearly £100 on new shoes, pedals and cleats. I can feel the difference already, my legs feel much stronger and I don’t feel like such a numpty when out with the club in my trainers. Next on my wishlist is cycling sunglasses.
So my little bike adventure continues as does my love of cycling – with my knowledge and skills improving and the summer ahead I can’t help thinking that the best is yet to come!