Sunday, February 7, 2010

Beginners Page # 14 Computrainer Chapter 2

Going into week two of training, we arrived while Jack Lomax was working out on the trainer. He was going on a computerized virtual route of hills with a little wind resistance. And he was doing quite well on maintaining a circle, had an impressive speed, was generating a lot of watts, and was leaving the silver guy in the dust. Note 90% efficiency.

I waited until he was well clear of the area before I mounted my slow motion two wheel apparatus.

I was still struggling with what was probably a figure 8. Randy switched me to a bar graph rather than a circle as I understand that graph better than a circle. The goal for that graph is to have all the bars equal in height all the way across. Although I understood the graph better, that is not to say that the graph was performing better. Note 74% efficiency. It's going to take some time.
My pedals were still clicking, snapping, and sometimes grinding. On the very first day, Randy determined I had weak ankles and a splayed foot posture. Randy put an insert in my shoe to help my foot posture. Good, I am always in favor of upgrading something rather than working on improving myself. Now it wasn’t that he was discovering some of my faults (which I wanted him to do) it was that he was discovering them while Rick Ogan was there watching. That destroyed all possibility of my telling Rick or anyone else that I had perfect posture, I just needed to work on my pedal stroke.

I knew Rick could relate to working on the pedal stroke as it reminds me of a story I don’t think I have told. Rick worked out on the computrainer one time and he was telling me that he needed to work on his left pedal stroke as he was right leg dominate. Shortly after that, we were at the State Park and were about to go up Wink Hill. I put my bike in the third chain ring and hunkered down to force pedal up. Rick was right beside me and I was thinking of how much stronger I was getting as I was keeping up with Rick. Soon he pulled away but I stayed even with him a lot longer than I would have thought possible. Being modest, I told Rick he did a good job going up the hill. He said “Thanks, I was practicing using my left leg and was using only it.” I was badly beaten by a one-legged biker!! Get me on a Computrainer quickly!!

So, back to Randy’s watching my clicking, snapping, and grinding. He told me to stand up on the pedals and he started to adjust my saddle. Instantly, my pedal stroke smoothed out a lot. I am not saying I had a flat line or circle; my clicking and snapping went away somewhat. Note: efficiency went up to 79. Progress is slow.
Randy said he raised the saddle at least a ½ inch and would raise it more when my body got used to that height. Just about the time that I would get the bars looking almost even, Randy would tell me to breathe or relax and I would revert to my old habits. I can either breathe or pedal but not both at the same time. I can relax or pedal but not at the same time. But I can hold my breath, put my shoulders up to my ears, and get the bars almost even. I wonder if I need more workouts?

The answer to the above question is yes! After the first workout of the second week, we went on the routine Monday evening ride. Instead of chasing the silver guy, I found myself chasing Velma Ogan around the course. In the real world it is so hard to fight wind, hills, dodge potholes, chase after Velma, and tell myself to concentrate on the left leg, remember the 9-3 positions, pedal softly like on egg shells, breathe and relax all at the same time. Yes, I need more Computrainer workouts.

Christine is still striving to get back to her 99% efficiency but even at the 74% efficiency, note the 50-50 which means each pedal stroke is even. Trying to get the middle bars level with the outter bars has her starting to discover previously unused muscles. More on that later.


  1. Wow! so technical. You are REALLY into biking by the book.

  2. @Steadfast Ahoy! If only it were that simple. We're just a couple who got into touring late in our lives and recognize that we have lots of room for improvement. Christine has a bum hip and is trying keep on biking as long as possible.