Archive for the ‘Outdoor Cycling’ Category

So much science to learn from cycling!

By Jennifer Sage On August 14, 2012 No Comments
Spinning paceline

Photo: Reuters

Whether you are a science geek, a cycling fan, a Spinning instructor, or a combination of two or more of those, you will really enjoy this article in BBC News entitled Five science lessons the cycling taught us.

It gives you some practical lessons in physics, including great explanations of a few things we try to use in our indoor cycling classes to help our students visualize more of a real experience. You will learn more about riding in the slipstream (also known as pacelining), why it’s an advantage to be in the back during a sprint, wheel design, muscle fiber type to determine a rider’s specialty, and other aerodynamic features.

As I like to say in my workshops, cycling is all about science and math—physiology, physics, kinesiology, and

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Fat Cyclist gives tips on how to describe a climb

By Jennifer Sage On August 7, 2012 No Comments

I’ve been a fan of The Fat Cyclist for many years and met him and few years ago at InterBike in Las Vegas. He blogs mostly about cycling (primarily mountain biking), but you’ll find posts on running marathons and a wide variety of other tales, all written with a dry wit and self-deprecating humor. He’s also magnificent at raising tons of money for cancer-related causes from his thousands of fans from around the world (his wife died of cancer about three years ago).

Fatty’s recent post describes how to determine percent grades on a climb, and what they feel like to a cyclist. I bet you can find some clever cues to use in your classes as you create climbing profiles of various grades/difficulties.

Anyone want to know what a 12% grade feels like?

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Brilliant explanation of track cycling – the Match Sprint

By Jennifer Sage On August 4, 2012 No Comments

So you teach indoor cycling, but you’re not a cyclist. That’s fine, as long as you take some steps to understand a little more about the sport so you can deliver a better experience in your indoor cycling classes. You’ve probably learned a little about stage races like the Tour de France, so you can simulate various stages, such as a grueling Alpine stage, an individual time trial, or a fast flat stage requiring pacelines. (Note: If you don’t feel you know enough to teach TDF stages, you can check out the ICA Tour de France package—everything you need to know to teach a stage profile in total confidence.)

But what do you know about track racing? It’s not like we see these races very often on TV—unless you are

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Is there any doubt that cyclists are the toughest athletes??

By Jennifer Sage On July 16, 2012 1 Comment

Jens Voigt continues to astound the cycling world with his ability to endure suffering. Is there any doubt that cyclists are some of the toughest athletes out there? Not in my mind!

He also continues to provide indoor cycling instructors with the greatest sound bites to use in class. Here’s another one for you that he posted about today’s stage (Stage 15 on July 16, 2012):

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Energia Magica – don’t miss this epic climb if you are in NY!

By Jennifer Sage On April 22, 2012 No Comments

I just taught the Energia Magica ride at the Fitness Fest in Scottsdale Arizona, and it reminded me why I love, love, love this ride. I know you will too!Spinning climb

“Magical Energy” Spinning Ride

It is such an epic climb, so reminiscent of a true, challenging outdoor ride in majestic mountains. The cues are so different than any I’ve ever used, the concept is different – it’s truly a “magical energy” ride! I am teaching this in New York City on Friday May 11 at 6:30 pm. Please come ride it with me – imagine you have a huge climbing goal in the Alpes or Rocky Mountains – this will take you there!

Click here for more information and to sign up. And thanks to

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Cycling Training – Fact, Fiction, Formula or Philosophy?

By Jennifer Sage On April 20, 2012 No Comments

This is from Gene Nacey’s (founder, Cycling Fusion) new blog Evidence Based Cycling. Gene and I share a similar passion of merging indoor and outdoor cycling, as well as working to spread the word of indoor training techniques based on science and proper training principles utilized by the top cycling coaches. You know, evidence-based cycling! The title of Gene’s blog is brilliant, isn’t it? I for one will be following this closely, and will contribute whatever I can to his goal of doing our own research to help this industry do its homework.

Gene has agreed to post his ramblings here on Sage Cycling. Make sure to follow his new blog as well, and to like Cycling Fusion on Facebook. Enjoy!

Cycling Training – Fact, Fiction, Formula

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Real Sprinting: here’s how to do it!

By Jennifer Sage On April 12, 2012 4 Comments

Sprinting in Spinning

This is good timing – Bicycling magazine had a post yesterday on How to Sprint Like You Mean It. A few days ago I posted a link to Clair Cafaro’s post asking why many indoor cycling instructors turn DOWN the resistance to sprint, which is the opposite of what should be done if you want to, you know….sprint!

Here are a few quotes from this Bicycling magazine article with advice from World Cup mountain bike racer (and Olympic hopeful) Willow Rockwell. These quotes emphasize the importance of having a fair amount of resistance (gear) and going all out.

When inserting sprinting into her training, Rockwell says:

If there’s a small hill, I just stand up and hammer to the top.

In cycling lingo, “hammer” means

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Easter Sunday ride at Colorado National Monument

By Jennifer Sage On April 11, 2012 1 Comment

My second outdoor ride of the season was a gorgeous one in Colorado National Monument near the Utah border. Colorado is such an amazing and beautiful state, I feel so grateful to live here!

I took my first full weekend off in over a year this past weekend, so if you were expecting more blog posts or content pages on ICA, you can blame my husband – he wouldn’t allow me to do anything on my computer except BRIEFLY check emails! It was s a combination belated birthday present for me plus Easter weekend getaway, and we stayed in Glenwood Springs on Saturday night at a very historic 120 year old hotel, had some massages, went to a fantastic dinner in Basalt, Colorado to a Spanish restaurant for tapas. The next morning after a wonderful lazy breakfast, drove 80 miles to the border of Utah to ride Monument National Park. It

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Learn More About Lactate Threshold – my goal for the industry since 2007!

By Jennifer Sage On March 5, 2012 4 Comments

I have been teaching and coaching my indoor cycling classes using lactate threshold-based zones for a long time. In the early 2000’s I was very active in metabolic testing and encouraged my students to have the tests done. That got a little expensive for many of them, so I began to research how field tests were performed outdoors and translated it to the indoor environment. I was using field tests indoors for a few years before deciding to propose it to Mad Dogg Athletics and Spinning as one of my sessions at the next year’s conference.

So, in 2007 I was the first to introduce the concept of field testing to estimate lactate threshold in a Spinning® (or any indoor cycling) class at a major fitness conference*. (First introduced at WSSC in 2007, and later ECA and Can Fit Pro) My goal then was, and continues to be, to utilize the

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Learn How to Conquer Back Pain and Improve Your Cycling (and Indoor Cycling)

By Jennifer Sage On February 22, 2012 4 Comments

I follow a couple of cycling podcasts and blogs, and I’m always impressed with what I hear and read at the Bicycle Lab. Here is an audio interview with the founder of the Bicycle Lab, Victor Jiminez, and the two authors of the book Foundation (Redefine Your Core, Conquer Back Pain and Move With Confidence). The authors are Peter Park and Eric Goodman. I’d pay attention to what they are saying; Peter is Lance Armstrong’s Strength and Conditioning Coach! (Have you seen what Lance is up to lately? Only coming in second in the Panama Ironman 70.3 triathlon.)

On this article, there is also a video posted on a core exercise that targets the back.

We as indoor cycling instructors, as well as our students, especially those who teach or ride a lot, need a lot

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