Make my cycling faster! Plus vite! Macht schnell!
July 25, 2006 8:19 AM Subscribe
How should a newly-serious but just beginning road cyclist work on becoming a faster and better sprinter and hill climber?
posted by The Michael The to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (20 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I want to start building speed and hill-climbing ability with an eye to joining faster rides with local clubs in a year or two, and eventually racing when I reach a point at which I won't be embarassed. Mostly, I just want to be a better and faster cyclist. I'm a 6'2" 195 lb (mostly centered around the midsection) 25 year old male, currently riding a Specialized Allez with triple-chainring Shimano Tiagra/105 parts, in Philadelphia, where there are lots of good routes both flat and hilly. I ride Look clipless pedals, will soon have a computer, and I have a Bianchi Pista that I ride around town that I could use for cadence drills and whatnot.
Currently, riding flats are no problem, but I'm not fast. I'm guessing that I average about 10-12 mph, and ride 25 miles about 4 times per week, occasionally doing 45-50 mile rides on flatter terrain. Hills are difficult, even with low grades, especially over longer distances; I usually have to drop down to the granny gear. and sometimes have to stop on the way up. I know that weight loss will help on all fronts (= less mass to push forward and up). How, then, should I approach riding such that it will help me improve? In lieu of your own methods, is there a book or website that you know to be particularly helpful in this?