Pushing the pedals

I need to figure out how to make better use of my bike. I got the bike two years ago when I decided to try a triathlon. I rode the bike a handful of times before my first tri and figured I’d be fine. I was fine but I certainly wasn’t competitive – my bike leg was s…l…o…w…

I’ve done a couple other triathlons since that first one. I’ve tried a little harder to train on the bike. I have gotten better each time but my bike leg is always my worst. I’m in the front of the pack for the swim. I’m in the middle of the pack for the run. I’m in the back of the pack on the bike. That means any sense of lead I get in the swim is eaten up on the bike and then I’m slogging through the run in the back of the pack.

That’s all fine and good when I just want to accomplish a triathlon. But if I want to improve… I need to figure something out. And I always want to improve. I read a great quote the other day that said something to the effect of “I don’t race but I always compete.” That’s me to a T. I don’t race against people but I always compete with myself. That’s part of why I put myself on the hook for these races, I love the chance to compete.

Which brings me back to the bike. I’m not good enough to compete. So that’s one of my challenges for this summer. Anyone got any advice for me? I know enough to stay in the 2nd large gear wheel 90% of the time so I can use the full range of gears. I know to shift down when going uphill and to shift up when going downhill. But I don’t know a lot of other things…

– What gear should I be using most of the time?
– What’s a good training plan to follow to get better on the bike?
– What’s a reasonable goal to push towards for MPH on my Trek hybrid?

I’m not going to go drop $$$ on a triathlon bike (I’d rather use that money for road trips). But I know that if I have the right plan and knowledge, I can push myself to a new goal. Anyone out there with tips and a schedule to share?

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7 thoughts on “Pushing the pedals

  1. I have no advice for you. Seems my speed on my hybrid is about 12-13 mph on flat roads. I stay in the middle set of gears too & I will not clip in or use toe cages. My bike leg will probably suck.

  2. I wish I had better advice for you. I did notice some improvement for myself when I went to the gym and used a stationary bike on the the hardest settings. It mimicked climbing hills on my road bike. I could also more easily gauge how fast i was going and could push harder. Everything I have heard it basically ride more, more more. 😦 Helpful I know. As for your MPH on a hybrid, I’m not really sure because I do have a road bike but I would say if you are hitting 14-15 you are hauling rear for a hybrid.

  3. I am not much help either. I have only competed on my racing bike and got up to 17 mph so 14 on a hybrid sounds good. My suggestion would be to see if one of the bike shops in town have a riding group, for free of course, and join up.

  4. I’m no expert but I found staying in 2nd gear and then moving up and down that range works for me and makes it less stressful changing too much. Also if there are hills get clips makes a world of difference making each pedal 2x the impact trust me I did a crazy hill routine and was the only o e without clips they waited for me at the top for quite a while.

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