Create Your Own Hill
This past weekend, my husband and I competed in the team event of the 26th Annual Subway Coronation Triathlon. Guess who rode the bike course!?! The course was riding up and down a notorious road in Edmonton – Groat Road. It has a continuous hill climb that deviously plateaus, for what you think is the end, to be followed by a short climb to the top of 111 Avenue. It was with great pleasure that I got to ride the hill four times!
I reincarnated the climb for my cycle participants in class. I wanted them to have a chance to experience the Groat Road climb. Here is how it unfolds...
To start, have cycle participants start with a tension that mimics a hill (cadence will slow down).
The hill has five distinct climbs, which vary in duration. Prompt cycle participants to add a ‘gear’ (read: add resistance) with each hill climb.
Picture credit: static.flickr.com
Hill 1: 30 seconds
Hill 2: 60 seconds
Hill 3: 60 seconds
Hill 4: 90 seconds
Hill 5: 15 seconds
After the cycle participants reach the top of the hill, set the stage for the downhill portion. Groat Road has six turns, which are ~ 30 seconds each. With each turn, instruct cycle participants to drop a ‘gear’ and increase their cadence to the bottom.
I would encourage you to explore the various, hilly terrains of your community and make them into drills for your cycle participants. Take a ride for yourself and see how the hill would be best described. Draw the hill on a poster or white board as this will help participants visualize the course and allow you to place landmarks of interest (i.e., road signs, bridges, shoulder/run off lanes, etc.). On Groat Road, my two major landmarks were a traffic sign indicating a change in speed limit and the 107 avenue bridge which you ride under.
Setting up a drill that can be applied to an outdoor location can help cycle participants’ transition from indoor to outdoor riding and give them an opportunity to imagine riding local terrain.
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Workman's Cycle Drills & Skills
Enjoy some of my favorite cycle workout drills either in a cycle class or on your own bike at home!