Proof is in the Pudding

I had an awesome ride tonight! My favorite part: After riding past a parking lot, I picked up another cyclist who was trying to close the gap between us. I periodically saw him getting closer. (I always look both ways before blowing a snot rocket. How considerate of me.) We approached some small rollers and I kept pushing the pace. I was watching my speed and secretly hoping to break 20 mph for an average. After the second uphill, he still hadn't passed me. I assumed he was letting me pull him since we were riding into the wind that brought tonight's thunder storm. I rounded a corner and glanced back, a little irritated that he would draft that long without even saying hi. Except when I looked back, he was gone. I dropped him completely. We were on a closed loop at the airport, so there was no place for him to turn off. I guess uphill into the wind was too much for him.

After Boise, I did some pretty major adjustments to my riding position and it seems to have improved my power transfer significantly. It's hard to explain. My biking hasn't been much or consistent, but it feel like I'm getting more out of each pedal stroke. The last two times I rode, I was well above 19 mph and tonight I averaged 20.2 mph!! I can't believe a seat and handle bar adjustment makes that big of a difference, but that's the only thing that's different. I need to get out for more than 25 miles and test this new speed over some more distance. I haven't even flipped my aero bars down yet, either. That is next season's goal.

But here's my Captain Obvious thought on riding position. The most "correct" riding position is based on men and the majority of people working in bike shops and fitting bikes are men. But since women's bodies have different proportions and geometry, doesn't it make sense the optimal riding position for men is not the optimal position for women? I can't be the first person who has thought of this. Women-specific bikes are more than just the dropped top tube like every Huffy I owned growing up. You would think the fairer sex could get a better fit, too. All I know is that after throwing bike-fitting guidelines to the wind and finding what's comfortable, I've increased my average speed by over 1.5 mph with only 25 miles a week on the bike. The proof is in the pudding.


Cynical Dirt Doll said...

finding that perfect position is key... I would argue with bike guys about how I wanted my bike set up. Seriously.. just put the damn longer stem on and shut the hell up! It's my problem if it's wrong! Glad to hear you've got yours dialed in, it is amazing what a difference it can make.

Samantha said...

Congrats on getting into the proper groove! Fit on bike does make a HUGE difference.