Monday, 30 July 2012

Improving your Impact

" The single most effective way to improve your impact is to do a better job of providing it" ~ Seth Godin (Improving Your Condiments)

The "it" in this case is everything from choosing your music, to how you "teach". 
From how you present yourself to how you dress.

Improving your impact is in exact proportion to how much you care.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

It always amazes me how infectious happy people are.
What they bring to the ride, lightness, gratitude, joy and just pure fun!

The opposite amazes me too.

Friday, 20 July 2012

What do you need? I want to help. Whatever it is, I'll do everything I can to make it right.
You're very important to me.

How many businesses make you feel this way?

I recently heard of a chain of clubs that do not require indoor cycling instructors to re-certify. They simply pay you half of what you were making when your certification was in good standing.

How important do you think you are to them?

Monday, 16 July 2012


"...a statue is a standing position that eliminates bounce while peddling (sic) and focuses muscular efforts on developing strength and control in the quadriceps". ~ website from a "reputable" studio

Where on earth are they getting this stuff? "Eliminating the bounce" means trapping energy in the joints, risking injury to the knees and spine. 

Friday, 6 April 2012

Everything I learned about Cycling I learned from an "Old Fart"

1. Don't underestimate an old fart - sub 60 min 40k TT in his mismatched kit kicks ass! (Never judge a book....)
2. Riding is always love #2 - old farts have their priorities right. Taking the wife shopping is priority #1 (if things aren't good at home, your ride will suck anyway).
3. "Ride your own ride" - if the cowboy at the front of the pack pushes the pace, let him go. (He's got something to prove, you don't).
4. Break the hill into thirds - save enough (gear and breath) for the top (break things down into manageable chunks).
5. Don't click up the cog too early on a climb, you'll lose power (be patient and don't underestimate your own strength).
6. Singing on a hill intimidates your cycling buddies (relax through exertion).
7. Imitating farm animals also intimidates your cycling buddies (he's nuts better do what he tells you).
8. Yes you will fall when you first learn to ride clipless - pick yourself up and do it again, and again, and again (if at first you don't succeed...).
9. There are about 15 different ways to get to the same coffee shop, all of them worth riding (so many opinions all worth listening to).
10. If an old fart shows up to the ride in 3 layers, booties, balaclava and 2 pairs of gloves - follow suit. (Experience trumps all).

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Sprinting - A Rant!

I can forgive just about anything but sprints done wrong are unforgivable! When a "sprint" is executed by unloading resistance and pedalling like a frantic lunatic that just shows total and complete ignorance of anything cycling related. I found this on a website for a spinning studio; "Two common speeds for spinning are light resistance, to mimic sprinting, and medium to heavy resistance, to imitate hills" (it goes on but that's another rant). Seriously?? Do you really think that Mark Cavendish (possibly one of the world's best sprinters) sprints for the line in a gear ratio of 39x23?  Sprinting means you want to get from here to there FIRST!! It means that you are going to put out your biggest effort, you are going to push your biggest gear with the fastest cadence you can muster at that gear! Big gear means lots of resistance. Big gear and fast cadence means lots of power - a 10/10 effort. At C.O.R.E Cycling@ a sprint demonstrated incorrectly during the practical exam is an automatic fail. 

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

I Changed My Mind

I changed my mind about knowing how stuff is going to turn out.

"Oh, why bother going? I already know what's going to happen".
"Yeah, the last time I went it really sucked".
"What's the point, I already know what she's going to say."

I changed my mind and let every moment amaze me.
Know what? It does!

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

You're not the most important person in the room

Far from it. As a coach, you're in their service.
Do everything possible to provide for them.
Set them up for success.
Your success depends on it.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Watch Yourself Ride - part 2

An indoor cycling studio without mirrors (facing participants) so you can watch yourself ride, is like getting dressed in the dark. Feels ok, I think I look good, but you won't know you're wearing mismatched socks until you get to the office.  Let your class know what's expected of them. Coach them in the correct biomechanics. Shoulders away from the ears, arms slightly bent, hands light, core engaged, back neutral, knees lining up over feet, smooth round strokes, relaxed and powerful, legs like pistons. Look at yourself in the mirror - amaze yourself!

Status Quo

What am I keeping myself from if I maintain the status quo?
How great am I afraid of becoming?
Who's shadow am I worried about getting out from under?

Who or what am I serving to stay diminished?

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Who's In Your Class?

People.  People just like you, with ideas and fears and hopes and aspirations. People with insecurities and skeletons. People with self imposed limits and misconceptions. People with inner voices who chastise and tell them they "can't". So pedal up beside them, put your hand gently on their backs and guide them up that hill. Show them that they're worth it. Show them that they can.

Monday, 20 February 2012

House Plants

I'm not great with house plants and manage to neglect and kill most of them.
Last fall I bought the sweetest little purple plant (it has a special meaning to me) so I was motivated to nurture it and keep it alive all winter. I set it on the kitchen windowsill, all the little flowers eventually died, but I watered it whenever the soil was dry and pruned off the dead leaves. A couple of weeks ago I noticed a very tiny flower bud and then another. The buds blossomed into beautiful purple flowers again.
It got me thinking that consistency is what kept the little plant alive. A little bit of water and pruning every so often but done consistently. It's exactly the same had I killed it. Neglect, inaction, a little everyday done consistently - kills.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Watch Yourself Ride

Next time you teach, have your class visualize themselves as a bird watching themselves ride by.
As a bird, you notice how fluid this rider is, rotating the pedals smoothly and efficiently.
How relaxed this rider appears to be on the bike, as he glides past.

As a bird you might flutter to the next tree further down the road or further up the hill because this rider looks so happy, radiating joy, you just can't take your eyes off her.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Panty Lines

If you're fairly new to spinning you've likely noticed a wee bit of discomfort in the "nether" regions (not so commonly referred to as the perineum).  You might start off with a gel seat, but once you're totally committed you'll graduate to wearing cycling shorts.  Here's a little known fact about wearing cycling shorts. They're meant to be worn commando. Cycling shorts are crafted with a breathable chamois (pronounced "shammy") and flat fell seams. That means the seams are joined together using "flat fell" construction so there isn't a bulky seam to chafe you.  More expensive shorts have up to 10 panels (while cheaper versions may only have 2 or 4) designed to contour to your body.  There are no seams between the legs or anywhere that would sustain repeated movement.  Which brings me to the topic of this post, if you're wearing underwear under your cycling shorts, you're completely defeating the purpose.  Undies aren't meant to be worn on the bike and are rarely made to take the punishment of soft tissue compressed against a hard saddle. Besides nothing spells "noob" quicker than panty lines.  Liberate yourself, toss the least for spin class.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Being Amazing

I'm cheating here and quoting Seth Godin, but he really is awesome and deserves to be quoted.
How will you be amazing in 2012?

"The thing is, we still live in a world that's filled with opportunity. In fact, we have more than an opportunity -- we have an obligation. An obligation to spend our time doing great things. To find ideas that matter and to share them. To push ourselves and the people around us to demonstrate gratitude, insight, and inspiration. To take risks and to make the world better by being amazing."

(From Seth Godin's blog "The Chance of a Lifetime")