Fall is officially here! Mornings are crisp with frost covered grass and you can see your breath in the air. It’s one of my favorite times of year as a cyclist. There’s nothing more refreshing than waking up in the morning and going for a ride. The only downside is that after work rides are either cut insanely short or they don’t happen at all.
That’s where places like Wisconsin Indoor Cycling come in. They help serve a large population of cyclists who want to continue riding, but can’t because of our lack of daylight. Their studio is lined up with indoor trainers, trainer mats, fans, towels, water, and anything else a rider could ever need.
Until recently, many of indoor cycling and training facilities have been perceived as elitist or for “hardcore” cyclists training for races or Ironman events. Wisconsin Indoor Cycling wanted to change that. They saw a need for everyday riders or beginner cyclists who just wanted a way to stay fit in the winter. This is where their new B.A.S.I.C classes came into play.
The B.A.S.I.C class is a fabulous introduction to indoor riding and cycling in general. The class runs for four consecutive weeks and incorporates a 30-40 minute ride and about 20 minutes of a post ride presentation. The presenters are various folks within the local cycling industry.
In the B.A.S.I.C class, riders learn how to mount their bike to a trainer. This includes learning how to swap in a trainer skewer as well as getting positioned correctly and comfortably on the bike. Other topics that are covered during the rides is correct pedaling stroke, clipping in and out of pedals, what RPM’s mean, and how to keep proper relaxed riding form.
Presenters also cover topics such as fixing a flat tire, why getting a bike fit is good for all types of cyclists, cycling advocacy, information about cycling clubs, and how to transition from the basic class into a regular indoor training routine.
I was lucky enough to be asked to come in and present at last night’s class. The best part of it was being able to ride with the group and experience the class first hand. With all of the projects and work I’ve been doing lately, I’ve been neglecting my workout routine and the class was a good reminder that I need to keep with it if I plan on being a strong rider next spring.
The riding started with a good warm up and a lot of great 3×3 tempo intervals. Ramping up to 90 RPMs first in the small chain ring for a faster, easier spin and then up to the big chain ring to work the larger muscle groups. Recovery was going down to 70 RPM’s with a mid level of resistance. There were also some one legged intervals to work on pedal stroke and leg strength. That too was a good reminder that I needed to get back into a training regimen!
Overall, I was really pleased with the training aspect of the class. The feedback that ride leader, Zeus, gave to riders regarding bike fit and pedal stroke was really helpful as well. It opened up the opportunity to discuss what changes can be made to maintain comfort on the bike. Also…HEELS DOWN.
When it came time for my presentation, I casually talked about what we at Spoke Haven do as well as the Women & Bicycles program. I felt a little bad only preaching to the ladies in the class, but the guys didn’t mind too much and actually had some ladies they knew that would love to know about what we’re doing.
I had asked the group if they had ever done a class like this and what their cycling level was. A lot of them were fairly new riders and this was their first real indoor riding experience. I was glad to hear that and glad to see they were getting something out of the class. Zeus, Aaron, and Krista did a great job with putting the B.A.S.I.C program together and hope they continue with it.
If you are reading this and interested in the program, there are tentative plans for it picking up again in January! I would suggest contacting Wisconsin Indoor Cycling on their website or Facebook page to let them know that you’d like to be a part of the program.