Monday, October 22, 2012

Top 5 Cycling Technique Mistakes

Submitted by Adam Redmond, Speed Matrix Calgary

In cycling as in most sports every individual develops a unique style or way of doing things that is natural to the specific person.  Even though it's natural to have variation between cyclists there are fundamentals which everyone can base their riding technique off of.

1.  Smooth circular pedal stroke vs.  "Pedal mashing." 
A smooth circular pedal stroke is generally considered more efficient then one where a person       concentrates force only to the down stroke.  This spinning style of pedalling usually leads to a higher cadence which puts less strain on the joints and muscles.

2.  Ankling
Over the years there have been many opinions on ankling patterns while cycling.  Current trends are to maintain a relatively flat foot throughout the pedal stroke.  That's not to say that your ankle shouldn't move at all, but minimizing  movement to about 15-30 degree range is a good general guideline.

3.  Cornering technique
How you corner can depend if you are riding single file or embedding in the middle of a peleton.  Within a peleton you will have to flow around the corner with the people around you, ie. if you start on the wide side of the corner you will have to hold that line through the entire corner so as not to take out other riders.  In a single file line you can "sweep" through the corner going from outside to inside taking the most efficient line throughout.  It's best to brake and gear down before the corner so you are going the appropriate speed and are able to accelerate out the backside and thus maintainas much speed as possible.  Your eyes should be scanning the road ahead of you so you notice any obstacle in your path.

4.  Shifting
Smooth shifting depends a lot on anticipation ie. looking ahead and reading the road so you can plan your shifts appropriately so as to prevent errors and thus loss of efficiency.  Pedal pressure can also have a huge impact on shift smoothness, especially while climbing.  As you shift on a hill it helps to give a slight boost to increase momentum pre-shift then ease off pedal pressure while shifting to allow for a smoother shift.

5.  Choose a line and follow it.
Whether you're in the middle of a peleton, in traffic, or on a bike path holding a line is an important part of cycling.  It allows other cyclists and/or drivers to confidently judge where you're going as you're riding.  While riding in a group this is even more important because like a school of fish, cyclists need to flow together to avoid crashing.  That task is made easier as everyone holds their line and flows with the pack.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Victoria, BC High Performance Clinic - Oct. 20, 2012!

Jessica Zelinka's Sport Strategist Comes to Victoria, BC to Conduct High Performance Clinic!

Bob Palmer, SportExcel's High Performance Strategist for Canada's Jessica Zelinka, is bringing his revolutionary sports high performance clinic for athletes and coaches to Victoria, BC in partnership with Mercury Rising Triathlon.

PRLog (Press Release) - Oct 02, 2012-
The highly acclaimed SportExcel Six-Step System is the staple of athletes in many sports, from track and field to hockey, Ironman to snowboarding.  The successes include Jessica Zelinka's Canadian Championship record in heptathlon, a gold medal in skeet shooting in London, a silver medal in Vancouver in snowboarding and a pro contract in hockey this summer -- as well as victories in dozens of other international, national and master-athlete events.

"My work with Bob provided tools to face any feat, small or large, with a clear mind and a confidence that allowewd me to perform freely and in the moment," says Zelinka.  "As an athlete there's nothing comparable to performing in the moment."

Sara Gross, Ironman Competitor (photo by David McColm)
The SportExcel Clinic -- Be the 1% of Champions:  Six Steps to Winning -- will be held at the Arbutus Room at Commonwealth Pool, 4636 Elk Lake Drive in Victoria, BC from 9:00am - 4:00pm on October 20, 2012.   The cost for the full-day clinic is $275.00 + HST per person with lunch and snacks included.  It is open to athletes and coaches in all sports and at all sporting levels.

"At present, there is limited help for athletes like Zelinka in the mental game," says Palmer who is a 4th degree black belt in karate and a professional high performance strategist and educator.  "Most experts get athletes thinking way too much, or they insist on having them talk about personal issues and problems.  For athletes, this is simply perceived as not cool."  Palmer's System, one he originally developed to help him win in the martial arts, doesn't involve any sharing or personal issues.  Instead, it provides easy-to-use tools that even his young surfers are stoked to use.  (Bob has two surfers on the world tour.)

"In the clinic, attendees learn to resolve virtually any problem, without having to share emotions or issues," says Palmer.  "They become the expert with a huge ability to resolve distractions, resolve intimidation and to learn new skills quickly."  "And," he adds, "Since they usually come to me to win, they learn that as well."

Victoria resident, triathlete coach and Ironman, Sara Gross, has been working with Bob for two years.  She says, "The revolutionary aspect of Bob's program is that it helps you change your mind and your physiology.  It uses the Zone as the central focus of your everyday activities."

"And that Zone," says Palmer, "is the starting point for winning."

Seating is limited.  To find out more information or to reserve your space call SportExcel toll-free at (877)967-5747 or contact us via email at:


Monday, October 1, 2012

Belated Thank You - Rocky Mountain Soap Company

Better late than never!

A big, big thank you to Rocky Mountain Soap Company who generously provided awesome swag for our PHAT camp in Penticton this year!

Apart from creating 100% natural products, Rocky Mountain Soap Company also stages an annual Women's Run/Walk event in both Canmore and Winnipeg.

Over the years, a number of Mercury Rising athletes have participated in the Canmore event and all have raved about the swag and the race course.  (Swag is just one of the perks to all the training we do...great swag ratchets up the race experience even more!)

THANK YOU Rocky Mountain Soap Company!  Your generous donation was eagerly accepted and the athletes at our camp were thrilled!

Your high quality products are amazing!