The EVO Indoor Cycling Bike is very unique from the rest of the indoor bikes on the market in that it engages the whole body while cycling in and out of the seat while riding just as a real outdoor bike experience would be on the open road. Some cyclists would say that the less sway the better, however, the act of throwing every ounce of leverage, weight, and power into the pedals and movement side to side is the visible result of trying that hard to move forward when riding outdoors. If you could stay absolutely still, and input the same amount of force to the pedal, then more of that energy would go to moving forward, but it’s physiologically it is very difficult. It’s a matter of balance and leverage. Further, there is a mechanical advantage to be had in terms of body mechanics by swaying the bike and it lets the cyclist apply a bit more force than if the bike remained straight. The swaying motion from side to side will allow the cyclist to use more of his arm strength than would otherwise be the case. Being able to use your full body weight in a sprint has its advantages, and that’s one reason they shift the bike back and forth under them to ‘throw’ their body weight down on alternate legs side to side creates momentum and speed. They quite simply must sway the bike back and forth because of the mechanical reality of the situation. It’s not even really a conscious act and if a rider didn’t do this, the bike would fall out from under them. Sometimes you will actually see someone move a traditional indoor cycling bike off the ground from side to side and hop around the floor in class. These riders are applying extreme power to each pedal. Since the pedals are not centered laterally, applying a large force to the right pedal for instance will apply a rotational force that pushes the top of the bike to the right and the bottom of the bike to the left. Without this counterbalancing motion, they would quite literally kick the wheel to the side out from under them. By ‘swaying’ the bike in the opposite direction, they increase the amount of force on the legs and core that can be applied to the pedals without crashing. It is an intuitive motion that happens completely automatically to any rider from novice to advanced. For a quick mental picture, imagine somebody swaying in the same direction as the pedal being pushed. For instance, somebody leaning the bike to the right while they apply a large force to the right pedal. The rotational force would rotate the bicycle clockwise, lifting the wheel off the ground. Not something you want to happen, especially at sprinting speeds and especially in a classroom setting. For a great example how this technique comes into play in real road cycling watch any Tour De France finish line approach. It’s incredibly intense and you can see how hard everyone sprints and works the whole body in order to get through the finish first. Legs, lungs, muscle endurance, and core play a massive role in the use of the Evo Bike! Read more
There have been more stories on athletes who are making a comeback in sports or just training and succeeding in athletics well into there 40′s and 50′s. Low-Impact sports such as swimming, rowing, and cycling are activities that you can do practically your whole life. I want to talk about 3 athletes in particular that have defied the odds of age in highly competitive sports.
In a recent article in the Life Section of USA TODAY on August 15th, 2011 Janet Evans is one of those athletes making a comeback in the world of competitive Olympic swimming. Four-time Olympic gold medalist Janet Evans took 15 years off from competitive swimming as is training again as she nears 40. Evans’ efforts “shows us we don’t really know yet how long people can compete at top levels. It gives all of us incentive to keep pushing and learning about the possibilities.” National Athletic Trainers’ Association
Read more about Janet Evans in USA Today here: http://yourlife.usatoday.com/fitness-food/exercise/story/2011/08/Olympian-Janet-Evans-Older-and-back-in-the-swim/49965714/1
Honorable Mention: At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Dara Torres beat swimmers half her age, winning 3 silver medals at age 41! In June, French cyclist Jeannie Long-Ciperwlli, Age 52, gained her 58th national title. She, too, is considering the 2012 Games in London.
To give you an idea of how crazy this story seems imagine doing a Full Distance Ironman while undergoing treatment for stage 4 cancer. I read Lance Armstrong‘s book in college “It’s Not About The Bike: My Journey Back To Life,” as Lance talks about his fight to survive Brain, Lung, and Testicular cancer from a hospital bed. Clayton Treska meanwhile is fighting cancer during chemo treatments by competing in an Ironman!!! I myself have completed 2 Ironman’s. One in Nice, France in 2008 and the other in Florianopolis, Brazil in 2009 and I remember crying in pain and filled with emotion while just trying to finish both races.
While reading Clayton’s story yesterday in the paper I had a whole new appreciation for life! Thoughts of my Ironman experience came full circle as tears came from my eyes once again. Clayton is fighting for his life, a true hero, and someone we should all look up to! Read more