Monday, November 12, 2018

What E-Bikes Mean For Your Hard-Won Fitness

E-Bikes are here to stay. Not everyone is happy about that. I used to be one of those people. Why? Because of a nagging, if not irrational, concern that e-bikes somehow diminish the currency of my fitness and hard work as a trainer, coach, and athlete.
For those who have yet to hop aboard an electric motor-assisted bicycle, e-bikes are regular bicycles with a battery-powered “pedal assist.” When you saddle up and push the pedals, a small motor engages and gives you a boost, so you can whiz up hills with a loaded backpack and cruise over challenging terrain without gassing yourself. Most e-bikes come with a power switch that lets you adjust the boost setting from “eco” (low) to “turbo” (high). These e-bikes are technically called “pedalecs,” and they feel just like riding a bike, except you feel bionic because the motor assist lets you achieve a far faster pace with far less fitness and hard work.

According to Hunter Allen, CEO of Peaks Coaching Group, who tracks this stuff for a living, if you’re already pretty fit, you have to work extremely hard for at least eight weeks to gain another 15 to 30 watts—about the amount needed to power an oven light. And even then, you can’t hang onto that peak forever. The currency of cycling fitness is hard to earn and easy to lose.It’s that last part that has raised the hackles among those who like to “earn their turns,” so to speak. Because gaining the kind of wattage e-bikes give you with a push of a button takes weeks, months, even years to develop through training alone.
Whether we win a podium position, a KOM crown, or a drag race with friends to the ice-cream store, we cyclists feel extra satisfied—maybe even vindicated—because our result took so much dedication.

Friday, November 9, 2018

This Woman Won $7,800 in a Zwift Race

Two important cycling races took place in the last few weeks. One was the Tour of Flanders, which saw more than 140 women toe the line in a 93-mile race through wet, treacherous conditions in the Flemish countryside.

The other was the CVR World Cup finals in Los Angeles, where 10 women fixed on trainers inside the StubHub Velo Sports Center battled it out, virtually, on Zwift’s Watopia Island course. The winner in Flanders, 27-year-old Dutch racer Anna van der Breggen, took home $1,415. The winner of the CVR World Cup, Carey Conabeare, a 42-year-old professional gardener from the UK, pocketed a cool $7,800. 

Yes, you read that right: A recreational rider competing on a gaming platform earned more than five times the prize money than a pro who won a notoriously grueling World Tour race. In fact, Conabeare won more money at the CVR World Cup than the combined women’s prize purse in Flanders.

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Wednesday, November 7, 2018

CVR - Cycligent Virgual Racing The Toughest Video Game In The World

Cycligent Virtual Racing has been called the toughest video game in the world. But it was that and a lot more to the 40 invited riders who raced in the CVR World Cup in Los Angeles [April 2018] - going head to head in 4 categories to win a share of over $100,000 in cash and prizes over the season.   While the course inside Zwift's training platform may have been imaginary, the effort - and emotions of riders and fans was very real.

Two hundred meters to go...  Cowbells clang behind cheering fans shouting encouragement as their favorite riders jump out of the saddle and plunge headlong into a max-effort sprint. Live commentators scream out the action, as camera crews try to keep focused on riders jostling for position. The atmosphere is electric as a lead group of 7 riders crank out huge watts in the all out dash for the line.

It’s a scene straight out of any road race we’ve witnessed as fans of bicycle racing – it could be at the Tour, a Classic, or even your local Tuesday night crit. The adrenaline, excitement, and sheer joy of watching athlete’s duke it out mano a mano never gets old, and the human drama of not knowing who will win – or lose – until the battle plays out in front of our own eyes in real time is addictive. No matter how it ends, we want more. Do it again!

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