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MCF member clubs welcome new members of all levels. Here are just a few.
Minnesota Cycling Team
Contact:  Kevin Lennon
Website:  www.mncyclingteam.org
 
Great Plains Cycling Club
Contact:  Jeremy Christianson
Website:  Great Plains Cycling Club
 
Minneapolis Bicycle Racing Club
Contact:  Jim Flanders
Website:  Flanders/MBRC
 

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Standing While Climbing
If you must stand, remember it's hard to pull up because you aren't in contact with the saddle -- there's nothing to brace your hips to pull against -- and you will to power into BOTH the down and up strokes (12 to 5 o'clock on the down stroke and 7 to 10 o'clock on the upstroke). You should use your body weight to help you push down. Let the bike move fluidly under you. Don’t force it. The bike should rock rhythmically side to side in an arc of about 6 inches (judged by the movement of the handlebar stem). This gives each leg a direct push against its pedal and makes the best use of your weight. This will help to maintain a smooth stroke and your momentum. Don't lean too far forward. If the nose of your saddle is brushing the back of your thighs, you are just right. Farther forward and you will press the front tire into the pavement and lose power. Stay back a bit and find the front-to-back sweet spot. This helps center your weight over the crank to drive the pedals as described. And remember to shift up a gear or two just before you stand to take advantage of the extra power you gain from standing (but which you can’t maintain for any length of time).

Remember that if you are in a group, you need to consciously protect those behind you when you stand to climb. How you stand on a hill is very important - do it wrong and the guy behind might suddenly be on the pavement. The issue is the brief deceleration that can occur as you change from sitting to standing incorrectly, which, relative to other riders has the effect of sending your bike backwards and can cause the following rider's front wheel to hit your rear wheel.

On short, rolling hills, the trick is to click to the next higher gear (smaller cog), then stand and pedal over the top with a slightly slower cadence. This keeps quads from loading up with lactate because it helps you pedal with body weight. In fact, it can actually feel like you're stretching and refreshing your legs.

The correct way to stand:

  • It is good etiquette to announce "Standing!" a couple of pedal strokes before you do so.
  • Stand smoothly as one foot begins its downward power stroke - don't lunge, keep your effort constant.
  • As you come off the saddle, push your hands forward a bit. This helps to ensure that the bike won't lose ground.
  • When returning to the saddle, continue pedaling evenly and again push your hands forward to counteract any tendency to decelerate. This will gain several inches and put the seat right under you.

You can practice your technique with a friend during a training ride. They can ride behind and let you know when you've got the hang to it. That's when the gap between their front wheel and your rear wheel doesn't narrow each time you stand or sit.



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