Pedaling efficiency is key to ensuring that you get the maximum power from each revolution. A smooth pedaling technique can also reduce the chance of injury to joints and muscles as well as putting less stress on your bike components,
The typical route we use will be a simple route around the woodford valley ( anticlockwise, as per the time trial route, but with a side trip up Mile hill). These exercises can be done almost anywhere though.
On the level – Single leg pedaling drills. Without shifting your backside on the seat, unclip one foot from the pedal and with the other leg, spend 30-60sec pedalling in a light gear. Concentrate to maintain positive a force on the pedal to keep the cranks turning in a smooth manner. The goal is to be able to pedal with the one leg for this period of time eliminating “chain slap” and keeping things smooth. Repeat three to five times for 30-60sec on each leg.
On slight downhills – High cadence, in an easy gear, gradually increase your cadence so that for the final 15 seconds you are spinning as fast as you possibly can without your backside bouncing on the seat. From Snakey back to the bridge is a good spot for this.
On slight uphill – Out of the seat pedalling. Efficiency can be increased for out of the seat efforts as well. Standing up gives us the ability to increase torque and power output by utilizing other muscles, although this does result in burning more energy. This can be improved simply through repetition. Whilst out of the seat, concentrate on achieving the perfect rhythm of rocking the bike away from the leg that is down, using your opposing arm to pull up to the leg that is pushing down. Your bike short be rocking underneath you, whilst your body should remain fairly neutral.
On mile hill (or any other suitable medium grade, long hill) – Strength endurance. With your chain in the big ring, ride at your lactate threshold (Z4) with a cadence of 50-60rpm, concentrating on pulling up and over in the second half of each pedal stroke ( i.e. between 10 and 2 on a clock face). Make sure the whole stroke is smooth though.
A good training route with plenty of long climbs plus some sweet single track mixed in to keep things interesting. Directions start from the car park at Michael Herbert Hall in Wilton. Following the route from there is about 20 km with 400m elevation in total or you can repeat the main 12km loop to take your total distance closer to 20 miles or 32km.
Turn left out of the car park, ride along the road to the crossroads where you turn left along the road and past the Bear Inn.
When the main road carries on left, turn off right onto a residential street, carry on under the railway bridge then turn left onto the track heading up the hill.
When the track forks keep right to head up to Grovely Woods where you’ll see a green gate at the top of the climb. Turn left onto the single track just past the gate.
As the singletrack ends you will meet another main track, turn left onto the track and turn out of the woods. Carry on down this track untill it meets the A30 near Burcombe.
Turn right onto the main road briefly before turning left taking the road to the next farmyard. Here ride past the yard and onto the steep climb.
When you reach the next set of tracks turn left into the trees and left again down a singletrack descent after about 400m. Turn right back up the hill when you meet the next track and keep on climbing straight up untill you hit the ox drove.
Turn right onto the drove for about 1km, turn right again at the next gate onto a grassy track. Keep left as you follow the track into some tree lined singletrack back down to the A30 near Barford St Martin.
At the road turn right heading towards Barford St Martin, turn off onto Grovely Road leading you past the pub and back up towards the woods.
Turn right at the next track onto a chalky double trail (which can be super slippy in the wet!) follow this trail untill you reach the next set of tracks.
When you hit the tracks you can turn right and complete another 12km loop taking your total distance to 32km / 20 miles. Alternatively you can cross straight over to head back towards Wilton.
Turn right at the end of the trail and follow the descent back down to the railway bridge. You can then follow the roads back to the start.
Hidden away in the Quantocks the downhill tracks at Triscombe are some of my personal favourites. There’s something like 25 – 30 tracks of Red/Black grade which ride really well in all weather conditions plus everything is accessible from a short fireroad which can be pushed or pedalled up in less than 10 minutes. What more could you possibly want!
You’ll need to be a confident rider for this trip, most of the big features are totally avoidable however you should be able to ride drops of 1 – 2 feet as a minimum skill level.
Don’t forget to let us know if you can make it on our Facebook events page.
Here we have all the dates for your MTB diaries up to the end of March 2018 to keep you riding right through to next spring.
Some of the dates and locations below will be subject to change. As soon as we finalise the plans for each ride we’ll post an event up on Facebook and also on the website. Just follow the links for more info:
After a brilliant club ride at Afan in the Summer we will be heading back on the 28 – 29th of October for a weekend away.
Camping is available for £3.50 per person per night at the at the visitor centre and you can find all the details you need for booking here: http://www.afanforestpark.co.uk/1936
There are a wide variety of trails available at Afan ranging from the Green Rookie trail up to the 44km W2 route which is a serious all-dayer! Details of all the trails and grades can be found here: http://www.afanforestpark.co.uk/1866
If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.