I’ve been trying out all sorts of new stuff recently to make me go faster and I ran across an amazing fact I had no idea of before: good cyclists don’t just push down on their pedals; they also pull on them!
Well, sort of. I didn’t really understand the concept the first few rides I tried it and I ended up pulling back (from the green shoe to the red one in the diagram below) with my heel, if you follow. The result was that I was not doing anything good to my knee and it just felt all wrong. Then the other day I went out with John for a spin and he said that he’d heard the technique was like wiping mud off the bottom of your shoe (I discovered later that it was Greg Lemond who first came up with this simple, descriptive way to explain it) and since then it has gotten a lot easier.
Still though, it’s a weird sensation after all these years of riding. At first I was wobbling all over the place trying to get the technique down, then I would just simply forget to do it! I’m convinced that this will give me an edge (over who I don’t know, since everybody else is probably already doing it…) once I master it because when I’m concentrating the speed goes up immediately and pedaling becomes a bit easier.