Ride Domestique

Celebrating the spirit of cycling

Muddy bumpy roads on my ride in reminded me of an essential skill for all riders.

While we may never crush it on the Pave, handling a road bike on a rough, unpaved surface is still a good thing to know how to do.

So watch the masters above, and then keep reading.

First, that attack. Beautiful. Unstoppable. Second, pay attention to how Boonen and Cancellara ride on the pave. High gear, slow leg turnover, smooth as glass. That’s important. On smooth roads your stroke can be rough, your power can be peaky. On rough roads you have to be smooth, the power has to be even.

That’s why mountain bike riders tend to have the most even power distribution around their pedal strokes. Because to go fast on rough you have to be smooth.

So the next time the road turns to garbage around you, gear up, slow down your legs, focus on being smooth, keep your hands wide, and fly across the pave. Just like the masters.

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