Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Every fourth day in indoor cycling we do a class I label as Fun. I get to choose something out of the ordinary which lets people put the learning of the preceding classes into practice. I like doing simulated race days because they are a reinforcer for those who want to go hard - a reward for putting up with the education I impose on them at other times. I also like the simulations because I can use my story, music and visuals (maps and photographs) to create an atmosphere which inspires some people to work harder than they ever dreamed they could.
Today's classes were a re-creation of the last two climbs from Stage 18 of the 2015 Tour de France. Each time I put this image on the screen people gasped.
This is the Lacets de Montvernier, 3.2 km of climbing including 17 switchbacks and 18 'laces'. The average grade is 8.7% which is very steep on a bike. The grade increases briefly to 10-12 % on each turn.
It occurred to me that their very strong reaction is because it looks like real life - some hard work, you turn the corner and there is another struggle ahead. Or maybe I am just extrapolating that explanation from how my last few months have felt.