Long time reader and contributor Lisa sent me this ride in November and I am just posting it now (sorry Lisa!) If you’ve checked out some of her other guest posts to the blog, you’ll know that your iPod will be a hipper place with her music suggestions on it, and every time she posts a ride, there’s at least one “where did she find THAT song?” moment of pure deliciousness. Plus, this ride includes four contenders for my list of the Top 25 Indoor Cycling Songs of 2013. Here’s Lisa:
In my September guest blog post I prattled on about how long it can take me to put together a playlist and profile for a 1 hour class. Well, guess what? Sometimes it doesn’t. Occasionally it gels really quickly. In this ride, I started with Chris Spins’ Under Control Cycling Mix (thanks Chris!) There were several songs I liked, but I ended up modifying it quite a bit. Some of my modifications were due to simple music preferences (e.g. I just needed a break from Tabata music), and some of my modifications were profile driven (e.g. Chris used Stompa as a heavy climb, but at 42/84 RPM I prefer it as a flat [Cynthia: I’m leaning toward using it as a climb, around 70 RPM]). I also mixed in some other music I’d been wanting to use. And, so I offer up to you, my version “Under Control-ish.” There are 3 stages, each with a 12-14 minute hill. If you have bikes with computers, it can be fun to compare efforts on each of the hills (tracking mileage, watt average, or calories burned) and set goals (either matching, or escalating targets for each segment). Since the hills get slightly shorter in each segment, even matching efforts from one hill to the next should result in greater challenge. [Cynthia: I wish we had bike computers at my gym.]
Here is the Spotify link.
[KEY: song time, total run time; BPM &/or RPM, effort level (easy/moderate/hard/very hard/breathless), Terrain (F= Flat, SC= seated climb, StC= Standing Climb, CH= Combo Hill, J= Jumps), + & – refers to increase or decrease in gear, ^ or v refers to increase or decrease in cadence.]
2:57, 80-100 RPM, F warm up, easy to moderate, gradually +
2) 2:57, 5:54; 87 RPM, F warm up continues. Hold RPM, gradually + (~3x), moving from moderate to hard
Stage 1: 13.5 min Climb, 3 min Flat
3) 3:24, 9:18; 65 RPM; Hard, CH, St :38-1:07, 1:37-2:20, 2:50-3:20(end) 30/40/30 (add gear in mid of each, back off when S in between) [Cynthia: I used this song for the first time a couple of weeks ago and have been humming it ever since. Total earworm.]
4) 3:29, 12:47; 60 RPM, Hard-Very Hard, CH, 15/15-30/15-30 ^ :57-1:13, 20:01-2:15 or 33, 2:50-3:09 or 23
5) 3:44, 16:31; 61 RPM, Hard-Very Hard SC, -1:20, + 1:50, -2:20, +2:54, -3:25
6) 2:50, 19:21, 64 RPM, Hard-V Hard StC [Cynthia: Great new Flo Rida]
7) 3:05, 22:26; 84 RPM, Easy-Mod-Hard Flat, recovery, then into headwind.
Stage 2: 13 min Climb, 6.5min Flat
9) 3:15, 28:46, 60 RPM; Mod-Hard Jumps [Cynthia: would never have thought to use this in a cycling class but it’s awesome!]
10) 3:10, 31:56; 64 RPM, Hard CH, St :38-1:23, 2:22-end [For me, this was the moment of musical deliciousness for this ride. According to Wikipedia, this Aussie tune went Top 10 in Belgium and Poland, but didn’t chart in Australia or North America. See? How did she find it?]
11) 3:26, 35:22, 69 RPM with surges, SC (3x 30 sec Very Hard pushes). Starting at :30 Mod, 1:10 Very Hard, 1:40-1:55 easy, 1:55-2:25 Very Hard, 2:25- 40 easy, 2:40-3:3:20 very hard)
12) 3:23, 38:45; 78 RPM, Easy-Mod-Hard Flat, recovery, then into headwind. Riders can start this F at a higher cadence, but must + in the last minute to bring cadence down to 78 (this is important for the drill in the next song to work)
13) 3:01, 41:46, 99 RPM, Very Hard-Hard Flat, 1 min on/off/on, “off” at 1:03- 2:08. Keep gear where it was in last song, but instead of going 78 RPM, ^ up to about 99 RPM (this should shift work into Very Hard territory) for both of the one minute “on” segments. [Cynthia: this one has a cool Michael Jackson vibe.]
Stage 3: 12.5 min Climb, 5 min Flat/cool down
14) 4:10, 45:56, 62 RPM, Hard CH St :40-1:10, 1:24-56, 2:27-3, 3:29-end [Cynthia: I could use this song every ride and not get tired of it.]
15) 4:01, 49.57; 63 RPM, Hard-Very Hard, SC +1:16-50, 3:26-4/end
16) 4:08, 54:05, 64-94 RPM, Hard-Very Hard – Breathless CH, 3 intervals 45/45/30, ^ & then St for last 15 seconds of each interval to take it into breathless. :45-1:15-1:30, 2-2:30-2:45, 3:35-3:50-4:05/end [Cynthia: this is the clean version.]
17-19) Cool Down Music du jour (in my Spotify playlist I currently have A Beautiful Day by India.Arie, Feelin’ Groovy by Simon & Garfunkel, and Salala by Angelique Kidjo).
[Cynthia: Gentlemen, you may choose to skip this next bit…]
In completely unrelated news, I thought I’d use this platform to get something else off my chest (pun intended). The whole brouhaha with Lululemon’s disdain for customers with touching thighs got me thinking. [Cynthia: Full disclosure: I own Lululemon stock. I was, and remain, mightily impressed with the company for creating flattering, durable workout gear. Not so impressed with founder Chip Wilson’s “thigh rubbing” and other comments.]
I am getting seriously annoyed at the poor choices out there in athletic gear for well-endowed women (D cup or higher). I teach 4-5 indoor cycle classes a week. I wear a lot of athletic gear. I’ve shopped at all the obvious places (Lululemon, Lucy, Athleta) and many less obvious (Costco has surprisingly nice workout pants). They all completely fail to address the needs of us curvy-up-top gals. I am constantly struggling with two things (ok, those two things, but two other things): sports bras and tank tops.
My specific issues:
(1) Built-in Shelf bras (that are built-in to the majority of cute tanks out there): Are they serious? At best they are useless for even the most sedate activities. A downward dog in a gentle yoga class with only a shelf bra built into my tank top? -> boulder landslide. At worst, they cut across the bust in weird places, rendering the top unwearable, even with a better bra underneath.
(2) Tanks: What is the deal with 99% of the tanks having a T-back, but 99% of the really supportive sports bras being regular (non-T-back) style? I am almost always wearing a tank that shows my bra straps in the back – a look I thought I’d given up at age 19, but am forced to continue to flaunt. This is made worse by the fact that I teach classes with my back to the mirror, so everyone gets a clear view of this fashion. Why, why, why can’t there be more non-T-back tanks???
Also, let’s talk about the scoop neck. Since I teach cycle with my back to the mirror, it took me longer to realize this than I’d like to admit, but one day while taking another teacher’s class (so I was facing the mirror for a change), I realized that my top that had seemed modest whilst upright, became quite revealing when I leaned over my handlebars. Oh my. Talk about your low hanging fruit. You wanna know what’s even harder to find than a non-T-back tank? A tank with a higher cut neckline. And if you’re in the market for a tank that is non-T-back AND has a higher neck line … Good. Freaking. Luck. In 6 years, I’ve found exactly 2. Between wearings I store them in a fireproof safe, along with all my other most highly prized belongings.
(3) Bras: Good grief. The selection for women with D+ cups is pretty sad. We cannot wear those pull over stretchy things. They’re like the shelf bras without the tank on top. Useless for support, fantastic at creating mondo-uniboobs. Memo to manufacturers – just do the world a favor and stop making them in our size. The good news is that, unlike tanks, there have at least been some attempts at creating other styles of sports bras for the D+ population. I’ve tried many. The Enell High Impact Sports Bra is a distant relative of the boa constrictor, I’m pretty sure. Athleta has a better selection than any of its competitors, but they are all cut pretty low, and since I can’t find a tank to cover me up, I’m looking for my bra to help in this area, so I haven’t found the perfect one. Manufacturer Moving Comfort has the best choices. Right now, I rely on the Moving Comfort Women’s Maia Bra because it offers decent support as well as a high neckline (so it looks almost as if I layered an additional tank underneath, rather than seeing “my bra”), however, it does not come in a T-back, so I’m always flashing my straps (super classy & professional – not). [Note: the links are Amazon Affiliate links]
Some cyclists will tell me: just wear a cycling jersey. Thing is, (a) I find most of those unflattering, and (b) they’re overkill for an hour indoor class. I don’t need pockets to hold snacks, or gloves, etc. like I would on an outdoor ride. I’d just like an attractive, professionally appropriate tank, like my lesser endowed sisters get to wear. Is that so much to ask?
Now – who wants to start a business with me?
Cynthia again: Sadly, I am of no help to Lisa in this department and I will leave it at that. But if you’ve found the sports-bra-of-your-dreams, drop us a comment and tell us about it!