Picture this sequence of movements: 1:00 seated climb to a 1:00 standing climb into jumps on a hill for 30 seconds. How would you cue your riders on the transitions?
Would you cue to add resistance a few seconds before they get out of the saddle (seated to standing climb), then accelerate when they reach hand position three to gain momentum, then level off and hold? Would you cue a resistance change from the standing climb into the jumps?
Or, would you challenge them to find resistance in the saddle that was strong enough to nail the standing climb and the jumps so that no resistance change was needed?
These are just two options. There is no right or wrong, but there are considerations.
If you’re challenging your riders to add resistance during the standing climb and they are in a really big gear by the time they are going to jump, consider offering a regression to lessen resistance so that they don’t strain their knees and/or low back, especially if you have less fit riders or riders with known issues.
Duration of the movements is also a consideration. Shorter sequences like the one in our example generally lend themselves to cuing to big a gear and challenging your riders to hold RPMs steady throughout the sequence.
If you challenge your riders to hold resistance in the saddle from a standing climb when using longer sequences, i.e. 3:00 standing climb back to a two minute seated climb where it’s more likely you’ll cue riders to add resistance during the three minutes, pay close attention to rider’s form and RPMs when they return to the saddle. Many of our riders don’t know how to listen to their bodies. Combine that with their desire to do what we challenge them to do, and with the stubborn belief that the harder the better (no matter what we say), and we can create potential for some pretty ugly form breakdowns and possible strains.
Creating rides is like creating songs: our movements are our notes; there are only so many, but we get to creatively sequence and hold them to make each ride unique. If you keep the science behind safety in the mix, you can’t go wrong. Have fun and stay awesome!