Get faster without training or spending money

Speeding cyclistIt’s the dream of all cyclists. Cycle faster with no training and no damage to the bank account. Sign me up, right? But is it possible? Very much so. You’ll be amazed how simple changes will make you ride faster.

The marketers may not like to admit that you’ll cycle faster simply by riding on the drops rather than buying an aero bike. Yet this is the reality. The tips below will make you a faster rider without any of that pesky cycling or spending any of your hard-earned dollars. So how do you do it?
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When is the best time to cycle?

cycling at nightDo we perform better in the morning or at night? Ask your girlfriend. Sorry, couldn’t resist. If it’s cycle training we’re talking, perhaps I can help. I experimented recently to answer that age old question, what time of day is best for training? The answer was pretty clear cut.

A little background. I’m not a morning person so immediately I should tell you that cycling later in the day is best. Yet living in London, nothing is so simple. Cycling very early in morning has the advantage of traffic free roads, plus all of the lovely things like sun rises, riding through the early morning mist, the morning chorus of bird song. I’m a huge fan of cycling in the morning, as I’ve blogged about previously. It may be more enjoyable but is it the best time of day for you physically?

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Not riding

Bike cleaningSomething is wrong. In the universe? No, just me. I have stopped cycling. For a little bit. Which is a big thing for this serial overtrainer. Rest time. Not that my body is listening…

I fall asleep, my legs spinning. No wonder I’m always tired, I’m logging extra miles in my dreams. Yet Strava registers no such rides. Spinning in my sleep actually happens. True story. And yes, I’ve asked my girlfriend to monitor my cadence.

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The ABC of turbo trainers – A buyer’s guide

Turbo trainer session

It has happened. I have turned to the dark side of cycling and bought a turbo trainer. I shun daylight, vitamin D no longer required. I now ride in my pain cave, aka, my hallway. Is this even cycling?

My first ever turbo session was an hour long zone two challenge. It will also be my last zone two session on a turbo. Why? Well I bought the damn thing for intervals not for pootling about or mimicking rides to the cafe. Yet I was excited whilst also being fairly ill. Man flu ahoy. Bashing out snot covered intervals was not a good idea.

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The thin red line | A tempo ride

formentor-3Charting the emotions of a tempo ride to the Formentor lighthouse, Majorca’s best cycling route.


Dawn. Sun yawning. Sky, sea, eyes pink. I set off, legs still snoozing. Air warm, thick, already. Streets empty, beach deserted. The masts on the boats in the harbour clank and clatter, ringing in the new morning, birds waking, the roost all a tweeting, more a cacophony than a chorus.

Legs spinning reluctantly, the warm up for the climb ahead is a quaint dawdle along the beach front, eyes glued to the ever changing colour of the sea and sky, red now, almost orange, the day warming up quicker than my legs.

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A return to Majorca – Flat rides, hard rides

majorca-return-2Returning to ride in Majorca was a little like meeting an old friend. We knew one another’s ways, we respected the other yet said little, mutual appreciation unspoken.

For Majorca is a cyclist’s friend, smooth roads, manageable mountains, rolling hills, billions of hairpins, long coastal roads, picturesque rides through orange groves and verdant valleys. Oh and did I mention the weather? Sun, and lots of it.

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Strava premium training plans – review

Strava badgesHello, my name is Human Cyclist and I am a cycle training addict. I enjoy abusing my body nearly every day. I cannot get enough. Be it the highs of climbing repeats, the adrenaline of power intervals or the rush of speed intervals.

Tired of the regular Sunday ride, I recently turned to the dark side of cycling to follow a proper training plan. No more cycling as I please, where I wanted, when I wanted. Now I truly was at the mercy of my addiction. What can I say? It’s a love-hate thing.

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Cycle training proper – Hello intervals

Cycle trainingA confession. I’ve been lying to you. To myself. All these years I’ve not been cycle training. I was just… riding. Riding hard for sure, too hard. Yet this is not training. This is idiocy. A recipe for burnout and overtraining.

Deep down I knew this, that’s why I used quote marks when using the word. ‘Training’, I wrote, trying to give my life rides definition, meaning. Not that I needed to. Fun and enjoyment are reasons enough yet the inner chimp does not understand such concepts.

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Why I love cycling in London

Cycling in LondonCycling in London gets a lot of bad press. It’s dangerous, it’s smog filled, it’s insanity. Yet I love it! Why? Well most of the scare stories are not true. The mass hysteria played out in the media is not representative of the road. Is cycling in London dangerous? No more so than crossing the road as a pedestrian.

Yet London is busy, there’s no arguing with that. I love cycling to escape, so how can I enjoy riding in a city heaving with a gazillion people? I enjoy cycling for this very reason. It provides escape even in the most crowded of environments.

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The impact of mental stress on cycling recovery

Tired cyclistStress. What is it good for? True, we ride hard to stress, and ultimately strengthen, our muscles. Riding a bike can also help reduce our mental stress. Yet what impact does mental stress have on our recovery after a cycle ride? If we are too stressed is our physical ability impacted and thus the quality of our ride dips?

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