What? You train on that?


Yes 🙂 I train on that.

Every ride is an opportunity to train. An opportunity to get stronger and faster. Even while commuting.

Thatch is heavy compared to both Chas and Lou. A good 10 pounds. More when her panniers are loaded. She’s not built for speed. Riding with Thatch is like running with ankle and wrist weights. But once rolling, she cruises along at 25-35 kph on the flats. And, she could move faster with larger chainrings.

I have a 30 km ride home from the office. Longer if I want. Thatch and I use it as a workout of sorts. I work on 3 things.


What’s that?, you ask.

It’s the difference between a good cyclist and an excellent one. The difference between fast and faster. It’s climbing faster with less effort. It’s using all of your leg muscles throughout the pedal stroke. No dead spots. It’s feeling your feet move forward at the top of the stroke. It’s scraping mud off your shoe as the bottom. It’s pulling up on the way back to the top of the stroke. And, it’s doing all this without thinking about it.


Thatch has smaller chainrings. It’s easier to maintain a higher cadence, and necessary to travel quickly. I focus on maintaing a high cadence for extended periods. I do a 45 minute sprint, a TT if you like, to my favourite resting spot overlooking English Bay, all the while maintaining a high, consistent cadence.


I live atop a mountain. Every trip home includes a 3 km climb with a grade ranging from 3-10%. On Thatch, it’s a workout. Remember, she carries an extra 10 pounds. This is when pedalling-in-circles at a high cadence makes a big difference.

By the time the weekend rolls around, and they are getting longer each year, I welcome the opportunity to cycle with Chas and Lou. After several days on Thatch, Chas and Lou feel like race horses, or a Lamborghini.

Thatch makes me a better technical cyclist, builds power, increases my stamina, and makes me appreciate Chas and Lou even more.


8 thoughts on “What? You train on that?

  1. A person can train on anything! Sometimes it’s not about how fast you go, but simply that you are riding consistently. I even consider time towing my kid in his bike trailer as training because the added weight makes the hills that much harder.

  2. This post reminds me that soon I will switch out my road bike for a mountain bike. I wonder if I will find it annoying to abandon my new found love of speed. But I think I will be okay because there will be snow to play in 😉

  3. Yes, riding all types of bikes for a good distance is training. It amuses my partner and I, some roadie cyclists get overly torqued /worried about “weight” of panniers. Then…to us….are they really that strong? They probably are…but just fussing like old sedentary ladies.

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