I'd been riding pretty hard. 100 miles in the past two weeks. And in between rides, I'd been feeling the burn. And then yesterday I blew out my back tire a couple miles from home. Anytime I go from riding to walking that quickly, I feel like an infant, unsure of their next step and as though I am moving so slowly. Instead of being home 10 minutes later, it was more like 45. My urge to get out and ride this morning was hundred by the blown out flat tire that awaited me. I walked my bike to Ride Brooklyn (best bike shop in the city IMHO) and asked an enthusiastic bike mechanic named Ricky to help me out. He not only fixed my flat, but he tightened my breaks, cleaned the chain, and pointed out that I was severely underutilizing my bike because of one simple adjustment that he could make for me. He told me that my seat was way too low and that he wanted to raise it up and see if I could feel the different.
Now, he wasn't the first person this week that had mentioned it. My sister Katie, the bike pro in the family, pointed it out and said I should make the tweak. So two people I knew knew their stuff both mentioned it, I was game to see what kind of adjustment should be made.
Six whole inches later, my bike seat looked awkwardly tall and almost dwarfed the height of the rest of my bike. I wasn't so sure that Ricky was overestimating how tall I actually am and that we'd need to scale back the adjustment once I hopped on. And sure enough, it felt as awkward as it looked. I was hunched much further over to reach the handle bars and sitting on the bike in the shop, I felt like a giant riding a trike. But, Ricky told me to take it out on the road and give it a shot, if we needed to change it we could, but to take it for a spin and lean into the adjustment and see if it wasn't a welcome fix after the awkwardness subsided.
So I took it for a spin. I headed up the slope of Park Slope and realized I wasn't struggling near as much as I had been in previous rides. My legs were getting fully extended and I was using the whole rotation of the pedals to power up the hill. My posture was leaned forward and my core was much more engaged. So I keep riding and before I knew it, I was 10 miles into my afternoon and barely breaking a sweat.
All because of one adjustment that aligned everything else.
It almost seemed to simple.
But there it was. As a result of a blowout requiring me to slow down in order to get back up to speed, I was back in action utilizing all of my potential with much more intention and far more impressive results. I was aligned with natural ability and height and making my bike do the work for me instead of slouching in my seat and only getting 30% of the power that I could.
Sometimes it just takes a little time and some outside help to understand where you are, what you have, and the higher potential that you could be achieving if everything was aligned.
We'll be talking about achieving that potential with all the resources, tools, and natural abilities you already have at this month's Exobase here in New York City. There are still seats available and I'd love to have you be a part of the experience. (SIGN UP HERE)