Cross Training?

We often find ourselves needing to recharge mentally when we reach the winter. We are looking for something else to do. It is also a good time to switch it up and focus on other muscle groups. Improving other muscle groups can help to improve stability and control on the bike.

Working on postural muscles is a plus. We really don’t work on this during cycling but we stress those muscles. Look to nordic skiing, walking, or some other load bearing sport.

It’s ok to do something different in January.

How to set FTP

First, we need to know what FTP is. FTP stands for Functional Threshold Power. This is something that an academic researcher developed in Texas. This was not developed by a pro team’s coach. FTP is the power that you can produce for one hour within an aerobic capacity. You don’t necessarily have the ability to sustain this power for 2 hours. You can produce this power for 1 hour without any interruption.

How do we typically set FTP? We listen to folks with training programs. They have us take a test for 20 minutes and multiple the power by 95%. This does not work. Zwift does the same thing.

Were you riding through a big climb in Zwift and it lasted for 20 minutes? You set a new power record. Your heart rate was 180bpm. Perhaps you only spun the cranks at 55rpm. Was this not anaerobic? Zwift applied the 95 percentage against your new power record and displayed a window. Within the window it stated that your FTP increased. Can we rely upon this display?

Well not quite. Your heart rate was 180. Was this aerobic? No.

The best way to determine your FTP and your actual zones is to complete the 1 hour test. You might want to rest for two days to ensure full recovery prior to completing the FTP test.

warm-up for 20 minutes; ride for 1 hour.

While you are pedaling for the 1 hour, try to reach a heart rate in the 150 to 165 range. Hold your efforts while you maintain this heart beat. Pick flat terrain for this effort. Try to avoid stop lights and other traffic control devices. Pick a route with long sections that do not require stopping.

It takes practice to maintain that smooth pace and produce the power for an hour. If you don’t feel that you succeeded on the first try, then repeat the process on another day.

When you finished pedaling the second section, use the average power of the second section as your FTP.

Quick Tip – higher than normal resting heart rate

Use a Fitbit or another watch such as an Apple Watch to track your heart beat. The secret way to know when you need to take it is easy is now quantifiable. Use your watch.

Establish your normal resting heart rate. When you wake up, if your resting heart rate is higher than normal, then cut off the day’s intervals or take a rest day. For instance, if I wake up and my heart rate is 65, then I will reduce the work load. My average heart rate is 60. My body is recovering and needs time to make adaptations.

Pacelining tips

Think of paceline riding as team riding. It requires cooperation and a lot more than just keeping up. It calls for focused attention, taking responsibility and leading. When riding in a paceline observe the following:

  • Ride to the right − pull off to your left.
  • Ride in a straight line following the rider in front of you.  Do not swerve or brake without warning. Pedal through bumps in the road − do not swerve around them. Don’t panic and jam on your brakes − the bike behind will run right up your rear wheel. Feather your brakes to modulate speed.
  • Always Pedal.  No coasting.  Always pedal down hills.
  • Keep your head up and your eyes scanning up the road as much as possible. Do not get hypnotized by the wheel in front of you. Use your peripheral vision to monitor the wheel in front of yours while you watch the road and riders ahead. You can then better see the paceline slowing or accelerating, as well as traffic lights and stop signs and you will be better prepared to react to any situation.
  • Do not overlap the rear wheel of the bike in front of you.  Keep your wheel in line with the rear wheel in front of you.
  • Keep the same distance between you and the rider in front of you.  If it requires more energy momentarily, expend it.  Don’t create a yo-yo.  It makes it much harder for the folks behind you, if you open a gap.
  • When at the front of the group, pedal smoothly at all times, even down hills. You will need to keep pedaling on the down hills so that the bikes in back of you do not have to brake in order to avoid riding up your rear wheel.
  • When at the front you are the eyes of the paceline. Watch for hazards. Ideally you will see a hazard far enough in advance to move the path of the paceline well clear of it. Call out obstacles or holes in the road as well as your intentions to slow or stop. Every rider in the paceline is depending on you − you at the front of the line. Not every single hole warrants a shout. Call out hazards, don’t call out little bumps. Ride through rough spots by rising slightly off your saddle and pedaling through.
  • When at the front of the paceline and it is time to pull off, maintain the same steady pace.  Move to the side.  When clear of the paceline connect to the back of the line.  Pull in behind the last bike.
  • Stay at the front only for as long as you’re directed, shorter if you are feeling tired. When a rider has pulled off and approaches the back of the group the last rider should call “LAST” so the rider coming back won’t have to chase to get back on.
  • When taking the lead in a paceline do not surge or pick up the overall pace. Maintain the same speed as when drafting. As you take over you will naturally have to put out more effort. Learn to finesse your effort in order to maintain a smooth transition as you take over. If you are tired, make your turn at the front as short as possible. No one has to prove anything at the front.
  • A great group works together! We keep the people together.  We ride at 20.25 instead of 21mph, if everyone can hang together.

Quick tip – Faster level gain in Zwift

How do you level up faster in Zwift? Switch to KMH. By training in kilometers, you can also practice for your European or south American trip! Everyone save the American uses kilometers.

Zwift awards 3 experiences points for every 3 miles. However, they award 2 experience points for every 2 km. Since a kilometer is designed for a consistent basis of units and the mile is not, then there is a discrepancy in this application of experience points.

For every 60 points in mileage, you could have earned 100 points in kilometers.


Gravel/Beach Ride

Marshfield – Gurnet Point Lighthouse Ride (21 miles)DATE: Sunday, September 22, 2019 TIME: 9:00 AM START: Marshfield Town Hall

COFFEE/BATHROOM: Mile 15. Coffee/quiche/egg sandwich at French Memories. There are bathrooms and water near French Memories (I have confirmation from the Harbor Masters’ office that the bathrooms will be open).

CANCELLATION: Rain, heavy fog or an exceptional high tide cancels- will not be rescheduled due to a migration issue.SIGN UP: Please sign up on Strava.

WHO? Open to everyone.You must have a bike capable of riding on a gravel/sand road along with asphalt roads. You should be able to maintain 12 mph on asphalt. Example: hybrid, comfort, cyclecross or mountain bicycle

NO ROAD BIKES as they will not be able to negotiate the gravel/sand road. Speed 12 to 14 mph on the asphalt part of the ride. If you have not signed a SSB waiver, you will be asked to sign one.

QUESTIONS: Please post here or email

RIDE CO-CAPTAINS: Jack Hanratty and Paul Loiselle

Club P2P [Plymouth to Provincetown]

Please register on the Strava page at .

This is the second year that we are rolling the P2P. The date will be 7-13. Buy your ticket from Captain John. We will ride from Plymouth to the boat in Provincetown. Captain John will ferry you and your boat back to Plymouth.

If time allows then you can take an optional shower at the beach in the national seashore (free). We hope to eat at the Lobster Pot after the ride. 
There will be a stop at a point around mile 55 for sandwiches near a general store.

There will be two speed groups. There will be a sag wagon with look cleats ready to roll. One small bag of clothing and a towel will be taken for each rider from Plymouth to Ptown. *Small bag*

Parking is free at the start location. Park towards the end of the parking lot.

Road bikes required. 
Helmets required. 
Must sign SSB club waiver.

20Miles @ 12mph on 6-29-19

Slow riders – 12 to 14 MPH riders only 

The ride will be Saturday, June 29 at 8:00 am starting at the Marshfield Town Hall. This ride is open to 12 to 14 mph riders only. Please come at least 15 minutes early to sign the waiver and prepare your bicycle for the ride. You must have a helmet and be riding a road bicycle. No ebikes will be allowed on this ride.If you have already signed up on Strava, you need to sign up again. I was unable to change it, so I deleted it and started again. If you don’t have Strava, it is not necessary to sign up, please just show up. Signing up gives us an idea of how many maps and que sheets to bring.This route is still being vetted. The ride will take you from the back roads of Marshfield to the back roads of Duxbury, then onto the back roads of Pembroke, back into Marshfield to the Town Hall. I will post the map and que sheet when the vetting is complete. This route was designed specifically for this group ride.The ride should take a little more than two hours. There will be a coffee stop and a separate bathroom stop.Please post questions or comments below or send an email to

Ride will be posted as soon as the route has been thoroughly vetted. David Columbo and Paul will co-captain this ride.

-Everyone “must” wear a helmet 
-Everyone “must” sign a SSB waiver 
-Road bikes only, – No Ebikes 
(At this time, EBikes are allowed with the Marshfield 32 group only)