Becky Jo's Carfree Life - Choose Your Form

Hey. Miss me? I miss you too. I have questions.

But first - TW and disclaimer. Everyone’s body is valid, and I don’t do weight/ability shaming. I think we know this about me, but just want to put it up here first. My choices are for my body. Aaaand my body is a 46 yr old woman who’s had 4 kids and has a minor swayback…meaning if I go over X weight and lose muscle mass, which over 40 is an extra battle, my lower back will go out. That’s the facts. Also, injury is more likely as we age. I’ve already got a tight Achilles & bone spur on my right from running - I have a wicked right pronate. I always joke I look like an ostrich on acid when I run.

Soooo, when quarantine first started, I was still biking quite a bit to the UPS store as we sold off a bunch of the husbeast’s vintage and imported gaming collection, but that ran out around October and was consequently biking less.

Approximately 8 pounds later… I realized that’s not sustainable. I’m a feeder. There’s all kinds of things to unpack there if one wanted, but it’s not something that changes, so it’s more feasible to change my activity level. I dragged my butt onto the stationary bike and started looking at YouTubes and found I like some of the GCN rides.

I’ve suspected my form isn’t perfect, in particular my feet placement. My back/butt/shoulders/arms are fine, but I know I use my quads way more than glutes/hamstrings. I also feel my feet likely aren’t correct. I wonder if they’re supposed to be more level…and less…tip-toe-y. I was riding this 50 minute workout today and LIGHTBULB! The audio & graphics explain how to engage my glutes more and how on a clock, the feet should be positioned for each muscle group. The “scraping the shoe” and it being “sticky” were key for me in addition to the clock visuals.


What are some of YOUR favorite form tutorials/graphics/videos…or maybe you have a way of remembering form? I just taught my 8 year old Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally for math order of operations…do you have something like that for cycling form? How do you like to move your body to change muscle groups? Do you have a favorite stationary bike workout? Obviously form isn’t only crucial to exercise bikes… do you have favorite ways to attack terrain out and about?

1 Like

I think the best thing I ever did for my cycling form was learning to ride a bike on rollers. It’s a lot like riding on ice (I’ve done that too), so it forces you to keep your form extremely smooth, lest you should start bouncing and skittering around.

Yeah, it’s scary at first, but just remind yourself that you’re not actually moving, so if you do fall it will be at zero MPH. Best to start in a doorway so you can catch yourself if you do start to tip over or ride off the ends.

In a similar vein, frequent practice at riding with no hands on the handlebars also teaches you how to be smooth. You learn quickly how to subtly shift your weight, and use your core to lean the bike. Of course, this is higher stakes than riding rollers since you’ll actually be in motion. Unless you learn to ride the rollers with no hands, that is… I’ve seen it done, but haven’t managed that feat yet myself.