Staying out of the bottom 2

“Staying out of the bottom 2”  has become a common phrase thanks to the prevalence of competition style TV shows.  But for me it has taken a new meaning.  While cycling this weekend, and doing a ride that had a few climbs in it, I made a conscious effort to stay out of the bottom 2… gear rings that is.  Whenever I was in a pretty decent climb I kept double checking my back cassette to make sure I wasn’t in my lowest/easiest gears.  We did the same ride last week and I know I bottomed out in my gears.  But yesterday,  I managed to stay out of the bottom two all day!  This is great for my confidence because it shows that I am making progress in the cycling.  Cycling is the most challenging discipline for me and I am pleased to keep making progress!

Elevation profile from ride on 6/18/2011

Click here for complete Garmin data from the ride (I know some of you like the data as much as I do!)



  1. Great job!! I’m able to ride in my higer gears all the time, but cycling is my stronger discipline…after swimming. My poor husband has such a hard time and is always in lower gears despite me telling him to work out of them. HOWEVER, he’s a runner and once we get off that bike he’s cruising at 7min miles while I’m strugglin’ to hit 9s…so I put in a lot of time running hill repeats…

  2. I didn’t like how this sounded and my cell AND DSL liine went out at the same time…of course I couldn’t EDIT it after I hit send so now you are lucky enough to get 2 comments from me !!!! We, in this house, struggle with being a stonger cyclist (me) vs stronger runner (hubs) every weekend when we do our longs together. My husband is not a slight man at 6ft and 180lbs, but has always had that ability to to decide on a whim that he wanted to run a 10k (w/ nothing more than running a mile prior to his lifting w/o’s) w/ me and then come back with an award. When we swam in high school/college he was always faster, better than most….still is, but you’d expect that. He CAN NOT figure out why he has such a hard time cycling…WHICH brings me to your post about staying out of the lower gears (see I was gettin’ there)…when he rides in the mid-uppers his legs burn (duh??!!) and no matter how many of my exercise phys textbooks I pullout (and hes a MD so he should get all this too) and try to explain finding that threshold balance he REFUSES to listen…he shifts down and rides in the lowers…spinning like RoadRunner…if he’d just put in the effort, like you have, he’d see the fruits of his labor…but it’s hard and everything else has been so easy…errrrrrr
    I have the same problem running…I have killed myself and run to my vomit threshold for the past year to get my times to just around 9 min mile or a tad under…I continue to work at it b/c I SUCK at running for whatever reason (bad form, HUGE legs that grow daily w/ riding??, slow turnover, who knows) but we do what it takes and its suppose to hurt a little…it’s how we get better…
    I love to read how you put in the work and see the reward because it’s hard and it’s frustrating. And its hard to watch someone work so hard and know it’s just gonna take time…You are a fabulous, shining example for others!!

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