During your Ride class, you may hear your instructor calling out “one-two-one-two” or “right-left-right-left” signalling your timing and which foot should be striking down. This is how we get on the same rhythm, the same beat. You may find yourself on the right timing — maybe you know how to catch it or maybe it was a coincidence — or maybe you’re going hell-for-leather all the time and can’t be bothered with the beat. Maybe you’ve wondered why we try to align everyone at all, and maybe you think we just like to count and it doesn’t mean anything (spoiler: it does).
How do you catch it?
In addition to calling out the beat, your instructor should be guiding you through your resistance increases and decreases. Yes, this is part of the challenge, but it is also part of finding the beat. A heavier, slower beat calls for more resistance, while a quicker beat calls for less resistance (usually… sometimes we like to run up hills, too). And, if you ever find it impossible to keep the beat we are asking you to be on with the prescribed resistance, just take some off (and vice-versa, if it’s not heavy enough, add more!). A half turn for one person is not the same to another, it’s not one dial suits all.
If the resistance is ok but you’re still struggling to get on the beat, try speeding up until you’re inline with what the instructor is calling and the music. Always make sure you’re on the beat with your feet before you include any other choreography. This is for your safety and to make it all more possible. Tapping back on a different beat than your feet are on is much more difficult and awkward for you to maintain.
If it’s all too much and you’re still having trouble striking down at the time we are calling out, shut us out. It might seem counterproductive, but sometimes you need to ignore us and feel the beat of the track for yourself. Close your eyes (no one will see you) and listen with your whole body. Start to count for yourself in your head and you’ll soon be an expert at finding the beat (a blessing and a curse — try going dancing and not counting every song that comes on — and maybe accidentally tapping back to them as well).
Why do we bother?
So, we’re finally on the same beat. But you’re starting to feel tired. You’ve sprinted when we asked you to sprint. Climbed when we asked you to climb. You’ve tapped, you’ve pumped, and maybe you even managed a cheer when we asked you to cheer. But the instructor still wants more and keeps calling out “right-left-right,” trying to get you on the same foot.
When you press through your right foot, your right quad engages, your right oblique stabilizes. Your right calf takes you through the bottom of the stroke and your right hamstring and glute take over for the pull-up so you can do it again. Your whole body shifts and lowers to the right with every right stroke.
When your whole pack moves together, the connection starts as a physical and visual one. But when everyone is on the right, when everyone is low, when everyone strikes at the same time, on the same foot, it becomes more than just you on the bike. The beat starts to surround you. You feel your team working with you and you become a wave of energy, encouraging you to keep moving forward when you just want to slow down. You begin to want to be a part of this rhythm, because somehow they’ve become dependant on you, as you have on them. So even when you are tired, even when you’ve sprinted all the sprints, climbed all the climbs, when you’ve tapped and pumped, and when you’ve managed to spare just enough breath to cheer, your team is why it matters if you are on the same foot.
Now let's Ride…
It's unique, it's intense, it's a culture. Lights low, we Ride to the beat of inspired music. Take it to the next level and Ride with KTX Fitness this August.