The Post Where I Talk About Watts

About a month ago, I had lunch with a former colleague and we got to chatting about sportz. Somehow I mentioned that I’d done a few tris last year.

“You have talk to my friend Jeanne!” she said. Jeanne is an awesome triathlete and one of the founders of T2, an indoor cycling studio on real bikes.

And so I found myself reading and researching a whole lot more about cycling, and even writing an article about it for work, that’s going live tomorrow. (One of the cool things about my job: when I want to learn more about something, I can usually write about it. Like how to conquer your fear of the open water swim.)

When I was trying to train for tris last year, several people recommended either getting a CompuTrainer or trying out a class. I didn’t want to invest in a trainer when I a) live in a studio apartment and b) wasn’t sure how into cycling I would or wouldn’t get. 

I didn’t try a class, because I was scared. I am a terrible cyclist, and I have no idea what I’m doing, and I didn’t want to look like an idiot.

But I couldn’t write about T2 without trying it, and so I finally took a class there Monday night.

T2 NYC

SO MANY BIKES!

ComputrainerScreen

photo via T2

So how this place works: you can either bring your own bike or they have a fleet of fancy Specialized bikes. It was raining on Monday, so I chose to just use one of their bikes. It’s mounted on the CompuTrainer, and you follow along to these rides on the screen, and the trainer can simulate an incline. OH CAN IT! On the screen, you can see your distance, MPH, gap from lead rider, RPM and watts. I had heard about this #watts concept from following triathletes on the Twitters but wasn’t super-familiar with it myself. Basically, watts are a measure of the power you are (or not, in my case, ha) producing on the bike.

One of my Junior League buddies, Sarah, is a T2 devotee, so I dragged her along for the ride, too. And thank god! It was really nice to have her next to me, helping me calibrate my bike and explaining when I’d want to shift, etc. 

In the class I took on Monday, we did a warm-up, followed by a block of 7-8 minutes hard work, followed by a nice flat road recovery for a bit, followed by 18 minutes of hard work, followed by the best cool-down of my life. During these blocks of “hard work,” we started with a 70-80% effort level, brought it up to 80-90%, then to 100% for intervals of either one or two minutes, depending on the length of the interval. Needless to say, 100% effort is REALLY HARD.

T2 sign color

photo via T2

When shit got real, I found myself staring at this sign on the wall and daydreaming about the summer.

I’m back to focusing on running this year, so I don’t foresee myself becoming a regular here, but I’ve heard amazing results from people who train here. Since it’s really hard to get speed riding in NYC without killing someone, T2 is an awesome place to work on speed and get faster for tris or other bike races, if you’re into that kind of thing.

Jeanne also told me about some awesome stuff for female cyclists. Specialized has declared May 31 Women’s Ride Day and is hosting events around the country. Bicycle Habitat has put together an awesome women’s ride program that includes weekday rides in Central Park and Prospect Park and weekend long rides.

Your first class at T2 is free if you go to T2NYC.com, pick a 45- or 60-minute class and email info@t2nyc.com with subject FIRST CLASS FREE…or, since I’m all about the giveaways lately, you can enter below to win a pack of five classes ($164 value) to T2. They’re also on ClassPass.

To enter, leave me a comment telling me either your favorite cycling tip, or, if you’re a weenie like me, why you’re afraid of cycling.

17 comments on “The Post Where I Talk About Watts

  1. Fiona @ Get Fit Fiona

    There’s a beautiful park near me with lots of walking and biking trails. I have yet to bring my bike there though because one of the main biking trails is on the hill with a 100 foot drop down to the river. I’m fine on that path by foot, but the thought of riding my bike along it makes me really nervous!

    Reply
  2. Ash Diamond

    My favorite cycling tip was learning how to properly shift gears and to clip only one foot in if you’re not feeling great and to switch half way through your ride. I would love to win this and give it a try during a trip!

    Reply
  3. Katie

    I have so many bike fears. Mainly about popping a tire and being stranded. Or any other mechanical issue. Also, how many times can I comment to try and win the five classes? Cause I’ll be in town May 11-15 and would love to overdose on this!

    Reply
  4. Gwynna

    So excited you got to try out T2! (you see how I didn’t make a tri pun there… ;)) I find it is an awesome backup plan for bad weather, but really, I go when I’m feeling crummy. If I’m bored or lonely or feeling down about my riding, I go to T2 and the world gets so much better. I can see friends, meet new people, get power numbers (I don’t have a power meter), AND burn calories! They have such high quality workouts that are very real-world focused. Nothing against spin and similar, but you can’t beat being on a real bike doing workouts that mimic the real world. I imagine if I was training for a long tri and needed time in the aerobars, this would be a great, safe place to do that.

    And as you found, they are so ridiculously pro-women without ever pink-washing or dumbing down that it is hard to believe how other parts of the cycling world haven’t figured the same thing out!

    Reply
  5. Victoria

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!! Training with power is THE BEST and it’s SO COOL that you got to experience it. Total game changer and makes cycling workouts more efficient, so “train with power” would be my biggest cycling tip for somebody who wants to improve their cycling.

    Well, that might be second to “just ride your bike everywhere you can as often as you can” because when I did that, I got a lot faster.

    Reply
  6. Emma

    T2 looks amazing! My favorite cycling tip is always about form because it makes such a difference in your cycling workout. I’m definitely guilty of having my shoulders in my ears when I start to zone out on the bike and know how important it is to check your form!

    Reply
  7. Lauren

    Wow – that looks like an awesome place! Using a trainer is also a great way to practice clipping in and out for newbie cyclists who are scared of doing it while moving.

    Reply
    1. Gwynna

      @Lauren: Great point, Lauren! It’s also an awesome way to learn shifting – as the computer adjusts resistance, it simulates hills, so you can learn when and where and how to shift. And you can learn how to grab your water bottle without looking – a super important skill when group riding!

      Reply
  8. Jeanne Meyer

    Any of you NYC area ladies who want to a) ride outside, visit http://womenscyclingnyc.com/ and check the sked for Prospect Park, Central Park and NYC area weekend rides, plus workshops, clinics and socials. I’m doing a Cycling for Triathletes seminar for all ranges of people at Bicycle Habitat on May 13th. SoHo. 7:30 p.m.
    Here’s a whole list of events: http://www.eventbrite.com/o/bicycle-habitat-womens-cycling-7980271586

    Aand…if you want to get your first class free at T2, just register an account at http://www.t2nyc.com, check the schedule and email info@t2nyc.com with FIRST CLASS FREE in subject line, and let ’em know which 60 or 45 min class you’d like to join. Specialiized bike rental will be on T2 for this first class.

    Reply
  9. Kat

    My biggest fear right now is to fall off my bike, haha.. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I just got my first clipless roadshoes and need to get used to the clipping. I’m a total newbie but I got sooooooooo passionate about cycling in a matter of weeks, that I really hope I win the prize so I can work on building my skills!! 🙂

    Reply
  10. Kat

    …and one more thing: The link in the last paragraph that says “T2NYC.com”, actually points to “womenscyclingnyc.com”. 😉 No biggie, but I thought I mention it. Both links are definitely worth checking out!! 🙂

    Reply
  11. Tracy Schwartz

    My father is an avid cyclist who will go out on any given weekend and ride a century. I have always been scared of hills and he is a pro at them. One day we were out on bikes and his best tip was “breathe and remember you can always get back up” and since it has stuck with me.

    He also hates that I can clip in but I am a work in progress!

    Looks like such a great class!

    Reply

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