Whether you are a beginner or an advanced rider, these tips will help you improve your overall class experience and ensure you nail every beat in class! How does one recognize the beat of the music? In rhythm cycling, we focus on stroking down the pedal on the downbeat of the beat. Let’s focus on what that is first.
What is the downbeat & upbeat of a song?
How do I recognize the downbeat? Count the beat of a song using 1 and 2 and 3 and 4. The “1, 2, 3, 4” of that beat is the downbeat, while the word “and” is the upbeat. That is the most accessible measure of the downbeat.
Now practice tapping your leading leg that you usually use in class to beat one of your favorite songs. If you’re unsure which leg your leading leg is, choose your right leg to tap. Did you find the downbeat?
You can implement the same strategy in class. Whenever you lose the beat, press the emergency brake right above the resistance button, slow down your legs, sit down on the saddle, adjust the resistance, find the beat and get back after it.
If you get to class early, start practicing getting the downbeat right, by listening to the intro music.
How do I improve my riding skills to the beat?
The tempo and resistance chosen determine the difficulty of you catching the beat. Most classes are structured in a way that you can build up your skills as you go through the class journey.
I always recommend riders to focus on these 3 points during their ride: Beat, resistance, and posture.
Once you start hearing the downbeat in the song, start adjusting your resistance to a level that allows you to pedal down to the downbeat. The resistance needs to be supportive of the beat yet challenging. If you feel that you are outrunning the rhythm, add on more resistance or vice versa. Your posture is determined by your bike setup & how much body awareness you currently have. If you’re unsure if you’re riding with a good posture, check out this article.