Who would have thought that riding on water would be the perfect way to develop an efficient pedal stroke.
Recently I had the opportunity to have a state-of-the-art Wattbike installed in our Hamilton clinic, and one of the biggest revelations was just how efficient my own stroke was. So why was that I thought?
Thinking about it there was only one answer – the Akwakat.
You see unlike riding a bike on the road, when you ride on water there is constant resistance as the drag from the surface area of the pontoons is always wanting to slow you down, perhaps bit a like riding with a handful of brake.
With constant resistance you have immediate feedback from the pedals so as soon as your power tapers off you will slow down, so to ensure a smooth ride on the water you need to have smooth and very efficient pedal stroke using as much of the 360 degree stroke as possible to deliver energy to the drive unit.
What makes a perfect stroke even better is that when you produce usable energy from as much of the stroke as possible, you actually require less effort overall to deliver the same power as an inefficient stroke. Imagine driving your car by pushing hard on the accelerator and then releasing, repeating this action over and over until you reach your destination – now two things will have happened, you will have used a lot more fuel and never achieved any sustainable speed. Now try the same journey by pushing lightly on the accelerator and maintaining that pressure for the same journey – result, you probably got there faster and used less fuel. Your body is a machine and effectively works the same way.
Riding smarter instead of riding harder can make all the difference in not just competition, but also when riding for leisure.
By riding on water I subconsciously taught myself to do exactly that!
Akwakat is a New Zealand designed and manufactured temporary conversion kit that allows a 26″ wheel MTB to be used as a human powered water craft and after used converted back to a standard bike.