I recently picked up a new class at the YMCA. It’s at 9:15 am, which is a different time slot than I’m used to, allowing me to meet new members of our community. I started my class off as usual—introducing myself and asking if there were any new riders in the room. They quickly let me know they were all regulars, so I gave my typical spiel: “I don’t give gear numbers. Instead, I’m going to explain to you what the terrain feels like and it’s up to you to increase or decrease your resistance (gears) to get you there. Most of all, listen to your body—do what feels right for you and only you.” Then I rolled into the ride profile. It was a strength ride and we would be climbing. (Note: We have Keiser bikes with numbered gears.)
Halfway through class I saw a woman, Julie, grinding hard despite my asking for moderate intensity. I got off my bike, approached her, and asked her to ease up on the intensity and try to smooth out her pedal stroke.