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Old 08-28-07, 06:41 PM   #1
CrimsonKarter21
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Bicycling Tip That Works!

Holy Cyprinidae!
We all know how, slathered on the cover of every month's issue of Bicycling, there's the big blue or pink phrase: "Get in the best shape of your life in 15 seconds without diet, exercise or committment!". But one of their somewhat recent articles, "Do not do these exercises, EVER! Unless you want to be really, really fast." or sometihng like that, they mentioned that you get fast by motorpacing people.

Well, on a ride yesterday, I caught an unsuspecting, oblivious soccor-mom driving a minivan, and got 5-6 feet behind her and drafted for almost two miles. I caught her as she was sccoting from a red light at 20 some mph, and stayed on her from then. She was honking and swerving (though not braking as not to kill me, thank Mitch). Well, she was averaging 35mph, and topped at 43mph to try and shake me, but she didn't.

but wut duz dis haf 2 doo wit rasing, mitch?
Everything. My max sprint increased by 2.3mph today, I checked wind, and it was a sidewind. I won two primes, both in sprints. One was where I was dueling another guy, who's an AMAZING sprinter, and I didn't know who won until the end of the race [Note: I asked him during the race and he said that he did. He may have been a little cocky, but that makes him cool with me]
In the second, I was putting so much power down that not only did I beat my friend [and second place] by an armspan, but I was pulling the rear wheel off of the ground with every downstroke and it was sliding all over the place.

Kind of a race report, kind of a cool story. But one thing's for sure; I'm going to focus on sprints a little more now and try to catch some cars more often [read: every ride]
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Old 08-28-07, 07:01 PM   #2
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Haha... Yeah... I thought you were a trackie, anyways. Wouldn't that involve more sprinting?
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Old 08-28-07, 07:08 PM   #3
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Man, that's an awesome story.

"Honey, you'll never guess what happened to me today after I picked up the kids from school! Yes, child athletes ARE doping..."
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Old 08-28-07, 07:27 PM   #4
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Haha... Yeah... I thought you were a trackie, anyways. Wouldn't that involve more sprinting?
I'm a track 3K'er. I'm a better time trialist than anything really, and I can accelerate well, too. I can get in a decent sprint if the stars align, but not enough to call me a "sprinter".
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Old 08-28-07, 07:27 PM   #5
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shhhhhh. Don't tell anyone about motorpacing.
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Old 08-28-07, 07:32 PM   #6
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Damn, kind of like how I shouldn't have told those toddlers that Santa died while flying his sleigh high on meth?
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Old 08-28-07, 08:25 PM   #7
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shhhhhh. Don't tell anyone about motorpacing.
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Old 08-28-07, 08:32 PM   #8
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Having never motorpaced, I don't really understand it. What's the benefit?
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Old 08-28-07, 08:33 PM   #9
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I do it as much as I can behind my motorcycling friend. We both get a kick out of it as he is fat and it gives him a chance to watch me suffer for a change.

Funny thing happened with a stranger on a motorbike a couple months ago. We were both waiting at a light and he seemed friendly so when the light changed I pulled in behind him. He saw what I was doing and kept going faster and faster. Eventually he stopped going faster so I barked "go faster" His reply was "I'm already speeding!" (it was a 50kph zone). Good times.
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Old 08-28-07, 09:14 PM   #10
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Having never motorpaced, I don't really understand it. What's the benefit?
Levi does it here around Santa Rosa. He has his wife ride a scooter with him. The benefit is that it simulates a very fast group of quick-accelerating riders that you must stay with. It provides a high intensity workout, especially if you're so awesome that the riders in your area can't really hang with you.

Motorpacing as something itself tends to be good for those who do well at high intensity who might not otherwise have the muscle power to accelerate very well.
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Old 08-28-07, 09:23 PM   #11
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If you think that by motorpacing yesterday improved your sprint magically by 2.3mph over the course of a day, you've been mislead.

It would take about two weeks for any noticeable fitness benefits to be reaped by this. Or so most endurance coaches and exercise physiologists are inclined to believe.
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Old 08-28-07, 10:12 PM   #12
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I have a horrible bumper addiction. Only my Oreo addiction is stronger. If I hear a dump truck or cement mixer behind me at a light, I will wait for it every time, but I'll go for anyone's bumper off a light who is accelerating moderately. One time I got 5 miles at 40+ mph behind a dump truck on the back side of the Tuesday Nighter course. I had to wait for my friends for what seemed like forever -- but I just couldn't let it go.
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Old 08-28-07, 11:10 PM   #13
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I wouldn't motorpace someone unless they'd agreed beforehand to let me do it. If she'd freaked and hit her brakes, your bike would be destroyed and likely you with it.
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Old 08-28-07, 11:11 PM   #14
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I have a horrible bumper addiction. Only my Oreo addiction is stronger. If I hear a dump truck or cement mixer behind me at a light, I will wait for it every time, but I'll go for anyone's bumper off a light who is accelerating moderately. One time I got 5 miles at 40+ mph behind a dump truck on the back side of the Tuesday Nighter course. I had to wait for my friends for what seemed like forever -- but I just couldn't let it go.
The worst ride of my life was in November, about two years ago now. Horribly underdressed and the wind switched up on us on the way home. The only thing that saved me was a dump truck full of grain leaving a guy's storage silo and heading for the grain depot in town. AND, he saw what we were doing, and kept the pace PERFECT for us at 35mph. Not bad when we had been hurting going 15mph just before that.
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Old 08-28-07, 11:12 PM   #15
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I wouldn't motorpace someone unless they'd agreed beforehand to let me do it. If she'd freaked and hit her brakes, your bike would be destroyed and likely you with it.
Don, you just scored some major wussy points there. Good on ya.
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Old 08-28-07, 11:25 PM   #16
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I wouldn't motorpace someone unless they'd agreed beforehand to let me do it. If she'd freaked and hit her brakes, your bike would be destroyed and likely you with it.
That's a rational answer. However, the risk isn't as bad as it might appear.

Mini Van or SUV, look through the tail glass to anticipate anything up the road that will cause the vehicle to brake, and always be very attentive to the brake lights.

TRuck, you can shade to the side, so you can look up the road and antcipate stops, while still getting most of the draft.

Odds are most vehicles that you can catch onto on the acceleration side, you can also outbrake.

However, even with utmost care and attention, you still risk imitating Davis Phinney.
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Old 08-29-07, 12:47 AM   #17
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I don't know if I'd ever motorpace behind an unsuspecting soccer mom. Those ladies will slam on the brakes for a skunk in the road. Big rigs, however, would be just fine with me. It is best done on a velodrome behind a motorcycle with a roller bar, of course. Or the team van when the coach is aware of it.
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Old 08-29-07, 01:34 AM   #18
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How do you guys deal with the exhaust? Every time I motorpace a bus I can't breath.
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Old 08-29-07, 01:41 AM   #19
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Busses in CA are some of the few vehicles exempt from the smog laws. School busses at least, I don't know about public transportation. I wouldn't motorpace those.
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Old 08-29-07, 01:53 AM   #20
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However, even with utmost care and attention, you still risk imitating Davis Phinney.
Any of you trackies remember Jocyln Lovell (Sorry, if I botched the spelling there)? I wonder what he would have to say?

My team motorpaces at training camps behind an experienced driver on a motorcycle. The workouts are structured so communication beforehand is key. Otherwise, if you aren't experienced at it I wouldn't suggest motorpacing behind someone who doesn't know: 1. What they are doing 2. That you are even there.

(Having said that, I will chased trucks and, if I catch them, I will draft 'em for a while 'cause I figure I earned it! We all have our moments.)
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Old 08-29-07, 05:11 AM   #21
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Busses in CA are some of the few vehicles exempt from the smog laws. School busses at least, I don't know about public transportation. I wouldn't motorpace those.
Wrong.
Buses are not exempt from the smog laws they just satisfy them in different ways than most anything else. I have never seen a bus that runs on regular mogas (unleaded) and the smog laws you speak of only deal with gas engines. Buses are either diesel or natural gas. While diesel is nasty looking exhaust and natural gas is pretty clear both pass the smog requirement by nature and don't need smog inspections.

I wouldn't motorpace a diesel bus because the exhaust is nasty but natural gas buses are another beast. As an added bonus I have warmed up in the exhaust of city (natural gas) buses when I lived in Sacto on cold wet winter days.

If you decide to motorpace with such a opportunity just be real attentive to the road ahead and to the driver's actions. If they seem really uncomfortable to are just a bad driver then stay clear.

The OP story is kinda disturbing as the soccer mom clearly was uncomfortable and distracted by the cyclist on her bumper. All the rest of us need, whether on bike or in another car, is another soccer mom on the road with a ton of killing power distracted to the point where she is swerving and honking (harmless but annoying). Most drivers are barely competent as it is, add anything distracting and they become really bad drivers. Stunts like these give us all a bad name and endanger others. Thanks.
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Old 08-29-07, 06:34 AM   #22
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I wouldn't motorpace someone unless they'd agreed beforehand to let me do it. If she'd freaked and hit her brakes, your bike would be destroyed and likely you with it.

+1. I'm sure most if not all of us have pseudomotorpaced by following an automobile too closely and found it fun, I know I have. But, keep in mind, motorists HATE cyclists, and the vast majority arent viewing you as motorpacing, they're viewing you as tailgating. So, when you're "motorpacing" you're re-inforcing animosity, and opening yourself up to a good way to end up in a cars backseat, which is probably going to = trip to the ER.

Be careful out there.
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Old 08-29-07, 06:50 AM   #23
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Last Sunday, during the Blue Ridge Extreme Challenge Century, my race team mates, who did the century too, finished before me. They came looking for me in the car to see where I was. They caught me as I was travelling along the Blue Ridge Parkway back to Afton. I got them to motor pace me for a while. At first they were a little timid as the speed limit was something like 35 MPH on the parkway and I could easily hold that, so I urged them to speed up and we travelled at 45 MPH for a mile or so until coming up behind other cyclists. They had to slow down due to oncoming traffic. After that, they stopped motor pacing me, because one of the SAG vehicles got behind me and for all intents and purposes followed me the rest of the way to Afton.
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Old 08-29-07, 06:53 AM   #24
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+1. I'm sure most if not all of us have pseudomotorpaced by following an automobile too closely and found it fun, I know I have. But, keep in mind, motorists HATE cyclists, and the vast majority arent viewing you as motorpacing, they're viewing you as tailgating. So, when you're "motorpacing" you're re-inforcing animosity, and opening yourself up to a good way to end up in a cars backseat, which is probably going to = trip to the ER.

Be careful out there.
I would drop back if I sensed any frustration at all, but most of the folks I draft wave to me. Kids love it, and I'm usually pointed out by the driver with a smile to the other passengers. If people want me off the back, most of the time they just gun it, so the situation goes neutral in a hurry.

Truck drivers do frequently ease up for me if it looks like I'm really struggling. Maybe there just aren't as many haters in Austin.
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Old 08-29-07, 06:58 AM   #25
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^^^Being in Austin TX and all, maybe they think you're that bahcyclist guy that had the cancer and won some bahcycle races in france.

Maybe I should move to Austin ... too much hostility here in the east coast urban metropolis.
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