I spent the day at the Wildflower Triathlon yesterday with two dudes in black suits. We arrived in a fancy orange ride. Sat around all day, but had fun. It made for a long day, though.
The clinic I attended on Saturday was divided into two parts. The first was contact drills. We rode out to a grassy field and rode around a "track" defined by some cones. We paired off and practiced hitting and getting hit, first with elbows and then full body contact. This was done at low speed, but still, it was really good stuff! We then did a sort of "bull in the ring", where the object was to make the other person unclip to keep from going down. This was a everyone in the ring melee! The last rider still clipped in would be the "winner". Yours truly was the last standing, but I really think they gave it to me! Then we did wheel touches, first in the grass, then on pavement. That part was a little unsettling, but it turned out to be, once again, great training.
We then rode out to Mines Road, south of Livermore, which is "lightly travelled", and has a decent climb, to work on pace lines, "blocking, but not impeding", delivering sprinters over hills and to finishes, and motor pacing. I was almost full gas to completely full gas in most of those drills, having to ride with those cat 3 and 4 men! The motor pacing was no easier, it was done at 22 to 27 MPH ("if you can't do this, you don't need to be racing" said the mentor). The take away from that was how a 1 second mistake, where you loose that draft at those speeds, means gapped and OTB! It was a real eye opener.
That clinic is one of the the really cool things about the race team I belong to. They are very proactive and really in to improving their racers. They are a true development team.
Here's shot before the final exercise. I was still able to hold my head up!