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Anyone here do THIS drill?

Old 08-29-06, 07:07 PM
  #1  
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Anyone here do THIS drill?

For you newbies who just got into racing and find it unnerving to ride so close together, try this:

- Find a partner you trust.

- Ride side by side. On the drops.

- Converge until you bump elbows. Stay relaxed.

- Separate.

- Repeat.

Eventually, (sooner than you think), you'll reach the point where you're able to really lean into each other and push each other around.
Later, you'll be able to slam into each other quite violently. At speed.

It'll TOTALL FREAK OUT your teammates.

And then, amazingly, when you get in a criterium, you won't wig out when someone brushes up against your elbow.

I'm pretty sure Smoothie and Voodoo have done this. Anyone else???
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Old 08-29-06, 07:54 PM
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I haven't tried that exact drill, at least not intentionally. However I've heard of a similar game that works well for larger groups of riders. Everybody puts their water bottles on the ground, forming a large circle. The circle has to be big enough for everyone to ride around inside more or less freely. The objective is to make someone else either put a foot down, or ride outside of the circle. The rules are that you have to keep your hands on the handlebars at all times, and no T-boning. As people get eliminated, the bottles are moved closer together to tighten the circle. Obviously it is recommended to do this drill on the grass.
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Old 08-29-06, 08:12 PM
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Do it on pavement More of an incentive not to fall

I've tried the bumping elbows after I heard about it on BF in the spring. I also practiced taking turns pushing people up hills and such. I guess it's all bike handling..
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Old 08-29-06, 08:23 PM
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I use to do that drill but we would do it in a lower gear and on grass..
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Old 08-29-06, 08:39 PM
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In 1995, I first went to Europe to race. It was my third year racing and I was cat2. The very first ride I did was and easy two hours with a group of ten Belgians. We rode 2 abreast and talked during this easy spin down one of the canal paths.

I learned more about bike handling that day, than all 3 years of US racing combined.

We rode so close to each other, that our shoulders were literally bumping the whole 2 hours. At first I thought, why don't we give some space and just relax, but then I realized these guys had been taught for years on the art of technique.

I was thrown into the fire and learned quickly how to ride in very close quarters. No drills needed. Just ride tight at all times. After a while, it becomes very natural and it also keeps the traffic from being delayed on busier roads.
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Old 08-29-06, 08:53 PM
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Advanced lesson, push the other rider around with your head.
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Old 08-29-06, 09:19 PM
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Yes.

It's called bike racing.
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Old 08-29-06, 10:37 PM
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"foot down derby", been an extra event at the last 3 alleycat races, only with us anything goes as long as you stay within the boundaries which are usually 3 walls of a dead end alley plus a line of people watching
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Old 08-30-06, 04:49 AM
  #9  
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Hmm... sounds like fun. I'll just invite the local squirrel over... It'll be my chance to fight back!
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Old 08-30-06, 05:26 AM
  #10  
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Yeah, this drill sounds like a really good idea. There were two crashes in a local crit last night even with a non-technical course. Anything I can do to reduce the probability that I'm in one of those crashes is a high priority to me at this point.

--Steve
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Old 08-30-06, 06:23 AM
  #11  
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i like riding close to people so i really want to try this out.
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Old 08-30-06, 08:00 AM
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Yep. Did it at the Walden Cycling Camp in FLA many years ago. It worked.
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Old 08-30-06, 09:37 AM
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Very good drill. It teaches you to be as light on the bars as possible. If you are stiff and weight the bars, you will go down when someone hits your arm or your shoulder, because your arm will transmit the movement to the bars.

I was initiated by a similar drill. When I first started racing, after about a year of riding with a group of mostly juniors track riders (great bike handlers), I was starting to get strong enough that they would actually acknowledge my presence. One day we're tooling along on a traning ride and one of them comes up in back of me and pushes my elbow from behind. I didn't fall, but swerved and boy was I pissed. They explained to me that you have to be as light on the bars as possible. I learned my lesson. From then on, we would take turns sneaking up on each other and pushing their arm from behind. Got to the point where they would push my arm, it would come off the bar completely, but I would barely swerve.
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Old 08-30-06, 10:58 AM
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Intentional contact teaches you a great lesson, it's not the contact but your reaction to it that creates most problems.

Used to be pretty tough racing against those Waldon guys, but they could sure handle their bikes.
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Old 08-30-06, 11:29 AM
  #15  
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Nice to know that Voodoo rides around on people's heads.
Or did I misunderstand that?

I guess the most important lesson is to know that you aren't going to explode if someone bumps into you.

You can also use this drill to mess with other racers:
- One teammate is on the front of the field with one lap to go.
- two teammates are riding right behind him, but side by side.
- they start bumping into each other wildly. (also helps if they yell at each other)
- the rest of the field panics and hits the brakes.
- Teammate on the front attacks.

Gap open. Race over.
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Old 08-30-06, 12:03 PM
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Yeah, I do the exercises, but we don't just touch elbows, we do full-on body-slams with the shoulders trying to crash the other guy. One noob that came on the ride was so freaked out, he hopped off his bike when he got hit. The bike ghost-rided itself for another 100ft or so...
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Old 08-30-06, 12:46 PM
  #17  
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Everybody should do this before they enter there first crit. Intentionally overlapping wheels, and learning to bounce off is another good idea. (best done on the grass).

Having done drills like these, I'm sure has kept me upright in races. An example, recent crit, a guy coming from the inside couldn't hold his line, laid over on me, driving us into the cones on the outside of the course, with his front wheel grinding on my calf. Other than a rather deep rug burn on my calf, I escaped without incident. Without experience dealing with contact very likely would have been a nasty fall.
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Old 08-31-06, 06:03 AM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by YMCA
In 1995, I first went to Europe to race. It was my third year racing and I was cat2. The very first ride I did was and easy two hours with a group of ten Belgians. We rode 2 abreast and talked during this easy spin down one of the canal paths.

I learned more about bike handling that day, than all 3 years of US racing combined.

We rode so close to each other, that our shoulders were literally bumping the whole 2 hours. At first I thought, why don't we give some space and just relax, but then I realized these guys had been taught for years on the art of technique.

I was thrown into the fire and learned quickly how to ride in very close quarters. No drills needed. Just ride tight at all times. After a while, it becomes very natural and it also keeps the traffic from being delayed on busier roads.
I had the same experience, but it was a while ago...when you look at a pro prace and see 100+ guys all in together (those helo shots at the Tour on a flat stage 60k out from the finish when they look like club cyclists out for a stroll), that takes practice to not be unnerved and having to totally focus on the wheel in front of you. Being about 30 riders back, and in the middle of the peloton...
The difference is over there, kids race in big groups and ride more miles than lower category riders do here, and seldom do they ride alone. And if you are going to race bikes, you do it with a club and a coach. like kids soccer or little league, here. So, it's natural from day 1.
It's the only way to learn to ride on those narrow cobbled Flemish farm roads...
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Old 08-31-06, 06:29 AM
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Originally Posted by roadwarrior
And if you are going to race bikes, you do it with a club and a coach. like kids soccer or little league, here. So, it's natural from day 1.
...
Back in the day this was more the case here. At least in MI there were some very active Clubs offering quality coaching, free. That was always the intent of the USCF "Club" system. The recent phenomenon is 30 to 40 year old beginners thinking they can learn to race by reading a book. I mean no offense by this statement but you are going to miss a lot of fundamentals and it shows in how people ride and race.

I still see Masters races dominated by "old school" riders. It's not just due to years of racing experience but to how they were taught and coached. The simple drill in the OP as an example. There is no substitute for coaching and training with seasoned racers, none.
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Old 08-31-06, 09:18 AM
  #20  
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We do those drills at the beginning of every racing season. I wish everyone would do them because almost every race I am in I end up bumping some one and they have either done those drills and remain relaxed or they have not done those drills and yell at you like you just commited a crime.
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Old 08-31-06, 09:52 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by Voodoo76
Back in the day this was more the case here. At least in MI there were some very active Clubs offering quality coaching, free. That was always the intent of the USCF "Club" system. The recent phenomenon is 30 to 40 year old beginners thinking they can learn to race by reading a book. I mean no offense by this statement but you are going to miss a lot of fundamentals and it shows in how people ride and race.
You are correct.

I joined a club as a kid.

The phenomenon you speak of...most of the books are on training regimens and diet, with some tactical info in there. It's like learning to play golf off a video/DVD. Can't be done, not if you want to do it well. You learn how to race, by racing somebody, and the more somebodies the better. You can learn how to throw a football and hand off a foootball, but you don't learn how to play quarterback.

What's disappointing is the number of teams that seem to be "exclusive" rather than "inclusive" and sort of use the CATIV, V, and Citizens races as beauty contests. I know several people that just got frustrated with the whole thing and are doing triathlons, exclusively. You have to be "invited" to join. You can't just, for the most part, go riding with them and get involved. The sport can't grow with that approach.

That, and the lack of affordable road racing bikes for kids. When I was in a club, we had a host of bikes that could be "rented" for the season in various sizes so when I got bigger, I could switch to a bigger frame. I think Trek's about the only one making a kid's road bike. It's in the mid $600 range. KDR1000.

That's not the way it is "over there"...
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Old 08-31-06, 10:15 AM
  #22  
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I with ya there, Cat V, IV and even 3 teams playing "Pro"! Not sure where that came from. Certanly has become a sport of the "haves" at even the lower levels, example the absurd equipment you see in a Cat V TT, I woulda been embarased.

Regarding drills/coaching/learning to race. Usually see one of two results for those that go without; 5 years get frustrated and quite, 5 years finally "get it" look back and realize you wasted the first 4 racing stupid.
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Old 08-31-06, 10:44 AM
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Some guy gave me a golf instruction book with a DVD. I think I'll give it back to him with pages missing, and see if he notices.
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Old 08-31-06, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by EventServices
For you newbies who just got into racing and find it unnerving to ride so close together, try this:

- Find a partner you trust.

- Ride side by side. On the drops.

- Converge until you bump elbows. Stay relaxed.

- Separate.

- Repeat.

Eventually, (sooner than you think), you'll reach the point where you're able to really lean into each other and push each other around.
Later, you'll be able to slam into each other quite violently. At speed.

It'll TOTALL FREAK OUT your teammates.

And then, amazingly, when you get in a criterium, you won't wig out when someone brushes up against your elbow.

I'm pretty sure Smoothie and Voodoo have done this. Anyone else???

I've done it. First on grass and then on the road. I've also practiced not crashing when crossing wheels (on grass only - its HARD).
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Old 09-01-06, 11:28 AM
  #25  
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We Do?

When cross season starts, trying to knock each other of their bikes is not uncommon. Good practice.
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