Had a superbe time at the Velo Rendezvous put on by Chuck Schmidt and his cohort of conspirators. As we descend from the clouds of cycle heaven, it's time for me to get to terms with you all and the first term is ( back ) " In the clouds" Remember we were riding on the track and decided to go under rather than over when at all possible. Track banking, shorter distance, "chopping" squeezing guys down, etc., all positive strategies. When you are in the field on the track, and as you try to come by to get to the front all of a sudden the guys are rolling up the track banking, whether on straightaway or turns, then you slowly are forced to go up to not ride into the other riders. They are not cutting you off but following the natural contour of the track. As you keep riding up, the pole line guys are riding the shorter distance and away from you. Up high on the track, lost in the shuffle and going backwards up high on the banking, YOU are "In the clouds". BAAAD! It also happens when the front is whipping along. The field swings slowly higher from momentum upwards as you try to come around and you know you are a dufus, then you have to shut down as you go up the banking, and voila you're in the clouds, again. Sh-Grrr.
I hope I didn't stiff you on this one. It should be stiff hub, gear, or wheel. Then it gets easier. But I wanted to see if you would pick up on it and make a transition into the flow. How the hell am I going to make you into racers if you can't get the connection and activate the synapses to make the following moves in your minds after all these lessons? Don't you guys play chess? Gals, too, by the way, no mercy. ALL the old timers referred to their machines as stiff hubs, gears, wheels. Come on you guys and gals, get on the wheel, feel the aura of the field around you, connect with the psyche of the moment, connive and make the race happen. How can you appreciate the taste of your perspiration and tightness in your abs if you don't get with the program?
Boxed: Jamie had a good handle on it but he was taking the view of a rider doing it to himself. That's the result of poor or bad position, strategy and your own fault as he describes it. Getting "boxed" is usually the result of nefarious activity on the part of your competitors. For whatever teaming reason, fear of your ability, dislike of you, payback time, or any and all of the above or some other obscure motivation, several other riders would gang up on you and "Box" you in. They would get on the side, front and back of you, sacrifice themselves and placing if necessary to keep you from winning. Often they could hold you in while one went off to win or place, but you got screwed. This type of teaming is illegal, but if done "right" is tough to detect by the officials. This is done on track or road, to prevent a rider's forward movement, but real sweet revenge or outright keeping victory from you and the nasties take home the bacon. So, the lesson is watch out on position, always leave an escape if possible to get through, and ride smart. However, if some guys want to work you over, you may not be able to escape the deleterious activity. The fight goes on. It's Great! Next week's terms: 1) Hang on 2) Shook off 3) Big wheel 4) How did the old timers refer to their bicycle positions?
Palos Verdes Estates, CA