2013 Clinic Week 3

February 25th, 2013 by sprinterdellacasa Categories: Clinic No Responses

Week 3 – Chalk talk – Wind direction and shelter. Look ahead of rider in front.

Where is the Wind?

To draft effectively, you need to know where to seek shelter. To do that you first need to know the wind direction.

To figure out wind direction:

  1. Put your head up a bit. It helps if you’re on the tops, but you can do this from any bar position.
  2. Feel the wind hitting your head.
  3. Turn your head side to side.
  4. When it feels like the wind is blowing into one ear, that’s where you want to put a sheltering rider.
  5. When I explained it to some hot blooded Juniors, I told them that the wind in their ear will feel like someone blowing softly in their ear. They could always remember how to figure out wind direction after that!
  6. You may find that the wind is coming almost from the side. Other times it’ll be head on. Shelter appropriately. Even a slight angle makes a huge difference. If the wind is coming from your 1 o’clock (i.e. just to the right of forward), you’ll be 100% exposed if you’re sitting to the right of the rider in front of you. But if you move left just a couple feet, you’ll be sitting just to the left of the rider in front. Now you should be 100% sheltered and saving maybe 100-150 watts of effort.
  7. As a relative thing, for many years I couldn’t finish a race effectively if I saw more than about 2-3-4 minutes of wind in an hour crit, minus the last lap or two. In some races I’d set a goal of seeing only 60 seconds of wind or less. Proper drafting allowed me to do this.

1. Warm up – contact/bumping. Speeds should be quite low at first, 10-12 mph on the flats. No bumping on the hill – use climb time to relax a bit before doing some more bumping. Keep gaps closed. Small ring. Focus on contact, leaning into the other rider. You’ll have practice doing pacelines next.

2. Wind direction – find shelter from wind in appropriate spot behind the rider in front. Slightly left, slightly right, etc. Single paceline. Leader should select proper place on course to give everyone shelter.

Remember wind direction usually changes when you go around a corner or ride along next to a building. You should always be aware of wind direction and take it into account for your racing strategy.

3. Echelon/Wheel following drill – “echelon” across the road, if wind permits. Else follow in draft, choosing one side or other based on any slight wind from one side or other.

Homework: Practice reading the wind. If riding with someone else stay in their draft. Keep on the other drills – checking back by looking down, looking over your shoulder, drinking without looking, one handed riding, and starting well when you have a foot on the ground.