Looking for a short turbo boost?
Focus all of your emotions into the pedals.
There is a saying around the interwebs about ‘Stomach of Anger’. Although I’m not really sure what they mean by that I can tell you that I have pedaled with Anger before. And it makes you fast! But also out of breathe very quickly.
You see I was on a group ride that was usually very steady paced. Everyone rotated evenly and the pace of the group as a whole was pretty quick at around 22-24 mph. But this day we had 1 rider that was randomly attacking the group.
It was throwing off the rhythm of the group and thus lowering our average speed, and it was getting on my nerves. So with each successive attack I was getting more and more P-O’d at this person and their failed attacks off the front that were distracting other riders, until he attacked one time, and I had enough!
I down shifted & MASHED the pedals, shift, MASH, shift, MASH, until I not only went by him at a much greater pace than he was going, but had gotten a significant distance up the road to a red light. As I sat at the red light attempting to catch my breath, I had a chance to think for a minute about what had gotten me so riled up. Although I felt better getting some anger out, I also felt guilty for doing the same thing that this person was doing to the group.
I guess in hindsight I was trying to tell him that he wasn’t the only strong rider in the group that ‘could’ go faster. I’m still not sure, but one thing I learned from this was that when I got my emotions together and focused my energy, that I could create a large amount of watts for a brief amount of time.
I could pedal in Anger!
The thing about pedaling in Anger is that your mind shuts down – you don’t feel any pain, all you have is raw emotion – and all that energy is poured into stomping on those pedals!
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I have said it, and I see that others are posting articles or info about it. The problem is maybe too many people are taking it too far.
Do not ride on the front should not be confused with NEVER ride at the front.
Too many people seem to just sit-in – on ever ride, year around. Bah!
Too many people never do any work – whether they are afraid they will get dropped, feel they aren’t strong enough.
Sometimes you need to move, do something, stir things up. Sometimes that is for the group & sometimes that is just for yourself & your training.
It’s interesting how the group dynamic of a ride can change – week to week and sometimes during a single ride.
Not long ago, at the ‘Wednesday night World’s’ the group was being shy. There were only a few people rotating & it was often that if you rotated you would have to sit on the front for awhile before someone else would come around.
What happens next is that the stronger riders and/or opportunists attacks the group. Sometimes this is enough to stir things up, sometimes the ride will continue along in the same manner watching that person increase the gap until they are ‘out of sight, out of mind’. As this keeps happening all the stronger riders & some opportunists are ahead on the road and there isn’t enough people strong enough or willing to work to bring them back.
I watched this happen a couple times and tried to shake things up myself by rolling past the group on a downhill and along the uphill on the other side – what this caused was the group finally sped up and started getting more aggressive.
Remember, “Don’t ride on the front” is different from “Never ride on the Front” there are good reasons to rotate and pull-through, and there are good reasons not too. Sometimes the group is hammering along and you should conserve your energy for later. Sometimes you should rotate just to get others to rotate also, sometimes it is to keep the group going.
One of the best ‘team blocks’ I had ever witnessed was by Scotty Weiss – we were racing a 1Km pan flat crit in N.C. His team mate jumped the pack with another racer and they were rolling up the road – well most team mates would go to the front and soft pedal or not even pedal at all – but not these guys, Scotty went to the front and kept the field going at a steady pace. He knew if the group slowed down too much there would be attacks and his team mate would have less chance of winning the race. So, he kept the pace slow enough that his teammate was still going faster than the group, yet just fast enough that no one would attempt to attack the group! At that time I was a fresh Pro1,2 rider and at first I was bewildered that his own team mate was on the front doing the pace-making. It took me about 5 laps before I realized the plan.
Most everyone knows the basic tactics, but when you can mix things up that is when you are racing intelligently!
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Over Memorial day weekend some friends and me did a Mt biking – camping trip (back) to Jackrabbit campground in Hayesville, NC. This is such a great location to ride and camp at due to it also being directly on lake Chatuge.
Ride report: Friday was Noon Dog loop out 2 Saba beach – unfortunately for Apollo I took a wrong turn and we ended up doing an extra 2 miles before actually getting to the beach – this had him tuckered out for the rest of the weekend! Friday afternoon the Faster group went out for all trails, followed by a lake swim.
Friday evening there was some discrepancies about who’s campsite was where, and who had reservations and at what location (luckily we were not at all involved in any of this). The park rangers showed up and went about attempting to get things sorted out – luckily for our ‘camp neighbors’ it all got sorted out and they did not need to re-pack and move to a different campsite because they spent about 3 hours setting up their campsite. Yeah, they had a BUNCH of stuff – but hey, they are out camping w/ their kids and they were really cool about us having our dogs – so everyone was happy.
Saturday was ‘no drop’ on all trails, lunch, Faster group (all trails), lake swim, dinner & some folks went out for a night ride. (some folks didn’t tell other folks to bring their night lights).
Sunday was Kid’s day – Dale brought up his 2 boys and we rode at their pace. 1 of whom had the most awesome crash that I may have ever witnessed. Coming off the blue loop there is a double hump, he rode the first 1 well, but the 2nd 1 threw him – somehow, he appeared to be off the bike landing hand first, which turned into a cartwheel, then flopped onto the ground – the whole time the bike soloed away from him for about 30 yards into the woods before stopping – it was the craziest dis-mount I had ever seen! He wanted to be upset about it, but we were all patting him on the back & cheering so much I think he ended up taking some pride in it.
We followed that ride up with another lake swim, then afternoon ‘no drop’ ride.
Sunday afternoon several people went back to Greenville for the USPro race – although I really wanted to go, I had been there the past 2 years, and since the campsite was all set-up ‘sleep-in & recover’ on Monday morning with out all the driving sounded a little more appealing.
Monday morning my friend Carey packed up early and headed home, so I decided to go out and explore the surrounding area some more.
I headed out to check out a friends cabin that is in the area. I originally drove directly past it. Came to the end of the road and turned around and came back. The directions were go South on the road – green gate, before the bridge. So, I saw a gate, but it looked very unused, so I kept driving, and ended up going over the bridge before realizing that must have been the gate. I hiked in through the tall grass a little nervous due to the fact that there isn’t an address, so I wasn’t really sure if this was the correct cabin or not.
I’m not sure how old the cabin is, but it was definitely rustic in nature. I was nervous when I walked across the deck. Each of the boards looked like they could give way at any time.
The nice thing about the cabin was that it was just up from a pretty good size creek. It looks like you could at least walk down to the creek and cool off if you wanted too – not that you could do laps or anything, but at least soak a little bit.
I ended up going for a walk with Apollo since we were on a quiet road. We went past the bridge and up the hill – Apollo was running from shade tree to shade tree now due to the sun. We were stopped under 1 of the big trees beside the road when I noticed a Solar panel in the pasture. This was the 2nd time on this trip that I had seen what appeared to be a field of solar panels.
After I got back home, I did a little research into these solar panels in Hayesville, NC. I came across Green States Energy website which talked about 2 different projects in the Hayesville area – so I’m sure that I saw one of these 2 projects, but I can’t tell for certain which one…. although I would guess it was Hindsman, since the one I saw from the road was on a slight hill – unfortunately didn’t get a chance to get a picture of that one.
On the way back from Jackrabbit I decided to stop along the way at the top of Unicoi gap and reheat some lunch. After eating, I took Apollo for another short hike and hiked back to a waterfall that I had been too before – I particularly like this waterfall because it has a man-made ‘basin’ near the base of it that fills with water and has a little run-off.
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