Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Wheel Sucking Bastards

I learnt a new phrase on Scottish Ski Area Challenge, just in conversation you understand as we were (of course), riding as a team. It seemed a little over the top to me; why would you be SO bothered about someone else latching on to your back wheel?

I didn’t have to wait long to find out. Both Mike and I suffered extreme examples of ‘Wheel Sucking’ during the Corrieyairack Challenge. For those who don’t know it, the Corrieyairack is a pass between Fort Augustus and Laggan. There are various options for racing the event including, run/bike, walk/bike and mtb. We choose the a latter. The first part of the race consists of a big climb over the pass on a good track to a fast descent (some mild technical difficulties) , followed by a long road section back to the finish in Kincraig.

With Coach Mike Devlin

So, if you’re interested in ‘wheel sucking’ this how to do it: Close in to less than a metre off the back wheel of someone riding at an appropriate pace (make some patronising comments about how well the person in front is doing), coast in the slip steam until it’s possible to jump the gap to the next person in front using all the spare energy you have managed to conserve. Coast and, if the original guy (me), catches you up again (and is making progress) jump on his wheel until you can leap frog to the next person in front. Work like this until a couple of miles from home then blast off leaving everyone else in your wake.

Now I understand ‘Wheel Sucking Bastards’.

Up front somewhere Mike was having a similar experience. From the Mikes Bikes Blog:

“Mike set out again with the red mist fully down, and got back up to fifth place only to be past at Kingussie by the biggest, most flagrant, open “wheel sucker” known to human kind, attached to another’s back wheel. A chap Mike had already thrown off his wheel some 10 miles before.”

The team did ok. Hamish Irvine 4th, Mike Devlin 7th (with puncture) and me 14th.

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