Flutterby™! : Pack animal

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Pack animal

2006-08-31 19:00:04.550637+00 by Dan Lyke 4 comments

This morning, on the run from Muir Woods over to Highway 1, the pack split and I was back in the slower pack. Breaking away is a weird feeling, looking ahead to see if there's room, pulling out to the side where the wind drag is suddenly huge and the air roars past, making a lot of noise.

Usually I have no problem getting ahead of the pack, for short bursts I'm pretty strong, on one ride recently I looked down at my computer and realized I was over 30MPH as I tried to cover the distance between the groups. What's weird is that sensation of trying to catch the draft.

In approaching another pack from the rear I don't want to have the relative speeds too high, because it's hard to brake to exactly the matching speed, but I don't want to stay out of the draft too long. So there's always this stretch where I go from gaining on the pack to feeling like they're just out of reach, needing just a little more speed before the constant noise in my ears becomes a buffeting and then quiets down as I settle into the slipstream. And there's always the fear, as I match speeds with the group but still have six or eight feet to go, that I won't be able to keep up the pace for the time it'll take me to settle comfortably in to the quiet zone.

Of course by the time all that happens we're usually approaching the home stretch before the stop sign, where the line breaks up into an all-out sprint to the finish. But I skipped that today so I'd have something left for the climb up beside Green Gulch Farm. It's amazing how saving that little bit helps on the long sustained efforts.

[ related topics: Dan's Life Bay Area Bicycling ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2006-08-31 22:28:14.754171+00 by: warkitty

I avoid riding in the pack most of the time. Look at it this way, the more you go about "closing the gap," the stronger you get for the next run.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-08-31 22:39:28.576119+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yeah, but if not for the pack riding I may as well be mountain biking...

#Comment Re: made: 2006-09-01 08:11:18.080576+00 by: Dave Goodman

Imagine what it must be like to catch up to something in orbit. As you go faster, you end up higher, and when you slow down you drop in altitude. That makes catching up all the harder. :)

#Comment Re: made: 2006-09-01 13:11:47.466757+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yeah, you have to go down to go faster...

Hmmm... I see a PyGame</e> experiment in my future...