Whiplash

On the group ride Wednesday night, there were a few times when the group was riding fast (~27mph) in a double line, with a rotating paceline.  In two of the instances, I was doing everything I could to pull to the front and move over to keep the paceline going…such that I burned out basically as soon as I got over to the side.  This resulted in my being unable to maintain the pace and hang on the wheel of the rider who was just passing me, so I blew up the peloton and created a gap in front of myself as the rest of the riders in the front group went around me.
After the ride, Lenny told me that this phenomenon is called “whiplash.”
Whiplash sucks.
I get to certain points in the ride, and I have to decide if I’m going to stay with the lead group by sucking wheel, or if I’m going to pull my weight and risk blowing up.  To date, I choose to pull my weight, and this does result in me blowing up (at least once per ride).  When I say “blowing up”, I don’t mean pulling over and puking, or stopping…I just mean losing the wheel in front of me.  I don’t know which is a better approach…but I feel like sucking wheel is not an honest approach to the ride.  When I’m blowing up, I feel like I’m running out of legs.  I’ll be breathing hard, certainly, but I don’t feel like I’m running out of cardio.  I just feel like I’m running out of leg strength.
When I blow up, I feel like I’m running at some level well in excess of what I can sustain (say 12 on a scale of 1-10).  It’s not than I have to drop down to a 5 thereafter…I can drop down to a 9-10 and keep going.  In some ways, that’s more frustrating than completely blowing up, because I lose the wheel, but then watch the group just slooooowwwwwwly pull away.
I don’t think there’s a different tactical approach to take, so I’ll keep plugging away at this issue and keep working on building up the ability to hang.  Until then, I’m wearing a neck brace on the rides.
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