It’s been proven time and time again that if you want to rise to the top as a SoCal masters profamateur leaky prostate underwear racer, the best thing you can do is go full carbon with 100% carbon items made of guaranteed unadulterated carbon.
After that your best bet is a motor in the seat tube and plenty of drugs.
However, if you can’t afford a good EPO program or a secret motor, there are ways to do better without spending more money, although frankly, what fun is that?
One of the least-explored aspects of not getting killed while racing, and not getting dropped right off the bat, is positioning. Every peloton has three anatomical parts: The head, the tummy, and the butt.
The head is where the thinking occurs, where the racing occurs, and where the race gets won. This is where you want to always be, and where I never am except for those races I target because there are only one or two other participants.
The tummy is the middle of the pack, bulgy and comfy but mostly concerned with flabbing around and wondering why the belt feels so tight. Much carbon is digested in the middle of the pack, because this is most often where bicycle-falling-off-incidents occur, and expensive pieces of bicycle toy are quickly reduced to odd-shaped carbon splinters and twisted pieces of soft metal and skin chunks and howling fellows who don’t have health insurance so they refuse the ambulance ride and bleed out in the back of a buddy’s Corolla.
The butt is a necessary place because that’s where the useless bits get pooped out after having had all the nutrients and utility stripped out of them. Lots of stuff goes from the head to the butt, but nothing good ever goes the other way. So if you find yourself there, you are in the wrong place unless you’re Kent Bostic, who used to tailgun every crit until the last lap, when he would magically move up 100 places and win.
Please remember: You’re not the Bostisaurus.
There are a few simple reasons you wind up in the tummy and butt.
- You let other people get ahead of you because you are weak and fearful.
- You drift to the back because you are weak and fearful.
- You’re hanging onto the end because you’re weak, and probably fearful too.
In order to position yourself so that you’re always in the head you must push down hard on the pedals and not let others in front of you. Try sticking out your elbows, or if you have big, droopy love handles, wiggling them. If the riders you just passed get back in front of you, you must push down hard on the pedals again and get back in front of them.
After a while someone will get tired of this and move down the digestive tract and get dropped off at the pool. Don’t let it be you.
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