Greg The Giant pulled me for 20 miles today. All that pulling of random strangers these past four days finally gave me the karma I deserved.
Greg told me he plays a “close the gap” game with people on the road. I do this too. It helps pass the time and miles. Well, Greg told me he saw my pink jacket flapping in the wind and considered me his next target. Apparently, I was a tough one to catch.
Greg finally caught up to me and as he passed he said, “Hop on and I’ll pull.” I laughed because I didn’t think I’d keep up with him. Well, I surprised myself and probably Greg. We were hauling at 20 mph most of the time, passing everyone (He told me later today was Hammer Day).
To properly draft a fellow cyclist, you need be comfortable with your wheel six inches away from their’s. If you’re doing that, your line of sight is pretty limited. If you want to benefit from drafting then you stay here, letting the wind glide over their bodies and you dodging it. This is where “reading between the legs” comes in handy. You can’t really see anything when you’re that close to someone, especially if they are a giant, so you watch the road between their legs. Watch for anything you’ll want to avoid as their legs pedal up and down. I have trust issues, so I always peak my head around their shoulder or side. For the most part, I trusted my giant cyclist friend. I watched between his legs and inevitably ended up learning his pattern (he likes to come up out of the saddle on hills).
Greg stopped for Gatorade and I kept going. He said he’d catch up with me. 10 miles went by and I was still riding solo. All of a sudden, Greg sped past me, yelling out, “could you feel me coming?!” Back to riding together for the last five miles.
I’ve been riding alone this whole trip and it was nice to finally have someone to chat with while we hauled ass. Hopefully, Greg comes out of the blue in the next two days so I can have a riding partner again.