ind16

The Dig

The Dig

by / / 77 posts

“Are you havin’ a dig at me?” It’s a good old phrase that one. I hear it occasionally, usually in response to some jest, part of the banter that me and my friends enjoy on a regular basis. It can be used as an off-the-cuff remark, clearly meant in a jocular way, or can carry with it a more sinister edge, a way to make a point that just needs to be made, but wrapped in enough humour to soften that edge but still prick the skin ever-so-slightly and deliver the message. “You sure you’re not havin’ a dig at me?”

The Dig is a beautiful thing when it’s employed in Cycling. Every ride will contain a dig. No matter if you’re out on a supposed cruisy lap, or a long and hard slog, there will always be a dig waiting to be unleashed, or perhaps unfurled. The way it is delivered can be predetermined, even conspired with another, or it can be completely desultory and spontaneous, taking everyone by surprise, even the schlepper making the despatch. It can be timid, or tumultuous. It can be the most subtle of moves, gracefully administered from the saddle with nary a hint of movement or sound to indicate that it is even happening, or it can be more apparent, yet never a violent, aggressive action; that would be an attack.

The Dig is meant to test rather than defeat. It’s a way of saying “there’s more to come, suckers” or to find out what others may have in reserve. Or it’s just a way to niggle, to tease and tempt, to draw a comparison between you and your comrades, who could at any time transform into adversaries, either by your or their doing. It can be one of your most valuable weapons when deployed correctly, or, like holding the grenade and throwing away the pin, a dangerously inept move should you not treat it with care and respect.

All you need to do is pick the right time. Tactics, a trump card for the smartest if not strongest rider, come into their own here; looking for the right opportunity to throw in a Dig is as important a skill as the Dig itself. Most will expect that if the gradient goes up even a small amount, that someone will be willing to Dig. Most though will, all too predictably, want to attack. You can nullify the attack through vocalisation, using the mouth rather than the legs. “We should just take it easy today” is an age-old and proven nullifier. “I’m not getting involved in that” as the first accelerations come. When you’re sure that your comrades have taken the bait, don’t make it blindingly obvious that you are going to up the pace… just a slight increase in tempo will do the trick, and even if only one or two are sent scrabbling for the last wheel, then the Dig has been successful. That small amount of energy used to get back on is a withdrawl from the V-bank, yet leaving just enough to instill a belief that there’s sufficient to cover any more bills that may need to be paid later. It’s a false sense of security that will be the downfall of the economy when further Digs are deployed. And like shareholders in Lehmann Brothers, they won’t see it coming until it’s too late and the coffers are empty.

After a rolling series of Digs, then it’s allowable, and advisable, to pick the last bits of rotting flesh from the carcasses, and hammer the final nail into the collective coffin. If you’ve dug properly, you will have much more Essence of V left than your now tiring and mentally confused adversaries. You can attack. But if you’ve not been absolutely discerning with your digging, then all you will appear to be is an asshole who couldn’t cash the cheques you were so willing to write at will earlier, and you’ll be left desperately scrabbling on the ground for the fives and dimes scattered at your feet.

*One of the best examples of The Dig employed by Bjarne Riis at Hautacam in Le Tour 1996. The way he torments his rivals, goes back to check them out three or four times, then delivers the killer blow is classic Digging.

// Etiquette // La Vie Velominatus // Technique

  1. Digs are little mini tests that the digger or the diggee can pass/fail at any point. These are the little moments that help pass the time on the long miles.

  2. @slatanic

    To dig with panache you must be on the tops & casual dilebret in motion. Just before you subtly raise the pace it is always the done thing to ask the person at your side a question, preferably about themselves or their bike. These questions always get answered…… keep nodding or smiling & the person will keep talking :) This will firstly disguise the dig, secondly disrupt the persons breathing while they are talking & thirdly while they are gasping to answer you are serenely smiling & nodding away. …… The art of the dig :)

    Raise the pace with someone at your side ?

    That sounds like half-wheeling, which is strictly infra dig.

  3. @ChrisO

    Raise the pace with someone at your side ?

    That sounds like half-wheeling, which is strictly infra dig.

    finally got called out for half-wheeling, not knowing what it was nor doing by particular intention. was simply trying to keep up with the “fast people.” and then we went in the hills. long, long hills. and then I had no one to half wheel… Not that I woulda been spared that experience if I hadnt been half wheeling the flat. Which made it more fun to do on the return. Intentionally. Oh wait, it was me being half wheeled on the return. Never mind…

  4. @Holdsworth

    @VeloSix

    There are no excuses. We DO need to pass judgement. Cheating isn’t age, status, or nation specific. It’s black and white. If we we discussing a sport you didn’t love, you would agree.

    I didn’t make an excuse.  I simply pointed out some buffoonery and hypocrisy.   I am not arrogant enough to pass judgement for something I acknowledge a young immature version of myself to likely attempt.   If you want to pass judgement, then go ahead.  But don’t demand it of me, or attempt to assume my position based on the sport.  You will be wrong.

  5. I think if I could effectively explain the art of the dig to non-cyclists they would all suddenly understand how a multi-hour ride is not the least bit boring.

  6. Maybe it’s out of fashion, but I like Riis.  Seems to me as though he kicked everybody’s @ss on what was more or less a corrupt but even playing field. That Hautacam climb was dominant. It’s not as if Virenque wasn’t benefiting from additional performance inducers….

  7. @Fins

    I think if I could effectively explain the art of the dig to non-cyclists they would all suddenly understand how a multi-hour ride is not the least bit boring.

    Perhaps some non-cyclists could explain to me how multi-hour ball games aren’t boring.

  8. @The Grande Fondue

    Lots of people seem to be commenting about verbal digs. Go read the post again – the best digs are performance art, not spoken.

    Since when has the post demanded much reflection in the ensuing conversation?

  9. @Steve-o

    @Fins

    I think if I could effectively explain the art of the dig to non-cyclists they would all suddenly understand how a multi-hour ride is not the least bit boring.

    Perhaps some non-cyclists could explain to me how multi-hour ball games aren’t boring.

    Exception for the real football, where most of the players are engaged in competitive movement most of the time, and timeouts are infrequent.

  10. @gaswepass

    @ChrisO

    Raise the pace with someone at your side ?

    That sounds like half-wheeling, which is strictly infra dig.

    finally got called out for half-wheeling, not knowing what it was nor doing by particular intention. was simply trying to keep up with the “fast people.” and then we went in the hills. long, long hills. and then I had no one to half wheel… Not that I woulda been spared that experience if I hadnt been half wheeling the flat. Which made it more fun to do on the return. Intentionally. Oh wait, it was me being half wheeled on the return. Never mind…

    Maybe there’s some cross-cultural confusion around half-wheeling.

    As far as I know, half wheeling is a two-up or double paceline issue where one rider can’t resist the urge to put their wheel half in front, instead of hubs level. If you are trying to level it up and the other rider is pushing the pace then they are the half-wheeler, not you. If you have some kind of inferiority complex which prevents you from doing an even piece of work at the front, then its you.

  11. @Steve-o

    @Fins

    I think if I could effectively explain the art of the dig to non-cyclists they would all suddenly understand how a multi-hour ride is not the least bit boring.

    Perhaps some non-cyclists could explain to me how multi-hour ball games aren’t boring.

    You need an explanation of Test Cricket?  Some years ago we were discussing the state of a Test Match at day 4.5 (of 5 for the unknowing) in front of a couple of US colleagues.  One guy asked who was winning.  The answer “It’s hard to tell, the game could go either way.  It’s pretty tense”.  The response – “What?! The’ve been playing for over 4 days and you STILL don’t know who is winning?!”.  Somehow telling them that that was the essence of a good Test did not help.

  12. @Harminator

    @gaswepass

    @ChrisO

    Raise the pace with someone at your side ?

    That sounds like half-wheeling, which is strictly infra dig.

    finally got called out for half-wheeling, not knowing what it was nor doing by particular intention. was simply trying to keep up with the “fast people.” and then we went in the hills. long, long hills. and then I had no one to half wheel… Not that I woulda been spared that experience if I hadnt been half wheeling the flat. Which made it more fun to do on the return. Intentionally. Oh wait, it was me being half wheeled on the return. Never mind…

    Maybe there’s some cross-cultural confusion around half-wheeling.

    As far as I know, half wheeling is a two-up or double paceline issue where one rider can’t resist the urge to put their wheel half in front, instead of hubs level. If you are trying to level it up and the other rider is pushing the pace then they are the half-wheeler, not you. If you have some kind of inferiority complex which prevents you from doing an even piece of work at the front, then its you.

    Hmm.  I always took it to be someone from behind you, not really willing to come next to you, with their front tire next to your back tire.  Like a bug flying in your ear, you want to swat at but can’t.

    A couple of weeks ago, while working up a climb a guy did this to me, all the way up the climb.  All this space we had, and he was right next to my back wheel.  A little dip, and he tucked in behind me, then just over my shoulder again as the grade went back up.  I was waiting for the guy to jump me at the top, and he never did.

    But that presence, constant, just over my shoulder for the entire climb time really pissed me off.  Always thinking my rear derailleur was going to be eaten by his spokes.  Part of me wanted to drop the guy, but another part of me didn’t want it to disrupt my ride for the day.  I kept telling myself, “Casually Deliberate….. Casually Deliberate…..”

    But your description also makes sense.

  13. @Harminator @VeloSix You are both right.

    The heavy hitters on my ride dig all the time, it happens on a fast incline, half way up they’ll accelerate while still seated. When I see Captain on the front and his head starts gently bobbing, I know I’m about to get fucked up.

    I think of having a dig as ‘turning the screws’ on the torture the back of the pack experience.

    As for verbal digs, at least on this level I carry good power to weight, not in being a cunt (you lot may think differently), but in keeping the humour going, even when I’m suffering like a dog..

  14. @Beers

     When I see Captain on the front and his head starts gently bobbing, I know I’m about to get fucked up.

    That’s priceless!

  15. @frank

    @Richard

    Does performance enhanced digging count?

    If you’ve paid attention to the last 30 years of Cycling, then yes. Heart goes out to the clean riders who were beat by cheats, but those races fueled my childhood!

    Of course, like the mother with lung cancer telling her child not to smoke, I remind everyone that doping is wrong and that these days we expect more. But in Bjarne’s days, FUCK YEAH! Thems were good times!

    In all seriousness, I encourage you not to taint the past with what we know now; the 90″²s were an integral part of who I have become today. Those races were false, but the experience I had was not. It helped make me the Velominatus I am today, and for that I am grateful.

    That said, I sincerely hope we are getting the sport cleaned up and that we are moving towards a fairer competitive field. It will take time, and I will continue to love the sport – warts and all. We are possibly cleaner now, but like taking a garden hose to a pig pen, it will take more than just water to clean this shit up.

    a big +1 to you Frank.

    Without those years I’d still be bimbling about on a cross country mtb muttering about how boring it must be on a road bike.

  16. Only time I get a chance for a physical dig is in roller territory where the guy on the front hits the bottom of a rise & drops a gear or two, my favourite tactic is to take advantage of the momentum I’m carrying & roll past on the tops pushing a bigger gear all the way to the top. This is best completed with the hand on thigh look back @The Grande Fondue was referring when you crest the rise.

    Now on to the video.

    1. The muppet introducing the video is Mike Tomolaris for the benefit of the non Aussies here who, despite having been hosting SBS’ tour coverage for over 20 years, still knows less about cycling than my 10 month old child.

    2. Interesting to note that one of Lance & Stuey’s most vociferous supporters Pat Jonker hanging with that select bunch for a fair while. If he was managing that clean (as he’s always ardently claimed), I struggle to see why he’s so keen to support the aforementioned duo…

  17. @Mikael Liddy

    Only time I get a chance for a physical dig is in roller territory where the guy on the front hits the bottom of a rise & drops a gear or two, my favourite tactic is to take advantage of the momentum I’m carrying & roll past on the tops pushing a bigger gear all the way to the top. This is best completed with the hand on thigh look back@The Grande Fondue was referring when you crest the rise.

    Yes! That’s what I was talking about.

    2. Interesting to note that one of Lance & Stuey’s most vociferous supporters Pat Jonker hanging with that select bunch for a fair while. If he was managing that clean (as he’s always ardently claimed), I struggle to see why he’s so keen to support the aforementioned duo…

    Has he been particularly ardent? I had the impression his was more of the “I never saw nothing” type of denial.

    And yeah, 12th at the ’96 tour was quite an accomplishment. As was 1st at the ’98 Dutch Championship.

  18. @The Grande Fondue it definitely was based on the ‘saw nothing so didn’t happen’ school of thought, but it was more that he would then follow that up with comments along the lines of “given the health issues he’d been through, I can’t believe he’d do something so risky…” Basically he was in flat out denial right up until the Doprah interview.

    He’s also been one of the cheerleaders of the “Don’t condemn Stuey for making one mistake” squad, so essentially he seems to think everyone should just trust whatever comes out of the rider’s mouths no matter how many times they’ve lied previously.

  19. @VeloSix

    @Harminator

    @gaswepass

    @ChrisO

    Raise the pace with someone at your side ?

    That sounds like half-wheeling, which is strictly infra dig.

    finally got called out for half-wheeling, not knowing what it was nor doing by particular intention. was simply trying to keep up with the “fast people.” and then we went in the hills. long, long hills. and then I had no one to half wheel… Not that I woulda been spared that experience if I hadnt been half wheeling the flat. Which made it more fun to do on the return. Intentionally. Oh wait, it was me being half wheeled on the return. Never mind…

    Maybe there’s some cross-cultural confusion around half-wheeling.

    As far as I know, half wheeling is a two-up or double paceline issue where one rider can’t resist the urge to put their wheel half in front, instead of hubs level. If you are trying to level it up and the other rider is pushing the pace then they are the half-wheeler, not you. If you have some kind of inferiority complex which prevents you from doing an even piece of work at the front, then its you.

    Hmm. I always took it to be someone from behind you, not really willing to come next to you, with their front tire next to your back tire. Like a bug flying in your ear, you want to swat at but can’t.

    A couple of weeks ago, while working up a climb a guy did this to me, all the way up the climb. All this space we had, and he was right next to my back wheel. A little dip, and he tucked in behind me, then just over my shoulder again as the grade went back up. I was waiting for the guy to jump me at the top, and he never did.

    But that presence, constant, just over my shoulder for the entire climb time really pissed me off. Always thinking my rear derailleur was going to be eaten by his spokes. Part of me wanted to drop the guy, but another part of me didn’t want it to disrupt my ride for the day. I kept telling myself, “Casually Deliberate….. Casually Deliberate…..”

    But your description also makes sense.

    His description is right – yours is something different.

    Half-wheeling is when you’re two abreast riding in a group at a steady pace and the person next to you just keeps upping it a little and putting their wheel slightly ahead of yours.

    You either pick it up a little, which increases the overall speed and creates a surge in the group, or you ignore it but then it might look like you can’t take the heat.

    Read Tyler Hamilton’s description of Lance Armstrong doing it and him doing it back.

    My response to being half-wheeled – and this is where power and computers are handy – is when I know I’m doing a decent power and the person next to me is probably not capable of maintaining their little extra effort. I keep it at the same rate, let them get a wheel ahead, even more and then watch them start breathing heavily, rocking around and gradually coming back and then falling behind my wheel. But I’m not then half-wheeling them because they have dropped off the pace.

  20. @ChrisO

    @VeloSix

    @Harminator

    @gaswepass

    @ChrisO

    Raise the pace with someone at your side ?

    That sounds like half-wheeling, which is strictly infra dig.

    finally got called out for half-wheeling, not knowing what it was nor doing by particular intention. was simply trying to keep up with the “fast people.” and then we went in the hills. long, long hills. and then I had no one to half wheel… Not that I woulda been spared that experience if I hadnt been half wheeling the flat. Which made it more fun to do on the return. Intentionally. Oh wait, it was me being half wheeled on the return. Never mind…

    Maybe there’s some cross-cultural confusion around half-wheeling.

    As far as I know, half wheeling is a two-up or double paceline issue where one rider can’t resist the urge to put their wheel half in front, instead of hubs level. If you are trying to level it up and the other rider is pushing the pace then they are the half-wheeler, not you. If you have some kind of inferiority complex which prevents you from doing an even piece of work at the front, then its you.

    Hmm. I always took it to be someone from behind you, not really willing to come next to you, with their front tire next to your back tire. Like a bug flying in your ear, you want to swat at but can’t.

    A couple of weeks ago, while working up a climb a guy did this to me, all the way up the climb. All this space we had, and he was right next to my back wheel. A little dip, and he tucked in behind me, then just over my shoulder again as the grade went back up. I was waiting for the guy to jump me at the top, and he never did.

    But that presence, constant, just over my shoulder for the entire climb time really pissed me off. Always thinking my rear derailleur was going to be eaten by his spokes. Part of me wanted to drop the guy, but another part of me didn’t want it to disrupt my ride for the day. I kept telling myself, “Casually Deliberate….. Casually Deliberate…..”

    But your description also makes sense.

    His description is right – yours is something different.

    Half-wheeling is when you’re two abreast riding in a group at a steady pace and the person next to you just keeps upping it a little and putting their wheel slightly ahead of yours.

    You either pick it up a little, which increases the overall speed and creates a surge in the group, or you ignore it but then it might look like you can’t take the heat.

    Read Tyler Hamilton’s description of Lance Armstrong doing it and him doing it back.

    My response to being half-wheeled – and this is where power and computers are handy – is when I know I’m doing a decent power and the person next to me is probably not capable of maintaining their little extra effort. I keep it at the same rate, let them get a wheel ahead, even more and then watch them start breathing heavily, rocking around and gradually coming back and then falling behind my wheel. But I’m not then half-wheeling them because they have dropped off the pace.

    you’re both right- there is half wheeling when u just keep pushing ever so slightly. part of learning to be a pack dog. there is also imperiling oneself by overlapping your front wheel with rear wheel of a rider in front of you. that is a hard lesson about to come about. I only knew of the latter until I got yelled at and then punished in the hills.

  21. @gaswepass

    @ChrisO

    @VeloSix

    @Harminator

    @gaswepass

    @ChrisO

    Raise the pace with someone at your side ?

    That sounds like half-wheeling, which is strictly infra dig.

    finally got called out for half-wheeling, not knowing what it was nor doing by particular intention. was simply trying to keep up with the “fast people.” and then we went in the hills. long, long hills. and then I had no one to half wheel… Not that I woulda been spared that experience if I hadnt been half wheeling the flat. Which made it more fun to do on the return. Intentionally. Oh wait, it was me being half wheeled on the return. Never mind…

    Maybe there’s some cross-cultural confusion around half-wheeling.

    As far as I know, half wheeling is a two-up or double paceline issue where one rider can’t resist the urge to put their wheel half in front, instead of hubs level. If you are trying to level it up and the other rider is pushing the pace then they are the half-wheeler, not you. If you have some kind of inferiority complex which prevents you from doing an even piece of work at the front, then its you.

    Hmm. I always took it to be someone from behind you, not really willing to come next to you, with their front tire next to your back tire. Like a bug flying in your ear, you want to swat at but can’t.

    A couple of weeks ago, while working up a climb a guy did this to me, all the way up the climb. All this space we had, and he was right next to my back wheel. A little dip, and he tucked in behind me, then just over my shoulder again as the grade went back up. I was waiting for the guy to jump me at the top, and he never did.

    But that presence, constant, just over my shoulder for the entire climb time really pissed me off. Always thinking my rear derailleur was going to be eaten by his spokes. Part of me wanted to drop the guy, but another part of me didn’t want it to disrupt my ride for the day. I kept telling myself, “Casually Deliberate….. Casually Deliberate…..”

    But your description also makes sense.

    His description is right – yours is something different.

    Half-wheeling is when you’re two abreast riding in a group at a steady pace and the person next to you just keeps upping it a little and putting their wheel slightly ahead of yours.

    You either pick it up a little, which increases the overall speed and creates a surge in the group, or you ignore it but then it might look like you can’t take the heat.

    Read Tyler Hamilton’s description of Lance Armstrong doing it and him doing it back.

    My response to being half-wheeled – and this is where power and computers are handy – is when I know I’m doing a decent power and the person next to me is probably not capable of maintaining their little extra effort. I keep it at the same rate, let them get a wheel ahead, even more and then watch them start breathing heavily, rocking around and gradually coming back and then falling behind my wheel. But I’m not then half-wheeling them because they have dropped off the pace.

    you’re both right- there is half wheeling when u just keep pushing ever so slightly. part of learning to be a pack dog. there is also imperiling oneself by overlapping your front wheel with rear wheel of a rider in front of you. that is a hard lesson about to come about. I only knew of the latter until I got yelled at and then punished in the hills.

    Your latter is just referred to as overlapping wheels. And is usually alright if you watch and trust the line in front of you — and the rider in front can trust the line behind as well. Otherwise it’s not good and one of the riders will either concede or surge ahead.

  22. @unversio

    @gaswepass

    @ChrisO

    @VeloSix

    @Harminator

    @gaswepass

    @ChrisO

    Raise the pace with someone at your side ?

    That sounds like half-wheeling, which is strictly infra dig.

    finally got called out for half-wheeling, not knowing what it was nor doing by particular intention. was simply trying to keep up with the “fast people.” and then we went in the hills. long, long hills. and then I had no one to half wheel… Not that I woulda been spared that experience if I hadnt been half wheeling the flat. Which made it more fun to do on the return. Intentionally. Oh wait, it was me being half wheeled on the return. Never mind…

    Maybe there’s some cross-cultural confusion around half-wheeling.

    As far as I know, half wheeling is a two-up or double paceline issue where one rider can’t resist the urge to put their wheel half in front, instead of hubs level. If you are trying to level it up and the other rider is pushing the pace then they are the half-wheeler, not you. If you have some kind of inferiority complex which prevents you from doing an even piece of work at the front, then its you.

    Hmm. I always took it to be someone from behind you, not really willing to come next to you, with their front tire next to your back tire. Like a bug flying in your ear, you want to swat at but can’t.

    A couple of weeks ago, while working up a climb a guy did this to me, all the way up the climb. All this space we had, and he was right next to my back wheel. A little dip, and he tucked in behind me, then just over my shoulder again as the grade went back up. I was waiting for the guy to jump me at the top, and he never did.

    But that presence, constant, just over my shoulder for the entire climb time really pissed me off. Always thinking my rear derailleur was going to be eaten by his spokes. Part of me wanted to drop the guy, but another part of me didn’t want it to disrupt my ride for the day. I kept telling myself, “Casually Deliberate….. Casually Deliberate…..”

    But your description also makes sense.

    His description is right – yours is something different.

    Half-wheeling is when you’re two abreast riding in a group at a steady pace and the person next to you just keeps upping it a little and putting their wheel slightly ahead of yours.

    You either pick it up a little, which increases the overall speed and creates a surge in the group, or you ignore it but then it might look like you can’t take the heat.

    Read Tyler Hamilton’s description of Lance Armstrong doing it and him doing it back.

    My response to being half-wheeled – and this is where power and computers are handy – is when I know I’m doing a decent power and the person next to me is probably not capable of maintaining their little extra effort. I keep it at the same rate, let them get a wheel ahead, even more and then watch them start breathing heavily, rocking around and gradually coming back and then falling behind my wheel. But I’m not then half-wheeling them because they have dropped off the pace.

    you’re both right- there is half wheeling when u just keep pushing ever so slightly. part of learning to be a pack dog. there is also imperiling oneself by overlapping your front wheel with rear wheel of a rider in front of you. that is a hard lesson about to come about. I only knew of the latter until I got yelled at and then punished in the hills.

    Your latter is just referred to as overlapping wheels. And is usually alright if you watch and trust the line in front of you “” and the rider in front can trust the line behind as well. Otherwise it’s not good and one of the riders will either concede or surge ahead.

    Yes, half wheeling is what @ChrisO describes, the other is, apart from being dangerous, called overlapping wheels.

    Not to nitpick, but knowing the correct term for both of these is important as after the guy who was overlapping you crashed and tries to blame you for deviating and causing his crash, you can point out that he was overlapping, cause them great shame and expose them to ridicule. Which of course is forbidden per Rule #43 but still, you want to call out the right infraction to avoid confusion.

  23. @ChrisO

    @VeloSix

    @Harminator

    @gaswepass

    @ChrisO

    Raise the pace with someone at your side ?

    That sounds like half-wheeling, which is strictly infra dig.

    finally got called out for half-wheeling, not knowing what it was nor doing by particular intention. was simply trying to keep up with the “fast people.” and then we went in the hills. long, long hills. and then I had no one to half wheel… Not that I woulda been spared that experience if I hadnt been half wheeling the flat. Which made it more fun to do on the return. Intentionally. Oh wait, it was me being half wheeled on the return. Never mind…

    Maybe there’s some cross-cultural confusion around half-wheeling.

    As far as I know, half wheeling is a two-up or double paceline issue where one rider can’t resist the urge to put their wheel half in front, instead of hubs level. If you are trying to level it up and the other rider is pushing the pace then they are the half-wheeler, not you. If you have some kind of inferiority complex which prevents you from doing an even piece of work at the front, then its you.

    Hmm. I always took it to be someone from behind you, not really willing to come next to you, with their front tire next to your back tire. Like a bug flying in your ear, you want to swat at but can’t.

    A couple of weeks ago, while working up a climb a guy did this to me, all the way up the climb. All this space we had, and he was right next to my back wheel. A little dip, and he tucked in behind me, then just over my shoulder again as the grade went back up. I was waiting for the guy to jump me at the top, and he never did.

    But that presence, constant, just over my shoulder for the entire climb time really pissed me off. Always thinking my rear derailleur was going to be eaten by his spokes. Part of me wanted to drop the guy, but another part of me didn’t want it to disrupt my ride for the day. I kept telling myself, “Casually Deliberate….. Casually Deliberate…..”

    But your description also makes sense.

    His description is right – yours is something different.

    Half-wheeling is when you’re two abreast riding in a group at a steady pace and the person next to you just keeps upping it a little and putting their wheel slightly ahead of yours.

    You either pick it up a little, which increases the overall speed and creates a surge in the group, or you ignore it but then it might look like you can’t take the heat.

    Read Tyler Hamilton’s description of Lance Armstrong doing it and him doing it back.

    My response to being half-wheeled – and this is where power and computers are handy – is when I know I’m doing a decent power and the person next to me is probably not capable of maintaining their little extra effort. I keep it at the same rate, let them get a wheel ahead, even more and then watch them start breathing heavily, rocking around and gradually coming back and then falling behind my wheel. But I’m not then half-wheeling them because they have dropped off the pace.

    I don’t think I’ve ever had this bother me too bad, although I’ve been conscious about not doing this move myself.  When I do catch on to this move (that I never knew to be a dig), I also take your approach, and just let the other guy have that little bit of “lead” by not matching the line, but still holding the speed.   Sometimes I take the bait, and match them, but usually just those staring at their power meter.

  24. @frank

    @unversio

    @gaswepass

    @ChrisO

    @VeloSix

    @Harminator

    @gaswepass

    @ChrisO

    Raise the pace with someone at your side ?

    That sounds like half-wheeling, which is strictly infra dig.

    finally got called out for half-wheeling, not knowing what it was nor doing by particular intention. was simply trying to keep up with the “fast people.” and then we went in the hills. long, long hills. and then I had no one to half wheel… Not that I woulda been spared that experience if I hadnt been half wheeling the flat. Which made it more fun to do on the return. Intentionally. Oh wait, it was me being half wheeled on the return. Never mind…

    Maybe there’s some cross-cultural confusion around half-wheeling.

    As far as I know, half wheeling is a two-up or double paceline issue where one rider can’t resist the urge to put their wheel half in front, instead of hubs level. If you are trying to level it up and the other rider is pushing the pace then they are the half-wheeler, not you. If you have some kind of inferiority complex which prevents you from doing an even piece of work at the front, then its you.

    Hmm. I always took it to be someone from behind you, not really willing to come next to you, with their front tire next to your back tire. Like a bug flying in your ear, you want to swat at but can’t.

    A couple of weeks ago, while working up a climb a guy did this to me, all the way up the climb. All this space we had, and he was right next to my back wheel. A little dip, and he tucked in behind me, then just over my shoulder again as the grade went back up. I was waiting for the guy to jump me at the top, and he never did.

    But that presence, constant, just over my shoulder for the entire climb time really pissed me off. Always thinking my rear derailleur was going to be eaten by his spokes. Part of me wanted to drop the guy, but another part of me didn’t want it to disrupt my ride for the day. I kept telling myself, “Casually Deliberate….. Casually Deliberate…..”

    But your description also makes sense.

    His description is right – yours is something different.

    Half-wheeling is when you’re two abreast riding in a group at a steady pace and the person next to you just keeps upping it a little and putting their wheel slightly ahead of yours.

    You either pick it up a little, which increases the overall speed and creates a surge in the group, or you ignore it but then it might look like you can’t take the heat.

    Read Tyler Hamilton’s description of Lance Armstrong doing it and him doing it back.

    My response to being half-wheeled – and this is where power and computers are handy – is when I know I’m doing a decent power and the person next to me is probably not capable of maintaining their little extra effort. I keep it at the same rate, let them get a wheel ahead, even more and then watch them start breathing heavily, rocking around and gradually coming back and then falling behind my wheel. But I’m not then half-wheeling them because they have dropped off the pace.

    you’re both right- there is half wheeling when u just keep pushing ever so slightly. part of learning to be a pack dog. there is also imperiling oneself by overlapping your front wheel with rear wheel of a rider in front of you. that is a hard lesson about to come about. I only knew of the latter until I got yelled at and then punished in the hills.

    Your latter is just referred to as overlapping wheels. And is usually alright if you watch and trust the line in front of you “” and the rider in front can trust the line behind as well. Otherwise it’s not good and one of the riders will either concede or surge ahead.

    Yes, half wheeling is what @ChrisO describes, the other is, apart from being dangerous, called overlapping wheels.

    Not to nitpick, but knowing the correct term for both of these is important as after the guy who was overlapping you crashed and tries to blame you for deviating and causing his crash, you can point out that he was overlapping, cause them great shame and expose them to ridicule. Which of course is forbidden per Rule #43 but still, you want to call out the right infraction to avoid confusion.

    There is a fine line here between following Rules #2 and #3 on the one hand and Rule #43 on the other.

  25. Loving the video. Just seeing a very young Mike Tomalaris with a super bouffant hairdo made my day… as did the now highly daggy SBS opening credits for the TdF.  I remember coming home from school and ensuring homework was done and dusted by 5.58 so that the half hour of daily highlights Le Tour could be watched. Those were the days. Steel was real. If you wanted a number of fears on your bike, you got yourself a mountain bike. STI levers were only starting to creep into the marketplace and cost about the GDP of Tonga.

  26. @frank

    @unversio

    @gaswepass

    @ChrisO

    @VeloSix

    @Harminator

    @gaswepass

    @ChrisO

    Raise the pace with someone at your side ?

    That sounds like half-wheeling, which is strictly infra dig.

    finally got called out for half-wheeling, not knowing what it was nor doing by particular intention. was simply trying to keep up with the “fast people.” and then we went in the hills. long, long hills. and then I had no one to half wheel… Not that I woulda been spared that experience if I hadnt been half wheeling the flat. Which made it more fun to do on the return. Intentionally. Oh wait, it was me being half wheeled on the return. Never mind…

    Maybe there’s some cross-cultural confusion around half-wheeling.

    As far as I know, half wheeling is a two-up or double paceline issue where one rider can’t resist the urge to put their wheel half in front, instead of hubs level. If you are trying to level it up and the other rider is pushing the pace then they are the half-wheeler, not you. If you have some kind of inferiority complex which prevents you from doing an even piece of work at the front, then its you.

    Hmm. I always took it to be someone from behind you, not really willing to come next to you, with their front tire next to your back tire. Like a bug flying in your ear, you want to swat at but can’t.

    A couple of weeks ago, while working up a climb a guy did this to me, all the way up the climb. All this space we had, and he was right next to my back wheel. A little dip, and he tucked in behind me, then just over my shoulder again as the grade went back up. I was waiting for the guy to jump me at the top, and he never did.

    But that presence, constant, just over my shoulder for the entire climb time really pissed me off. Always thinking my rear derailleur was going to be eaten by his spokes. Part of me wanted to drop the guy, but another part of me didn’t want it to disrupt my ride for the day. I kept telling myself, “Casually Deliberate….. Casually Deliberate…..”

    But your description also makes sense.

    His description is right – yours is something different.

    Half-wheeling is when you’re two abreast riding in a group at a steady pace and the person next to you just keeps upping it a little and putting their wheel slightly ahead of yours.

    You either pick it up a little, which increases the overall speed and creates a surge in the group, or you ignore it but then it might look like you can’t take the heat.

    Read Tyler Hamilton’s description of Lance Armstrong doing it and him doing it back.

    My response to being half-wheeled – and this is where power and computers are handy – is when I know I’m doing a decent power and the person next to me is probably not capable of maintaining their little extra effort. I keep it at the same rate, let them get a wheel ahead, even more and then watch them start breathing heavily, rocking around and gradually coming back and then falling behind my wheel. But I’m not then half-wheeling them because they have dropped off the pace.

    you’re both right- there is half wheeling when u just keep pushing ever so slightly. part of learning to be a pack dog. there is also imperiling oneself by overlapping your front wheel with rear wheel of a rider in front of you. that is a hard lesson about to come about. I only knew of the latter until I got yelled at and then punished in the hills.

    Your latter is just referred to as overlapping wheels. And is usually alright if you watch and trust the line in front of you “” and the rider in front can trust the line behind as well. Otherwise it’s not good and one of the riders will either concede or surge ahead.

    Yes, half wheeling is what @ChrisO describes, the other is, apart from being dangerous, called overlapping wheels.

    Not to nitpick, but knowing the correct term for both of these is important as after the guy who was overlapping you crashed and tries to blame you for deviating and causing his crash, you can point out that he was overlapping, cause them great shame and expose them to ridicule. Which of course is forbidden per Rule #43 but still, you want to call out the right infraction to avoid confusion.

    I’d always thought half wheeling was overlapping wheels by an inexperienced or poorly disciplined rider. Not that it makes much difference, the only time most of the guys on the Sunday club run aren’t overlapping is when they’re half wheeling. For some of them the the obvious way to get to the front of the group when we’re riding two abreast is through the middle.

  27. @Chris

    I’d always thought half wheeling was overlapping wheels by an inexperienced or poorly disciplined rider. Not that it makes much difference, the only time most of the guys on the Sunday club run aren’t overlapping is when they’re half wheeling. For some of them the the obvious way to get to the front of the group when we’re riding two abreast is through the middle.

    Bloody hell, sounds like you need a patron to instill some discipline.

    But overlapping is definitely not half-wheeling. Half-wheeling has the element of being a pissing contest.

    This is from The Secret Race:

    “…on the times when we trained side by side, Lance would edge his front wheel ahead of mine. I’m stubborn though, and I’d respond. It became a patter: Lance would edge out six inches, and I would respond by putting my wheel one centimeter behind his. Then he’d edge out another six inches, and I’d respond – one centimeter behind. … It was like a conversation, with Lance asking the questions.

    How’s that feel ?

    Still here.

    This?

    Still here.

    Okay, this?

    Still here, dude.”

    Overlapping is just inexperience or incompetence.  “You are responsible for your own front wheel” is one of the most important things anyone should know about bunch riding.

    It should be a Rule.

  28. @ChrisO

    @Chris

    I’d always thought half wheeling was overlapping wheels by an inexperienced or poorly disciplined rider. Not that it makes much difference, the only time most of the guys on the Sunday club run aren’t overlapping is when they’re half wheeling. For some of them the the obvious way to get to the front of the group when we’re riding two abreast is through the middle.

    Bloody hell, sounds like you need a patron to instill some discipline.

    But overlapping is definitely not half-wheeling. Half-wheeling has the element of being a pissing contest.

    This is from The Secret Race:

    “…on the times when we trained side by side, Lance would edge his front wheel ahead of mine. I’m stubborn though, and I’d respond. It became a patter: Lance would edge out six inches, and I would respond by putting my wheel one centimeter behind his. Then he’d edge out another six inches, and I’d respond – one centimeter behind. … It was like a conversation, with Lance asking the questions.

    How’s that feel ?

    Still here.

    This?

    Still here.

    Okay, this?

    Still here, dude.”

    Overlapping is just inexperience or incompetence. “You are responsible for your own front wheel” is one of the most important things anyone should know about bunch riding.

    It should be a Rule.

    I’ve learned a really important distinction.  Thanks !

  29. @slatanic

    To dig with panache you must be on the tops & casual dilebret in motion. Just before you subtly raise the pace it is always the done thing to ask the person at your side a question, preferably about themselves or their bike. These questions always get answered…… keep nodding or smiling & the person will keep talking :) This will firstly disguise the dig, secondly disrupt the persons breathing while they are talking & thirdly while they are gasping to answer you are serenely smiling & nodding away. …… The art of the dig :)

    Ha ha ha … what have I done :) To better explain myself: The idea of this type of dig is not to drop your riding partner but to put a bit of a “squeeze” on them  in the name of cruel fun. The idea is to stay shoulder to shoulder the whole time; even if it means backing off slightly, but have them thinking … “I’m under pressure here & he’s happy out, relaxed & even smiling … He rides like a lion” Of course half wheeling (Overlapping wheels) is for jack asses, I didn’t think that needed pointing out :) & like all cruel fun this type of dig is only to be performed on close friends……

  30. @ChrisO

    Bloody hell, sounds like you need a patron to instill some discipline.

    It would have to be someone tres formidable,  they’d have their hands full dealing with also sorts of infractions.

    I don’t ride with them enough to start telling them how to behave. I’m hoping the A group will be a bit more organised.

    @ChrisO

    Half-wheeling has the element of being a pissing contest.

    This is from The Secret Race:

    “…on the times when we trained side by side, Lance would edge his front wheel ahead of mine. I’m stubborn though, and I’d respond. It became a patter: Lance would edge out six inches, and I would respond by putting my wheel one centimeter behind his. Then he’d edge out another six inches, and I’d respond – one centimeter behind. … It was like a conversation, with Lance asking the questions.

    How’s that feel ?

    Still here.

    This?

    Still here.

    Okay, this?

    Still here, dude.”

    I remember reading that not being sure whether he was being a pussy, afraid of upsetting Lance or whether just bringing himself back to within a centimeter but no further was supposed to be a subtle dig.

    @ChrisO

    Overlapping is just inexperience or incompetence. “You are responsible for your own front wheel” is one of the most important things anyone should know about bunch riding.

    It should be a Rule.

    Absolutely, although I’d add willfully and stupidly negligent.

    The punishment should be a severe beating. Not with a multi tool or frame pump, just a beating.

  31. @Chris

    For some of them the the obvious way to get to the front of the group when we’re riding two abreast is through the middle.

    This is a bit off topic, but reminds me of something.

    There’s one guy in the group that I ride with who, whenever we’re in a double pace line, will always ride between the two guys in front of him. I hate riding next to him. I feel like if I’m on his right I’m going to end up in the ditch, and if I’m on his left I’m going to get clipped by a car.

    I usually handle this by upping my own pace when the line is forming so I can get away from him.

  32. @KW

    @Chris

    For some of them the the obvious way to get to the front of the group when we’re riding two abreast is through the middle.

    This is a bit off topic, but reminds me of something.

    There’s one guy in the group that I ride with who, whenever we’re in a double pace line, will always ride between the two guys in front of him. I hate riding next to him. I feel like if I’m on his right I’m going to end up in the ditch, and if I’m on his left I’m going to get clipped by a car.

    I usually handle this by upping my own pace when the line is forming so I can get away from him.

    Just tell him to move over. He can still stay slightly off center from the wheel ahead without sitting in the middle.

    Or depending on your own level of comfort just rub elbows with him – he’ll probably move away from you.

    I think a lot of people do things like this simply because nobody tells them otherwise.

    Of course it helps if they are stupid and self-centred and don’t look at what the rest of the group is doing.

  33. @KW You must ride with my club! Either that or there is one in every group ride. They’re fucking magnetic as well, they always seem to end up next to me. I tend to drift back a bit to give myself a bit of maneuvering space (not ideal for the rest of the line, I know) and then looking to gain or lose a few positions in the line at the next major junction.

  34. The tangents which come about are one of the best things about these posts (the “half-wheel” vs “overlapping wheel” discussion).

    I have to say though, calling someone an “overlapper” just doesn’t have the same pejorative ring as “Half-wheeler” when talking to someone who’s threatening your derailleur with his front tire by riding like a dumbass. We have used “half wheeling” to describe both those pushing the pace (or could it be starting a mini-echelon?) and those riding their front wheel next to your back wheel. Although semantically the latter is not correct.

  35. @ChrisO

    @KW

    @Chris

    For some of them the the obvious way to get to the front of the group when we’re riding two abreast is through the middle.

    This is a bit off topic, but reminds me of something.

    There’s one guy in the group that I ride with who, whenever we’re in a double pace line, will always ride between the two guys in front of him. I hate riding next to him. I feel like if I’m on his right I’m going to end up in the ditch, and if I’m on his left I’m going to get clipped by a car.

    I usually handle this by upping my own pace when the line is forming so I can get away from him.

    Just tell him to move over. He can still stay slightly off center from the wheel ahead without sitting in the middle.

    Or depending on your own level of comfort just rub elbows with him – he’ll probably move away from you.

    I think a lot of people do things like this simply because nobody tells them otherwise.

    Of course it helps if they are stupid and self-centred and don’t look at what the rest of the group is doing.

    One of the issues that I have is that I’m relatively new to the club. I just started riding with them last fall, and have yet to get out with them this spring (tomorrow looks hopeful!). This fellow is one that’s been around for quite some time, and thinks he’s a better rider than he is, I’m afraid.

    I do the best I can to hold my line. Perhaps a little more Rule #5 is in order here.

  36. @Ccos

    The tangents which come about are one of the best things about these posts (the “half-wheel” vs “overlapping wheel” discussion).

    I have to say though, calling someone an “overlapper” just doesn’t have the same pejorative ring as “Half-wheeler” when talking to someone who’s threatening your derailleur with his front tire by riding like a dumbass. We have used “half wheeling” to describe both those pushing the pace (or could it be starting a mini-echelon?) and those riding their front wheel next to your back wheel. Although semantically the latter is not correct.

    The risking of the rear derailleur is the only thing keeping me from swerving at these ass holes, and running them in a ditch.  Maybe some of Rule #43, but mostly the rear derailleur.

  37. Mikael – I kinda like Mike Tomalaris. But, maybe that is mainly because I see him in old footage that is very easy to like. He might not be cool if I had to see him all the time.

    Hey, who is the guy announcing the BeIN coverage? Heard him last week during Paris-Nice. First of all, he seems to be solo. That has to be kind of challenging. Then again, it’s not like King Kelly adds too much filler! (not a dig, I enjoy hearing him and hey, he was great on the bike and it’s not easy having a second career).

    I’m also very happy that I learned about half-wheeling on the bike, not on the net, and it was the group oligarch who told me to cut that the fuck out. I miss the openness of youth sports when you could tell someone what you really thought of them, then still be friends off the field.

    And…is Assos having a dig at all of us? Got an email from a retailer announcing some new bibs in their line-up. The top-end ones are going for nearly $500 USD. Fack, I’d be pissed if I crashed in those and ripped ‘em.

  38. @Ron

    Mikael – I kinda like Mike Tomalaris. But, maybe that is mainly because I see him in old footage that is very easy to like. He might not be cool if I had to see him all the time.

    Hey, who is the guy announcing the BeIN coverage? Heard him last week during Paris-Nice. First of all, he seems to be solo. That has to be kind of challenging. Then again, it’s not like King Kelly adds too much filler! (not a dig, I enjoy hearing him and hey, he was great on the bike and it’s not easy having a second career).

    I’m also very happy that I learned about half-wheeling on the bike, not on the net, and it was the group oligarch who told me to cut that the fuck out. I miss the openness of youth sports when you could tell someone what you really thought of them, then still be friends off the field.

    And…is Assos having a dig at all of us? Got an email from a retailer announcing some new bibs in their line-up. The top-end ones are going for nearly $500 USD. Fack, I’d be pissed if I crashed in those and ripped ‘em.

    Serious? WTF do $500 bibs do for you? That’s more than I paid for my Ultegra equipped Bianchi Cross whip.

  39. @ChrisO

    @KW

    @Chris

    For some of them the the obvious way to get to the front of the group when we’re riding two abreast is through the middle.

    This is a bit off topic, but reminds me of something.

    There’s one guy in the group that I ride with who, whenever we’re in a double pace line, will always ride between the two guys in front of him. I hate riding next to him. I feel like if I’m on his right I’m going to end up in the ditch, and if I’m on his left I’m going to get clipped by a car.

    I usually handle this by upping my own pace when the line is forming so I can get away from him.

    Just tell him to move over. He can still stay slightly off center from the wheel ahead without sitting in the middle.

    Or depending on your own level of comfort just rub elbows with him – he’ll probably move away from you.

    I think a lot of people do things like this simply because nobody tells them otherwise.

    Of course it helps if they are stupid and self-centred and don’t look at what the rest of the group is doing.

    Or if you really want to get their attention, reach over and give their bars a wiggle. That’s how one of the elder statesmen got me to quit doing it back in the day.

  40. @Chris

    @KW You must ride with my club! Either that or there is one in every group ride. They’re fucking magnetic as well, they always seem to end up next to me. I tend to drift back a bit to give myself a bit of maneuvering space (not ideal for the rest of the line, I know) and then looking to gain or lose a few positions in the line at the next major junction.

    @Chris – must have something to do with how good a draft you create – hardly ever happens to me……..

  41. Multiple digs likely on the Cipressa or top of the Poggio at MSR this weekend.  Timely article @Brett!

  42. @scaler911

    @Ron

    Mikael – I kinda like Mike Tomalaris. But, maybe that is mainly because I see him in old footage that is very easy to like. He might not be cool if I had to see him all the time.

    Hey, who is the guy announcing the BeIN coverage? Heard him last week during Paris-Nice. First of all, he seems to be solo. That has to be kind of challenging. Then again, it’s not like King Kelly adds too much filler! (not a dig, I enjoy hearing him and hey, he was great on the bike and it’s not easy having a second career).

    I’m also very happy that I learned about half-wheeling on the bike, not on the net, and it was the group oligarch who told me to cut that the fuck out. I miss the openness of youth sports when you could tell someone what you really thought of them, then still be friends off the field.

    And…is Assos having a dig at all of us? Got an email from a retailer announcing some new bibs in their line-up. The top-end ones are going for nearly $500 USD. Fack, I’d be pissed if I crashed in those and ripped ‘em.

    Serious? WTF do $500 bibs do for you? That’s more than I paid for my Ultegra equipped Bianchi Cross whip.

    I can tell you what $500 bibs do for me…

  43. @scaler911

    @ChrisO

    @KW

    @Chris

    For some of them the the obvious way to get to the front of the group when we’re riding two abreast is through the middle.

    This is a bit off topic, but reminds me of something.

    There’s one guy in the group that I ride with who, whenever we’re in a double pace line, will always ride between the two guys in front of him. I hate riding next to him. I feel like if I’m on his right I’m going to end up in the ditch, and if I’m on his left I’m going to get clipped by a car.

    I usually handle this by upping my own pace when the line is forming so I can get away from him.

    Just tell him to move over. He can still stay slightly off center from the wheel ahead without sitting in the middle.

    Or depending on your own level of comfort just rub elbows with him – he’ll probably move away from you.

    I think a lot of people do things like this simply because nobody tells them otherwise.

    Of course it helps if they are stupid and self-centred and don’t look at what the rest of the group is doing.

    Or if you really want to get their attention, reach over and give their bars a wiggle. That’s how one of the elder statesmen got me to quit doing it back in the day.

    That would scare the fuck out of me, and cause me to immediately to cease and desist whatever offense I’ve just committed.

  44. Sounds like someone has been spying on our club rides; that’s pretty much the way it goes down every weekend. The earlier comment about the early head bob being an indicator of imminent pain is absolutely right. I’ve spent a lot of this winter practising laying down the V with a rock-steady upper body for exactly that reason.

  45. @ChrisO

    “You are responsible for your own front wheel” 

    It should be a Rule.

    Seconded.  I went looking for this Rule last night and was a bit alarmed not to find it.

  46. @KW

    @ChrisO

    @KW

    @Chris

    For some of them the the obvious way to get to the front of the group when we’re riding two abreast is through the middle.

    This is a bit off topic, but reminds me of something.

    There’s one guy in the group that I ride with who, whenever we’re in a double pace line, will always ride between the two guys in front of him. I hate riding next to him. I feel like if I’m on his right I’m going to end up in the ditch, and if I’m on his left I’m going to get clipped by a car.

    I usually handle this by upping my own pace when the line is forming so I can get away from him.

    Just tell him to move over. He can still stay slightly off center from the wheel ahead without sitting in the middle.

    Or depending on your own level of comfort just rub elbows with him – he’ll probably move away from you.

    I think a lot of people do things like this simply because nobody tells them otherwise.

    Of course it helps if they are stupid and self-centred and don’t look at what the rest of the group is doing.

    One of the issues that I have is that I’m relatively new to the club. I just started riding with them last fall, and have yet to get out with them this spring (tomorrow looks hopeful!). This fellow is one that’s been around for quite some time, and thinks he’s a better rider than he is, I’m afraid.

    I do the best I can to hold my line. Perhaps a little more Rule #5 is in order here.

    I’m kind of in the same spot. He’s been around a lot longer than I and everyone likes him so I don’t find it my place to correct his riding. I do what I can to stay away, usually moving up does it.

  47. @KW The chap at our club that likes to ride in a central position rather in the left or right column is also a long term member and club stalwart.

    [Mental resolution to self: Apply V and tell him to stay in line next time. Second warning to be a gentle elbow nudge whilst the third will be a “directional correction” per Scaler’s advice.]

    [Mental note to self: find some form so as not to look like a complete cock when getting dropped after telling said club stalwart to behave himself]

  48. re: the rider who’s ‘half-wheeling':

    my old school solution while riding mtn. bikes (& top-mounted thumb shifters), when they get close enough, just reach over & shift for them. or a gentle nudge on their brake lever. they won’t ever get close enough to you again.

  49. When riding two abreast if there is an odd man out the best place is in the middle so the two behind can get a better draft.  They should move to the right if someone comes up next to them.

  50. @Ron

    Mikael – I kinda like Mike Tomalaris. But, maybe that is mainly because I see him in old footage that is very easy to like. He might not be cool if I had to see him all the time.

    I spent a couple of days in Far North Queensland last year on a media junket, and Tommo was MCing the Croc trophy race. He is a funny guy to hang out with, totally aware of his reputation as being a bit of a bumbler (at least in his early days) and was very self-effacing in his humour. And he dished it out as good as he copped when we were on the drink and talk turned to the Pharmy years… I even told him how I’d contacted SBS TV on a number of occasions asking for his job, and he just said “well, you didn’t get it!” A good guy.

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