Monday, June 23

Cycling and Reverse Metaphors

A lot of times in cycling you can see a good way of defining things, of explaining them, in a way that makes sense to you, or so someone else, through using a metaphor, analogy, simile, etc. A good example is cycloblogist Sprinter della Casa's cash machine--every hard effort is like a withdrawal.

On the other hand, I've become so biked-out that I see things from the opposite perspective. For instance, crossing a crowded barroom is like trying to get to the front of the pack--you have to plow through, and it takes a bit of effort. However, a good way is to find someone whose glass is nearly empty and keep an eye on them--they will be going to the bar to get another beer soon. Similar to how I marked the rider heading to the front on the Slouch Potato Ride, I jump in right behind the person when they get up to cross the room to the bar, and follow them closely. I've found it to be an effective way of getting across a crowded room with record speed and minimal effort.

Another example, using the reverse cash-machine metaphor, is my apartment situation. My roommate and I were in a two-man break. With two people, you're both taking pulls in to the wind, and steady, hard efforts keep you ahead of the fray. Each rent payment is as pulling off and getting back in to the slipstream, to save energy for the next pull, and the next
rent check.

A couple weeks ago my roommate got dropped--she drifted back and returned to the field, I guess. Now I'm in a solo break--one long individual time trial, going until my legs are screaming. I've got a decent lead that I can hold for a while. However, there is a long way to go, and I'm hoping I can keep up the pace, or that someone will bridge the gap before I'm totally exhausted. Either way you're looking at it, the key in this sort of situation is to have the discipline to maximize efficiency, and not write any checks your legs (or your landlord) can't cash.

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