Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tour of California - Rain Advice

This week is the Tour of California bike race. Bike racing is by far my favorite sport to watch on TV. Johan Bruyneel described it best when he compared bike racing to a multi day rolling chess match. It certainly is a chess match but this week there has been an added element of difficulty with all of the intense rain that the riders have had to endure. Who would have thought that rain would be a huge factor of the Tour of California.

As someone who tolerates rain 9 months out of the year I have some advice for Lance, Levi, Thor, Mark, and Floyd on how to read the weather forecasts and what all of the different rain variations really mean. I’ve also added some possible racing tactics just for fun.

This is a term for a very light, fine rain. Not really enough to get you very wet but just enough to be really annoying after hours in the saddle. Racing tactic advice, convince your cycling foes in the peleton that the drizzle collecting on their bikes is adding needless weight and the only way to shed this weight is to stop and squeegee their bikes off. When they stop to squeegee make a run for it.

This is your normal run of the mill rain but it comes and goes in spurts. This rain usually lasts for half an hour or so. Racing tactic advice, sneak up behind your rival teams and tie knots in the sleeves of their rain jackets. When the rain hits and the riders put on their rain jackets you can make a surprise attack. Although pro cyclist can ride incredibly well without hands the surprise of not being able to put their jackets on all the way should gain you at least 30 seconds on your rivals.

In contrast to showers, rain is steadier and normally falls constantly for hours on end. Racing tactic advice, since no racer would ever have a fender on his bike it’s important to position yourself in front of your chief rival and spray him in the face with rain water. While employing this tactic the racer should seek out as many muddy puddles as possible thus adding dirt freckles to his rivals face. It’s just the right thing to do and it will make for an unforgettable interview after the race.

Well, that basically sums up the different types of rain that the riders will encounter on the Tour of California. I’m confident that if these race tactics are employed your team will not only win but it will be a tour that will be talked about for years to come.


Jenny said...

I don't mind a drizzle or even an occasional shower when I ride, but when it's coming down solid and steady hour after hour, well, you know me and my feet. I guess I need some of those fancy shoe covers to keep me dry. (and warm)

331 Miles said...

They probably thoroughly cleaned the roads for the ToC, but if out for road kill remains and the resultant "soup" spray. Yech.

Jenny said...

hmmm...road kill soup...careful; Mike did live in the South for a while, he might get ideas...

Anonymous said...

It's too bad California probably lacks the fun element of road salt. Having salty water sprayed into your face always tastes wonderful.

Excellent post Mike.

LVP said...

Well, I believe everything you said. We don't have much rain where we live. Maybe you should set up a "Tour the Intermountain Deserts".