Archive for the Terminology Category

Useful Italian Cycling Phrases, Part 1

Posted in Terminology on April 28, 2010 by hypercatracing

As unofficial Italian cycling week continues here at Hypercat we offer up a few important phrases you may find useful on your next ride’

  • Which way to the podium?   Dove’ si trova il podio?
  • Am I riding too fast for you?  Vado troppo veloce per te?
  • Please buy a new pair of shorts!  Per Favore compre calzoncini nuovi!
  • I think my brakes are dragging.  Credo che mi stanno rallentando I freni.
  • Feel free to take a pull.  Ha la cortesia di lavorare un po’
  • I’m conserving energy for the mountains. Io conservo energia per le montagne.
  • Waiter, more champagne for my domestiques! Cameriere, piu’ champagna per i mie compagni di squadra!

7 Common Cycling Terms That Are Better In Italian.

Posted in Terminology on April 26, 2010 by hypercatracing

Forcella = Fork
Pedivella = Crank
Pantalonci = Shorts
Nippli = Spoke Nipple
Borraccia = Water bottle
Bomboletta = CO2 cartridge
Ingranaggio fodori = Chainring

    What is a Wheel Sucker?

    Posted in Terminology on April 6, 2010 by hypercatracing

    Wheel Sucker:  One who rides closely to another rider for an extended period of time without changing position (moving forward) to gain a physiological and/ or aerodynamic advantage by reducing the amount of work he/ she has to do.  

    Wheel suckers are often considered bottom feeders and slackers as they do not work toward the greater good of the rider or riders in front of them.  But there are many instances where wheel sucking is perfectly acceptable.  Putting individual race tactics aside, an annoying but perfectly acceptable implementation of the technique, wheel suckers have many valid reasons for not “pulling through”. I have listed a few below.

    It’s O.K. to suck when…

    • The sucker is the sprinter being set up for a stage/ race win. (this is generally not considered true wheel sucking as it does not last long enough to qualify, however there are times that sprinters are dragged for miles in preparation of the final sprint, mountainous terrain would be an example)
    • The sucker is a team mate who has had problem and needs help returning to the peleton (again this is up for debate if it is a short duration, but the technique is the same)
    • The sucker is your spouse or significant other (happens to the best of us, if your the stronger rider, you’ll be pulling them, get used to it)
    • The sucker is an athlete you are coaching (They are paying you too pull)
    • The sucker is totally blown (Most commonly seen on group rides, never leave a man behind)
    • The sucker is you, as long as I’m not pulling!
    • The sucker is me, as long as your pulling! 

    The tactical wheel sucker:

    In racing, there are occasions, when wheel sucking becomes a useful tactic.  One example may be a rider who is in a lead break and their team leader or overall race contender is not.  The rider may choose not to “work” with the group and wheel suck to decrease the chance of having a succesful breakaway.  Other times the wheel sucker is simply not strong enough to be in the break and is doing everything they can to hang on.  These riders are of not much concern for long, but are annoying because, they can’t help in the groups success and take energy away while they are engaged. 

    The group ride wheel sucker:

    This is the most common place to meet a wheel sucker or become one yourself.  Group ride dynamics seem to breed them.  Newer riders are often scorned by the more experienced group because they spend the entire ride sucking the wheels of the stronger riders, but it’s not their fault.  It is the natural order of things.  For them too ride with the group and learn how not to be a wheel sucker they must first be a wheel sucker and suffer the humiliation of not being able to “pull”.   A good wheel sucker can deflect much criticism by being gracious, such as bestowing the honor of allowing a rider who is dropping back the opportunity to drop in front of them and in so doing allow that rider the great honor of pulling again sooner. 

    It’s not O.K. to suck…

    • Your teammate who is winning
    • Your spouse or significant other
    • Anyone you want to ride with again and again and again
    • Anyone who can make you suffer
    • Me!!! 

    What is a Barrage?

    Posted in Terminology on March 15, 2010 by hypercatracing

    Barrage:  technique used by officials to impede the progress of vehicles at times when they would affect the outcome of the race, specifically when they would allow dropped riders to regain a group they were dropped from.

    In professional bicycle racing such as the Tour de France, it is quite common for riders to separate from the main pack (peleton).  Sometimes the riders will be ahead of the peleton and other times behind.  Vehicles such as cars create a large wind block and are excellent for drafting and a rider who has fallen behind (been dropped) would use the vehicles to their advantage to get back up to the peleton, if allowed.  Many rules in bicycle racing surround not giving one rider an advantage over another, the barrage, while not a rule, is a technique to allow for a rider not to break a rule.  Basically the officials suspend the vehicle traffic so the riders can get through unaided.  

    Since the barrage disrupts the flow of the caravan, team managers and drivers are none too keen when one is imposed.  Generally speaking the stoppage of the team car separates the team car from the rider/ riders they are following and puts those riders into a bad position if they have a mechanical mishap and the team car is not there to take care of it quickly. 

    Many times, especially at the end of a long race, the domestiques will have done their jobs and they will sit up and go out the back. One of the reasons in the past for a barrage was too not allow these obviously dropped riders to use the caravan to regain some time or an advantage.  Now, however officials are better at recognizing obviously dropped riders and team managers are more active in instructing riders not to use the caravan once they have been dropped.  The only time a rider can use the caravan to get back up is if they have been dropped for a ligitamite mishap.