This post is an ode to my husband. Who… drum roll please… was right.
He’s been trying for ages to convince me of the benefits of drafting while biking. For those of you not familiar with the concept and not addicted to the Tour de France (as he is) the concept is simple: cyclists ride in single file to block the wind for the person behind, and, in theory, they take turns being the rider in front and the one(s) behind who get the advantage.
Usually when hubby and I ride together, I’m in front. There are several reasons for this. I am slower, so I set the pace. I am smaller, so while my husband can sort of see around me, I can’t see a darn thing from behind him. And hubby likes the view of my tight bike shorts from behind. Sometimes we ride side-by-side and chat, which is great because it makes the ride go by faster and we have some interesting conversations. But that practice is a bit dangerous on the curvy paths.
Lately we have been experiencing some extremely windy days. And not that I mind the added effort I have to exert to ride into the wind, but it really slows us down and my beloved husband, who is already riding slower with me than he would on his own, is all about our pace. So, to appease him, I tried drafting. Hesitantly. Because I am a bit of a nervous biker already and having to ride close behind his rear tire, without being able to see any upcoming obstacles, just made me more trepidatious. I quickly learned not to take my eyes off the tire for more than a second or two!
Does it work? Yes, it seemingly does. Even for recreational amateurs such as ourselves. And lest you think I am totally slacking off, letting my husband do all the work against the wind, remember that he rides at a much faster pace so I am usually pedaling away to stay on his heels, so to speak. I get the benefit of a wind buffer, and he gets to work out harder and the sense of satisfaction from being right helping me out. Win win.
There are many opportunities to apply the principles of drafting in other aspects of life. Drafting lets the power of a group improve performance for each member. It is a great example of synergy – where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. And symbiosis – a mutually beneficial relationship. It makes me think of all the times in my life when I have experienced power in numbers and when I have both gotten support and supported others. (Weight loss blogging, for example.)
Have you tried drafting in biking or in life? Either as the drafter or the draftee:) Any examples to share? Is your significant other ever right?
Note: I drafted (no pun intended) this post before my husband went out-of-town, leaving me without a biking partner. He came home last night and I am eager for our first ride today in over a week:)