I'll Take a Draft Please

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:)



Filed under exercise, influence of others

21 responses to “I'll Take a Draft Please

  1. Hope Tish doesn’t read this post before we ride today. Believe I’ll let her lead and I’ll just draft!

    And oh yeah…..he’s right a whole lot more than I care to admit. Most recent example? On the Metro the other day, we got to our destination just fine, but let’s just say thanks to me, we took the scenic (underground) route. Should’ve listened to Mr. B!

  2. I am not a bike rider but I was familiar with the term… I like the analogy at the end & yes, I have used the support of friends & family to get me through!

  3. Amy

    Your post reminds me of a time I look forward to. a time where I can go on a bikeride with hubby and NO KIDS. I am in the season of life where that is not possible, but it will be.

    It would freak me out to be that close to another bike.

  4. Ewa

    But the ‘draftee’ does not get as much workout. Isn’t that cheating? 🙂

  5. I’ll take your word for it 🙂 Sounds like fun either way- I miss bike riding with hubby and now it’s gotten too cold again darnit.

  6. That definitely makes me want to ride a bike! We’d have to drive with our bikes somewhere to ride safely. It’s so trafic-y here.
    You’re so funny.
    I suppose my husband is right…not as often as he believes, but lots more than I want to give him credit for.

    • Karen

      One year, a while back, hubby had my buy his a bike rack for a gift. It sat unused for a few years, I think, before we dragged it out. We can ride from home but many times I like to start from a trailhead.

  7. 🙂 love it! Had never heard of “drafting” but I’ve seen it happening…now I know what to call it!

  8. I hase used the support of family and friends.
    I guess know about drafting, I have been the draftee.
    I am still not 100% confident rider.

  9. I have ridden tens of thousands of miles — all on my own. I can honestly say that I have never drafted once. For me, it’s not about whether it’s cheating or efficient, I just prefer to ride alone. There are some days when I wish I could, but that would involve another person — yuck!

  10. My husband thinks he is always right, and he loves to point it out too!

    I like the analogy to the blogging community. I definitely feel pulled along in the right direction from everyone, and it works especially well on those days where I just don’t have it in me!

  11. Glad to hear his advice worked, and that you’re giving the sweet hubby snaps for it! Yes, my boyfriend gives me great advice and most of the time, I actually listen (haven’t really been known for that in past relationships). Enjoy this new way of cycling!

  12. When I used to ride, windy days were an excuse to do something else. Love the analogy to the blogging community … I’d be lost without it.

  13. Great post as usual Karen! I have not experienced this while bike riding but I surely have enjoyed the support of family and friends through out my life.

    When I was first married I would often call my mother or my mother in law and get advice on how to cook things.

    Parenting also comes to mind. I would call my mom often for advice when my children were little and relied on her life experiences to guide me with my own children.

    I have been the guidance for other young mothers that have come into my life over the years.

    My daughter emails me from Spain asking for help with her cooking and making substitutions with products she can find there.

    I hope my blog is helpful to others who are trying to improve their lifestyle.

    What goes around comes around they say!

    • Karen

      I so agree with that last line. And as I wrote that post, I thought of many parenting examples myself. Like when I was a cub scout leader and got great information passed to me from experienced leaders; I passed on everything I learned as well. Same with being a roommom.

  14. Darn. I hate it when other people are right! Just kidding – I’m glad you tried it. I’m a nervous biker and just stick to neighborhood roads.

  15. and….


I love comments!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s