Submitted by Dave McComb
The purpose of this ride is to simulate real race conditions so that racers can learn to handle many different competitive situations and also to gain the kind of group ride experience that only a race can simulate.
The start location is the Suburban Bethlehem Lutheran School on Flaugh Road. For detailed driving instructions please look under the SCHEDULES tab on this website for DIRECTIONS TO START LOCATIONS and click on Bethlehem Suburban.
The ride starts at 6:00PM every Tuesday from mid April to mid September. The duration is determined by daylight, temperature and sometimes weather. Usually the race practice will last 1.5 - 2 hours.
Riders will roll out of the parking lot in a group and head down Flaugh Road to begin the first lap of the course in a clockwise direction (GXP of the course coming soon). The first lap is always a neutral start and in double file with riders rotating through the front. This pace allows riders unfamiliar with the course to make note of road conditions and turn locations. As the end of the first lap approaches the ride leader will announce to the group where the finish line is located and how many laps will take place. Once the first lap is completed the race is on!
There will usually be immediate attacks off the front, chase groups will form and reform, with a select group of racers usually dueling for a sprint finish!
It is important to remember this is a training exercise! Don't let your adrenaline cause you to do something that will endanger your fellow racers or bring embarrassment to the 3RVS Club. There are no awards given to the unofficial winner of the TNWC. If you get dropped and find yourself alone, turn around and ride the opposite direction until you see the bunch and then hop on for another go or race hard for a lap and recover for a lap. Again it is a practice so feel free to take advantage of the opportunity to learn and improve.
This is an open circuit. Meaning there will be automobile traffic. Stay on the right side of the road. Do not cross the center line of the road into oncoming traffic especially if in an echelon or during the sprint finish.
You may see racers from the same team attack each other. This is a practice after all.
Sometimes the ride needs to neutralize for a moment because of traffic.
This is a race simulation so don't expect racers to “pull through” or to take “a turn at the front”. You may be blocked and boxed in or slowed down by someone using your draft. This is all part of racing. Be happy that someone thinks you are a worthy enough opponent to strategize against.
Attack: Generally a sudden acceleration in an attempt to break free of the Peloton. On flat roads it is usually done by riding up along the side of the pack so that by the time the attacker passes the Peloton's front rider he is traveling too fast for the pack to easily react. In the mountains it is usually enough to accelerate from the front.
Breakaway: One or more riders escaping from the front of Peloton, usually as the result of a sudden acceleration called an "attack". Riders will work together sharing the effort of breaking the wind hoping to improve their chances of winning by arriving at the finish in a smaller group. This can also be called a "break". Some riders do not possess the necessary speed to contest mass sprints and therefore try very hard to escape the clutches of the Peloton well before the end of the race.
Bridge: Short for bridge a gap. To go from one group of cyclists to a break up the road.
Drafting: At racing speed a rider who is only a few inches behind another bike does about 30 percent less work. Riding behind another rider in his aerodynamic slipstream is called drafting. This is the basic fact of bike racing tactics and why a rider will not just leave the Peloton and ride away from the others, no matter how strong he is. Only in the rarest of cases can a racer escape a determined chasing Peloton. To make an escape work he needs the pack to be disinterested in chasing for some length of time so that he can gain a large enough time gap. Then, when the sleeping pack is aroused they do not have enough time to catch him no matter how fast they chase.
Drop: When a rider cannot keep up with his fellow riders and comes out of their aerodynamic slipstream, whether in a break or in the Peloton, he is said to be dropped.
Echelon: When the riders are hit with a side wind they must ride slightly to the right or left of the rider in front in order to remain in that rider's slipstream, instead of riding nose to tail in a straight line. This staggered line puts those riders further back in the pace line in the gutter. Because they can't edge further to the side, they have to take more of the brunt of both the wind and the wind drag of their forward motion. Good riders then form a series of echelons so that all the racers can contribute and receive shelter.
Jump: A rider with the ability to quickly accelerate his bike is said to have a good "jump".
Lead out: In a sprint to the line, a rider trying to win will often ride behind a teammate, in his wind shelter. Sometimes, several riders will form a "train". After the front rider has exhausted himself, the riders behind him will take over, one by one, often faster and faster, until finally the fastest sprinter dashes for the line. Providing that aerodynamic shelter is called giving a "lead-out".
Paceline: Riders riding nose to tail saving energy by riding in each others slipstream. Usually the front rider does the hard work for a short while, breaking the wind for the others, and then peels off to go to the back so that another rider can take a short stint at the front. The faster the riders go the greater the energy saving gained by riding in the slipstream of the rider in front. When the action is hot and the group wants to move fast the front man will take a short, high-speed "pull" at the front before dropping off. At lower speeds the time at the front is usually longer.
Peloton: The main group of riders traveling together in a race. Breaks leave the front of it, dropped riders exit its rear. Synonyms: bunch, group, field, pack.
Sprint: At the end of a race the speeds get ever higher until in the last couple of hundred meters the fastest riders jump out from the Peloton in an all-out scramble for the finish line. Teams with very fine sprinting specialists will employ a "lead-out train". With about 5 kilometers to go these teams will try to take control of the race by going to the front and stepping up the speed of the race in order to discourage last-minute flyers.
Sandbagger: Usually a rider who tells anyone who will listen on the warmup lap, how out of shape they are because they don't have time to ride. They then proceed to dominate the ride and win the sprint.
Sitting on: A rider who drafts others and refuses to go to the front and do his share of the work is said to be "sitting on." There are a number of pejorative terms for a rider who does this, the best known is "wheelsucker".
That Guy: The rider who breaks the rules of the ride to gain an advantage.