Passing on a climb.

diy
diy Posts: 6,473
edited January 2013 in Road general
On my training route there is a down hill section that levels out and goes in to a climb almost immediately. The aim therefore is to hold as much speed as possible and keep it all going changing gear down as momentum runs out to get as far up the hill assisted as possible. You don't get that much, but the faster you go down the further up you get help.

Now here is the thing I am struggling with. I can catch and pass almost any cyclist in front of me and I also get passed by others chasing me down when I am in front.

Is this psychological - i.e. being spurred to catch the guy in front or is there some physics here?

Comments

  • YIMan
    YIMan Posts: 576
    Totally psychological. I put vastly more effort in when passed and/or chasing another rider than when just cruising along alone.

    In fact, I love to do it. I have a couple of options on the way home commuting and will always take the one I've seen someone else take ahead. I love to see a cyclist up ahead of me so I can try to take them

    I'm not competitive like! ;-)
  • Mikey41
    Mikey41 Posts: 690
    Yep, it's that competitive instinct in all of us, we see a target up ahead, we try and catch it.

    A colleague at work commutes on his MTB (well, a Halfords BSO) and he's usually out the door 5 or 6 minutes ahead of me while I get changed. We go the same way, so my challenge is to see how quickly I can overtake him. After only 2 miles as it turns out :lol:
    Giant Defy 2 (2012)
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  • jibberjim
    jibberjim Posts: 2,810
    diy wrote:
    Now here is the thing I am struggling with. I can catch and pass almost any cyclist in front of me and I also get passed by others chasing me down when I am in front.

    Is this psychological - i.e. being spurred to catch the guy in front or is there some physics here?

    Nothing to do with either, it's simply that if a faster cyclist is in front of you, you'll never see them, they'll be well ahead of you before the hill starts and just get further away as the hill goes up. Whereas if a faster cyclist is behind you, they'll catch and pass you.

    Unless you're talking about in a small group when you're riding together and you know the relative strengths, when the draft benefit of the high speed parts of the uphill and being able to accellerate in your draft at the bottom of the downhill will make a difference.
    Jibbering Sports Stuff: http://jibbering.com/sports/
  • ShutUpLegs
    ShutUpLegs Posts: 3,522
    ^whs
  • mallorcajeff
    mallorcajeff Posts: 1,489
    Funny I had the same thing only yesterday and some guy passed me on the descent and I was just ambling along then this guy passed me really close (too close for comfort) So I thought time to try a Nibali Impression and romped back passed him and even set myself a PR in the process on strava. Shame I did not go for it from the top could have been a good run.
    http://app.strava.com/activities/36248269
  • diy
    diy Posts: 6,473
    Those comments make sense.. the hill just compresses what would normally take a few minutes to do.
  • pinno
    pinno Posts: 51,317
    The one thing you do get (on a technical descent) from following someone is some anticipation. You can see their line and you can judge if they over-break for a bend, this can give you a massive advantage.
    At the Caledonia Etape, I coughed and spluttered my way up Schiehallion (due to a chest infection) but on the descent I went like the clappers. If you have ever raced, downhills are a hectic mad thing - you're either trying to maintain a gap or trying to catch someone but with the adrenalin pumping you also forget the risks and learn how to descend fast. I guessed those at the etape were mainly sportive riders because I lost count of the numbers I passed.
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • diy
    diy Posts: 6,473
    hmmm, I'm not really that fast down hill on my road bike. I've been much faster on grass than I have on tarmac. I just can't bring myself to go for it, with such skinny tyres and crappy brakes. Particularly on summer tyres in wet conditions.