I was reading the latest Triathlon Canada magazine yesterday.
It's a magazine that mysteriously started arriving at our door without either of us having actually subscribed to it which is a little odd. The magazine is in Doug's name so my best guess is that, if someone makes it on the podium at a triathlon event in Canada they get a free one-year subscription.
If the magazine were in my name I might think that, if you compete in several triathlons and finally make it out of the bottom 5 in your age group they congratulate you buy giving you a subscription. But it's not in my name so that hypothesis is out the window.
Whatever the reason, it's a fun little present to get in the mail every two months.
The latest issue had an article about things that triathletes should work on to improve their overall race day performance.
In running, the goal was to increase speed and so the thing to do was interval training.
In swimming, the goal was to get better at kicking so they had some kicking drills to do at the pool.
In cycling, the goal was bike handling. Not bike speed or hill climbing or whatnot but bike handling. Specifically, braking efficiently and at the right time as well as turning tight corners.
Almost every triathlon or duathlon event I've been in has been an out and back course. That means that, at some point, I get to a pylon in the middle of the road and I am expected to slow down, and negotiate a rather tight turn before heading back the way I came.
Every time this happens, I spend the first half of the ride dreading that turn. I slow right down, unclip both pedals and almost always end up with one foot on the ground to stabilize me and prevent a spill.
Because I have really bad balance. And because I'm not particularly good at handing my bike. Point me in the right direction and I'm good to go but please don't ask me to make a quick turn, to go over loose gravel or even reach for my water bottle without a long stretch of flat road ahead of me.
So the article suggests that people like me head to a quiet parking lot and practice turning in tighter and tighter circles. The ultimate goal is to be able to turn between the lines of a parking space without falling off your bike or unclipping your pedals.
Guess what I'll be doing once the weather warms up?