Short Stories
Entry No. 5 June 21, 2004

Three Man Peleton

Well, it would be four if you count Mr. T In My Pocket (1). The 5 day forecast for Beaver Creek down through Haines Junction was hot, sunny, and smoky from the forest fires up north of Beaver Creek, in Chicken. Stephan and Tamara, my new-found cycling buddies, and I, started out at White River Crossing Trading Post and had considered 75 miles to Burwash Landing, passing through Kluane Wilderness Lodge, historical mile post 1118. T and I have been now been biking with Stephan and Tamara for almost 2 ½ days and we're getting pretty acquainted with each other's riding styles and their English is impressive. For the past year or so, I've had a favorite German word, Straussenbaumhaltershtellar (or something like that) which means simply, "subway stop". I have found a close second favorite: hühne brüste meaning "chicken tits", of which I have. Mein po means "my butt" and one we all use often.

Anyway, we've been getting along pretty well and today was the first day we did some major drafting (2). We ruled that no farting was allowed during drafting and for the most part, we've been holding true. Drafting me is not as helpful because my trailer doesn't allow Stephan or Tamara to get close behind me and hide from the wind, but every % helps as Stephan pointed out.

Now, I have 700 x 32 cm tires which are pretty skinny compared to the 40+ cm tires Stephan and Tamara were using. Hence, on the flats and some downhill slopes, I would go in front. From the time we left our first break of the day at Pine Valley to Kluane Wilderness Village, about 35 miles, we flew. I've never felt as comfy on down hills with the trailer as I did today. Stephan and Tamara stayed close behind and we had a perfect peleton for a good hour or so. Up to that point, we had done 50 miles in about 3 hours and 15 minutes. We covered 74 miles in total that day. It was a great feeling. Eat your heart out, Lance.
(1) Mr. T is a small electronic device with 6 different Mr. T sayings that are hilarious. If you don't have one and need a protector or a motivator, get yourself one.

(2) Drafting in cycling is when you are following close behind the cyclist directly in front of you, using them as a wind barrier. At times, you can save up to 30% of your energy just by drafting. Although not allowed in triathlons, it is huge in the Tour de France. It is neat to watch them weaving back and forth on the road like a snake because what the first guy does, they all follow closely so as to not lose them in the event they try to break away from the pack.

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