enthDegree Cycling Blog

enthDegree Cycling Blog

Wheel Sucking

cyclePosted by Jon Entwistle Tue, December 06, 2016 06:55:23

I’ll be honest, I really don’t understand pure dye-in-the-wool roadies (aka road cyclists). They have strange unwritten rules that you only find out about when you’re on the receiving end. I recall doing a night group ride with a local and proper road club and being told off for being on the front too long and talking too much!

And then there’s mudguards. What’s that all about? It’s ok to ride through monsoon season (aka August in Scotland) on the lightweight summer steed with sub-kilo wheels but at some point between October and Christmas, it’s tradition to spend/waste time and money fitting a set of mud/road/grit fenders that don’t really work anyway.

Wheel sucking is another concept that I’m not particularly familiar with, but that’s the time triallist, CX racer, mountain biker and often lone road rider in me. I don’t consciously sit on wheels because I’m normally at the front of a one-man peloton.

And maybe that’s my (albeit incorrect) argument regarding mudguards. If you don’t want to get sprayed by the rear wheel in front of you, get to the front!

However last Friday, having realised I had an appointment in Aberdeen and not wanting to overdo it for last Sunday’s superb National CX race (where I've set an objective to finish in the top ten for the series), I decided to have a go at wheel sucking and was fortunate to sit on the wheel of 2016 district hill climb and time trial champion Jamie Davidson. We had a quick chat about this and Jamie was more than happy to motor pace his way from Potarch all the way to Aberdeen with me sitting on his rear wheel. Win-win for both of us. Good solid for training Jamie, who seems in fine fettle and an easier effort yours truly, allowing me to keep my power drier for Sunday's date with 40 minutes of pain.

And yes, I got totally clarted in the process, despite Jamie having the longest set of mudguards I’ve probably ever seen on a bike.

But then when you are prepared to sit on someone’s wheel what do you expect? There’s no such thing as a free tow!

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