The Giro d’Italia: a mid-pack perspective
Saxo Tinkoff’s Rory Sutherland has written a short piece for VeloNews about his fortunes at the Giro, giving us an interesting glimpse into the life of a Grand Tour rider. Here’s one of many good quotes that caught our eye:
“Those who find themselves in the bottom half of the general classification at the Giro are no longer battling their adversaries. You are instead battling yourself, and your mind changes from ‘attacking mode’ to ‘survival mode’.”
Check out the article on VeloNews here.
A preview of the Criterium du Dauphine
The Dauphine kicks off this Sunday and as mentioned in the Rocacorba yesterday, it’s a race that’s often seen as a good barometer for riders’ form in the Tour de France. Many of the Tour de France GC contenders will be there and giving it everything in their last proper hit out before the big one.
To read more, check out this terrific preview of the 2013 Criterium du Dauphine put together by Ankush Agarwal.
The psychology of fear
If you’re like us you would have watched Bradley Wiggins lose time on the wet descents early in the Giro and wondered to yourself “why is he descending so badly?” Of course there could have been any number of factors at play, but this piece on VeloNews featuring sports psychologist Julie Emmerman seems relevant, if not in Wiggins’ case then simply in understanding the psychology of cycling and what effect crashing has on your confidence.
Click here to read the article at VeloNews.
Update: Since publishing the Rocacorba this morning we’ve been contacted by clinical psychologist Ben McKechnie who offered this analysis of Wiggins’ post-crash descending at the Giro:
After a crash, we get a dump of anxiety which causes us to over think. The reason for over thinking is to check if there are more risks present in our current environment so we can take evasive actions as needed. The downside of over thinking is that it uses the frontal cortex of the brain, rather than the cerebellum.
The cerebellum, at the back of the brain, is responsible for the smooth motor actions that we rely on during fast descents (and throughout all of our riding and other daily activities actually). The frontal cortex is not capable of performing the same smooth motor functions that the cerebellum provides. Furthermore, the anxiety increases our short sharp responses so that we have heightened reflexes to respond to any predators that might be present in risky situations.
This results in the cyclist now riding without the normal precision provided by the cerebellum and in a twitchier manner because of the anxiety that is keeping us on the look out for more danger. So, instead of fast pro Wiggo, we see twitchy timid Bradley. I was under the impression that Wiggo had been working with Dr Steve Peters, sports psychiatrist, to learn to soothe these parts of the brain (which I think Dr Peters likes to refer to as the “inner chimp”). It seems Wiggo’s inner chimp was a bit out of control on this occasion.
The Giro d’Italia, in slow motion
The folks at the Global Cycling Network have been very busy throughout the Giro producing a whole bunch of interesting videos. This latest one might be one of the best. The premise is simple — it’s just a bunch of great slow-mo shots taken throughout the Giro — but the result is terrific. Check it out.
Pioneer gets into the power meter game
Electronics company Pioneer is set to enter the cycling market with the Cyclocomputer power meter and Pedalling Monitor Sensor set to be launched this winter.
We saw this technology at Interbike late last year but since then it’s been tested by the Blanco squad, including at the Tour of Belgium last week. The Pedalling Monitor Sensor uses strain gauge sensors attached to the pedals in order to get separate leg measurements.
Prices for the Pioneer power meter system haven’t been released yet but according to road.cc it might fall somewhere around the US$2000 mark.
Click here to read more at road.cc.
New York City launches bike share program
Readers in Melbourne might recognise the bikes used in New York City’s new Citi Bike bikeshare program. The scheme was delayed for many months but was finally launched this week with thousands of bikes now available from the southern edge of Central Park down to the southern tip of Manhattan and over the river in Brooklyn.
Just like the Melbourne bikeshare scheme, the best option with the NYC system is to ride a bike for less than 30 minutes, return it to a parking station then take it out again, or risk getting hit by higher rental fees.
This Q&A article about the Citi Bike scheme is entertaining and worth a read. Here’s a piece about someone allegedly trying to steal a bike from the days-old scheme. And here’s an entertaining piece about someone road testing the new bikes to see how fast they can go.
Original bike tricks with Tim Knoll
There are BMX tricks and then there are BMX tricks. This video of Tim Knoll showing off his moves is only short but it sure packs a punch. Don’t try any of this at home.
The Rocacorba Recap
And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed:
- The Bike Lane: The End is Just the Beginning
- Bikes of the Bunch: Cipollini Bond
- Ryokou: Chapter 4 — “Solitary”
- Ryokou: Chapter 3 — “Fall”
- Ryokou: Chapter 2 — “Construct”
- Ryokou: Chapter 1 — “Beginning”