Sunday, March 1, 2009
Enough of this weight stuff! I remember seeing Lance on one Tour de France mountain climb taking the outside lane around a switchback. Since pros cut corners all the time to save inches, this seemed out-of-character. However, switchbacks up mountains are canted toward the inside, some more than others. While you can save a few feet, you also have several degrees additional steepness to overcome, thus expending more energy. Also, if you cut the corner from the outside, you drop down (sometimes several feet) and have to re-climb that altitude. So, when given the opportunity, stay to the outside around the switchback, then slowly move to the center, then to the outside of the next switchback. Of course, in real-life non-racing cycling when the road is open to traffic, you should consider a compromise by just going to the center instead of all the way outside.