Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wobbles

First of all, out of the 5 people that admitted to reading my blog post from this past Friday only 2 people recognized it was an April Fool’s joke. I am not sure what is worse, the fact that only 5 people admitted to reading my blog or that not even 50% of my readers picked up on the joke. I thought it was freakin’ hilarious! To add injury to insult, I even got a scolding from my mom for being impractical. Geez, but hear this, one day it will be mine . . . oh yes, it will be mine . . .

In the last month I have two experiences with the wobbles. My first experience was learning to Wobble following computrainer class. And no, this version of the Wobble has nothing to do with a bike. The Wobble I learned is actually a line dance. It apparently came out in 2008 as an update to the well know and much loved Electric Slide. When you spend most of your time in lycra and spandex you miss out on things like learning how to Wobble . . . hmm that actually may not be true, have you been to a club lately!?! When the class next door was learning to Wobble as a warm to their workout session, I was a little hesitant to jump in but I knew it was a unique opportunity. After some poking, pointing, giggling, confidence boosting, and a series of positive affirmations I wobbled my way into the line in my super sexy padded bike shorts, sweat soaked tank top, and matted pony tail. I can sum up the experience by saying I probably have more rhythm on the bike than off but I will admit when a large group of people, who have at least a little bit of rhythm, are doing it, it looks pretty cool. And now I can look cool too, oh YEAH! I am sure Neck Dancer knows how to Wobble. He knows all the dances.

My second experience with the wobbles was not as much fun. Last week I was riding with Man-cess, Vespa, and the mini-Beast. Mini-Beast is a beast on the bike but he is relatively compact, hence the mini part. Around the 10 mile mark Mini-beast was leading us fast into a downhill that ended with a wide right turn. I am in the back, in the draft, fully enjoying the descent (and the draft, hehehehe) and preparing to enter the turn when in front of me Man-cess starts to wobble. He and his bike just started vibrating. I had never seen anything like it and as I slowed down to take a wide left arc around and away from him, he started veering to the right. He seemed in control of bike, he wasn't fish-tailing, and he had not locked the brakes but he was continuing to veer to the right . . . and then continued into the mud . . . and then over his handle bars . . . into the mud. Poor Man-cess! Luckily he was ok (I know you are wondering and his bike was ok too). I am so glad the mud was there to soften his fall as I am not sure what would have happened had there been a tree or a mess of concrete in its place. This was my first experience with a phenomenon known as “high speed wobbles.” Apparently it is fairly common and there are several reasons for its occurrence which include misaligned frame or wheels, incorrect weight distribution caused by the bike, and incorrect weight distribution caused by the rider.

Unfortunately it is counterintuitive how to correct high speed wobbles. When the wobbles set in, more than likely the rider will sit up, locking arms, and place all his weight on the saddle. The best way to stabilize wobbles is to relax the arms while taking weight out of the saddle and shifting it towards the handlebars and front wheel.

Check out this video I found on YouTube and posted on CyclingTipsBlog.com demonstrating high speed wobbles:



So far I have not had personal experience with this but hopefully I will remember how to handle the situation before I freak out. Too bad I still haven't learned how avoid freaking out when I drop my chain.

I also want to take a moment to congratulate my MAC Masters posse on some awesome swimming this past weekend at the NC State Championships. Aquageek is on a war path to take out my 1650 time from last year's nationals. He came within 3 seconds at an 18:36. He said if he had watched the clock and had known how close he was he could have dug deeper . . . yeah yeah yeah that's what they all say . . . I will admit that I am shaking in my speedsuit. Nationals is coming fast and Aquageek is coming faster! And then there is my girl, Legs. Her dedication to swimming inspires me everyday. In two years going from someone who did not know how to put a cap on to someone who delivers a beat down to become a state champion is just amazing! Just goes to show you, when you want it bad enough, the opportunity is there for the taking. Great job to everyone who raced!