Both days of this weekend had a skills clinic for the MIT racing team and I went to both. Again, the clinics were held down at the Wells Ave office park. I think at this point, I have the way from MIT to that part of Newton etched into my memory. Which also means I can get from MIT to various points around Brookline and Allston with relative ease.
Yesterday's clinic was focused on improving cornering skills. This is something which, especially after going through it, is incredibly useful and an area where I really had no clue what I was doing technique-wise. Sure, you can turn the bike and go around a corner, but being able to do so in a way that's both fast and safe is an entirely different story. There's quite a bit of technique to it. But it's cool to have a better idea of how the pros manage to severely tilt their bikes when going through corners of a crit at speed. It's an area where I'll want to spend some time practicing the technique to really get it down to where I don't have to think about it. After that, we followed up with another rousing game of Death Bike. Which was, again, a good time.
Today was focused on sprinting and riding in a pack. Again, a little bit of being told a “good” way of doing things seems like it will go a long way. But sprinting form feels like it's going to be a lot more difficult for me to get “right” just due to having to break bad habits. Luckily, sprint intervals are a pretty easy thing to do and a good way to work on the form. For riding in a pack, there was a bit of focus on moving up and how to do so quickly and efficiently. The fact that we were doing this at Wells Ave was interesting; I've raced there enough times that I know how various things feel and so it was interesting to do things in a different way. In the past I've mostly moved up by going to the outside, applying some power and getting to the front. While this does work, it's pretty inefficient as it ends up meaning I leave the draft. I've now got a much better idea on how to move up through the pack and save energy. Which should end up helping at the end for the sprint. We finished out the day with a game of Bike Capture the Flag which ended up being pretty fun as well.
All in all, a good two days of work. And although my distances were lower than my normal for a weekend, I feel like I got quite a bit out of both days and am pretty tired from both as well. This week will be an easy-ish week on the riding side so that I can be in good shape for racing at Jamestown next Monday. But that's okay, as it's a busy week on pretty much every other front. Especially since I didn't do any homework this weekend. So, it'll be a bit of a scramble to get that taken care of, but it doesn't look like it'll be too bad.