Friday, May 8, 2009


The DMV weekly "training race" is something I miss during the off-season, which indicates that it must be something I like in the on-season. Though when actually feeling the DMV pain, I often question whether I like it. Deep down, I must.

The first time I rode the DMV was in 2005, mid summer. I entered the B flite and got dropped after 3 laps. The next time I entered I hung on for a few more laps, and the next time I might have finished. Having ridden it fairly consistently since then, I've had the chance to observe how good riders do well the DMV. I suppose if I were to be completely genuine, I would have titled this post, "How to Ride the DMV like Dave Harward." Instead, I have pirated his tricks, labeled them as ancient chinese secrets (FYI Samurai are not Chinese), and am now fully divulging them to you. If you think you can use them to beat the Hardwood, good luck with that. . .

Ancient Chinese DMV Secret (ACDMVS) No. 1: Pedal Fast. Chances are you're disappointed and do not consider this a secret, but how fast do you pedal up the hill? Do you pedal fast? Or do crush a big gear? Pedaling fast, both when standing or sitting, will save you energy in the long run and leave you fresh to crush the big one when you absolutely need to.

ACDMVS No. 2: Draft. Duh. More often than not, there is a wind at the DMV. I prefer a wind out of the North, but it varies. Sometimes it's a cross wind. If you think drafting is simpy riding behind someone, you need to take ACDMVS No. 2 to heart. In order to effectively draft at the DMV, in any given lap, you will be directly behind a rider, behind and to the left, behind and to the right.

ACDMVS No. 3: Pedal through the corners. This is a tough one, especially if you clip a pedal on the ground. However, it is possible to pedal through every one of the DMV corners, and if you do, you'll be able to gain an advantage or reel in a break or avoid getting dropped. Figuring out the right lines is key.

ACDMVS No. 4: Put the hammer down at the top of the hill. If you are in a break or trying to get in a break or trying to catch back on or trying to create a selection, it helps to really drive it through the parking lot on top. That's when people tend to want to let up or are winded from the West Valley Wall.

ACDMVS No. 5: Tail gun the hill. Don't be super concerned if a slight gap forms right before the down hill section. In fact, sometimes I intentionally let up to save some energy, knowing/hoping that I'll be able to tail gun back on at the first corner. With good tail gunning tecnique, you'll never need to touch the brakes.

ACDMVS No. 6: Position yourself for the sprint. If you aren't in the front of the pack with 2 laps to go, it will be really hard to place well.

What are your DMV tips?


Ski Bike Junkie said...

In my vast experience--one C flight race--I would say be patient and let other people do the work to break up the field. In my haste to open a gap, I used a lot of energy needlessly, as the racers we were gapping were not going to contend on the final sprint anyway.

drrna said...

You left out your main tip, weigh 140 lbs if you have to go up a hill 30 times. That would have made you some friends. Good job out there btw, bring the B-man.

Unknown said...

There is no secret really. Is this in DMV California ?