At my core, I’m rather lazy. This came to me about a third of the way through the B2VT, a 135 mile ride from Bedford MA to Mt. Okemo in Vermont. Lazy because I want to coast as long as possible going down- and partly back up-hill. Very few riders descend as fast as I do, and it is not just the physique honed by years of hot fudge sundaes. It’s all about the aero.
As Jim and I dropped down another hill, we both moved our hands into the drops on the handlebars and leaned way over, but I still pulled ahead. The difference is that I also slide my butt off the back of the saddle. Not only does this stretch me out more, reducing drag, but it also puts the saddle under my thighs as my two sit bones hang off the back, getting a welcome respite. As soon as Jim tried this trick, he stuck right behind me, and even glided part way up the other side. Thus is born another lazy cyclist.
The B2VT winds through countless small towns and across two state lines. I won the first few town line sprints, and was first into NH. Jim fought back and beat me across the Connecticut River into Vermont and several towns. He doesn’t like to sprint, however he begrudgingly admits it has made him a little stronger.
So what is a town line sprint? Here in Mass, there are often large white signs to let you know when you cross from Our Fair City to Their Fair City. Any decent ride crosses between several towns. When you spot a sign, go for it! After you become familiar with a route, you will learn tricks, like not pulling a paceline in the last half mile, and taking off early for a downhill sprint. My favorite sprint is on Rt. 62 between Boylston and Berlin. The sign was at the top of a hill so there is a climb both ways. The sign is missing so you have to look for the change in the pavement – sort of a virtual finish line.