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Friday, June 30, 2006

The Art of Getting Dropped

Getting dropped is not a science because a successful drop cannot be independently duplicated. There are no measurable results. There are no national security applications worth government funding for the development of getting dropped. No, getting dropped is an art pure and simple.

All art is not good art. In fact 99% of the art world is of the dogs sitting around a table playing poker variety. Just so in the cycling world; most practicioners of the art of getting dropped are about as sophisticated as Thomas Kinkaide, the schlocky ‘painter of light’.

marla streb
Marla with her bike group

The roadways are filthy with the soft porn of bad drops, like the indecent pull-out where a rider simply drops from the pull rotation and falls off the last wheel of the peloton.

The all too common and cheaply executed drop like the never making it to the top of the hill, serves no noble purpose. Such cliches will not inspire future generations. They belong in the kitschy junk heap along with the, ‘it’s too rainy to ride’ excuses for staying in bed. Just so with any heart rate monitor related/periodic training regimen related drop.

Whether you are in a large group ride or just out with a couple of friends, the straightaway slow down where the rider slips silently over the vanishing point of the horizon like in an Escher knock-off in a suburban mall’s gallery/head shop, gives all of us ‘artists’ a bad name.

There should be some subtlety, perhaps even irony, which alludes to the cycling world’s collective sense unworthiness from never having been a varsity sport in high school. Remember, art is born in misery, not ecstasy.

Getting dropped by your betters will never turn you into an Andy Warhol either. I mean, where is the art in getting dropped by riders who are simply faster. Artistry lies in the sublime ability of getting dropped by riders who are no better than yourself.

When I was a neo-pro I went through the predictable phase of the strategic mis-shift. However, I finally did make the enlightening breakthrough that you really can’t utilize ghost shifting for this purpose when you have the services of a pro mechanic at your disposal.

I then cycled through a ‘I already did intervals this morning’ period for a while and almost fell into a rut of, ‘I just got back yesterday from racing in Europe and I must be suffering from jet lag’. While getting dropped do not let yourself fall into a caricature!

It may take years of studying the classic moves before you can develop your own style of how to get dropped. The palette that I’m working with currently is heavy on taking an invisible to all but me alternate downhill line, with overtones of I think you guys are going the wrong way; see you back at the trail head! and undertones of my Treo is vibrating, I better take this; it could be a very important NORBA Board conference call.


Rich said...

What about, "I was up all night breast feeding"? That one is probably good for a few more months, and it's probably pretty uncommon in the pro peleton.

12:22 PM  
ed said...

Thanks for wandering around the subject long enough to where I sort of understand it... describing what it is not.

How about... seeing a police car, getting a bit jittery as you unclip at the stop line seemingly 1/4 mile from the actual intersection, forgetting to turn left, discovering a pair of free roaming dogs that chase, one on your right heel the other on the left, as you discover an uphill on a heretofor undisovered new way home...

In an attempt destroy an art and turn it into a science: "If you do 'get dropped,' there had better be some discovery in it."

Thanks again for taking the time to help define art,... or what it is not.

5:56 PM  
warren reid said...

If I can do it, it ain't art.

"I knew Art Dropper. Art Dropper was a friend of mine. You sir are no Artist"...... As said to a poorly executing drop-ee.

10:15 PM  
Capt. Jack Sparrow said...

Well done!

2:34 PM  
gwadzilla said...

how is the baby?

not that being dropped makes me think about babies

11:54 AM  

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