Thursday, December 30, 2010


I had a pretty good season last year (or rather, for another day at least, this year). The one thing that put a damper on it all was my performance with cyclocross. I was terrible. Cornering was my a-specialty.

Anyway, so I suck. But one day driving home from work, something hit me; I am looking at curves wrong. I am looking to the inside of the curves instead of the outside. I am imagining that my bike (or car, as it may be) is on a string, and that string is attached to the radius of the corner and pulling me around. Thinking about it, there are many reasons why this is bad practice.

For one, the "center" of the corner is always changing. It is never constant except in the easiest of round corners. The second reason is because the "center" of the corner doesn't actually tell you about the corner itself. You have to take the actual radius, translate that to find the center, then translate that back into the radius. Doesn't sound terribly efficient, now does it?

So, instead of eyeing the corner, translating that into a center, and translate it back to a radius to follow on the bike, why not just actually follow the corner? Specifically, why not just put the outside edge of your vehicle on the line you need to follow and let the vehicle go 'round?

I tried this in the car, and lo and behold, it worked like a charm. The outside tire is the tire that follows the most outside line, so just putting the outside tire on the outside line, the car just went right around the corner. No muss, no fuss. Now to translate this to a bike...

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