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Speed Skating Forum Most of the discussions in this forum will be about inline speed skating but discussions about ice speed skating and quad roller speed skating are also welcome.

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Old September 24th, 2013, 06:22 PM   #61
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As I read about the Elite skaters... they frequently slowed down a large amount when nobody wanted to be out front.
Nobody is racing for time, so your proposal would have failed in top groups. Problem is that if you have a team-mate in group and you work for him, then you'll hit the front just to keep everyone tired enough to give yourguy a fighting chance in sprint
Luckily in Berlin I wont have to worry about anyone - just myself.
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Old September 24th, 2013, 06:41 PM   #62
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Bjvircks, it probably would have worked, though a vast majority of the line I was in at the front of Wave A2 didn't get close enough to the front to pull. There were, maybe, 10 of us rotating pulls the entire race. Most of the other skaters dealt with the pack dynamic at the back. Having raced in both positions, I can say that wheelsucking isn't as easy at it seems in really long pace lines because you have to deal with the accordion effect and skaters gapping the line. Up front, the battle is pushing the pace and safely getting back in the line. I understand the elite skaters preferring to sit in the draft and wait for a sprint, as that tactic depends on physical ability. NSIM was a special beast this year with the wind, so even a strong endurance skater that could have lead out the entire race could have fallen short of the goal. That said, no one stepped up to be the pull tzar in Wave A2 because there were enough opposing teams in the line that we probably wouldn't have worked well together with one guy calling the shots. With big teams, this would be great. We had done it at a Rainbo practice once and it helped.
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Old June 7th, 2014, 10:10 PM   #63
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With Apostle Island one week away... I've been going over things in my head and looking forward to a great race.

One aspect I've been visualizing is better cornering in order to avoid throwing away momentum needlessly. Using Google Maps and its satellite views of the course I've plotted out what I think would be ideal lines for what I consider the 4 troublesome (tight right turn) corners. The secret seems to be, at about 100 feet back from the corner, begin to drift as wide to the left as you can and then at about 40 feet from the corner beginning the arc of the turn, putting the apex of the arc tight in but slightly beyond the tip of the physical corner. This allows a smooth uniform arc with clean entry and safe exit. A skater pulling a line could make this happen... but I'd be hesitant to try it if I were in the middle and didn't trust anyone around me.

Thoughts? Alternatives? Variations?
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Old June 8th, 2014, 02:03 AM   #64
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The secret seems to be, at about 100 feet back from the corner, begin to drift as wide to the left as you can and then at about 40 feet from the corner beginning the arc of the turn, putting the apex of the arc tight in but slightly beyond the tip of the physical corner. This allows a smooth uniform arc with clean entry and safe exit.
That's pretty much what they teach you in motorcycle classes (where you go higher speeds but are narrow enough to be able to give you some leeway to maneuver). Basically you are lengthening the radius of the effective corner, which means less force at any single point in time is spent changing direction. That makes it easier to maintain speed.

However, there is a caveat for skating. For a wide enough turn you are pushing to either side or alternating between that and crossing. As the turn tightens you move to crossing exclusively. Somewhere between is a really awkward mix. I actually prefer moving to crossing exclusively, but I get a lot of practice at crossing. You have to know your comforts and take them into account.


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A skater pulling a line could make this happen... but I'd be hesitant to try it if I were in the middle and didn't trust anyone around me.
If the turns are in succession you might pull out of pack on the first to set up the second and use it as a passing opportunity. Aside from that I agree with you. It isn't worth the hassle of getting out of and back into line, losing the draft, and confusing all those other skaters.
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Old June 8th, 2014, 06:09 PM   #65
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A skater pulling a line could make this happen... but I'd be hesitant to try it if I were in the middle and didn't trust anyone around me.
I dont know what group you're in but in Berlin I learned something valuable about fitness lines - they tend to be very polite and a lot less aggressive than first group. You can check my youtube video of that race and you will see that no matter what line in corner you take, they will always let you get back in group. This is not nearly the case in first groups where they battle for every position like it would be life-death situation.
Usually its the first skater that picks the line, but then comes some skaters that want to pass on inside, some want to pass on exit so they go on outside, yet they all need to cross almost at same point. And at that point it really matters how you go towards the group. If you are determined enough you will be able to pick your own line even if it is way off your groups. BTW a bit of advice on GoogleMaps - when you come to course, check that few corners if possible the day before and maybe try to take some with speed. There might be some road damage on spots where they are not visible on StreetView.
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Old June 8th, 2014, 07:34 PM   #66
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.... There might be some road damage on spots where they are not visible on StreetView.
NO KIDDING!!! (I'm not trying to be a sarcastic wiseguy with that comment... but rather indicating total agreement). The Google 'streetview' of the Madeline Island course is dated 2009 and a lot of it was photographed prior to the application of the final pavment. The big rectangular metal access cover at the inside of the final corner as you approach the start/finish is not even present yet. This access cover could be a killer if were wet and you were cornering aggressively and rolled across it.
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Old June 8th, 2014, 08:26 PM   #67
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.... you might pull out of pack ... and use it as a passing opportunity.
Actually, I've inadvertently done this and had it work against me. When the Rec/Fit skaters fragment-regroup before, during and after corners I found myself moving up in the line without trying simply by holding a better line and avoiding people. However... my race plan is to be a wheel-sucker as much as possible. By moving up in the line 'accidentally' I found myself pulling when I hadn't intended to pull.
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Old September 3rd, 2017, 12:45 AM   #68
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bump thread to top for visibility to shafeeqs & a-cut-above... lots of great tips all throughout the thread.
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