The Trudi Spot

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Yesterday we went out for about 100km. I had hoped to ride 4 1/2 hours, but it wasn’t as warm as I’d hoped. And it was a little breezy. I’m not sure if it was because I hadn’t ridden in a week or that I’m kind of tired from riding hard for the last 3 days, but I wasn’t feeling as good as I have been.

We had a pretty good group that showed up. But, it is February form and there is a big extreme on fitness levels. That being the case, I ended up on the front end of the group for most of the way, which is fine by me normally. Yesterday I would have liked to sit on for the whole day.

Anyway, Trudi has been riding pretty consistently since she got back from Europe late last fall. She is just starting to get a resemblance of form back, just in time to head back to Europe again and not ride for months. But, she has a tenacity for staying on even when she doesn’t have the form. She has this technique of cherry picking the best draft. I don’t know where the saying came from, but it is now known as the Trudi spot on our rides. It doesn’t matter which direction the wind is from, she takes the middle, tucked in out of the wind. It is a very good survival trait.

I think that we should all look for the Trudi spot every once in a while. The closer it is to the end of a race and the harder it is going, the more important that spot is. That is the spot that the Pro teams are trying to create for their sprinters at the end of the race, the spot that keeps their guy out of harms way and comfortable, while using the least amount of energy. That spot is different at all times during the race, but we should all strive to at least recognize where the Trudi spot each and every race, or hard ride, and then try to attain that position when it is most important. I guarantee that your results will reflect the effort.

I'm sure Bill is stoked since the wind is blowing pretty hard from the right here.

8 thoughts on “The Trudi Spot

  1. Brad Carvey

    I am almost always the slowest/weakest/oldest rider in any group ride. Even back when I rode in the 70s, I rode with people that were faster then me (Norm Alvis, Harvey Nitz …).

    I have all kinds of tricks, like the Trudy Spot, for group rides. Most don’t apply to racing, but help staying with a training group.

    For example, I memorize all of the lights and how long they last. When I know we will get a red light, I ease off to maximize my rest.

    I use stop lights to manipulate my place in line so I get pulls on downhills. I think ahead on pulls, so I don’t get a pull right before a big uphill.
    Most people, on a training ride will push an uphill, but ease off past the top. I learn how much I can let them get a head on a climb, then I maintain my steady effort, to catch them after the top and before they regroup and start going hard again.

    I have a long list of group riding tactics that you have probably never needed.


  2. Steve Wathke

    Poor Bill. When everyone knows your reputation as a strong rider then they think you don’t mind being stuck out there In the wind. The price of being strong.

  3. tilford97 Post author

    Brad-I know you’re a really smart guy, but I have to give you a pointer here. If you can stay with the group on the hills, then it would be to your advantage for you to pull on the hills and not downhill. Think about it-the drafting uphill is nearly nonexistent and then on the downhills you can coast, expending no energy, while the guy at the front has to still pedal.

  4. Allen

    Glad to hear that you didn’t enjoy yesterday’s chilly wind either… I was thinking I was just having a bad day. I am hoping that this afternoon’s ride is better…

  5. jp

    Love it Trudi – I’m almost always the only female on rides and very small, I follow the same tactic in order to survive till the end without getting dropped. People think I’m strong, which by far I am not, its just the ability to stay protected and positioning and use the others to make it to the end.

  6. Brad Carvey

    I was trying to make a few points about how us weaker riders survive in a group ride pack, which is different then surviving in a race pack.

    I should also point out that, with the exception of Patrick Morrissey, I don’t ride with anyone that really knows what they are doing.

    On shorter climbs, groups tend to go hard for the top and then ease off. It’s more economical for me to follow at a sub max effort, and not blow up. If I maintain the same effort up and over the hill, I can catch them before they regroup. If I gauge it correctly, I can get up the hill, not get dropped and use less energy then trying to stay with them.

  7. SB

    It’s probably non-p.c. but I’ve noticed women riders tend to be smarter about drafting than male riders of the same experience / fitness level. I know lots of guys who eat more wind than necessary, but most lady riders are well acquainted with the Trudi Spot.


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