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Fit Recovery’s Cycling Dictionary:  The Definition of Echelon


Echelon
Noun

ˈeSHəˌlän

In cycling, this is what you do to hide from a mercilous crosswind. 

That second photo is what it looks like when you’re in the right spot.  As you could guess, our wheels are overlapped.  I only ride in an echelon with people I trust because bad things happen when inexperienced cyclists overlap wheels.

On a side note, this is what it looks like to be left in the “gutter”, behind the last cyclist in an echelon.  This is where you ride when you want to be dropped, doomed to ride home alone:

I am “in the gutter” behind the last cyclist in an echelon

DISCLAIMER:  Do not attempt taking photos like this.  Taking these photos took an intense amount of concentration and it was pure luck that they turned out.  I concentrated on riding and not crashing first and just got lucky with the pictures.  There were several factors that went into choosing to take these shots.  Traffic was light, the crosswind was at our backs, and it just kind of worked out – my initial intention was to just stick with the pics taken from behind our small group but the leader slowed down and I just slid into my spot, took the picture and faded back again to put my phone away.  Finally, the three guys I’m riding with are exceptional, seasoned cyclists I have extensive experience riding with.  I knew I could trust them.  Even so, one wrong move, or paying attention to taking a picture before riding my bike could have ended in a nasty crash.  

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8 Comments

  1. wanderwolf says:

    Good disclaimer. Basically, don’t try this at home unless you are an experienced rider, rising with experienced riders, and know wth you’re doing.

  2. tischcaylor says:

    Wow, scares me just to think about trying to take that pic. Good job — really helps to clarify your point!

    • bgddyjim says:

      Thanks, Tisch… It’s not that bad from the back. If you notice, I took the photo with my left hand, leaving my right on the rear brake hood. I also had a 2′ bailout to the right just in case…. I was exceedingly careful. I don’t want to end up eating through a hose. I likes my burgers solid! 😁

    • bgddyjim says:

      Btw, I was going to drop you an email… Thanks for the order. Shipped it Friday. Should be there today.

  3. MJ Ray says:

    Or you could just put the camera in a bar clamp and set it on automatic. Maybe nudge the housing if you want an angled shot.

    • bgddyjim says:

      That would work, but a little unnecessary when considering that the photos I took were simply an opportunity that presented itself. I’m not going to clamp anything to my bike or bar that isn’t absolutely necessary (rear blinking light, wireless speedometer, headlight once a year when I ride in the evening…)

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