It is fast, furious, probably against the law and pretty ridiculously stupid if you ask 99.9% of the world but wow does motor-pacing make you a fast bicycle pedaler. In fact I have a track cycling friend who is racing the long-lost art of derny racing this weekend in Berlin. During the scratch races on the velodrome, each cyclist is paired with a special motor bike and experienced driver. The first motor / bicycle combination over the line wins! It is a part of Europe's indoor winter 6-day circuit. Here are a few videos.
In other news, I was originally going to write something overly dramatic about motor-pacing in general, which has now become a part of my training on a weekly basis, but instead I'm going tone it down today. Motor-pacing is a great way to develop "race fitness" or at least simulate the ebb and flow of a peloton from a muscular strength point of view. The latter is more my focus at the moment, building strength, whereas February will be all about speed.
The last time I went motor pacing was in April with legendary Portland, Oregon coach Brian Abers. However, instead of the conventional motor bike/scooter, we used his hatchback with the hatch propped up. Needless to say that we averaged far above the 'normal' 28-30 mph and instead covered 49 miles over the following 60 minutes. We also had to turn around every 8 minutes due to conditions so all in all, we spent over 21 minutes at or above 81 kph (50+ mph). It was as mentally draining as a race but also extremely effective. Out of gears, I was forced to pedal at 130-150 rpm while still producing around 250-300 watts, but if I let the gap to the car's bumper increase from 3 to 8 inches, the watts would fly up into the 600-800 range, simulating the unknown and unforgiving nature of a racing peloton's flow. Chasing rubber to burn rubber.
Of course if you don't have a motor bike, you can always ride the group ride in the little ring. Just don't be a jerk about it. Have a sunny weekend!