Getting to the Turkey

 It has been a big thrash for the last few days, I’m ready for a rest. I talked a local Health club into letting me put on a wind trainer class for the local cyclist this winter. We had 16 riders show up for the first one and 21 the following week, I made the workouts moderately hard and we do a run transition with a 2 mile run at the end.  Lot’s of fun because I don’t have to be on a bike.

Last weekend, Ginger and I went to Hodges Gardens, Louisiana for a weekend trip. We met up with several old friends and spent a great couple of days.  On Saturday morning we were going to run 10 -12 miles but it was raining and 37 degrees.  A few of the crazies went ahead and ran however, I was rewarded with these cool dual rainbows as the rain ended, my shoes were still dry. The next morning we got up and did the run, it’s a 6 mile loop and very hilly. The picture on the left shows the start of a very steep climb just across the dam.  I used to put on some triathlons at Hodges Gardens, we billed them as the “hardest in the south”  and I never had any racers disagree.  On part of the run you go by this pretty, old Oak tree with Spanish Moss hanging in it. It’s a lot different from our tall Pine trees here in Tyler.

Last Monday I started three days of wind tunnel testing down at Texas A&M. These are always hard work days, it is a constant thrash for three days with no rest during the test times. It’s expensive to go there so you have to put on the thinking cap and gather the most data you can.  During this past summer I had gotten a Kestrel Weather station to try and gather more data about bicycle wind directions.  These things are pretty accurate for figuring outside wind speed along with altitude and temperatures.  I mounted it on a bar in front of my bike and myself and buddy Dave Williams rode with it for a few weeks. I never could really figure this out, it looked to me like there were 45 degree crosswinds very often and the numbers didn’t add up. I had tricked a new, local rider, Nathan, into going with me to the tunnel this trip, I put him in the tunnel with the wind unit and I watched it as we yawed the bike at various speeds.  I think I have a better  good idea now on how to make all this work better, the nose shape and a tail section are very critical for this to work.  In the controlled atmosphere of the tunnel, it worked fairly accurately so I will continue with this project.  In the tunnel, we put riders in all types of positions looking for more ways to cheat the wind. Some of them look strange and some of them are not really rideable but in the end, I get the riders going pretty fast. During the test days I like to run some smoke over the riders to help me see where the air goes.  Smoke does not give you any test numbers but it helps you see things and look for a new direction in testing. The surface of the riders skin suit really effects airflow and small things like hand positions can reduce the drag to help with the race against the clock. Testing in the tunnel is hard work but that is how solid new ideas get started.  A rider who was attending the event shot some video and put it on my Facebook page, www.facebook.com/n/?%2Fvideo%2Fvideo.php&v=10100161392529954&mid=17805b3G667869b1G321978G1d is some type of link.

Thanksgiving morning I ran in the local Turkey Trot here in Tyler. I got this started when I first moved here to Tyler and today there were over 1000 racers attending.  it was great fun, I had a pretty good run other than a right calf cramp about at mile 1, I pushed through it and only got beat by one baby jogger.

This coming week I plan to ride and run a good bit as I countdown to surgery day.

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~ by johncobbresearch on November 26, 2009.

One Response to “Getting to the Turkey”

  1. Hey John Cobb,
    I am the president of the A&M Triathlon team and I was wondering if we could ever come by and watch you work your magic in the tunnel. Unfortunately, none of us could afford to actually get in there, but maybe if we could just see some different positions and how you modify certain individuals and what you put emphasis on, we could learn a bit. Any chance that might work?
    Thanks,
    Jordan McGowen

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