Yowamushi Pedal has been amazing to watch this year, and I’m always happy to see more Onoda and hear the Hime song. I talked before about my lack of experience with cycling, but now that we’re into a second season and I’ve discussed the details more thoroughly with KWoo, I’ve gone ahead and compiled some of our notes–nitpicking, if you must–regarding the show. If you’re a cyclist, or love the sport as a spectator, feel free to include anything else you’ve seen.
In a paceline, you drop to the back, not cycle from back to front.
This isn’t an Indian run! When it’s time to rotate, the leads pulls off to the side and drifts to the back of the line–the second cyclists then becomes the new puller. This conserves energy and gives everyone a chance to rest. It’s counterintuitive to expend energy rushing from the back to the lead only to continue pulling the line for several more minutes, not to mention more jarring, causing ripple effects through the paceline which worsens as it goes back. The person in the back has to either decelerate a lot or accelerate a lot, which is also known as the “accordion effect.” The speed should be maintained as a constant, while lead changes should be smooth such that the people in the back do not notice.
Actually Rotating in a Paceline
The reason Onoda and team are always so tired is that they seem to fail at rotating pulls. It is all well and good to be the hero and pull your tired teammates back to the group, but when everyone is relatively unspent it is much more efficient to rotate turns (and generally expected of you since you are getting a reduced effort the rest of the time). So the whole “Makishima must pull because we’re going uphill” strategy seems like a good way to wear out your team members early in the game. The exception here is if you are trying to save your ace for an impending attack (see sprinter support below).
Intentionally clipping cyclists blacklists you.
It happens during races. But, no one would admittedly clip another rider intentionally. Midousuji isn’t the only culprit in YowaPeda; we see friendly rivals like Kinjou and Fukutomi repeatedly bumping each other in their race to the front. Even team mates Naruko and Imaizumi compete by clashing their bikes. If these cyclists’ speeds are to be believed, then this act is incredibly reckless.
You go with your sprinter as support. Don’t send him/her off alone!
It seems odd to ditch more than half your team before you head to the finish line. Your sprinter can only go at max speed for a few seconds, and you want to conserve as much of his or her energy for as long as possible. The entire team should go bring their sprinter to the finish line. Similar in concept to a paceline, this is called a lead out train. Where as a paceline you want to go smoothly all working together at a relatively constant speed, in a lead out train you are bringing your sprinter in as fast as you can. Each member pulling in the front is not conserving anything for the next round of pulls. They go all out and when they are spent, they peel off to the front and are left behind as their next team mate takes their place. The teams goal is to position their sprinter at the best possible point to attack–the front with no other teams in the way. The final member just before the star sprinter pulls off last, hopefully having out-maneuvered their opponents, and then tries to play interference with anyone else behind them to give their sprinter the best possible chance. This is not to say that there won’t be a gratuitous episode-long 1:1 sprint battle after the team has launched them, but at least give the guys a little more help!
Changing gears does not give off sparks.
I get it. I really do. The whole flashing sparks is exciting and indicative of change, but really, cyclists change gears a lot, and never, EVER, do they spark. Unless there’s a serious problem. Usually followed by an unjustified movie-like explosion.
Andy and Frank are pecs, not abs.
As beautiful as his muscles are, they are most certainly not the abdominal muscles; they’re pectorals. It does make sense that a sprinter like Izumida would have a much more built upper body than most cyclists given his weight lifting and bursts on flats, despite the prevalence of leaner builds in road racing. See: track sprinters.
Note: Many thanks to KWoo for co-writing this post. His cycling experience has initiated many hilarious discussions while watching this show!