Drafting practice resumed today on my 50 mile ride. In an effort to get me faster, Don has been working with me on drafting. I know this isn't legal in races, but it serves a purpose in training.
I notice every long ride I/we do that my speed is gradually, but steadily, coming up. I'm not the fastest rider; in fact, I'm probably one of the slowest. But I work hard at trying to get faster.
I really don't know if its because of my accident; that might have a lot to do with it, because I never expected it would take 2+ years to recover from this. But the sad fact is, it has. Its certainly not for lack of trying that my speed remains locked in at 15 mph or lower. I know I was hitting higher speeds before that, but I have been totally unable to get higher since then.
Drafting is fairly easy--if you know how to do it. For me, its been a work in progress. I have trust issues--I probably will never trust anyone 100%--and with drafting, you have to trust not only yourself, but the person/s you are drafting from. You have to trust that they will keep a pace and not cause a crash; you have to trust that you can keep a pace and not cause a crash. So its been hard for me to give up this control--I always want to know where everyone is who rides with me. I want to see where they are at all times to anticipate what is going on ahead of me. Of course in the hope of avoiding a crash.
So I am learning. Learning to draft and learning to trust. The end result is seeing my speed go up from my last 50 mile ride, 7 tenth of a mile faster. Doesn't seem like much, but over 50 miles, it is a huge effort.