By Greg Conderacci
For weeks now we’ve been writing about the benefits of dorkiness.
In Part I, we explored screening your helmet; in Part II, we messed with your handlebars; in Part III, we reflectorized your machine; in Part IV, we prepped you for flats; in Part V, we praised electrical tape; and in Part VI, we recommended kinesiology tape for sore knees; and in Part VII, we raised your aerobars; and in Part VIII, we swore off black jerseys and in Part IX, we turned on a blinking headlight ; in Part X, we added a bell; in Part XI, we mounted a speedometer next to your GPS.
Today, we revisit one of the dorkiest tips ever: a compass on your handlebars. I’ve extolled the virtues of this ancient device before. Of course, your GPS will tell you where north is (and every other direction).
But a compass will let you take a bearing on the wind. As any dork who’s watched a bike race can tell you, you want to draft downwind. If the rider ahead of you is heading into a wind out of the northwest, you want to be southeast of him or her. You know where that is, even as the road twists and turns, because you noticed a flag (or something like that) blowing a few miles back and took a bearing on the wind.
As an extra bonus, if you have a rotten sense of direction (like me) and you don’t have a GPS or it’s not working, a compass will help you realize that you turned east at that last intersection when you should have turned west.
Do you have a dorky tip to share? Don’t be shy. We’ll withhold your name upon request. Remember a dorky tip has one or more of these characteristics:
- Pro riders do not do it (nor does just about anybody else)
- It’s cheap or maybe even free
- It usually adds weight
Greg Conderacci is a marketing consultant and a former Wall Street Journal reporter, non-profit entrepreneur, and investment bank chief marketing officer. In Getting UP!, he brings you the same skills he teaches at a top graduate school and Fortune 500 companies. Lots of people promise better performance … Greg proves it. Using his energy techniques, in 2015 he rode a bicycle across America in just 18 days — averaging 150 miles a day.