Riding in a line in a V-formation, to reduce drag and conserve energy.
Example usage: 'We were echeloning up the hill to save energy.'
Most used in: Long-distance rides in flat, windy areas.
Most used by: Road cyclists.
Comedy Value: 5/10
Echelon Riding - The Benefits of Cycling in a Group Formation
Echelon riding, also called ‘echeloning’, is a type of cycling in which riders form a group formation in order to combat the effects of wind resistance and improve their efficiency. This type of riding is especially popular during long-distance cycling events such as road races, triathlons, and even long-distance charity rides.
At its most basic level, echelon riding involves the formation of a diagonal line of riders. The first rider in the line acts as the leader, and the rest of the riders fall in behind them, each slightly offset from the rider in front of them. This formation allows the riders to take advantage of the wind resistance created by the leader, while also allowing them to draft off of each other for additional speed and efficiency.
Echelon riding has been shown to significantly reduce the energy expenditure of the riders, with some studies showing that the energy savings can be as much as 20-30%. This can make a huge difference in long-distance events, where riders may be pedaling for hours at a time. In addition to the energy savings, echelon riding also helps to reduce fatigue, as the riders are able to take turns leading and drafting off of each other.
Echelon riding is a great way for cyclists to work together and maximize their efficiency. It can be a great way to make the most of long-distance events, and can even be used to help riders train more effectively. So, if you’re looking for a way to get more out of your cycling, echelon riding may be the way to go.
The Origin of the Term 'Echeloning' in Cycling
The term 'echeloning' was first used in the context of cycling in the late 1950s in the Netherlands. It describes an effective tactic used by cyclists to break away from the pack and gain an advantage. By forming a 'chain' of cyclists, the group can move through the wind more efficiently, and create a 'draft' that allows the riders to conserve energy.
The term is derived from a Dutch word, 'schil', meaning 'shell'. This is an apt description of the formation of cyclists, as the riders in the front break the wind for those behind in a similar way that a turtle's shell protects its vulnerable underside.
The tactic has become increasingly popular in modern cycling, with many teams using the tactic to gain an advantage in road races. It is also used in track cycling, where riders use the draft of the person in front to gain an advantage in sprints.