At last news came that the UCI banned the “super tuck” position from professional racing contests. What a relief! I know this is something you’ve all been very worried about for a very long time, like freezer burn and the possibility of squirrels evolving eye lasers.
Once they wrapped up their most pressing work, suppressing opportunities for women in the sport and turning a blind eye to the worst indiscretions of Eastern European blood chemists, they started ticking off the other really important stuff, like banning the “super tuck.”
Funny story, I used to employ what I’d call the “mediocre tuck.” Once while descending one of New England’s many snakey downhills , I employed this embarrassing technique, ass in the air and shoulders in ears, the better to win whatever group ride I was on at the time. I hadn’t really grokked the dilapidated state of the road surface though, and so, encountering one of New England’s many cavernous potholes, I slammed my chin directly into my stem cap.
After the bells of the local cathedral had stopped ringing and my jaw returned to its position on the front of my face, I said to myself, “You have to stop pretending you have someplace to be other than the back of the pack, buddy. Besides, you’re too pretty to be this careless with your baby soft pudum.”
The “super tuck” puts that pudum in extra big danger, but it ups the ante by also jeopardizing your vulnerable underbits. I don’t care if you’ve got block and tackle or a delicate flower beneath your chamois, slamming whatever you’re packing into your top tube shouldn’t be top of your priority list (right after ‘be a decent human’). If you really need those nano-seconds, then you ought to consider your life choices and/or shave your eyebrows. Those fuzzy caterpillars just ain’t aero.
Of course, the damage sustained by sudden and violent contact with a stem or top tube is only the beginning of the fun when the “super tuck” goes awry. The real bill comes due after you bounce off of the aforementioned and try to keep control of your bicycle machine, flailing at it like a surprised hiker trying to fend off a bear. Once that bounce transpires, there is no telling where your front wheel is going to end up. You guys used to be friends, back when you pointed it at stuff and it took you there. But freed of its responsibilities, you’re about to find out where your front wheel would rather be, and who it would rather not be taking there.
But don’t take my word for it. Get yourself out on a roller coaster descent, swallow whatever naked fear pops into your speed-addled mind, and hunker down into a position part fetal and part starter-block, then point yourself at a pothole. Physics is likely to ensue, but do this experiment and then leave your results in the comments. We’ll see if we can’t somehow get this thing reinstated with the sport’s nefarious overlords with your attestations of success. If, on the other hand, you lose your genitals and part of your face in the process, please don’t file a lawsuit. You can’t sue science anyway.
All of this is, of course, based on my own experience, and as you will know if you’ve been reading my scattered typings for very long, I’m not the best bicycle rider you don’t know. It’s not for me to say whether Peter Sagan or Annemiek van Vleuten or Chris Froome is capable of safely employing the “super tuck” to dramatically change the course of cycling history. It’s for some technocrat in a high castle in Switzerland to say.
For you, my friend, I recommend you confine all your super tucking to the stationary trainer, in your basement, with the lights off and a futon on either side of you.
Subscribe to TCI today. I’m tired of eating Top Ramen and the Saltines I stole from the Wendy’s salad bar.