I truly don't mean to post something negative. This is a constructive comment...
I was really excited to go to the clinic because I need more practice with bike handling. I like to go fast on the bike, and both maneuvering and moving in and out of aero are things that I still struggle with...
The topic of the Cycling Skills clinic was drafting. This might have been helpful to know in advance--I'm quite experienced at drafting (even though it's illegal in racing, I do it in group rides often).
The SSPT folks are awesome and I truly appreciate the clinics and offers they make for the club. I think drafting might not have been a great topic for triathletes...? I don't know.
I'm not sure which SSPT clinic that you went to but they are pretty clear about the topics that they cover. This is one of the descriptions of the clinic. It clearly states that "This specific clinic will focus on drafting and pace-lining."
Keep in mind that there are people in the club, though not many, who participate in draft legal triathlons (i.e. ITUs). I think that drafting and pacelining are excellent topics to cover for triathletes ... for the same reasons that you mentioned. The Hains Point Tu/Thurs morning crowd does a lot of paceling and drafting as part of their speed workouts. There are new people joining that workout every week so the skills may come in handy.
Most of us triathletes draft and ride in pacelines when we are out training during our long rides. I sometime see a lot of poor paceline/drafting manners on the Sunday long rides that I put together. I think that a clinic like this is an excellent way to educate people on the proper etiquette.
I was registered for the clinic but couldn't attend once they changed the date, but I received more than one email stating that the topic was drafting. :)
Ha ha... okay. A) Apparently, I need to read more than just Tuan's e-mails. :) and
B) Yes, of course, these are good skills to have as triathletes! I suppose most of my issues with maneuvering and aero will be solved with MORE PRACTICE!!
It was a great, well-run clinic, all in all. No slight intended against the organizers whatsoever.
I attended the clinic and loved it! I've always been afraid to get to close to someone else’s wheel, and therefore never been able to draft. We learned how to safely lead a pace line, draft, and fall back without causing any crashes!
I look forward to taking the next clinic and thank SSPT for taking the time out to come and educate us. No to mention, they came out in the 100 degree heat and for FREE!!
I also attended the clinic and was glad I did. If anything, it made me realize how many more of these clinics I could use.
My one piece of feedback is that it would be great to have these clinics on weekends rather than on weeknights. The hour went by really quickly; it'd be nice to spend a bit more time practicing what the experts are teaching while they're still around so that we can continue to ask questions, etc. (And on a personal note, I found it a bit stressful to get to Hains Point by 6 p.m. amidst rush-hour traffic, etc.)
Thanks to Sarah Thorpe, as always, and the awesome cyclists who came out to teach the course.
P.S. As for future workshops, my suggestions would be, (a) basic bike handling skills, (b) hills, (c) cycling for triathletes (I just made this one up, but I bet it'd be cool), and (d) aerobars (might be a stretch to do a full clinic on this one, but I'm in the midst of debating whether I want them...)
Kris - for the topics you suggested, Google and Youtube are your friends if you're looking for tips. If you're trying to get better, you don't need clinics, you need practice. I'm not saying play in rush-hour traffic, but find a place to safely practice whatever it is that you want to work on and work on it. Someone can talk you through hill climbing for hours, but the way you get faster going uphill is to go up hills (and lose weight).
Except that Kris is so lean already that the only way for him to lose weight would be to shave his head. :)