Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Snot Rocket, Part 2



As the years have passed, the snot rocket has become as common a part of my cycling repertoire as the warm-up. I can’t do without it. My nose runs when I exercise...that watery, wispy type of nose-run which matches up with everything else that just plain loosens and flows during exertion: muscles, joints, blood, tears, mucus.

So, how’s it done? Everyone has their opinion and style. Do a quick Google search and you’ll find this advice from Steve over at Steve in a Speedo (personally, my CORRECT and INCORRECT versions are just the opposite of his).

Twin City Track Club has got a great how-to diagram.

Every athlete has his or her opinion as to what makes an efficient snot rocket, however two variables are key: aim and velocity.

Myself? I blow to the left side, regardless of nostril. While keeping my left hand on the brake hood and left elbow close to the body, right hand pinches right nostril, head turned slightly to the side, exhale sharply out of left nostril positioned over left bicep. Works like a charm. I watch it sail off to the pavement. And, if there are problems, my arm takes the hit which I can subsequently see and deal with.

Right nostril? Like I said, I blow to the left regardless of nostril. So, the left hand pinches left nostril, left elbow wings out to the side, exhale sharply out of right nostril positioned over left side of body. This position opens up my whole body to the possibility of taking the hit if I mis-aim. Also, my head is in a slightly different position due to the necessity of blowing the flier underneath my arm: nose pointing more directly down to the pavement, causing more of a bend in my throat, effectively slowing down the air velocity.

If I ever have problems, that's the side.

- OB now that I think about it, left-nostril-over-left-side and right-nostril-over-right-side makes more sense


Steve Stenzel said...

"to the left side, regardless of nostril"?!? That's crazy talk!

But I really can't say much, because I just planted a big-ole snotty mess on my left thigh on my last ride. Oops.


bikingbrady said...

I've been riding tandem with my wife more. The snot rocket can't be done on the "run" safely anymore. I've tried to figure it out, but it's impossible to not "spray". Depression sets in...no snot rockets on the tandem

Snakebite said...

Hmmmm....best to not over-think this one. By doing so you're going to end up with snot all over yourself.