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    #1

    Riding in its draft

    China is on the verge of a natural slowdown that will change the global balance of power, from finance to politics, and take the wind out of many economies that are riding in its draft.

    What does the captioned phrase mean?

    Thanks!

    JY

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    #2

    Re: Riding in its draft

    China is on the verge of a natural slowdown that will change the global balance of power, from finance to politics, and take the wind out of many economies that are riding in its draft.

    What does the captioned phrase mean?


    In the sport of bike racing one rider will often ride very close behind another to take advantage of the wind break, in other words, to allow the front rider to expend energy against the wind while he/she has an easier ride "in the draft". The writer is therefore referring to those countries which benefit from a fast growing Chinese economy and its resultant spending power, who are in a sense, riding in China's draft.
    However, I feel the metaphor is poorly employed here because in the same sentence the writer uses the phrase "take the wind out of". This is a sailing metaphor, "to take the wind out of the sails" of the economies, meaning to deprive them of confidence and momentum.
    So the economies are having to face the wind without China's help, while having the wind taken away from them! This mixing of metaphors makes the sentence a little awkward.

    not a teacher

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Riding in its draft

    I agree about the mixed metaphors. But I think you may have given the impression that drawing motive power from another competitor applies especially to cycling. 'Riding in the draft' may be a cycling metaphor, but I have heard 'slipstreaming' used with reference both to athletics and motor-racing. (My brother once broke his nose when he was doing this behind a bus - which braked suddenly. He called it 'slipstreaming', although he was riding a bike. Come to think of it - given his injuries - he probably said something like 'slipstreaBing'

    b

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    #4

    Re: Riding in its draft

    @BobK: I agree. Because it says "riding" I thought that cycling, where I've mainly heard of the technique as "drafting", was the best way to explain it, but I should have mentioned the broader idea. I once ran into the back of a car by cycling too close on the way home from school. My nose was OK but the bike's front fork was a mess. One of those youthful episodes that you think about and just shake your head.

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