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Criterium: Game Mechanics

I'm considering game mechanics related to cycling.  First up is gearing: should the player control the gears, or should this be automatic?  Gearing would definitely give more realism, but might be clunky for the player.

A mechanic I definitely want to use is drafting.  I figure it's relatively easy to do this: draw a ray along the bike's velocity vector.  If it doesn't hit another bike in front within a certain distance (say, 2 meters) then apply a small aerodynamic friction force in the opposite direction of the velocity vector.  Did you know the drag coefficient of a bicycle + rider is about 0.9?

Finally, the user has to have some control over power the cyclist is expending.  I'll probably display some kind of heart rate counter as an indicator of effort, and possibly a stamina indicator that's proportional to lactic acid buildup.  This will keep the player from sprinting through the whole race!


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