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  1. #1
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    Considering Crit

    So, my buddy and I are considering doing some crit racing. Is it really as rough as people make it seem? (crashes, broken bones, punctured lungs...)
    He's a triathlete, I'm do centuries, but "I just wanna go fast". We're both solid riders who are comfortable in a pack.

    Advice, thoughts, warnings?

    Aaron
    Dallas, Tx

  2. #2
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    Read the racing sticky thread.

  3. #3
    **** that mattm's Avatar
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    Short answer (from me) is go for it.

    You may or may not survive.

    You'll probably do better if you do some fast group rides beforehand, but that's not really a requirement.
    cat 1.

    blog

  4. #4
    Ninny globecanvas's Avatar
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    Protip: put some Stan's No Tubes in your lungs beforehand, to seal up any punctures you may get.

  5. #5
    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Ygduf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by globecanvas View Post
    Protip: put some Stan's No Tubes in your lungs beforehand, to seal up any punctures you may get.
    best advice I've heard yet.

    I'd like to add "don't race what you can't afford to replace, like your head/brain"

    twitter.com/ygduf
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  6. #6
    Senior Member hack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattm View Post
    Short answer (from me) is go for it.

    You may or may not survive.

    You'll probably do better if you do some fast group rides beforehand, but that's not really a requirement.
    also ... the group ride should be a bit more race oriented than a typical sunday club ride. look for something that isn't an organized pace line (that's not to say they don't happen in crits) with a ride leader and such, but more chaotic.

  7. #7
    Announcer EventServices's Avatar
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    The danger is over-hyped. Crits are, in fact, exciting and exhilarating. They force you to use more skills than just hammering and climbing. They wear you down mentally as much as physically.

    My tip: Learn how to corner on the proper line through a turn. Also learn to corner on the improper line because that's more likely the one you'll be forced to take.

    Eyes up.
    Ride in the drops.
    Don't panic when you get bumped.

    Report your findings here.

  8. #8
    gmt Grumpy McTrumpy's Avatar
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    those guys who drive like aggressive maniacs on the highway, tailgating everyone and treating cars like traffic cones...

    they would do well in crits.

  9. #9
    Ninny globecanvas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grumpy McTrumpy View Post
    those guys who drive like aggressive maniacs on the highway, tailgating everyone and treating cars like traffic cones...

    they would do well in crits.

    I drive like a total ass after a crit. Last week I got a speeding ticket on the way home from a race, my first ticket in 10 years at least.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Wylde06's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tronnyjenkins View Post
    So, my buddy and I are considering doing some crit racing.
    Do it

  11. #11
    powered by Racer Ex gsteinb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by globecanvas View Post
    I drive like a total ass after a crit. Last week I got a speeding ticket on the way home from a race, my first ticket in 10 years at least.
    was that after you tried to drive me off the road?

  12. #12
    Senior Member spectastic's Avatar
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    I find crits a lot more fun than road races, and a hell of a lot more fun that TT's.

    yeah, crashes do happen, so race a good bike, but not one you like really much. and use good tires that have good traction, learned that this weekend.

    and the prime are a nice bonus. you could win back your entry fee with a prime. ****, if it's a race I know I won't win, I'll go for the primes and do the best I can after that.
    8/30 eight bats.. jajaja

  13. #13
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    Thanks guys! I'm keeping my eye on Craigslist for an aluminum frame a touch smaller than my 58. I think it's more comfortable, but wouldn't corner fast enough.

  14. #14
    Ninny globecanvas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
    was that after you tried to drive me off the road?

    OK, correction, I drive like a total ass both before and after a crit.

    Driving on I-84 a couple weeks ago I saw gsteinb and leaned over as if to bump elbows. Except we were in vans and not on bikes and I almost crashed into him. My buddy in the passenger seat was like, if you don't kill us first, that guy is going to kill us later!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by globecanvas View Post
    OK, correction, I drive like a total ass both before and after a crit.

    Driving on I-84 a couple weeks ago I saw gsteinb and leaned over as if to bump elbows. Except we were in vans and not on bikes and I almost crashed into him. My buddy in the passenger seat was like, if you don't kill us first, that guy is going to kill us later!
    haha!

    I drive soooo mellow after a race. Like soooo mellow. I'm not a super aggressive driver, at least nowadays, but after a crit even the Missus will sometimes comment on how slowly I'm driving.

    I do wait a bit sometimes to move over, esp if there's a slow truck etc. It's like moving up with half a lap to go.

    I used to be a total idiot in the car. One of my actual thoughts: "If I stay within about 5 feet of the car in front of me I can look out their windshield and see what they're seeing." This is how I drove on the highway for a few years. Absolute idiot. I'm lucky I'm alive now. However it did give me some drafting practice, and in pro-commute rush hour, meaning when all the "good commuters" are driving, I'm not uncomfortable. I'm typically 1-2 seconds behind the car in front of me, half a second if it's busy/crowded.
    "...during the Lance years, being fit became the No. 1 thing. Totally the only thing. It’s a big part of what we do, but fitness is not the only thing. There’s skills, there’s tactics … there’s all kinds of stuff..." Tim Johnson

  16. #16
    Senior Member topflightpro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grumpy McTrumpy View Post
    those guys who drive like aggressive maniacs on the highway, tailgating everyone and treating cars like traffic cones...

    they would do well in crits.
    Do you ever find yourself yelling at cars in front of you for letting a gap open? Cause I've done that.

    I also once noticed myself pointing out a pothole while driving. I was actually just pointing down to the floor of my car. But that was a long time ago, when I first started riding.

    And OP, I'd rather do a crit than a road race. From my experience, crashes are more frequent and more damaging in RRs than crits.

  17. #17
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Read the sticky and follow the progression laid out there.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  18. #18
    Senior Member Duke of Kent's Avatar
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    Avoid your triathlete friend once the race starts.

  19. #19
    Senior Member grolby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tronnyjenkins View Post
    We're both solid riders who are comfortable in a pack.
    So you believe, but be open to the probable truth that you aren't. Don't worry. You will learn.

    Quote Originally Posted by tronnyjenkins View Post
    Thanks guys! I'm keeping my eye on Craigslist for an aluminum frame a touch smaller than my 58. I think it's more comfortable, but wouldn't corner fast enough.
    No. Start with the bike you have and are comfortable with. It will corner fine.
    The Workingman's Honest Bicycle Program - Heady talk about bikes, bike racing, bike racers and bike riding. standarddouble.com/whbp

  20. #20
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    From my own nascent experience: riding in a competitive group is nothing like riding in a racing pack, especially in a crit where the corners come fast and frequently. Also, crashes definitely happy. Pick yourself up and try again

  21. #21
    Theodore Roosevelt's idol TheKillerPenguin's Avatar
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    I think what makes crits dangerous is thinking they're dangerous because you wind up overreacting to things that happen. Keep your eyes forward and you'll be fine. I wouldn't even worry about the bike honestly, in a road race you're often going 50+mph down sketchy hills and those are speeds you wont come close to touching. If the sprint feels aggressive you can drift to the back and not bother dealing with it. They're interesting, tactical, and you'll learn lots.
    Is trick from science!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by grolby View Post
    So you believe, but be open to the probable truth that you aren't. Don't worry. You will learn.



    No. Start with the bike you have and are comfortable with. It will corner fine.
    Quote Originally Posted by canuckbelle View Post
    From my own nascent experience: riding in a competitive group is nothing like riding in a racing pack, especially in a crit where the corners come fast and frequently. Also, crashes definitely happy. Pick yourself up and try again
    Quote Originally Posted by TheKillerPenguin View Post
    I think what makes crits dangerous is thinking they're dangerous because you wind up overreacting to things that happen. Keep your eyes forward and you'll be fine. I wouldn't even worry about the bike honestly, in a road race you're often going 50+mph down sketchy hills and those are speeds you wont come close to touching. If the sprint feels aggressive you can drift to the back and not bother dealing with it. They're interesting, tactical, and you'll learn lots.
    Thanks. I'll heed all this advice.

  23. #23
    Senior Member furiousferret's Avatar
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    I find much of the crit = crash talk a bit of an alarmist exaggeration. It happens more than most, but crashes also happen in group rides and riding solo. Its also pretty easy to mark who to avoid in a race, and predict what may happen.

    I also find the difference between crits in category and location have a huge swing in safety. Places where people race often like Ontario and Great Park seem to be safer than races put on once a year. The dangers all come down to about 2-4 guys in the pack, mostly.

  24. #24
    Announcer EventServices's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by canuckbelle View Post
    Also, crashes definitely happy.
    Dr. Freud, you have a call on line 1.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by EventServices View Post
    Dr. Freud, you have a call on line 1.
    HAH. Yeah...'HAPPEN' crashes definitely HAPPEN.

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