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Old 03-20-17, 08:46 PM   #151
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i'll make a deal with you - for every crit you want me to do you have to do a climbing race of my choice. its only fair
Does Dunnigan Hills count??
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Old 03-20-17, 09:01 PM   #152
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Old 03-20-17, 09:40 PM   #153
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Didn't think moving up in 3/4 at RK was hard. The 2/3 was even easier. :dunno

As season progresses crashes are not as common, or at least as stupid. What happens are CAT5s move up to 4's as soon as they get 10 races in. Some are even strong and hang on, but bike handling skills are not there. Not that 3's have super duper handling skills, but still better then 4/5. On average.
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Old 03-20-17, 11:13 PM   #154
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Yeah, red kite is about the easiest race in the universe to move up. Even in P12 it's just hey I wanna chill (move to back). Ok now I wanna cover moves (move to front). Granted this is after matt and half the Storck team are already gone...

And also move up in category and riders are less sketchy on average. Most can probably even ride no hands! ;-)
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Old 03-21-17, 10:05 AM   #155
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@scheibo you should do what you want to do, but not riding in close quarters will hurt you in road races, too. At least, it would around here; I guess the roads are often wider in California. Are the fields always really small for those hilly races?

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Didn't think moving up in 3/4 at RK was hard. The 2/3 was even easier. :dunno

As season progresses crashes are not as common, or at least as stupid. What happens are CAT5s move up to 4's as soon as they get 10 races in. Some are even strong and hang on, but bike handling skills are not there. Not that 3's have super duper handling skills, but still better then 4/5. On average.
Dumb things still happen in the 3s, but IME Cat 3/4 races around here anyway have a noticeably higher degree of WTFery than straight-up Cat 3 races.
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Old 03-21-17, 10:13 AM   #156
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My self preservation instinct certainly has put me at a disadvantage in 1/2 races and is something I'm working hard to correct. Horsepower doesn't matter much if you're hitting the bottom of a climb at the back of the pack or tailgunning a technical crit where you're forced to close gaps half a dozen times every lap It's worth getting used to playing close quarter bikes before you progress too far.
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Old 03-21-17, 10:36 AM   #157
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Yeah, based on my experience in 1/2/3 road races and crits, the high-speed close-quarters stuff is really key. It is a very different ballgame in the elite races. The jump just from a 3 race to a 1/2/3 race is pretty mind-shattering, to say nothing of the legs. I imagine in the real deal P/1/2 races it's even more intense.
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Old 03-21-17, 10:48 AM   #158
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@scheibo you should do what you want to do, but not riding in close quarters will hurt you in road races, too. At least, it would around here; I guess the roads are often wider in California. Are the fields always really small for those hilly races?



Dumb things still happen in the 3s, but IME Cat 3/4 races around here anyway have a noticeably higher degree of WTFery than straight-up Cat 3 races.
Depends on the race. Some of the Bay Area hilly races (Hamilton, Pescadero, and Berkley) tend get fuller fields with 50+ in the 3's and similar numbers in the P12.


The races that are poorly attended add a few extra hours of driving at no o'clock in the morning.
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Old 03-21-17, 10:50 AM   #159
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Yeah, based on my experience in 1/2/3 road races and crits, the high-speed close-quarters stuff is really key. It is a very different ballgame in the elite races. The jump just from a 3 race to a 1/2/3 race is pretty mind-shattering, to say nothing of the legs. I imagine in the real deal P/1/2 races it's even more intense.
Eh, I guess yes and no? It certainly feels safer, but you better be able to go around a corner without touching the brakes or you will be made to pay for it. In the 3's there are a handful of guys driving the pace, p/1/2 most everyone is there to party hard which leaves less wiggle room for being overly cautious.
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Old 03-21-17, 11:02 AM   #160
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My self preservation instinct certainly has put me at a disadvantage in 1/2 races and is something I'm working hard to correct. Horsepower doesn't matter much if you're hitting the bottom of a climb at the back of the pack or tailgunning a technical crit where you're forced to close gaps half a dozen times every lap It's worth getting used to playing close quarter bikes before you progress too far.
Yeah this. Not only cuz it makes the race easier, but also cuz in P12 everyone is trusting that everyone else is comfortable in the pack, close quarters, and are comfortable enough on the bike to not freak over some bumping, wheel touching, off roading (velo promo crap roads where the shoulder can suddenly disappear lol) etc.
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Old 03-21-17, 11:05 AM   #161
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Eh, I guess yes and no? It certainly feels safer, but you better be able to go around a corner without touching the brakes or you will be made to pay for it. In the 3's there are a handful of guys driving the pace, p/1/2 most everyone is there to party hard which leaves less wiggle room for being overly cautious.
it's also easier to do so, again because of the trust thing (and also the strung out 28 mph thing). I trust the p12s to carry speed more than I trust the 3/4s
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Old 03-21-17, 11:08 AM   #162
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For sure. I'd like to think I am not sketchy myself, just too cautious so I filter to the back. I have been working a lot on cornering this winter because of it, even changed my position to get more aero and improve handling by taking weight off my hands, getting prescription racing glasses, etc. You can't really fake the soft skills the way you can in the lower categories, which is why it makes sense to practice them while there is still a lot of room for error.

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Old 03-21-17, 12:37 PM   #163
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Yeah, based on my experience in 1/2/3 road races and crits, the high-speed close-quarters stuff is really key. It is a very different ballgame in the elite races. The jump just from a 3 race to a 1/2/3 race is pretty mind-shattering, to say nothing of the legs. I imagine in the real deal P/1/2 races it's even more intense.
All very true.

But what's really crazy is doing a biggish pro/1 (no 2's) race like San Dimas.

When I moved up from 3 to 2, I was like "damn these guys ride close together!"

Doing a pro/1 race a few years after being a 1, thinking I'm pretty damn comfortable with close quarters, I was like "HOLY **** THESE GUYS RIDE REALLY REALL CLOSE"
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Old 03-22-17, 12:04 AM   #164
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Got my first Cat 2 upgrade point this past weekend in the worst road race of my life in Bellingham, Wa at the WWU Omnium. This is the same course as state champs in Washington as well.

Cold and miserable. Raced in it all. Made the break where I was definitely one of the weaker guys there. Race got shortened and then I had a mental breakdown on the start of the last lap and ended up riding the last 8 miles or so solo for a 6th place finish. I would quit the sport before doing 29 more races like that to get an upgrade to Cat2. Loved riding in the break, really my first experience like that even though it meant I let the team down by getting dropped. Live and learn I guess. Play to my strengths in the future and don't be stupid. Also, opt for the thicker gloves if you don't know the weather forecast.
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Old 03-22-17, 08:47 AM   #165
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Eh, I guess yes and no? It certainly feels safer, but you better be able to go around a corner without touching the brakes or you will be made to pay for it. In the 3's there are a handful of guys driving the pace, p/1/2 most everyone is there to party hard which leaves less wiggle room for being overly cautious.
I only do a handful of 1/2/3 races each season, and on the more technical courses I typically spend as much as the first half of the race really struggling mentally because of the "you want me to go around this bumpy-ass corner at WHAT speed!?" factor. I don't doubt I would adjust much more quickly if I did these races all the time, I'm actually a pretty solid bike handler most of the time. But when you're used to Cat 3 cornering, the combination of the speed (high) and margin for error (low) is very intimidating.

When we did Greenfield last year, I raced the 1/2/3, as my promotion-related duties made the 3/4 impossible (racing a 1/2/3 crit in 90 degree heat with promoter legs and a stomach full of greasy pizza was... interesting). Turn 1 on that course was absolutely terrifying, thanks to bumpy pavement in the intersection and limited room to maneuver on the street we were turning onto. And we were taking it at the speed of fear. Turn 4 was smoother, but downhill, so also pretty much totally bonkers. It wasn't until maybe 1/2 or 2/3 in that something finally clicked in my brain, and I was able to take the turns at full speed and feel confident. I don't remember any crashes, so I guess it was safer than some of the other races that day, but convincing your brain that taking a 90 degree corner onto a highly crowned, narrow street at 31 mph is going to be fine takes a while. And it helps to have had some previous experience with it to draw on. Once you get your head around it, it's rad af though.

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Doing a pro/1 race a few years after being a 1, thinking I'm pretty damn comfortable with close quarters, I was like "HOLY **** THESE GUYS RIDE REALLY REALL CLOSE"
Any time I see a bar cam of the final laps of a big pro crit, I'm glad I'll never have to worry about being in that situation.

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Old 03-22-17, 09:02 AM   #166
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P12 fields are pretty rare in the northeast, it's only the highest profile races that have them. Don't think I've ever seen a P1 field in anything less than an NCC level race.
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Old 03-22-17, 09:19 AM   #167
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@grolby you've never done beverly so your opinion on this matter is invalid.
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Old 03-22-17, 01:37 PM   #168
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@grolby you've never done beverly so your opinion on this matter is invalid.
I know you're just being a smartass, but given I was saying even your basic 1/2/3 race is a big step up in speed and fluency, well...

But anyway, I'll be at Beverly this year, and I'll finish it and you'll be laughing on the other side of your face.
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Old 03-22-17, 01:44 PM   #169
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I only do a handful of 1/2/3 races each season, and on the more technical courses I typically spend as much as the first half of the race really struggling mentally because of the "you want me to go around this bumpy-ass corner at WHAT speed!?" factor. I don't doubt I would adjust much more quickly if I did these races all the time, I'm actually a pretty solid bike handler most of the time. But when you're used to Cat 3 cornering, the combination of the speed (high) and margin for error (low) is very intimidating.

When we did Greenfield last year, I raced the 1/2/3, as my promotion-related duties made the 3/4 impossible (racing a 1/2/3 crit in 90 degree heat with promoter legs and a stomach full of greasy pizza was... interesting). Turn 1 on that course was absolutely terrifying, thanks to bumpy pavement in the intersection and limited room to maneuver on the street we were turning onto. And we were taking it at the speed of fear. Turn 4 was smoother, but downhill, so also pretty much totally bonkers. It wasn't until maybe 1/2 or 2/3 in that something finally clicked in my brain, and I was able to take the turns at full speed and feel confident. I don't remember any crashes, so I guess it was safer than some of the other races that day, but convincing your brain that taking a 90 degree corner onto a highly crowned, narrow street at 31 mph is going to be fine takes a while. And it helps to have had some previous experience with it to draw on. Once you get your head around it, it's rad af though.



Any time I see a bar cam of the final laps of a big pro crit, I'm glad I'll never have to worry about being in that situation.
You summed up the way it usually goes for me in crits and technical RRs. It's not my bike handling, it's settling in to the course. Sometimes that takes too many laps and I get dropped, but more often it just means I spew a lot of watts needlessly.
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Old 03-22-17, 05:06 PM   #170
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Any time I see a bar cam of the final laps of a big pro crit, I'm glad I'll never have to worry about being in that situation.
Fwiw in my opinion videos make things seem more scary - even my own videos!

I've watched Williams Bros vids of races I was in and they seemed a lot crazier than what I remember. Then again it was from their perspectives, and they ride way more aggressively than I do. Plus they win and stuff.
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Old 03-22-17, 05:13 PM   #171
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Fwiw in my opinion videos make things seem more scary - even my own videos!

I've watched Williams Bros vids of races I was in and they seemed a lot crazier than what I remember. Then again it was from their perspectives, and they ride way more aggressively than I do. Plus they win and stuff.
what if it's just videos of your own team chasing you down.
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Old 03-22-17, 06:14 PM   #172
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what if it's just videos of your own team chasing you down.
that would be scary
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Old 03-23-17, 12:44 PM   #173
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i just want to win the miniseries so i can stop dicking around in the 3/4 and move on to some real racing....
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Old 03-23-17, 12:58 PM   #174
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i just want to win the miniseries so i can stop dicking around in the 3/4 and move on to some real racing....
why wait? what do you get for winning the miniseries?
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Old 03-23-17, 01:11 PM   #175
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A movie deal?
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