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Old 06-06-05, 02:01 PM   #1
soda
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keep your eye the new guys while in the race...

ouch... I raced in the cat 4/5 for the Greensburg, IN race this past weekend and there were 3 guys that I thought were new to racing, but I try not to judge so I moved past that thought and onto thinking about the race. About half way through the first lap, I'm pretty certain these three were involved in a crash that took out a significant part of the group. I can't be 100% sure because I was on the side of the them (just by luck) but a fellow teammate later told me that the only reason he wasn't involved was because he saw these three guys getting sketchy in the middle of the group and moved behind me. He said they were getting too close, bumping shoulders etc.. and finally one of them went down taking the others with them and most everyone behind them in the group.

As I move up in categories, this won't be a problem but I've learned to go with my first impression and stay just outside of striking distance of the newbies--at least for a lap or two and most definitely during climbs and sprints. I realize ANYONE can cause/have a crash regardless of experience, but why put myself into a position that has greater risk of a crash?

I'm always amazed at how loud a bicycle crash is, even if it's just one person.
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Old 06-06-05, 02:09 PM   #2
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In my first race, I made it a point to not be in the middle of the pack. I stayed to the right and towards the back so that I couldn't cause any crashes, and so I could observe how the group works. There was no way I was going in the middle, I knew I'd probably cause trouble.
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Old 06-06-05, 11:05 PM   #3
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When we were racing, we would help each other near the front and take turns sucking wheels in the first 10 spots. The guys up front never knew what hit them near the end. It was not cool, but we placed and moved up to 3's in 2 years. Back then it was only cat 4 no 5. We moved up from juniors. We had a good few years of racing in us already.

Just go up and suck wheel near the front. and learn to fight for the wheel. don't get caught outside, you will be riding the whole by yourself. If you stay back the rubber band effect will kill you and get drop for sure, unless you are strong and just hang there and save energy. Hit em' on the climbs and move up to the stronger group.
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Old 06-07-05, 12:04 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by look171
When we were racing, we would help each other near the front and take turns sucking wheels in the first 10 spots. The guys up front never knew what hit them near the end. It was not cool, but we placed and moved up to 3's in 2 years. Back then it was only cat 4 no 5. We moved up from juniors. We had a good few years of racing in us already.

Just go up and suck wheel near the front. and learn to fight for the wheel. don't get caught outside, you will be riding the whole by yourself. If you stay back the rubber band effect will kill you and get drop for sure, unless you are strong and just hang there and save energy. Hit em' on the climbs and move up to the stronger group.
Don't take this the wrong way, I am just wondering...

You raced Jr's for a couple years, then you starting racing Cat 4 and upgraded 2 years later?
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Old 06-07-05, 06:56 AM   #5
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Yea they started cat 5 some time in early nineties right? You used to go from juniors to 4 and on up.

You should keep an eye on sketchy riders in the field and stay in front of them if possible. Sometimes you can't so a little conversation may be helpful. But just because guys bump shoulders doesn’t mean they are sketchy, bumping happens all the time. In fact I would not be surprised if in fact it happens more on the 1/2/3 level but there the riders don't freak out about it, they just bump off gently and continue on.
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Old 06-07-05, 09:29 AM   #6
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Thanks for the advice. I'm a cat 4 (mainly race 4/5 but do a few 3's) and been racing for 3 years now. I agree about being on the side but at that point, we were just getting started so it wasn't a big deal to be hanging out there alone. Once someone attacks or the pace picks up, I'm back in the group conserving energy and I do my share taking pulls.

I agree about the bumping in the 1/2/3/4 groups. You're right that those guys just know how to handle it instead of freaking out.
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Old 06-07-05, 09:46 AM   #7
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Sketchy? Try the finish of the MSR. Its bumper cars all the way down the Cipressa to the via Roma. It's amazing the cool those guys ride with.
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Old 06-07-05, 09:54 AM   #8
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Everyone is a little "sketchy" at first. When you get in and start riding with the pack you will start to realize that fact. Shoot in my 4th race I got a little freaked out when someone tried to thread the neadle between me and another rider 2 feet apart. Now I just right for posistion...

It all comes with time... racing sure makes you a good bike handlier...
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Old 06-07-05, 10:28 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by jfmckenna
Yea they started cat 5 some time in early nineties right?
And you had to be a cat 4 for a year. I don't think you even had to race (not a good idea)... just spend a year as a cat 4, then upgrade to 3 to get away from those sketchy '4s.
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Old 06-07-05, 11:53 AM   #10
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Soda, the absolute best thing you could do for your racing is as follows:

Take the 90 min ride to Major Taylor every (i think it's) Tuesday evening and ride the development races. Next time you ride a Crit I gurantee you will feel like you have all the room in the world, and the dicey riding you are describing will seem to happen in slow motion. This is the best way to develope pack riding skills and confidence, and it's a lot of fun.
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Old 06-07-05, 02:14 PM   #11
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lol.... you guys crack me up. I'm not a novice. I placed 6th in the GC for the Ohio Valley Spring Racing Series last year cat 4/5 (even won a race-couldn't race much this year) and have ridden in more than a few cat 3 races. I'm comfortable and can deal with dicey riding but my point was about keeping an eye on the newbies. I didn't see the sketchy riding since I was on the side and if I had and saw that it was with the newbies I would have done the same thing as my teammate. I'm also one of the main guys in our group rides giving advice to the new riders. See this thread about my observations unwritten rules of a group ride

Thanks for the concern and advice. Maybe I'll see you at the Summer Solstice this weekend.
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Old 06-07-05, 02:31 PM   #12
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Sorry Soda. We just love ya man, and didn't want to see ya get hurt.
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Old 06-07-05, 02:37 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by soda
Thanks for the concern and advice. Maybe I'll see you at the Summer Solstice this weekend.
Ohmigosh, that's this weekend already!

Not that we were planning to attend. But still. Go get 'em! The courses sound awesome and I'd love to try my hand at a Cat 4 only field -- with cash going 5 deep, no less! Maybe we'll make it out for one of the three days...
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Old 06-07-05, 02:59 PM   #14
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Does it say cat 4 on your license? Just curious because as far as I know they wont let a 4 race in 3's here.
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Old 06-07-05, 09:46 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by The_Convert
Don't take this the wrong way, I am just wondering...

You raced Jr's for a couple years, then you starting racing Cat 4 and upgraded 2 years later?

This is 1985. There were no cat 5. We knew most of the guys that were racing. Not like today, way too many people. We didn't race by the clock. We counted actual laps. Of course, things were always running late. One hell of an extended family. Best time of my life.

Jeff
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Old 06-08-05, 08:41 AM   #16
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no worries... nobody's psychic but I'm glad to see that this board is overflowing with concern and advice. Something that is sometimes missed in the group rides and races.

As for racing cat 3 when I'm a cat 4, I'm not sure about the rules. My license does say cat 4 but as far as I know, it's possible to race up a category but not down. I've not tested this theory in every race but I didn't have any problem joining the cat 3 when I wanted to give it a shot.
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Old 06-08-05, 01:22 PM   #17
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Soda - no way a Cat. 4 gets in a Cat. 3 race without permission from an official. I do not know what the officials are like in your area; but they never do it where I am. Too much of a liability issue. Cat 4's only race in Cat 4 races. A Cat 4 can race in a Cat3/4 race as designated by a promoter. Maybe that is what you did.
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Old 06-08-05, 02:51 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by soda
no worries... nobody's psychic but I'm glad to see that this board is overflowing with concern and advice. Something that is sometimes missed in the group rides and races.

As for racing cat 3 when I'm a cat 4, I'm not sure about the rules. My license does say cat 4 but as far as I know, it's possible to race up a category but not down. I've not tested this theory in every race but I didn't have any problem joining the cat 3 when I wanted to give it a shot.
Wow Soda,
here in Colorado, there's no shot at racing as a Cat3 unless you've earned the points. I'm only a 4, but we do have a local series that let's Pro's all the way down to 4's and we all go off at the same time. It's definatelly a much scketchier race, than we just 4's. Good luck, and keep us posted.
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Old 06-08-05, 03:28 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by look171
This is 1985. There were no cat 5. We knew most of the guys that were racing. Not like today, way too many people. We didn't race by the clock. We counted actual laps. Of course, things were always running late. One hell of an extended family. Best time of my life.

Jeff

Yeah I was C4 in 89/90. I got moved up to C3 in '91, back in the day there wasn't a C5.

Now for totally different view of the 5's. I started racing again this year after a 13 year layoff. I'm racing 5's and will cat up at the end of the year or right after I win my first race...most likely at the end of year. I rarely race crits (too much carnage in any cat and I have a family to support) I mostly do RR's. I have seen way more carnage in the 3/4's than in the 5's this year. The 5 races have been very safe and fast. Our av. speed has been +-1mph of the 4's (of course we are doing less milage). From what I've seen the 3-4 accidents have come toward the end of the race when the major fatigue has set in. This (I'm just guessing here) is from guys moving up from C5 who are not used to the pace for that long of a time.
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Old 06-08-05, 03:38 PM   #20
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I like the progression throughout the year, I raced collegiate "c" from march 5 to the last weekend in april, racing every weekend. It was incredibly sketchy in the first couple of racing, myself included, with every race have a crash or two, and by the end, the final road race had a 1.2 mile dirt section, and I dont beleive there was a single crash in the Cs. I think its kinda neat to see the same guys who you stayed miles away from in the beginning of the year get better.
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Old 06-09-05, 11:07 AM   #21
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hmmm.... I believe you guys about not being able to race in a cat 3 race as a cat 4 rider so I went back and looked at the race results. The race that I'm thinking of is listed as a 3/4 so I guess I got you all ruffled up for nothing. You're correct. Sorry...
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Old 06-09-05, 01:42 PM   #22
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lol
yea I was worried all night about that, couldent sleep
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