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Old 08-12-06, 08:19 AM   #1
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anyone else race cat 5 in prospect park today?

Wondering if anyone has any insight into the crash right before the final sprint. I was the dude in the blue jersey near the front who went down hard and brought at least one other down with me. Five broken spokes, 1 decimated shifter (chorus), and a tableau of road rash on my torso that is reminiscent of early Mark Rothko. Ouch.

Anyway, it was my first race, and I'm wondering if I did something wrong, or had something wrong done to me, or just got unlucky. I saw a couple guys attack at the bottom of the hill after the flat, so I went after them... I was on one of their wheels when the pack started to surge behind us. Couple guys passed me on my left and somehow I went down - didn't have much perspective from up near the front.

It seemed like a pretty good race to me up until then, but for all I know I was making tons of noob mistakes. Also, I'm curious to hear what happened at the finish if anyone knows.
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Old 08-12-06, 09:11 AM   #2
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I wasn't there, but the most common reason I've seen in Cat 5 races is over-reaction to something. Did you touch wheels/bump shoulders with someone and swerve/brake/etc. to avoid it? Seems that most often people are all hyped up and react violently with a big response to a little problem and end up crashing. For instance, last crash I saw in a Cat 5 race was some guy who saw the guy in front of him bump shoulders with me (he was on my left) and he subsequently yells something and swerves, taking 3 guys with him to the road rash party. And really, he didn't have to react at all--he would've been fine. But I'm sure that the stress/excitement/anxiety/whatever got to him a bit...

I'm not pointing any fingers or anything, but what led up to the crash? Folks generally don't just spontaneously go down (though I've seen that in the 5's too )...
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Old 08-16-06, 11:42 AM   #3
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i was out of town during this race and had to miss it...otherwise i would have been there racing with you. from just reading your description i'd bet that someone just clipped you as they surged past. an abrupt knock to the handlebars can send you down in a second. or perhaps someone overlapped your wheel. i'm sure it was an accident though.

in any event, it's always best to stay fluid on the bike. don't tense up or lock out your elbows, it makes it nearly impossible to react properly to an impact. not saying this was your problem...just good practice. hope you heal up well. i might see you at the next one.
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Old 08-19-06, 12:34 AM   #4
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I was not at pp so i have no idea what went down. Anyways, from my readings in cycling plus, where they did an article on group riding, they made a note of sprinting, which i assumed you might have done in an attack.

"Be aware that when you get out of the saddle, your bike automatically hurls back a few inches, which slams into the wheel of the guy behind you, and often causes a crash. When you stand on the pedals, do it smoothly and stand upright, not foward-this is a really important issue to be aware of."
-cyling plus july 06.

This could be where things may have gone bad, im not sure from my interpretation of your post, otherwise, like the others seemed to be getting at, someone may have tensed up, and overreacted to a small problem, and overcorrected, causing the collision.

Pack riding with many other less experienced riders, typical of cat5 from what i've found, is something that is quite nerve-wrecking, and i fear racing for now, for its bad enough i don't feel so sure footed myself, but i see some of the other guys, and it only makes the fear of a crash greater.
(I myself, gave the cat5 a go in floyd bennett field one tuesday and while it went off without a hitch, i saw too many fellas ahead of me making contact, bumbing and bouncing off each other after someone made a dumb mistake or noob-move, and kept me from moving up the field.
One dumb thing in particular was some moron was constently locking up his brakes on the turns, and out on the base its sandy, so hes asking to wipe out, so i kept my distance.)
Anyways, its something that comes with experience, the more you ride in packs, the more comfortable you get, with both yourself, and the others around you.
So get back out there!!!!
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Old 08-19-06, 08:46 AM   #5
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jimbo - good point about the sprinting. hadn't thought about that. that same problem can occur when you get out of the saddle to climb as well.
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