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Old 01-05-07, 11:32 PM   #1
IAMTB
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Should I start racing my local road races?

I'm a beginner road rider. I bought a road bike in the spring of last year. It's an entry level bike but I've upgraded it to mostly 105 stuff. I raced my mtn bike this past summer for the first time. I entered 3 races and finished in the top half or better at all of them. I'm going to enter more this summer. I was thinking today while on the trainer that I should perhaps enter in the beginner class at one of the local road races(mostly crits). I've never been to any of the local road races so I don't know what to expect. But I figure I'll never know if I don't try. So my question is, is there any reason to not enter? What should I expect from my first crit?
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Old 01-05-07, 11:36 PM   #2
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im in basically the same place as you so i will be watching this thread
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Old 01-06-07, 12:30 AM   #3
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race race race dont think or care

you must race with no worry nothing matters just race Simon
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Old 01-06-07, 12:49 AM   #4
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no matter what you read on here, remember this...

it goes like hell from the gun...
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Old 01-06-07, 10:22 AM   #5
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go for it. Racing is extremely addictive and more fun than just about anything.

If you start in a crit, be prepared for it to go hard from the gun and basically be a never ending series of short sprints. enjoy.
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Old 01-06-07, 10:33 AM   #6
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The first five laps are really really fast.
And every lap after that is also really really fast.
So to summarize, it's really fast.
That's what's cool about it.
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Old 01-06-07, 10:49 AM   #7
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Personally if you have any doubts watch a crit 1st to see what it's all about then if you like what you see go out and race.
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Old 01-06-07, 11:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IAMTB
I'm a beginner road rider. I bought a road bike in the spring of last year. It's an entry level bike but I've upgraded it to mostly 105 stuff. I raced my mtn bike this past summer for the first time. I entered 3 races and finished in the top half or better at all of them. I'm going to enter more this summer. I was thinking today while on the trainer that I should perhaps enter in the beginner class at one of the local road races(mostly crits). I've never been to any of the local road races so I don't know what to expect. But I figure I'll never know if I don't try. So my question is, is there any reason to not enter? What should I expect from my first crit?
Well most likely you will get dropped on your first crit. You will know suffering you probably never experienced before. It will be fast from the get go. After a few laps it will slow down, but still it might go from ~20 to 28+ back to 20, etc over the course of the race. Depends on if anyone attacks. There are really no reasons not to enter. Unless you have some kind of physical condition. Like brittle bones or something. It's tons of fun.
One advice I was given when I started and thought I would pass along is try not to pedal through the sharp corners. Great way to take yourself out. If you haven't already find a group ride and get a feeling for riding in a pack. It can be quite disconcerning riding with someone few inches from your at 20+ mph the first time around.
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Old 01-06-07, 02:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoothie104
no matter what you read on here, remember this...

it goes like hell from the gun...
Yup! Therefore, you must train your body to respond from the start. When you train, do what you would do at a race. Start with a good warm-up, then relax for a while, then go big right from the start. It hurts, but it's what you are going to face in a race.
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Old 01-06-07, 03:59 PM   #10
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Definitely, get out there and race! One thing you really should do -- if you haven't -- is to get out and do as many group rides as possible. This will get you used to riding in a pack; it will also introduce you to local riders, and clubs, one of which you might like to join.
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Old 01-06-07, 05:50 PM   #11
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Expected the unexpected, I was in your shoes a year ago, without any MTB racing experience, Here is what I encountered:

Three that went balls to wall from the get go

A couple that started mild then kicked up after a few laps

Some that mainained a high pace the whole time

Some that yo-yo'd the whole time fast, slow, etc.

Some dead flat, some with some rollers, some with a nasty hill

It seemed like every race was different, except for the fact that I had a blast whether I got dropped (most of my first ones) or hung in to the end (most of my last ones)

The first one I watched was the one that started right before my first one, it was women and the men were very different.

Still that largest group I have ridden with outside of racing is three, so take that for whats it worth. I have two young ones, a full time job and just train when I can. I choose do to my riding at 5:30 in the morning or whenever nap times hit, tough to schedule in group rides.

Just race.
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Old 01-06-07, 08:03 PM   #12
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Years ago, I was given a choice between two things: Crack cocaine or bike racing.

Evidently, I chose the more expensive and addicting one: bike racing
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Old 01-06-07, 08:57 PM   #13
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sounds like most of your riding is MTB. Have you done road bike rides with the fast guys? If so, definitely go out and give it a shot. If you haven't done group rides with the fast guys, try a couple of traing rides with the local fast guys just to get a little experience bike handling in a fast pack , then go race.
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Old 01-07-07, 02:32 PM   #14
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dont start with crits

start with distance road race. do this a few times learn what riding in packs is , if you can finish half way up on these races , try crits . Dont ask for falls yet . till you know how not to overreact in close quarters . i have never raced yet , but i listened to people here who know and will help if one listens Simon
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Old 01-08-07, 10:16 AM   #15
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Definitely enter, I'll be starting my 3rd season this year. It's a blast. It's good that youre thinking about this now instead of in April when most racing seasons are well under way. Between now and start of racing season, there are lots of ways to prepare from a training perspective so you'll have to do some research and determine what works for you given current fitness and time constraints.

Must do's - not to be condescending, just honest - you have only been riding a road bike for a short time, you need to learn how to ride it in group situations. Find group rides that racers attend (you'll know by the team kits) and do them. Do some research on local teams, find one, and join it - having experienced team mates is invaluable as a resource. Ask about these things at your local bike shop, or do some google searches. Road racing is a very different animal than is mtb racing. Road racing is about accelerating to intensities way above your comfort zone, recovering, and doing it again and again, whereas mtb. racing is about finding a constant hard tempo and utilizing technical skills to maneuver to the finish.

What to expect - again not trying to condescend, just being honest - you'll probably get dropped, I sure did, and most others do as well. Ya just gotta stick with it. That's why I think you should commit to entering a series of races, maybe 5 to 10, to decide if you (and by if I mean how much) you like the sport, which will help you decide where you commit your time (road vs. mtn).
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Old 01-08-07, 10:43 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IAMTB
So my question is, is there any reason to not enter?
nope.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IAMTB
What should I expect from my first crit?
That you'll get dropped.
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Old 01-08-07, 11:03 AM   #17
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Botto, so few words but correct and to the point. It will be VERY different from MTB racing, but go for it. Just watch the pack movement because the beginner category has people who don't know how to ride in a pack (maybe like yourself) who can cause crashes with one uneducated move.
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Old 01-08-07, 11:25 AM   #18
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I started riding in August and entered my first two races in October last year.

The first was a traditional road race, I got dropped at the start because I didn't put my seat on tight enough and it moved on me, lost the pack, fought my way past two people over the next 27 miles. Sucked but was still fun knowing i was in a race, motivation was a booster.

The second race was a handicap so I got to start in the first group, dropped two people on the first hill and me and 1 guy road for about another mile before he dropped me on a 4th hill. Rode by myself for 15 miles, the B and C groups caught me and I road with them for 8 miles or so until the A's flew past and the group sped up and dropped me on the 2nd to last hill.

I can't wait until april! I am curious to see if my weight training and spinning will translate into any gain in my race times, maybe stay with the pack longer or be able to chase better.
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Old 01-08-07, 11:35 AM   #19
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The promoter will appreciate your entry fees

In an ideal world you would do group rides with a club, then some club races, first. Some of the very important skills and "rules" that apply to riding in close company can't be simply read or learned here, they need to be coached and practiced untill second nature. And learning the ropes with people you know and with coaching goes a long way.
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Old 01-08-07, 11:53 AM   #20
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i would say you shouldn't do a crit without some group riding experience first. a lot of the skills you need aren't hard to learn, but they're impossible without actually doing them. you can read all day long about holding a line, not overlapping wheels, drafting, etc. but nothing will replace actually doing those things on the road.

you probably have good bike handling skills from your mtn experience, so you'll probably learn fairly quickly.
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Old 01-08-07, 02:44 PM   #21
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Personally, I say jump in. Most (not all) riders get dropped, but there is no better way to see what you are up against, and the fact is, it is quite fun and addictive. The races will get faster as the season progresses, so you might as well get out there now.
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Old 01-08-07, 03:23 PM   #22
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Do it!
You'll never know unless you try.
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Old 01-08-07, 03:46 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MDcatV
Definitely enter, I'll be starting my 3rd season this year.
Am I misunderstanding your username, or are you starting your 3rd season in Cat 5?
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Old 01-08-07, 04:05 PM   #24
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Just a name from other forums I've used since I was actually a cat 5 - I wasn't creative enough to make another handle for myself when I came across this site. I actually upgraded to Cat 3 after altoona last year and I'll be racing predominantly in MABRA as a 3 and some 30+ this year.
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Old 01-08-07, 04:08 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MDcatV
Just a name from other forums I've used since I was actually a cat 5 - I wasn't creative enough to make another handle for myself when I came across this site. I actually upgraded to Cat 3 after altoona last year and I'll be racing predominantly in MABRA as a 3 and some 30+ this year.
Ha! That makes some sense. My mistake. Who do you race for?
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