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  1. #1
    Theodore Roosevelt's idol TheKillerPenguin's Avatar
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    Pushing your way through the field?

    I did the Palmer Library RR over the weekend. Something like 150 guys in the field and one lane of road to work with. The final lap I got absorbed back into the peleton, and because everyone was forced so tightly together I couldn't find enough holes to move up.

    In situations like the above, where moving up otherwise is next to impossible without breaking the yellow line rule, is it acceptible in higher cat races to gently push guys out of the way to create openings? I'm not talking anything violent, just a gentle push on the hip to get a little room to move up through. Generally I'm against such shenanigans, but it seems like it may be useful in certain situations.
    Masochism is a training adaptation.

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    Senior Member Snicklefritz's Avatar
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    a bad peach could part the peloton like the red sea

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    Theodore Roosevelt's idol TheKillerPenguin's Avatar
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    So what you're saying is that I should carry a sack full of moldy peaches to throw at the other riders?

    That could slow me down going uphill.
    Masochism is a training adaptation.

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    Senior Member Snicklefritz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheKillerPenguin
    So what you're saying is that I should carry a sack full of moldy peaches to throw at the other riders?

    That could slow me down going uphill.
    Lemond's "bad peach" story...

  5. #5
    In beaurocratic limbo urbanknight's Avatar
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    If you and other riders are sliding back in the pack, that means just as many riders are moving up. You just have to find the line that's moving forward and get in it. Easier said than done, of course.
    "Well, I guess you can cut the arts as much as you want... Sooner or later, these kids aren't going to have anything to read or write about." (Richard Dreyfus as Glenn Holland)

  6. #6
    Sensible shoes. CastIron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snicklefritz
    Lemond's "bad peach" story...
    I just had to Google that one while eating an orange.

    Then there’s the rotten peach story: seems our hero got a hold of a bad peach before the start of a Stage One, one year at the Tour. Soon enough the chemistry kicked in and it was time for a big number two. Unfortunately he was well into the stage so Lemond grabbed a teammate’s hat and frantically tried to stuff it down his bibs to catch the fallout. Too late. He gets a bib short full. At this point the Lycra begins to fail and there’s massive fallout onto his rear wheel. Now picture a really rainy day and the spray that comes off a road bike’s wheel. Now you’ll understand why the peleton parted like the Red Sea. But there’s more. LeMond made it to the finish but was still in critical need of a restroom. He dashed to the team van, jumped into the toilet room only to see that said tool of necessity was removed and the small area was now a closet containing stacks of Laurent Fignon post cards (they were teammates at one time). So according to Lemond, he made a chair out of the cards with a “dug out center” and spent the next hour in there.
    Copied from here.
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  7. #7
    Carpe Diem bdcheung's Avatar
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    and i thought Ullrich was original in his hatcrapper story...
    "When you are chewing the bars at the business end of a 90 mile road race you really dont care what gear you have hanging from your bike so long as it works."
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    Theodore Roosevelt's idol TheKillerPenguin's Avatar
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    wow
    Masochism is a training adaptation.

  9. #9
    Ink-Stained Wretch pinky's Avatar
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    In higher cat races (like a 1/2/3) if people think you deserve to be up front you will be able to get away with nudging. Being a 3 in a race like that, they'll probably either be nice and say something like F off or be cruel and simply shove you.
    In a 3 race, you can try, though I would suggest that not all 3s will be prepared to handled bumping and leaning. I clearly remember the first time I raced Palmer in the 3/4 my teamate and leadout took me up the curb on the final climb (its one of those angled/rounded ones). When we finally got close enough to begin the sprint he tried exactly what you said, and the guy whom he politely nudged nearly sent him into the bushes. Sans my leadout I started my sprint on the curb and less gently slammed my self into the next gentleman. He wasn't holy set for that one, grabbed his brakes, locked his bar into my arm. The ensuing moment blurs but I know I was sprinting one handed for a moment, then unclipped one pedal for a second then just went harder. 6th and no blood, a rather surprising result all things given.
    Just be prepared to have a very pissed off 30 or 40 something yelling at you about how you might have wrecked or nearly wrecked his weekend.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Snicklefritz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinky
    In higher cat races (like a 1/2/3)

    [SNIP]

    Just be prepared to have a very pissed off 30 or 40 something yelling at you about how you might have wrecked or nearly wrecked his weekend.

    ...and his $8000 bike

  11. #11
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    So, The Cypress, any advice on this from the fields up there?



    Seriously though, I think you just need to edge in on the guys who are moving up, then do a little more work in the wind to hold position in the top 10. If you get forced to the very front, don't pull the pack (do mini attacks off the front instead), unless you're trying to initiate an organized chase.

  12. #12
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    The real question is:

    Why were you in the back to begin with?

  13. #13
    Theodore Roosevelt's idol TheKillerPenguin's Avatar
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    Got into a very short lived break, sat up and let myself be absorbed to recover, guys moved up on the right and left while I was boxed in, went from front to middle of the pack fairly quick. Final 20mi was coming up and everyone was riding tight and trying to move up, and unless you were willing to break the double yellow rule you really weren't gonna do much moving up. My pack riding skills aren't the best, but there weren't very many opportunities. At one point I started moving up on the left when the pack spread out, only to have one of the motorcycles in the motorcade stop right in front of us and yell at us to keep right, as I guess we had gone over the single lane we were allowed to use. Bah.

    Regardless of why I wound up mid pack, I just wanna know if its considered foul play to move up by nudging people out of the way.
    Last edited by TheKillerPenguin; 04-30-07 at 10:32 PM.
    Masochism is a training adaptation.

  14. #14
    Giving you the business. Cypress's Avatar
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    I was blocked in the sprint yesterday and was tapping the guy on the hip for him to get out of the way. Then I tried verbal encouragement. Both had no avail. I then (without being seen) hopped the double yellow and made sure to come back across as close to his front wheel as possible.

    I need to write a damned race report.

    In a crowded field, I guess just muscle your way through. It pisses people off, but they will forget about it.
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  15. #15
    Cyclist Stallion's Avatar
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    I just tell people to move out of the way because once I start coming through, I can't stop. Same with other things in life.

  16. #16
    In beaurocratic limbo urbanknight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stallion
    I just tell people to move out of the way because once I start coming through, I can't stop. Same with other things in life.
    This actually works in races???
    "Well, I guess you can cut the arts as much as you want... Sooner or later, these kids aren't going to have anything to read or write about." (Richard Dreyfus as Glenn Holland)

  17. #17
    Outgunned and outclassed
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    I just tell people to move out of the way because once I start coming through, I can't stop. Same with other things in life
    You actually say dumb crap like that off the internet?
    Patience - Consistency - Motivation

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  18. #18
    Senior Member roadwarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheKillerPenguin
    Regardless of why I wound up mid pack, I just wanna know if its considered foul play to move up by nudging people out of the way.
    No, it's not foul play. But realize that few lower cat riders are used to the contact and are not exactly the greatest bike handlers (remember the thread about handling drills, where guys come up from behind and hit your arms?) so nudging them might cause a wreck that could involve you.

    Better to get right to the front and stay there.

    Better yet is if the road's that narrow that your race director/promoter limits the field for safety.
    "Nothing is so typical of middling minds than to harp on the intellectual deficiencies of the slightly less smart, but considerably more successful."
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  19. #19
    Senior Member classic1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadwarrior
    No, it's not foul play. But realize that few lower cat riders are used to the contact and are not exactly the greatest bike handlers (remember the thread about handling drills, where guys come up from behind and hit your arms?) so nudging them might cause a wreck that could involve you.

    Better to get right to the front and stay there.
    +1 to all of this. You can get away with a bit of push and shove in higher cat fields but the lower grades tend to be a bit nervous. From what I can gather a bit of a nudge is less acceptable in the US than it is in Oz, probably because a lot of Aussies have track backgrounds, though what I could get away with 15 years ago seems to be frowned upon now.

    Practice bumping with your mates when you are out training. Don't use your elbow either. It throws you off balance IMO and if some smartass decides to ride into your elbow you're toast. Use your shoulder or upper arm. Don't lean too far over/put to much weight on the rider when doing this as if the guy you are leaning on moves you will fall off. If you get a bit of practice on taking and dishing out a bump it will give you confidence to hold your position in the bunch when racing.

    Penguin, have you ever heard of the old trick of 'swinging on the wheel'?

  20. #20
    Isaias NoRacer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by classic1
    Don't lean too far over/put to much weight on the rider when doing this as if the guy you are leaning on moves you will fall off.
    Isn't that the Robbie McEwen move that got him a relegation in Stage 3 of the 2005 TdF?
    2009 mileage = 14,738 miles; 2010 mileage = 15,234 miles; 2011 mileage = 17,344 miles; 2012 mileage = 11,414 miles; 2013 = 12,169

  21. #21
    Theodore Roosevelt's idol TheKillerPenguin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by classic1
    Penguin, have you ever heard of the old trick of 'swinging on the wheel'?
    I have not! Please explain.
    Masochism is a training adaptation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by urbanknight
    If you and other riders are sliding back in the pack, that means just as many riders are moving up. You just have to find the line that's moving forward and get in it. Easier said than done, of course.
    +1.

    Or just dont fall back. It's amateur bike racing for crying out loud, I think you're a Cat 3 and pretty young, if you've the potential to go up the Categories and turn pro, you should be able to maintain you're position at the front and not have to resort to a-hole tactics like "push and shove" to move up. If you cant maintain your position, well, you're probably going to have to work for a living like most of the rest of your competition (including me) and therefore it's not acceptable to do things that put yourself and others at a greater risk.

    "Verbal motivation" is fine - effective to - as are touching to let folks know your there, bumping/brushing others, but straight up pushing and shoving sucks.

    Pinky - riding up the curb and jumping back into the field? WTF is that? Someone should have smacked you after a move like that. I hope that was a pro race where folks had paychecks on the line, otherwise from what you describe, that's a bonehead move IMO.

    The dude that says he tells folks to get out of the way, he cant stop - that's idiotic.

    "Boxed in" - there's no such thing, especially in a small field. You were out of position, race better before the sprint and you dont have these problems.

    Again, it's amateur bike racing. From what I can tell by reading all the posts on this board, none of us are racing for our livelihood, and we all have to go home to our families and to work, etc. Keep in mind that this is the same for most of your competition and there's always another race to win, unless you crash yourself to an injury.

    There, I've been up all night with a screaming baby and now that I've ranted I feel better. I'm going to go have some coffee before I call any clients this morning.

  23. #23
    Senior Member classic1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thekillerpenguin
    I have not! Please explain.
    Be careful using it in lower cat races. They will wonder WTF is going on. It not dangerous as long as you aren't extreme about it. Normally you'd only use this in the last few laps of a crit or the last couple of kms of a road race when everyone is jockeying for position.

    Its a trick you do to give yourself a bit of room in the bunch and helps to stop you getting boxed in. This is advanced tactics stuff I learned off knarly old mad dog ex-pros. It works better on the track but translates on the road as well. Basically when you are following the wheel in front you don't ride in a straight line. You 'float' or 'swing' behind the wheel, maybe 6 inches (any more and you might get yelled at!) either side of the wheel in front. You don't need to be violent about it or swing madly from side to side. A gentle movement from side to side is more then often enough. I've seen guys swing 1m or more but they normally get in trouble for it - thats mad dog stuff. Swinging makes it hard for the rider behind to follow the wheel and gives you a little bit of room around you. Watch any overhead shots of the lead up to a bunch sprint in the Tour or Giro, or watch a video of the Kieran from the worlds or Olympics. There are always a few guys doing it. Normally it will be one of the top sprinters teammates following his team leader and protecting his wheel. Often it is one of the good sprinters doing it so if a line of riders come past they have to ride around the rider who is swinging, giving the swinging rider a chance to push into the line going past. McEwen is a master at it. Most of the top sprinters do it at some point or another.

    Especially in the lower cat races, always move with the wheel going forward to avoid getting boxed in. These races tend to be stop/start, unlike the higher categories where the pace is on all the time.
    Last edited by classic1; 05-01-07 at 06:59 AM.

  24. #24
    Theodore Roosevelt's idol TheKillerPenguin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MDcat5
    +1.

    ....
    I don't see what the big problem is, provided others in the field are used to it. But, I'm getting the vibe that at the cat3 level its simply dangerous and is just gonna piss people off.

    Fair enough. This is why I asked before simply going out and doing it.
    Masochism is a training adaptation.

  25. #25
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by classic1
    Be careful using it in lower cat races. They will wonder WTF is going on. It not dangerous as long as you aren't extreme about it.

    Its a trick you do to give yourself a bit of room in the bunch and helps to stop you getting boxed in. This is advanced tactics stuff I learned off knarly old mad dog ex-pros. It works better on the track but translates on the road as well. Basically when you are following the wheel in front you don't ride in a straight line. You 'float' or 'swing' behind the wheel, maybe 6 inches (any more and you might get yelled at!) either side of the wheel in front. I've seen guys swing 1m or more but they normally get in trouble for it. It makes it hard for the rider behind to follow the wheel and gives you a little bit of room around you. Watch any overhead shots of the lead up to a bunch sprint in the Tour or Giro, or watch a video of the Kieran from the worlds or Olympics. There are always a few guys doing it. Normally it will be one of the top sprinters teammates following his team leader and protecting his wheel. Often it is one of the good sprinters doing it so if a line of riders come past they have to ride around the rider who is swinging, giving the swinging rider a chance to push into the line going past. McEwen is a master at it. Most of the top sprinters do it at some point or another.
    Interesting. You know, I've never done that in a race...

    I do it in high-traffic areas with narrow shoulders (there used to be a pinch-point on a highway near my and EDR's houses -- MO Pac @ WM-Cannon). I'd just swing around on the (narrow) shoulder, and let the cars think I didn't know what I was doing. I got a lot wider berth that way, without actually getting in anyone's way.

    One trick I use in races is to draft out of the draft a bit to block a lane, but not so much that someone can move in on me from the other side. One thing about overlapping wheels a bit is that you can draft much closer, but you have to be ready to respond in an instant. Drafting closer gives you the higher-ground advantage to anyone trying to edge in (you're further in front, so they can't do anything). This will also get people to give you some room because it looks dangerous (I've never crashed or caused one doing this).

    Swinging... I like it.

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