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  1. #1
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    Calling on penguin, pete, recursive, crom, others who race crits

    More info just released on this big event coming to the Milwaukee area on Saturday, June 16th.

    The organizers have added a celebrity support race into the program.

    Here is the course:

    I have never been in a crit before, and probably won't ever do any either after this event. It's too dangerous for me with my hip. I don't want to chance it.

    BUT...for this one lower-level event...I have to participate.

    So I need your help with some specifics on how to take these corners, because that's something I have very little exerience doing with people around me.

    I figure there will be some non-cyclist type noobs that will be dropped right from the start and I'll never look back.

    But there will also be some serious riders I suppose.

    Start time is 4:10 that day, and from the looks of it this is a 15-minute event on a course that is just under a mile.

    Talk to me about how to approach these corners...go through them...finish them.

    I'm already getting a little nervous about this.

    Thanks....
    Hip, "Halffast Celebrity Fashionista"

  2. #2
    Theodore Roosevelt's idol TheKillerPenguin's Avatar
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    I don't do crits all that often, so I'm not terribly familiar with their dynamics.

    I'd think the same rules that apply for cornering in road races apply for crits. Try and stay near the front, hold your line, look through the turn at where you want to steer your bike. Try to brake before the corner starts and hold your speed through the turn. I prefer to take turns in the middle of the pack, as the inside needs to sprint more to get up to speed and guys on the outside seem to lose position because of their wider turning radius.

    I hope that helps, I'm sure others will be in to offer better advice. Good luck
    Masochism is a training adaptation.

  3. #3
    Burning Matches. ElJamoquio's Avatar
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    Tight turns. Good luck.
    Reacting is mind candy; it requires no thought. Thinking is tedious.

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  4. #4
    Dirt-riding heretic DrPete's Avatar
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    If this is a truly mixed crowd and a 15-minute race, get a good warmup (I mean 45min or so) beforehand and arrive at the line sweating. Right at the whistle, freakin' *** IT for a good minute (don't look back, don't think, just hammer the hell out of that first minute) and see who's left. That'll separate most of the folks with whom you don't want to be cornering in close quarters.

    As far as the turns go, take a smooth line around the course and start each turn from as far outside as you can. Dive all the way inside as you go through the turn, and finish outside, i.e. make the turn as wide and gradual as possible. Watch out, though, for jokers who don't understand this and try to cut to the inside. As KP already said, avoid braking IN the turn.

    Especially for the tight 120-degree turn, make sure you downshift a couple gears going into the turn and hammer for a couple seconds coming out. A good drill for this is to do "cornering sprints" somewhere familiar. Practice sprinting for 3-4 seconds before a turn, take the corner, then sprint 3-4 seconds out of the turn and recover.

    If the field is as noobalicious as it sounds, an early attack and smart, smooth cornering will let you put some serious time into these guys.
    "Unless he was racing there was no way he could match my speed."

  5. #5
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    Excellent advice...keep it comin'

    On that straight section....just ride hard up until the corner then drift through...huh?

    ...And how do you sweep to the apex without cutting off people?
    Hip, "Halffast Celebrity Fashionista"

  6. #6
    Theodore Roosevelt's idol TheKillerPenguin's Avatar
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    -in theory- everyone should realize the apex is the quickest way through the turn and will take it through the turn. -in practice- you'll probably wind up taking whatever line the leaders and the rest of the pack take, unless you're up front.
    Masochism is a training adaptation.

  7. #7
    Dirt-riding heretic DrPete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheKillerPenguin
    -in theory- everyone should realize the apex is the quickest way through the turn and will take it through the turn. -in practice- you'll probably wind up taking whatever line the leaders and the rest of the pack take, unless you're up front.
    All the more reason for the early attack, especially in a 15-minute race.

    If you stay in the pack, there will be much braking, slow cornering, and sprinting. Out on your own you'll be able to take the turns the right way and put serious time into the field. From your description of the field and knowing that you will probably be the strongest guy out there, getting out by yourself would seem to be the way to go.

    I don't know how much announcing you'll be doing at this race, but try to take some time to watch the other races too, just to get a feel for how folks are getting around the course.

    (edit) don't forget to hit some 1-minute intervals in the next few weeks. A 15-minute technical crit is all about quick, hard jumps followed by short recoveries. This ain't knave-slayin'.
    "Unless he was racing there was no way he could match my speed."

  8. #8
    Edificating dmotoguy's Avatar
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    If you find yourself not able to keep up with the pace letup a little on the straight before the sharp corner, especially if its downhill.. then catch the pack by taking the corner faster, that will give you a nice break once a lap.
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  9. #9
    . botto's Avatar
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    where's coach jerry when you need him?

    one piece of advice: find an empty parking lot. set up some dixie cups, or something similar, into a slalom course. ride it. turn using your body, not your bars.

  10. #10
    Dirt-riding heretic DrPete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by botto
    where's coach jerry when you need him?
    He'll show up next time Hip needs to be talked out of buying *****.
    "Unless he was racing there was no way he could match my speed."

  11. #11
    Now Racer Ex Vinokurtov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hipcycler
    Excellent advice...keep it comin'

    On that straight section....just ride hard up until the corner then drift through...huh?

    ...And how do you sweep to the apex without cutting off people?
    Vino's advice for staying safe in something like this:

    Assume no one in this event knows how to actually race a bike

    Get a couple of practice laps so you feel comfortable

    If you're at or near the front, stay off the brakes unless you really need them. If you're not up front keep your eyes way up the road and a couple of fingers on the brakes.

    Look where you want to go, not where you don't (ie: don't stare at the pot hole you're trying to avoid)

    Don't overlap your front wheel with anyone's rear if you can avoid it. 95% of crashes happen because of this.

    Just before you start your turn glance under your "inside" arm to make sure no one is trying to kamikaze the inside line (see your question above)

    Again, keep your eyes way up the road.

    Talk nicely to folks around you (I'm on your left) .

    Assume someone will be agro enough to want to win this thing. Ride with this in mind.

    Nothing wrong with being OTB if all you're trying to do is survive and things look sketchy.
    "I may not be as strong as I think I am, but I know many tricks, and I have resolution" - Santiago

  12. #12
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    I know of at least a couple of media-types that are pretty solid riders....a tri-athlete or two as well. So I don't think this will be a cakewalk or wanything like that, but I'm not sure WHAT to expect.

    And yes Pete....once a week now I am going to do some intervals. I'm finding a flat spot where there are no stop signs so that I can get up to speed....as fast as I can hold....and then try to hold that for a minute....turn around and ride back as recovery....repeat.
    Hip, "Halffast Celebrity Fashionista"

  13. #13
    Dirt-riding heretic DrPete's Avatar
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    ^^ I believe in you, Hip, but Vino is right too. If you're not strong enough to get away and things look sketchy, remember that you're probably racing for bragging rights. Knowing your concern for your hip I'm sure you know this, but testosterone can run high in crits.
    "Unless he was racing there was no way he could match my speed."

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by botto
    where's coach jerry when you need him?

    one piece of advice: find an empty parking lot. set up some dixie cups, or something similar, into a slalom course. ride it. turn using your body, not your bars.
    Well, he doesn't want me to do this....that's where he is.
    But he realizes I got a fever....and the only prescription is more cowbell....well that and ah...my one chance here to perhaps get a taste in an amateur level race I guess.

    P.S.
    Jerry was great with that new Selle Italia SLR Gel Flow I tested.
    He's letting me just keep the tester, since it's already perfectly setup on my bike and I have pretty many miles into the break-in already.

    Plus...he found a buyer for my old Campy Vento G's too!
    I'm buying the saddle with money left over!
    Hip, "Halffast Celebrity Fashionista"

  15. #15
    I'm fine. Cromulent's Avatar
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    I'd add something, but smarter people have already offered solid advice. The sprint, corner, sprint drill is really good.

  16. #16
    Geosynchronous Falconeer recursive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrPete
    As far as the turns go, take a smooth line around the course and start each turn from as far outside as you can. Dive all the way inside as you go through the turn, and finish outside, i.e. make the turn as wide and gradual as possible. Watch out, though, for jokers who don't understand this and try to cut to the inside. As KP already said, avoid braking IN the turn.
    This works only if the race is single file. In a crit, most of the time, it's not. I try to avoid going all the way to the inside unless it's really really strung out. Usually, I leave at least 5 feet in case someone ends up there.

    Weight the outside pedal, but then start pedaling again AS SOON as you are upright enough to do so without scraping. This might mean pedaling all the way through the corner in some cases, especially if you're toward the back. You're going to need to accelerate to keep your wheel. The farther back you are, the more it will cost.
    Bring the pain.

  17. #17
    . botto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hipcycler
    I know of at least a couple of media-types that are pretty solid riders....a tri-athlete or two as well. So I don't think this will be a cakewalk or wanything like that, but I'm not sure WHAT to expect.

    And yes Pete....once a week now I am going to do some intervals. I'm finding a flat spot where there are no stop signs so that I can get up to speed....as fast as I can hold....and then try to hold that for a minute....turn around and ride back as recovery....repeat.
    never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever sit on a triathlete's wheel, especially if it's a crit!

  18. #18
    Peloton Dog patentcad's Avatar
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    Don't be nervous. Your doom in this race seems a near certainty. Be fatalistic. Like Marie Antonette proceeding to the guillotine. Do it with grace.



    This reminds me of my warm-up before the High Point TT. It was a beautiful road on a perfect spring morning and it reminded me of the scene in 'Glory' where the young officer played by Matthew Broderick is on the beach before the battle he knows will result in his death and he sets his horse free.



    But the race turned out to be fine. So will yours.

  19. #19
    Peloton Dog patentcad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by botto
    never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever sit on a triathlete's wheel, especially if it's a crit!
    Botto actually understates the importance of this advice.

  20. #20
    . botto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patentcad
    Botto actually understates the importance of this advice.
    correct.

  21. #21
    Race to train jrennie's Avatar
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    watch out for dive bombers in corners and be very vocal. Let someone know your on their inside or outside.

  22. #22
    Senior Member zimbo's Avatar
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    Find someone who races and go to a large Walmart-type parking lot before it opens or after it closes. Bring some cones or just use the painted parking dividers that are already on the ground. Have your racer friend show you how to manage the corners while you follow closely behind.

    15 minutes is a VERY short event so you need to be prepared to go very hard. You should have some sort of idea going into it how hard you can go for 15 minutes, but remember that it's not going to be a steady-state effort but a serious of surges and coasts.

    I may be underestimating the racing experience of your competition but there may be some folks who are strong bike riders who will be happy to just pull you around thinking they will ride you off their wheel not realizing how much more work they must do at the front. It goes without saying that you don't want to be that guy either. If you go hard and can get a gap that's great but as soon as someone catches you then you need to freewheel until someone pulls around.

    Expanding upon botto's point... Don't follow directly behind anyone who appears at all sketchy.

    --Steve

  23. #23
    Peloton Dog patentcad's Avatar
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    Where are the triathletes protesting Botto's advice?

  24. #24
    OCP
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    Quote Originally Posted by botto
    never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever sit on a triathlete's wheel, especially if it's a crit!

    Oh-oh....
    Well, I know of one, and she's a TV anchor here....and a very serious competitor. I think she might enter.
    Hip, "Halffast Celebrity Fashionista"

  25. #25
    Geosynchronous Falconeer recursive's Avatar
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    I'd sit on a triathlete's wheel, but I am crazy.
    Bring the pain.

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