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  1. #251
    1337 FPSDavid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caloso View Post
    LP/Bariani is fun for me because it's like a mini-omnium. The crit is fast, except for those two pinch points on the backside that require some thought and skill. The road race is wide open, flat (apparently even more so this year), and totally exposed to the wind. Racing in the wind is a skill that every racer needs to learn, especially in NorCal. You will learn so much in two days: about fitness, about following wheels, about when to get in the wind (rarely), about when to stay out of the wind (almost always), etc., etc.
    Welp, I signed up for both. Guess I should start attending the River Rides again.
    2012 Cannondale CAAD10 3

  2. #252
    Senior Member spectastic's Avatar
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  3. #253
    ride lots be safe Creakyknees's Avatar
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    Common things that I still see riders doing wrong, even cat 1 riders... but more so in the lower cats:

    1) Eating too much wind, for a variety of reasons. Listen people, mass start bike racing's central defining characteristic is DRAFTING. If you want to be a bike racer you must acknowledge, internalize, and LIVE IT. If you have some sort of secret internal conflict where you think drafting is for losers and wheelsuckers, guess what: you will never win anything except Strava segments and people will always say about you, "gee he's so strong but he just never can get a result in the races". Is that what you want? No, didn't think so. SO LEARN HOW TO DRAFT.

    1a) riding "near the pack" is NOT THE SAME as drafting. You should focus on drafting one particular rider, not "the pack".
    1b) Drafting means, being in the sheltered spot that's usually directly behind the rider (in calm air). NOT 6 feet back... more like, your front tire is about a foot from their back tire. Yes, you have to pay attention. NOT 3 feet to the side... stay in the draft.

    2) Taking turns WAY TOO SLOWLY. You worked really hard to get going so fast, so why are you coasting halfway down the straight, dragging your brakes and entering a wide flat smooth turn at 16mph???? Jeeeeeesus.
    - Learn proper posture for cornering, and DO IT
    - Quit touching your Goddamn brakes when the road is 60 feet wide!!!!
    - DO NOT COAST into a turn where you can pedal at full speed. FertheloveofGod.
    - Honestly... in typical American crit and road racing there are very few turns where you even need to touch the brakes... and don't worry, everybody else will be sure to let you know where those are.

    2a) Taking HORRIBLE LINES into and through corners. Really. If you want to go as fast as possible (and you always should, because IT'S A RACE), then you need to take the path thru the turn that allows you to go fastest. This involves setting up ALL THE WAY on the outside. Not in the middle of the street, wasting half of your space. ALL THE WAY. Then, you don't begin diving / leaning into the turn until very late... later than that... not yet.... because when you get antsy and "turn in early" you're wasting all the room for your turn and then you'll end up at the exit with a bad line having to scrub your brakes then jump again... why do that to yourself?

    3) Half-assed attacking. This one really gets me. Listen, buddy, I'll be straight with you: it's REALLY REALLY HARD TO BREAK AWAY FROM THE PACK. Therefore, your measly little "jump 100 meters and look back" is NOT going to do the trick. You have to KEEP GOING. YOU HAVE TO "BREAK" THE PACK.
    Get it? BREAK THE PACK. Does that sound easy? No? Good, it's not. So KEEP GOING. STILL KEEP GOING. YES I KNOW IT HURTS. KEEP GOING.

    Thanks for listening. If you do these things and do them well, you might still suck... but then you might not.
    Last edited by Creakyknees; 09-03-13 at 12:52 PM.
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  4. #254
    ride lots be safe Creakyknees's Avatar
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    buy this book. read it. make your teammates read it. do it.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/193...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    "have fun and be kind"
    - an internet post

  5. #255
    Announcer EventServices's Avatar
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    Thanks for that tip! And the corresponding review!

    I read Prehn's book and the Wenzels' book before I started writing this one. I don't want to off-put their efforts, but I think RtR goes a lot deeper into the sport. And my two biggest lessons are:

    1. The draft is your friend. Always.

    2. Counter-steering is your other friend. It helps you A. corner better, and B. avoid crashes.

  6. #256
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    Amen to 2,2a and 3! These are keys especially to crit racing.

  7. #257
    Elite Fred mollusk's Avatar
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    I spent some time today reading all of this thread. It has a lot of wisdom in it. Chapeau to botto for starting it.
    I'm the world's forgotten boy. The one who's searchin', searchin' to destroy.

  8. #258
    Elite Fred mollusk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Creakyknees View Post
    2a) Taking HORRIBLE LINES into and through corners. Really. If you want to go as fast as possible (and you always should, because IT'S A RACE), then you need to take the path thru the turn that allows you to go fastest.
    Bad lines through corners is a Racing 101 blocking technique.
    I'm the world's forgotten boy. The one who's searchin', searchin' to destroy.

  9. #259
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mollusk View Post
    Bad lines through corners is a Racing 101 blocking technique.
    +1 My best friend (J)'s first win was because of this, in a backwards sort of way. He and a seasoned racer were OTF for 30 minutes in a crit. Every lap, the veteran would take a bad line through this chicane and squeeze him out. J was onto him, but let him continue to do it for the entire break. Until the last lap. On that lap, J charged through on the good line and his break partner was taken extremely of guard after the previous 15 times through that corner the same way. They bumped elbows, then J gapped the veteran racer right there and took the win.

    For the first 5 laps or so, the technique totally worked, and J was out of sorts with what was going on. Same thing lap after lap, and he learned, then schemed. If that technique had been used only on the last lap, J would have had 2nd. We're good friends with the veteran and rehashed all this after the fact. Was pretty interesting. I happily got 3rd that day

  10. #260
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    I never ride outside when it's under 40 degrees, and it seems like for next weekend, March 1st, the first race is expected to be 20 degrees below normal, maybe about 15F at the start. Is there any way to manage this? Should I just try to take it easy since it's cat 5 and I just have to finish without getting lapped? (not going to happen, it's 4 6-mile laps around central park). I don't even have gear that's suitable for riding in weather under 35 degrees, unless I put on a fleece, a shell, maybe 2 pairs of pants, and gloves, maybe a gator. This winter sucks.

  11. #261
    FFJ
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    Throw on a ton of clothes and get after it. Your race will only take about an hour, so you won't be outside in the cold for too long.

    Also, have to ask, what's the gator you are referring to?

  12. #262
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gramercy View Post
    I never ride outside when it's under 40 degrees, and it seems like for next weekend, March 1st, the first race is expected to be 20 degrees below normal, maybe about 15F at the start. Is there any way to manage this? Should I just try to take it easy since it's cat 5 and I just have to finish without getting lapped? (not going to happen, it's 4 6-mile laps around central park). I don't even have gear that's suitable for riding in weather under 35 degrees, unless I put on a fleece, a shell, maybe 2 pairs of pants, and gloves, maybe a gator. This winter sucks.
    Cheap black running tights (you can get them at Dick's/Sports Authority/Big 5, etc) over your bibs. Wear all that other stuff on the trainer warming up but it sounds like way too much clothing for racing, even at 15f
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  13. #263
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gramercy View Post
    I never ride outside when it's under 40 degrees, and it seems like for next weekend, March 1st, the first race is expected to be 20 degrees below normal, maybe about 15F at the start. Is there any way to manage this? Should I just try to take it easy since it's cat 5 and I just have to finish without getting lapped? (not going to happen, it's 4 6-mile laps around central park). I don't even have gear that's suitable for riding in weather under 35 degrees, unless I put on a fleece, a shell, maybe 2 pairs of pants, and gloves, maybe a gator. This winter sucks.
    Train in the weather you plan to race. If you're going to race if it gets cold, then you need to train when it gets cold. At that point, you wouldn't even have any question.

    The "gator" is actually a (neck) "gaiter." And, yeah, I think you're doing well on the bottom half (if "pants" means "tights"). The top half, I'd wear SS jersey, arm warmers, LS jersey, and a vest, maybe the shell to warm up, and shove it under the back of your jersey assuming you get warm enough to remove it before the start. Get hand warmers for your shoe covers and for your hands (wear them on top of your hand and on top of your shoes). Fill your insulated bottle with hot water or hot tea, and roll it in a towel inside your gear bag for insulation during transportation.

  14. #264
    In the Pain Cave thechemist's Avatar
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    Everyone is different. My 15f

    Bibtights
    ls base layer ls jersey jacket
    lobster gloves
    booties w/ duck taped vents and chemical warmer
    wool socks
    balaclava
    glasses

  15. #265
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    Rain is expected all night so either the course will be soaked and it may be raining during the road race. People on here say to lower tire pressure. I usually run 100 front, 110 rear and I weigh 160. Should I do 90 in front and rear? Should I give more room or draft the usual distance? Will my water bottle get filled with road gunk?

  16. #266
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gramercy View Post
    Rain is expected all night so either the course will be soaked and it may be raining during the road race. People on here say to lower tire pressure. I usually run 100 front, 110 rear and I weigh 160. Should I do 90 in front and rear? Should I give more room or draft the usual distance? Will my water bottle get filled with road gunk?
    I would drop to 85/90 at your weight on a wet course. Use your head with respect to draft distance -- no rule there, but you do gain stopping distance. In the rain, just keep everything smooth when your traction is being tested. I am very aggressive in the rain, but not in the corners. Well, I have skated the rear a bunch of times in corners... but it still feels like I'm not carrying much speed.

  17. #267
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    Question about doing a Crit where the first lap or two are at at controlled pace and then the race officially starts.

    I did a race a month ago where the first two laps were controlled and people were riding along around 16 or 17mph on the flats for the first lap (1 mile each). Then on the second lap it got a little faster with a few people ramping up the pace and while the race didn't officially start, it seemed people were trying to get to the front and jockey for position. Is there a certain etiquette on these preliminary laps? In the next race I do, should I try to stay at the very front even if I have to exert a decent amount of effort before the race officially starts? Do people ever go too hard on these laps and then get chastised by others in the race? I don't want to get stuck again in the middle where the accoridan effect tires out my legs and lungs before the race is over.

  18. #268
    Ninny globecanvas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gramercy View Post
    Question about doing a Crit where the first lap or two are at at controlled pace and then the race officially starts.

    I did a race a month ago where the first two laps were controlled and people were riding along around 16 or 17mph on the flats for the first lap (1 mile each). Then on the second lap it got a little faster with a few people ramping up the pace and while the race didn't officially start, it seemed people were trying to get to the front and jockey for position. Is there a certain etiquette on these preliminary laps? In the next race I do, should I try to stay at the very front even if I have to exert a decent amount of effort before the race officially starts? Do people ever go too hard on these laps and then get chastised by others in the race? I don't want to get stuck again in the middle where the accoridan effect tires out my legs and lungs before the race is over.

    People definitely jockey for position on neutral laps. No particular etiquette, except for not being a jerk (and not passing the pace vehicle).

    Having said that if you want/need good positioning at the start of the race, the first 5 seconds after you clip in is really key.

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