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-   -   New to Racing? Here's a tip or two (http://www.bikeforums.net/33-road-bike-racing/380788-new-racing-heres-tip-two.html)

YMCA 01-23-08 09:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kensuf (Post 6030030)
Probably the only useful tip I can think of (aside from the shaving discussion)...

If you're at the starting line and some gnarled looking veteran shows up with some old beater and toe straps, try to stay on his wheel because it might just be this guy.


Jarabek is a legend. I've had my share of breakaways with him over the years. Watching him fight his bike the entire time, then tightening those toe straps for one final burst. For the noob, he's the perfect example of why you never underestimate anyone. No matter how ungainly.

chinotex 01-28-08 09:30 PM

So my first race is this Sunday, and I was wondering: What advice do the grizzled veterans have on cornering in a pack? I don't know what kind of turns I'll be facing in the race on Sunday, but I'd like to have any advice that's out there.

elgalad 01-28-08 09:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chinotex (Post 6068453)
So my first race is this Sunday, and I was wondering: What advice do the grizzled veterans have on cornering in a pack? I don't know what kind of turns I'll be facing in the race on Sunday, but I'd like to have any advice that's out there.

Hold your line, and follow the guy in front of you. If everything goes south do NOT panic. You'd be surprised how close you can get to wiping out and still keep the rubber on the road ;)

Oh, and keep braking to a bare minimum.

substructure 01-29-08 12:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by elgalad (Post 6068611)
Hold your line, and follow the guy in front of you. If everything goes south do NOT panic. You'd be surprised how close you can get to wiping out and still keep the rubber on the road ;)

Oh, and keep braking to a bare minimum.

True.

My second to last race last year: A pile up at the sprint. A bike in front of me is cartwheeling. I sat down but stayed my course and slowed my pedalling. The bike slammed into my right leg and bounced off. I stayed upright but lost a few places to end up 9th. Two guys went to the ER. I went home with dirty chamios.

It all happened in a few secoonds.

eb314 01-29-08 03:58 PM

I've never raced before. My first race is a very short road race (about 23 miles) coming up in 4 weeks. The guys I've been riding with ride in the collegiate A-C range, and I'll be racing in the D group (worst) for my first race. From what they tell me, the guys who race D are out of shape and I should be stronger than almost all of them. Should I:

Stay near the front to avoid crashes, and sprint the finish?
If I have teammates with me, attempt a break away?
Chase down break attempts?
Don't worry about break attempts, the group will catch up?

Not really sure what to expect, but I'm anticipating being in better physical shape than most of the people in the race.

botto 01-29-08 04:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by eb314 (Post 6072970)
I've never raced before. My first race is a very short road race (about 23 miles) coming up in 4 weeks. The guys I've been riding with ride in the collegiate A-C range, and I'll be racing in the D group (worst) for my first race. From what they tell me, the guys who race D are out of shape and I should be stronger than almost all of them. Should I:

Stay near the front to avoid crashes,

always.

Quote:

Originally Posted by eb314 (Post 6072970)
and sprint the finish?

maybe.

Quote:

Originally Posted by eb314 (Post 6072970)
If I have teammates with me, attempt a break away?

why not?

Quote:

Originally Posted by eb314 (Post 6072970)
Chase down break attempts?

if you've got strong team mates to rely on.

Quote:

Originally Posted by eb314 (Post 6072970)
Don't worry about break attempts, the group will catch up?

depends on the course.

Quote:

Originally Posted by eb314 (Post 6072970)
Not really sure what to expect, but I'm anticipating being in better physical shape than most of the people in the race.

go for it. what do yo have to lose?

eb314 01-29-08 04:13 PM

The course is a ~5.5 mile loop. It only has 4 turns. There are 3 hills, the first two are fairly steep but short, the last one is a bit longer. Still, it's Ohio and they're all short. Only about 30 seconds of climbing per hill, but they're pretty steep and will definitely slow down the group significantly. Otherwise it's flat. I don't know about having strong teammates, because all the guys I've been riding with ride in higher categories. There are others that are technically on the team but haven't been showing up to the group rides, either because they have to work on those days, or more likely because it's been pretty cold here and they aren't as hard as I am. (joke) Anyway I don't really know who will be racing D's with me. Possibly one guy who's pretty strong, but I suspect he'll do C's because he's raced a few times before.

Thanks for the response, I just wasn't sure whether to be passive or aggressive in the race. I'm getting pumped about this race and want to be aggressive, but don't want to burn out and blow all my energy.

botto 01-29-08 04:21 PM

it's your first race: attack, attack, attack.

esammuli 01-29-08 04:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by botto (Post 6073131)
it's your first race: attack, attack, attack.

Bingo. You can't gain anything if you don't risk anything.

chinotex 02-02-08 08:10 PM

So what's the deal with if you get a flat during a race? Do you just stop and call it quits? I'm riding in my first race tomorrow, and I'm trying to make sure I have all my bases covered as much as possible.

bdcheung 02-02-08 08:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chinotex (Post 6098244)
So what's the deal with if you get a flat during a race? Do you just stop and call it quits? I'm riding in my first race tomorrow, and I'm trying to make sure I have all my bases covered as much as possible.

It varies from race to race. Most criterium races have a free lap rule and a wheel pit, meaning if you have a mechanical issue (i.e. flat tire) you flag down an official, tell him what's wrong, and then go to the wheel pit to change your wheel then rejoin the pack as it comes back around. Make sure to tell an official you'v flatted. No free lap if you stay quiet.

As always, ask this question at check-in. Rules and procedures vary from race to race.

chinotex 02-02-08 08:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bdcheung (Post 6098261)
It varies from race to race. Most criterium races have a free lap rule and a wheel pit, meaning if you have a mechanical issue (i.e. flat tire) you flag down an official, tell him what's wrong, and then go to the wheel pit to change your wheel then rejoin the pack as it comes back around. Make sure to tell an official you'v flatted. No free lap if you stay quiet.

As always, ask this question at check-in. Rules and procedures vary from race to race.

The race I'm doing tomorrow is 3 laps of a 12 mile loop.

You say change your wheel... what wheel do they give you? I don't have any spare wheels...

As you can probably tell, I'm a noob to the extreme. Ready to get my *ss handed to me tomorrow.

bdcheung 02-02-08 08:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chinotex (Post 6098276)
what wheel do they give you? I don't have any spare wheels...

They give you whatever wheel you put in the pit. Since you don't have any spare wheels, don't flat.

recursive 02-02-08 09:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chinotex (Post 6098276)
The race I'm doing tomorrow is 3 laps of a 12 mile loop.

You say change your wheel... what wheel do they give you? I don't have any spare wheels...

As you can probably tell, I'm a noob to the extreme. Ready to get my *ss handed to me tomorrow.

No free laps in a circuit race anyway. Avoid flatting.

Duke of Kent 02-02-08 11:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bdcheung (Post 6098261)
It varies from race to race. Most criterium races have a free lap rule and a wheel pit, meaning if you have a mechanical issue (i.e. flat tire) you flag down an official, tell him what's wrong, and then go to the wheel pit to change your wheel then rejoin the pack as it comes back around. Make sure to tell an official you'v flatted. No free lap if you stay quiet.

As always, ask this question at check-in. Rules and procedures vary from race to race.

No. You go to the wheelpit first, and tell the official there that you've flatted. You always head directly to the wheelpit. If you have a spare, you swap wheels and they throw you into the race the next time it comes by. If not, your race is done.

patentcad 02-17-08 07:57 AM

Forget all this other bullsiht. Learn where the bathrooms or portajohns are at any given race. Get there early enough to use them.

That is all.

kensuf 02-17-08 12:49 PM

Check to make sure all of your bolts are tightened properly at least a day before the race.

ElJamoquio 02-23-08 10:11 AM

From another thread

What time to wake up?

I take:

Start Time (say, for this example, 9:00 AM)
Minus 1 hour warmup/registration time (more for short TT's) (so now we're at 8:00 AM)
Minus Drive Time (for this example let's say 1 hour... 7:00 AM)
Minus 1 hour screwing around at the house/just-in-case time... so 6:00 AM.

Brandy 02-23-08 10:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by patentcad (Post 6180258)
Forget all this other bullsiht. Learn where the bathrooms or portajohns are at any given race. Get there early enough to use them.

That is all.

What if you find them...then they move them? :p I'm only half kidding as I watched them drag four porta-potties across the street at last week's crit.

Gerrylightning 02-23-08 02:02 PM

Great info thanks everyone.

carpediemracing 03-07-08 05:30 AM

Racing in the rain thread

(This first bit refers to heat rub) Atomic Balm is used by a lot of football teams etc. A large sporting goods store catering to such crowds might have it in stock. It's made by Cramer. Or Kramer. One of the two.

I find that if I'm racing in rain, I do one of two things.

One - If I'm weaker than the others then I follow and try not to fall. I'm pretty sure that I've fallen almost every single time I've raced "seriously" in the rain, i.e. I was in contention. I don't remember falling on my own but I've run into sliding riders and crashed due to that, or at least had to stop or get a wheel change or something. I'm too scared to go bombing though a turn and taking myself out. Literally too chicken. I did it a few times and now I simply can't.

Two - If I'm stronger then I lead and slow for turns. Since I'm in front, slowing for turns isn't a problem because the accordion effect works in my favor. I've fallen frequently even using this tactic because there are the inevitable bombers who come bombing into the turn at full speed, their brakes don't work, and the knock over a whole lotta riders like bowling pins. I've gotten knocked over a few times while sitting in the top 5 of a 100 rider field.

I have a feeling that if you're good on the climb, you'll be in a position to do #2. If not, then you're going to have to take massive risks to descend back to the group.

Based on all this, I look at rainy crits as training races. Rainy road races, I've never fallen but it's because I get dropped. Plus around here there aren't that many switch back type descents.

Some other notes.

Rainy races prompt the strong riders to go hard early. You'll see a break or at least a huge splintering of the field. "Early" is relative - might be on a minor hill, when there's a significant cross wind, something where in dry weather the guys just go, "ah, wait till later". In the rain it seems that racers pounce on every opportunity to hurt the others.

I rarely drink in rainy races, and when I do, I prefer something with sugar in it. Wet weather saps your reserves but doesn't dehydrate you as quickly. I don't have an insulated bottle, don't know how much they weigh, but one with hot tea (sugar etc) might be worth a shot.

Tights get really, really heavy. Since you'll be soaked anyway, use knickers or even shorts. I want to experiment with plastic or rubber sheets or something since they won't get heavy (no absorption) but they'll keep wind off and retain something, maybe. I have yet to do my experiments so no word on this yet.

Gloves are a good idea but they also get soggy, loose, and slippery. Figure out if your gloves get slippery because slippery is not good.

If you find your gloves are slippery, pick one position on the bars and hold the bars there most of the time. You'll find the tape is semi-dry under your glove and you have better grip. As soon as you move your hands it gets slippery for a bit. If coming up on a climb, pick the hoods. If not, pick the drops.

I wear a clear rain jacket and duct tape my number to the outside. I leave it on the whole race. This is only if you know it'll rain all the time. 20% is not a high probability at all. Unzip if it stops raining.

I tape the tops of my booties shut - black duct tape. 50 degrees you may not need full booties, maybe an aero rubbery cover that doesn't absorb water but blocks wind. Always tape.

I put my whole shoe in a plastic bag, then the bootie on top (or whatever cover you have). You can clip in and out of the pedals several times before you compromise the integrity of the bag.
http://sprinterdellacasa.blogspot.co...your-feet.html
Cannondale made some rain socks for a while. They resemble miniature garbage bags for your feet. They work too. I'm not clear whether they were meant to go inside or outside the shoe. I believe they were goretex (or at least they breathed).

RainX your glasses.

If you have a second bottle, leave water in it. Use it to rinse off your glasses. Cold, yeah, but you'll be able to see for the next minute or two.

carpediemracing 03-07-08 05:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wanders (Post 6015425)
Carpediemracing's blog has alot of training info as well.

http://sprinterdellacasa.blogspot.com

Thanks :)

I'd say I am more tactics than training - my training is a little more haphazard than most people's.

However, I think the How-Tos and Tactics are usable, and some of them are a result of things I either posted here or thought about after seeing them here at BF.

How-To:
http://sprinterdellacasa.blogspot.co...h/label/How-To

Tactics:
http://sprinterdellacasa.blogspot.co.../label/tactics

Neither of those are comprehensive no matter how you look at them but they offer something.

Finally, if you've never been in a bike race, a helmet cam clip is a great way to check out the action first hand. If you're in CT, all the better since you'll probably race one of the races. The clips with the most editorial content (i.e. comments on tactics and such):

2007 Nutmeg State Games (New Britain, CT, Cat 3s):
http://sprinterdellacasa.blogspot.co...elmet-cam.html

Race that gets neutralized and has the tightest racing at the end (Bethel, CT, Cat 3-4):
http://youtube.com/watch?v=j-teN9UWFMg

A third person view of a race at Bethel, with tactics and a bike throw (Bethel, CT, Cat 3-4):
http://youtube.com/watch?v=EkgmQWyipQo

cdr

waterrockets 03-09-08 07:42 AM

Nice vids cdr!

slim_77 03-18-08 10:47 AM

This article is from Carmichael Training: maneuvering through the field.

It all has been said here, but it was very helpful, esp. for new racers like me.

EDIT: CRD's video is a perfect compliment to this article. Thanks, cdr!

Edonis13 03-19-08 02:07 AM

is there a universal website for race pre-registration? or what the hell do i do if the only info i can find about a race is the race name, date and city its in?


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