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Old 03-08-08, 08:35 PM   #1
Second Mouse
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Another First Race Report: Second Mouse Goes to School

The Rocky Mountain Raceway Criterium Series. Mostly this is an auto racing venue, but Saturdays during March and Tuesday evenings the rest of the year, they let the cyclists use their dragstrip and another 3/4 miles added on to make a 1 1/4 mile loop. Today they said there was too much water on the regular course, so we rode a 3/8 mile oval inside the regular loop, which worked out very well for my first ever race, since the corners were all relatively gradual and predictable. Temperature was 45, overcast, threatening to rain, a bit breezy. I'm on a LeMond Reno with a triple, pretty much the Freddest guy there. I'm also older than dirt (Patentcad), so I really have no business being here, but everyone's very nice about it.

The 1's and 2's go out for 45 minutes, then the 3's and 4's go out for about 35 minutes, followed by us, the 5s, for 30 minutes. My goals are to (1) start at the back and experience that distinctive accordion effect; (2) move up through the pack, maybe bump some elbows, get in the thick of a main group; and (3) move to the front and maybe get in on some breaks.

We start, a field of maybe 35 riders, I'm nervous, can't get clipped in, and find myself near the end of the pack, which is more or less what I'd planned (except for the not-being-able-to-clip-in part). Trouble is, there's a bunch of very slow riders right in front of me, and a couple of laps into the race, a main group has established itself about 1/4 lap ahead of the rest of us. So I move up through the folks who are struggling, get to the front of that bunch and find I'm about 1/2 a lap behind the pack.

There's a guy in a bright green jersey, on a Panasonic DX-2000 (which I recognize because I use one as a commuter), downtube shifters and all, probably on 27" tires, so he and I trade pulls but can't make any real progress getting up to the pack. About 18 minutes into the race, we get lapped, but I can hang onto the back of the main group, even though they're a lap up on me.

Lesson learned: Try not to let the main group get away from you, like everyone here at BF has counseled. I ignored this advice and find myself a lap down, but at least staying with the group. We wheel around for ten minutes or so and I'm amazed at how much easier it is to ride behind these guys. I knew it would be, but maybe you just have to experience it for yourself to understand how drastic the difference is during a race.

The lead group's speed varies between 23 mph and 28 mph (28 mph is tough), and we get the word that there are three laps to go. The group is strung out in a line, mostly composed of one of the local teams (Canyon Sports, I think), and no one really makes much of a move to break or even accelerate. So during one of the 23 mph lulls, I scoot up around everyone, a couple of guys stand up to chase but then someone yells, "is he with us?", and they let me go. Then, as eveyone sets up for the last lap, they come by me and I get to watch everyone fan out for the sprint, which I didn't really want any part of, since I wasn't in contention for anything and given my sprinting experience, I'd likely have mucked things up

No idea where I finished--far from dead last, but way out of the top ten, maybe 20th or so. Next week I try to hold onto the front group at the start.

A lot of what I watched and understood today was based on what I've read here at BF. Thanks, guys and gals. There's much good info here, and it's very much appreciated!

This was so ****ing much fun!

Cheers!
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Old 03-08-08, 08:46 PM   #2
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No idea where I finished--far from dead last, but way out of the top ten, maybe 20th or so. Next week I try to hold onto the front group at the start.

This was so ****ing much fun!

Cheers!
Nice report!

Exactly the type of race report I want to read. Someone having fun while "racing". Thanks 2nd Mouse.
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Old 03-08-08, 08:48 PM   #3
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are there cliff notes, or is your report written well enough to read?
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Old 03-08-08, 08:56 PM   #4
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are there cliff notes, or is your report written well enough to read?
i guess you'll never know unless you try to read it!
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Old 03-08-08, 08:58 PM   #5
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This was so ****ing much fun!

Cheers!
Congrats, and good job.
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Old 03-08-08, 09:10 PM   #6
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are there cliff notes, or is your report written well enough to read?
Raced. Didn't contend. Didn't get blown out. Had a blast.

Just for you, my ADD friend.
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Old 03-08-08, 09:24 PM   #7
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Raced. Didn't contend. Didn't get blown out. Had a blast.
good to see that you're priorities are in order.

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Just for you, my ADD friend.
no a.d.d., merely a lack of tolerance for overly verbose race reports.

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Old 03-08-08, 09:27 PM   #8
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Good job Second Mouse! That is the best race report i've ever read. Thanks. Can't wait for your next report.
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Old 03-08-08, 11:45 PM   #9
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Congrats! You'll be amazed at how much you're going to learn in your first 5 races.

Just to clarify on the finish, do you mean in the field you were in, or overall placing (like you did the last lap after the main field finished)?
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Old 03-09-08, 07:40 AM   #10
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Congrats! You'll be amazed at how much you're going to learn in your first 5 races.

Just to clarify on the finish, do you mean in the field you were in, or overall placing (like you did the last lap after the main field finished)?
It was the latter--overall placing. I crossed the line just behind the main group, but one lap down, so I did the last lap after the main field finished. There were probably 15 riders who got lapped several times.

Last edited by Second Mouse; 03-09-08 at 08:05 AM.
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Old 03-09-08, 06:16 PM   #11
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Now you've got me thinking about trying it out. Good report.
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Old 03-09-08, 10:18 PM   #12
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there were 3 crashes in the Cat 5 crit I was in this weekend. be glad you weren't a part of any crashes . I ended up on the curb when two guys in front of me crashed going around a corner. that was with 2 laps to go so there was pretty much no way for me to catch back up to the group. it was still fun though cuz there was no damage and I didn't end up in the hospital like some others that day.
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Old 03-09-08, 10:30 PM   #13
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It's ADHD folks, ADD is an outdated diagnosis.
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Old 03-10-08, 08:33 AM   #14
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I loved your report Mouse! I felt like I was there, Im so glad to know you're having a blast!!!
Good job on your first race, you rock.. thanks for the tips too!
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Old 03-10-08, 08:57 AM   #15
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It was the latter--overall placing. I crossed the line just behind the main group, but one lap down, so I did the last lap after the main field finished. There were probably 15 riders who got lapped several times.
In a criterium, after the winner finishes, everyone else who crosses the line is done. Lap down or no.
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Old 03-10-08, 09:06 AM   #16
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Great long report.
I've learned a lot from here as well. Plus, knowing that I have to post it makes me work harder.
It's these things --> <-- That counts. If I get this, then I'm pretty happy. BF'ers can be sticklers y'know? Keeps me on my toes.


Here's yours: Keep up the good work, but have fun doing it.
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Old 03-10-08, 09:21 AM   #17
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The kiss of death in ANY sort of racing (RR, TT, Crit, even mtn bike) is a delayed clip-in. I learned this a while back and spent lots of time polishing my method. You have to be able to do it almost without thinking, because your mind gets all muddled when you're actually on the line with other racers. I did hit a point where I just couldn't get in first time every time. I swapped out my old SPD cleats for speedplays. Now I can clip in with the best of them. I would highly recommend these pedals.
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Old 03-10-08, 10:00 AM   #18
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Thanks bdg, substructure, palesaint and everyone else. Anyone got a tip for clipping quickly into Keo Sprints? I've had them for a month or so and keep having difficulty getting in quickly. Practice, practice, practice? Your speedplays are double-sided, right palesaint?
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Old 03-10-08, 10:29 AM   #19
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There were probably 15 riders who got lapped several times.
Hearing something like that makes me think I might have to give it a go some time. If ther are other folks that get lapped several times then I won't feel so alone . Maybe another year of miles and training and a little better bike I'll give it a shot next spring. Gotta do something with my mid life crisis energy

Thanks for posting that.
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Old 03-10-08, 10:31 AM   #20
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I was in that race. I'm pretty sure I was the one that yelled if you were with us or not. It was pretty frustrating all the people we lapped. There were probably about 10 groups of 2-5 riders that we kept lapping, but then they'd hop on the back of us, and then attack of the front. It was pretty hard to tell who was with us or not.

It was a good race though, no crashes. I sprinted with one of the porcupine guys and got 1st.


As far as clipping into Keos: I like that they're not double sided so the pedal is always in the same position. To clip in I just put my toe just above the spindle from the back, then just slowly drag it forward and it'll pull the cleat to horizontal and then clip.
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Old 03-10-08, 11:17 AM   #21
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Good work, vantassell! What team are you with?

I guess the problems with wheelsuckers (like me) who've been lapped will mostly go away once the race is on the regular track. My thought was that with only three laps to go, I should get out front and give it an effort, blow up if needs be. You guys got kind of enthusiastic there at the end and went by me on the last lap anyway.

Thanks for the pedal tip.
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Old 03-10-08, 11:33 AM   #22
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but then they'd hop on the back of us, and then attack off the front.
Bad form.
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Old 03-10-08, 11:52 AM   #23
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I'm unattached, i had on a rocky mountain bicycles jersey though. I've been wanting to join porcupine, but never can get up early enough for their group rides.

I like racing that inside oval a ton more than the outside track. The two turns on either end worry me, a lot easier to crash on.

What kind of jersey did you have on?
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Old 03-10-08, 12:01 PM   #24
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I'm unattached, i had on a rocky mountain bicycles jersey though. I've been wanting to join porcupine, but never can get up early enough for their group rides.

I like racing that inside oval a ton more than the outside track. The two turns on either end worry me, a lot easier to crash on.

What kind of jersey did you have on?
The oval was a lot of fun, especially for a first race.

I was in a plain, long-sleeved purple/maroon jersey. Porcupine looks like a good bunch of folks.
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Old 03-10-08, 12:12 PM   #25
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Gads, reading this really makes me miss the Beehive state. We moved away the year I bought my road bike. Its amazing the racing you have available for a somewhat smaller population, 2 training crits weekly, a weekly TT or Hill Climb, then races most weekends.

Our training crits here in CO consist of A's, P1/2/3 and B's, 4's that rip the legs off this oldster.
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