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Old 03-17-08, 09:16 AM   #1
Second Mouse
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SM's 2nd Race, Same Result, Different Mistakes (Another Long Report)

A couple of people inquired, so here's a race report.

Short version: Started off well, back of pack, tried a break, got reeled in just as the group accellerated, couldn't keep up, finished about 400m behind.

Long version: Here's the "overly verbose" version of my first race last week (started badly, got behind some slow riders, the main group established a lead that I never caught, lapped me and I hung on their wheels (bad form, I'm told) 'til the end).

So Saturday's race (3/15) was 30 minutes on a 1 1/4 mile loop, the 5's all started out together followed shortly by the women's/juniors group. I started out okay, still at the back of the pack but the group was all together. There's a 1/2 mile long straight section that was going into the wind, so the leaders would pull everyone through that section at about 20 mph, which seemed very slow when I was sitting in. So after about 15 minutes/5 laps, I decide to try a break. Right at the end of the 1/4 mile straight section I go around everyone and push the pace up as much as I can without completely blowing up. This keeps up along the 5/8 mile back part of the loop until we hit the straight again. The group reels me in and goes by in one long, straight paceline, so I can't cut in until the end, which means I've done most of the 1/2 mile straight into the wind on my own. Should have dropped back to the end more quickly.

I start to recover, since this "break" was a fairly big deal for me, but with three laps to go, the main group starts to accellerate. I try, not hard enough apparently, but can't hang on, so the rest of the race is spent among the stragglers, watching the group slowly get farther and farther ahead. Finished about 300 or 400m behind the group, probably 15th or so out of 20.

So this week's lessons are (1) maybe it's better to save as much as possible for the end, at least in a race like today, (2) stick with the pack if at all possible, (3) train harder/get stronger and (4) get out of the wind if you can. Being new to racing, the temptation is to think I should know more than I do, but it seems that a big part of the process is to make mistakes and learn from them.

This is posted mostly for n00bs like me who might be able to gain a little situational perspective, since I like gleaning what I can from other n00bs' reports. Abusive harangues and any advice from more experienced members are welcome.

Going to get under the hood and work on the engine now, and yes, I need to HTFU. Still, had a good time.

Cheers.

Last edited by Second Mouse; 03-17-08 at 12:22 PM.
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Old 03-17-08, 09:22 AM   #2
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Nothing wrong with trying to get away. If you're going to try it, you have to commit 100%. Go as hard as possible to create a seperation.

Then if you get the seperation, just bury yourself and take your chances.

If you don't get the seperation, fall back in before your cooked.

Sounds like in your race it was unlikely with the head wind you were going to stay away solo. However, if one or two guys could have bridged up, without pulling the pack up, it might have worked.

to paraphrase one of our resident experts, it's called bike racing, not riding around waiting for something to happen.
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Old 03-17-08, 09:23 AM   #3
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Yeah, the mistakes are where you learn. Nothing wrong with taking a flyer off the front -- at least you didn't bring the pack with you. One thing though, if it was easy for you in the pack, it was easy for everyone else, so they had lots of energy to chase you. Best to go when the pack is under a bit of stress (which means you are too).

Good job on the 2nd race though
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Old 03-17-08, 09:24 AM   #4
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Quote:
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The group reels me in and goes by in one long, straight paceline, so I can't cut in until the end
Yes you can. DannoXYZ had a pretty good explanation about a year ago - but basically, when you're about halfway in front of someone, you pretty much own them. You can come over.

Now how much the person will swear at you is a different matter.
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Old 03-17-08, 09:28 AM   #5
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Still, had a good time.

Cheers.
That's the important thing.

And, at least you're not a n00b AND old, like me.
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Old 03-17-08, 09:30 AM   #6
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Yes you can.
True,
I started to address that as well. Let the first 3 or 4 go by. Accelerate to the speed of the line, then just hang there until a slight gap opens, then move into the gap. Most folks aren't going to fight you too hard for the position, and if they do, at some point a gap will open from a turn, or their inattention. Worst case if they really won't let you in, pick on the next guy in the line.

You don't push someone off the wheel in front, but nothing wrong with staying in tight and taking advantage to move into gaps as they develop. It's somewhat a matter of force of will.
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Old 03-17-08, 09:31 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElJamoquio View Post
Yes you can. DannoXYZ had a pretty good explanation about a year ago - but basically, when you're about halfway in front of someone, you pretty much own them. You can come over.

Now how much the person will swear at you is a different matter.
Yeah, make sure they overtake you on the upwind side, and you'll just push someone out of the echelon as they come by. Assuming there's always wind, because here, there's always wind
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Old 03-17-08, 09:42 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElJamoquio View Post
Yes you can. DannoXYZ had a pretty good explanation about a year ago - but basically, when you're about halfway in front of someone, you pretty much own them. You can come over.

Now how much the person will swear at you is a different matter.
These guys were on each others' wheels very tight, most of the lead guys were on the same team. Good input though. Thanks!

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That's the important thing.

And, at least you're not a n00b AND old, like me.
Despite online appearances, I'm even older than Pcad.

Great, now I'm old and depressed.

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Yeah, make sure they overtake you on the upwind side, and you'll just push someone out of the echelon as they come by. Assuming there's always wind, because here, there's always wind
Good thought. The wind was slightly right-to-left, but I let them go by on the left (downwind) side, so ended up being more exposed. Thanks waterrockets.
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Old 03-17-08, 09:45 AM   #9
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Good thought. The wind was slightly right-to-left, but I let them go by on the left (downwind) side, so ended up being more exposed. Thanks waterrockets.

One thing you learn to do is always note the wind, so you can see which side has the best draft. Also to learn where to move up, and where to iniate, and anticipate attacks.
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Old 03-17-08, 09:51 AM   #10
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Thanks again for posting. I love it! If I keep inproving I MAY try my hand at some racing next year. I don't have all that much time to train, but it sounds like it still might be fun to try some time. I love reading about someone starting out. Keep posting!
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Old 03-17-08, 09:56 AM   #11
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I don't have all that much time to train,
you don't need that much time. You do need focus, a good plan and commitment. 8 hours a week is more than enough if you use it well. You should give it a go.
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Old 03-17-08, 10:01 AM   #12
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Despite online appearances, I'm even older than Pcad.
No! No one's older than Pcad! <j/k>

Glad to know that some of us "seniors" aren't taking life lying down... in front of the tv... eating potato chips.
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Old 03-17-08, 10:05 AM   #13
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Your post-race analysis is a very important (and often neglected) part of racing. Making mistakes is not the problem. Re-peating the same mistakes again and again is the problem.

Remember the saying: If you keep doing what you've been doing, you'll keep getting what you've been getting.

Bob
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Old 03-17-08, 10:15 AM   #14
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you don't need that much time. You do need focus, a good plan and commitment. 8 hours a week is more than enough if you use it well. You should give it a go.
[hijack]Thanks. I'm carving out about 5 hours a week now and seeing a lot of improvement in power, speed and endurance. It's cool that I'm in better shape at 45 than I was at 35. But considering where I started less than a year ago...

I stills gots a ways to go

Good to know it might be possible though![/hijack]

You will now be returned to your regular programming...
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