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  1. #1
    going roundy round wanders's Avatar
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    Dixie Classic report. 11 races this year and 1st real Cat 5

    Short version:

    There was a race.
    Slow speeds allow the squirrels to swarm.
    There was a crash.
    Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.

    Long version:

    I knew it was going to interesting when the race announcer asked “How many of you have not raced before?” and what seemed like half of the 30 or so riders raised their hands.

    Up until now, the Dixie Classic series C races had been dominated by the same 5 or 6 guys. At the whistle they would set the pace so high that the field was strung out within 2 laps and people (myself included) would be getting shelled off quickly and re-group into a “second tier” whose main goal was-

    1. Not get lapped. (About a 50% success rate)
    2. Fight for remaining top 10 spots. (Much lower success rate)

    It was always a 30 minute suffer fest for me, just begging for it to end.

    I found out before the race a couple of these guys had Cat’ed up and the others, I assume, didn’t show because of the threat of rain.

    The race starts off like a Sunday afternoon group ride. After 1 lap of this, bored, I come around about 15 people on the outside, go off the front just get the pace up. That worked for about 2 laps, then it reverted back to 200 yards of sprint, brake, coast back down to 19 mph, bunch up 4 and 5 wide, hit the corners with half of the riders diving to the inside too fast to make up places, the other half taking a outside-in line. I think they all read the same book that states “Be in the top 10 but under no circumstances get on the front and pull.” I spent the next 10 minutes in defensive mode just trying to avoid others.

    Perhaps I should have yelled.

    Finally with 10 laps to go the pace picked up and things started to smooth out a bit. Or so I thought. With 4 laps to go, on a straight, 2 people go down right in front of me, just to my left. The rider right beside me plows into them, and does a perfect endo. I can still see his head tube making a perfect arc around his wheel. I swerve to avoid getting caught up in it. The adrenaline dump keeps me occupied for the next couple of laps but then I must have become totally un-nerved when I noticed that there are maybe 12 riders in front of me in the lead group and not anyone behind me. I just soft pedal at the back and roll through the line 15 yards back because I wasn’t interested in contesting the sprint.

    Driving home, I missed my exit.
    Quote Originally Posted by CastIron View Post
    Damn.

  2. #2
    Aut Vincere Aut Mori Snuffleupagus's Avatar
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    Keep at it. Work on being able to animate the race, and not being subject to its whims. You want to dictate the race on your terms, not on the 19mph slinky's terms

  3. #3
    going roundy round wanders's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snuffleupagus View Post
    Keep at it. Work on being able to animate the race, and not being subject to its whims. You want to dictate the race on your terms, not on the 19mph slinky's terms
    I have already resolved that if there is going to be a slow bus. I'm the one that's going to be driving it.

    I enjoy it lot more if I have spent the entire race on the verge of puking as opposed to cruising waiting to get my front wheel cut out fom under me. I'm sure I went through a set of brake pads last night.
    Quote Originally Posted by CastIron View Post
    Damn.

  4. #4
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    OK - all Cat 5 racers, here's the deal. As a Cat 5, your results mean nothing, they count for nothing, 1st = DFL = DNF, all = same thing in the scheme of upgrading. Using this information, there is absolutely no reason to subject yourself to the slinky conditions described, you should be attacking or planning your next attack, always, with no fear of being dropped, lapped, or otherwise cooked OTB. Why, because 1st = DFL = DNF. Race with this mindset and it'll pay dividends when you move up in the categories, you'll be more fit, more confident, and have had more fun.

  5. #5
    In-House Counsel CaseLawZ28's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MDcatV View Post
    OK - all Cat 5 racers, here's the deal. As a Cat 5, your results mean nothing, they count for nothing, 1st = DFL = DNF, all = same thing in the scheme of upgrading. Using this information, there is absolutely no reason to subject yourself to the slinky conditions described, you should be attacking or planning your next attack, always, with no fear of being dropped, lapped, or otherwise cooked OTB. Why, because 1st = DFL = DNF. Race with this mindset and it'll pay dividends when you move up in the categories, you'll be more fit, more confident, and have had more fun.
    Good advice. I did not do this at all as a 5 because too often people gave the "Be in the front but do no work yourself. Don't go off the front because it'll be brought back and they always end in a sprint. Never try to bridge..." Yada yada...it makes for a delayed learning curve down the road.
    --Jimm--

  6. #6
    Senior Member Coyote2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MDcatV View Post
    OK - all Cat 5 racers, here's the deal. As a Cat 5, your results mean nothing, they count for nothing, 1st = DFL = DNF, all = same thing in the scheme of upgrading. Using this information, there is absolutely no reason to subject yourself to the slinky conditions described, you should be attacking or planning your next attack, always, with no fear of being dropped, lapped, or otherwise cooked OTB. Why, because 1st = DFL = DNF. Race with this mindset and it'll pay dividends when you move up in the categories, you'll be more fit, more confident, and have had more fun.
    On behalf of Cat 5s everywhere, I respectfully disagree. They give out medals for a reason.

  7. #7
    In-House Counsel CaseLawZ28's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coyote2 View Post
    On behalf of Cat 5s everywhere, I respectfully disagree. They give out medals for a reason.
    Ha! You are doomed to a racing life of futility.
    --Jimm--

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coyote2 View Post
    On behalf of Cat 5s everywhere, I respectfully disagree. They give out medals for a reason.
    Fair enough, but I'm not saying don't try, I'm saying dont be afraid to risk finishing DFL or OTB or DNF by foregoing the chance to "make" a race. Actually, IME same could be said for Cat 4 and 3, probably Masters and Cat 2 and 1 races as well. It's just that as you move up more folks know this already, are "making" the race and it's easier to be DFL/OTB/DNF without being the assertive one, IOW, you've got to choose your efforts more wisely than at the Cat 5 and Cat 4 level.

    I'm thinking about going to the greenbelt training series tonight, to practice what I preach. I'm already planning my next attack.

    Medals IMO = junk to clutter up my house, seriously, unless you're a pre-teen, what are you going to do with a medal, frame it and put it on your trophy wall so you can brag to your boys that won/placed/showed in an entry level race? What if they find pictures of all the heavies you beat - that'd be worse than OTB anyday!

  9. #9
    going roundy round wanders's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coyote2 View Post
    On behalf of Cat 5s everywhere, I respectfully disagree. They give out medals for a reason.
    We get hats. He who doneth the hat is king of all things. Why else would someone risk and subsequently get DQ'd blocking for his teamate and almost come to blows with the ref and complaintent rider over it?

    It happened. Last night was effin' insane.
    Quote Originally Posted by CastIron View Post
    Damn.

  10. #10
    I'm that guy that I am.
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    Quote Originally Posted by wanders View Post
    We get hats. He who doneth the hat is king of all things. Why else would someone risk and subsequently get DQ'd blocking for his teamate and almost come to blows with the ref and complaintent rider over it?

    It happened. Last night was effin' insane.
    I hate the trophies and such. I'd much rather win a hat.
    It's not how many miles you ride, but how hard you ride them. Time trials aren't races.

  11. #11
    bf is my facebook. ljrichar's Avatar
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    I was so close to doing this as my first race last night. Instead I opted for my usual Tues. Night Farmers Market ride. After hearing this, I'm kind of glad I did. I think I'm going to try Ace next Tues. for my first time, as it appears to be safer. Wanders, are you going to continue to do all the Dixie races? I'll try one out at some point soon. On a side note, are doing 3 Mountain Madness next weekend?

  12. #12
    bannned steaktaco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MDcatV View Post
    Race with this mindset and it'll pay dividends when you move up in the categories, you'll be more fit, more confident, and have had more fun.
    I agree with this philosophy.

    It's better to make a move, blow-up, and DNF than to sit in the pack quietly the entire race. For one, you'll be rewarded with experience in making things happen; for instance, you won't be dumbfounded if you manage to find yourself in a break. At this level the biggest prize you can win is experience.
    steaktaco.com <-- poohoopsies.


  13. #13
    going roundy round wanders's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ljrichar View Post
    I was so close to doing this as my first race last night. Instead I opted for my usual Tues. Night Farmers Market ride. After hearing this, I'm kind of glad I did. I think I'm going to try Ace next Tues. for my first time, as it appears to be safer. Wanders, are you going to continue to do all the Dixie races? I'll try one out at some point soon. On a side note, are doing 3 Mountain Madness next weekend?
    Yes on the entire Dixie series. It's 2 miles from where I work and it's perfect for me to work on one of my (many) weaker points-cornering at speed surrounded by people who have almost as little skill as me over the worst possible surfaces in the state of NC........but I digress. Come on out, it's a blast. I'll make you look good.

    I would suggest Ace as a first race. My first race was at Orange County Speedway which is an oval like Ace. I'm thankful that was my first instead of Dixie.

    I'm hoping to get a furlough to do the Fayetteville crit Monday. If so, that will expend all of the accumulated goodwill I have, so I doubt I'll be able to do the 3 mountain ride. Blood Sweat and Gears is on the schedule.
    Quote Originally Posted by CastIron View Post
    Damn.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Coyote2's Avatar
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    I agree with much that has been written. I only meant that a Cat 5 race is still a race, and the results do matter to most participants -- if they did not matter, we would all just roll around the course while chatting and drinking beer from our bidons. Hey, actually, that wouldn't be so bad....Hmmm.

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