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Old 01-22-09, 09:36 AM   #1
tbrown524
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Racing in the Rain

This coming Sunday will be the first criterium of the year in SoCal and there's a chance of rain. I've never raced in the rain before and would like tips to make sure I don't end up on the pavement.

The only part that worries me are the turns.

***No need for tips.****

Last edited by tbrown524; 01-22-09 at 09:38 AM. Reason: Used the search button.
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Old 01-22-09, 09:55 AM   #2
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...and would like tips to make sure I don't end up on the pavement...

***No need for tips.****

you ask for tips, then say no need for tips? I'm confused.
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Old 01-22-09, 09:56 AM   #3
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This coming Sunday will be the first criterium of the year in SoCal and there's a chance of rain. I've never raced in the rain before and would like tips to make sure I don't end up on the pavement.

The only part that worries me are the turns.


***No need for tips.****
Huh?

In a crit, you have to be on the inside of turns so people don't slide out into you. This means sacrificing position sometimes and harder acceleration out of the turn.

When you accelerate out of a corner, stay on the saddle until you're completely out of the turn again, or you might spin and slide out the rear while cornering.

Stay toward the front and don't be afraid to brake to get down to a safe speed (before a corner).

Be smooth and fluid.

I won two races in the rain last year, and I'm not sure why. I would think I'd suck in the rain. Just keep at it.
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Old 01-22-09, 09:56 AM   #4
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The Georgia Games criteriums were run in pouring rain last year. I mean 1.5 inches that day of rain, serious flooding all over the course with parts under an inch of water running across the course.... However, it was the safest crit of the year, and I didn't see any crashes. Why, because we couldn't go very fast. I would imagine that your race will slow down similar to that race, so the corners will not be as tight as normal. If not, then I apologize in advance and sorry about the rash....use Tegaderm.
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Old 01-22-09, 10:05 AM   #5
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^^you missed my teammate going down in the cat 3 crit then at the turn before the finish line.

The first 10 minutes are the worst in rain--oil comes up off the road making it very slick. After that it gets better.

We began taking turns faster as our confidence went up. The bad thing was that at the beginning of the race everybody was nervous. The team at the front put the hammer down hard and split the race up. Try and start at the front and stay there.
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Old 01-22-09, 10:07 AM   #6
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As soon as it starts to rain in a crit attack if you can't hold it drop out - that's what I do.
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Old 01-22-09, 10:21 AM   #7
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This coming Sunday will be the first criterium of the year in SoCal and there's a chance of rain. I've never raced in the rain before and would like tips to make sure I don't end up on the pavement.

The only part that worries me are the turns.

***No need for tips.****
Stay in bed?

I don't trust my tires on anything wet, not all tires handle water the same way. What are you running?
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Old 01-22-09, 10:24 AM   #8
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I edited the post "No need for tips" after using the search funciton.

I've ridden in the rain before however I figure its much different than racing.

Thanks for the tips.
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Old 01-22-09, 10:28 AM   #9
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get to the front early then attack, attack, attack.
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Old 01-22-09, 10:47 AM   #10
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Slow down, give yourself plenty of room, drop your tire pressure 10 lbs. Don't go into a turn outside anyone sketchy.
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Old 01-22-09, 10:48 AM   #11
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Watch that thick white striping, like they use at intersections. It can be slick.
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Old 01-22-09, 10:55 AM   #12
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Slow down, give yourself plenty of room, drop your tire pressure 10 lbs. Don't go into a turn outside anyone sketchy.
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Old 01-22-09, 10:58 AM   #13
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I don't know. If I stopped to drop my tire pressure I'm sure I would never latch on again but yeah if it's raining before your race you don't run high pressure.
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Old 01-22-09, 11:00 AM   #14
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I had a teammate who would simply not slow down when it started raining in a crit. If he crashed out, he'd take the free lap and let some air out.

I guess I wouldn't have thought of that because I generally race at 105psi/95psi anyway. Too much lower and I'm looking at pinch risk. There were a lot of guys letting air out at the start of the ATT crit though. 25% of the field still crashed out anyway.
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Old 01-22-09, 11:39 AM   #15
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be really careful if there is cement instead of asphalt.. it can get stupidly slick.
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Old 01-22-09, 11:52 AM   #16
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In SoCal the pavement will be slicker than snot when it rains. San Diego gets like 10 days of rain a year? and the pavement is so smooth, no frost heave or rough aggregate to give you nice traction. For non-SoCal folks, think about a parking garage's floor with the oil, the slick concrete, polished from use, then dump bit of misty rain on top of it. Really slippery.

Stay waaaay inside on turns, stay as upright as possible, and don't let anyone in on your inside. I crashed in many rainy crits, almost all of them due to some guy going down who tried to sneak up my inside and then took himself out.

In rain your front tire can just wipe out if you're bobbing while pedaling ('93 Worlds - the guy at the front of the field goes down when he rides in a straight line over a lane stripe) so be super smooth.

If racing is not your living then you can always slow down. This is what I do now, at least in hard turns.

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Old 01-22-09, 12:24 PM   #17
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here is a tip. when grit and sludge gets in your eye (it will happen) do not panic. ride with
your remaining eye, stay focused on the race, and just blink the crud out. it will clear the
eye eventually and you don't need to lose any ground. do not touch your eye with your
finger it will only make it worse or scratch the eye and then you are done


other than that don't fall. some other puke will fall so...avoid that


find some rain tires and mount them. ride less pressure. if it might be the least bit chilly
and wet then make sure to wear an inner layer so you don't lose needless calories staying warm
use full finger gloves, better grip on a wet, snotty and sweaty handlebar
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Old 01-22-09, 12:26 PM   #18
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I like to charge up the inside line and right before the turn I start to scream uncontrollably.
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Old 01-22-09, 12:33 PM   #19
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Stay off the painted lines on the road, they get very very very slick...if you're on one, any adjustment to your weight distribution will cause your wheels to come out from under you.

I learned this during the Rochester Criterium last year. It was dry all day until our race, and then about 10 minutes in, it started absolutely pouring. So bad that we could barely see where we were going for a few minutes there. I went to set up for a 90 degree turn, found myself on some diagonal painted lines, and went down/slid right through the corner.
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Old 01-22-09, 12:36 PM   #20
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Wear a cap to help keep water out of your eyes.

That Georgia Games crit (previously mentioned) sucked balls. There was some psycho in the crowd who kept ringing a cow bell.
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Old 01-22-09, 12:38 PM   #21
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here is a tip. when grit and sludge gets in your eye (it will happen) do not panic. ride with
your remaining eye, stay focused on the race, and just blink the crud out. it will clear the
eye eventually and you don't need to lose any ground. do not touch your eye with your
finger it will only make it worse or scratch the eye and then you are done


other than that don't fall. some other puke will fall so...avoid that


find some rain tires and mount them. ride less pressure. if it might be the least bit chilly
and wet then make sure to wear an inner layer so you don't lose needless calories staying warm
use full finger gloves, better grip on a wet, snotty and sweaty handlebar


this is a bike race, not F1.
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Old 01-22-09, 12:42 PM   #22
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this is a bike race, not F1.

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Old 01-22-09, 12:43 PM   #23
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this is a bike race, not F1.
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Old 01-22-09, 01:00 PM   #24
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I like to charge up the inside line and right before the turn I start to scream uncontrollably.
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Old 01-22-09, 01:06 PM   #25
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Don't put too much weight on either end of your bike. If you find a position that's steady, stick to it. I decided to let guys pull through during a wet race last year, sat up a bit in the first corner of the last lap and washed the rear out. Stupid thing to do in retrospect.

And if you feel the rear slip a bit then don't panic and grab the brakes. Bike just may settle itself. Mine had several times in the aforementioned race (Tour of KC) and it wasn't until I went through with my weight shifted differently that I tanked myself. Find your lines, find your rhythm and ride smooth.
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