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Thread: Crit Practice

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    Senior Member brett_beddow's Avatar
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    Crit Practice

    Who do you/do you not like about your crit practice? (if you have one)

    What is the format that you go by? Time? Laps?
    Course length? Course set-up?

    I found an empty parking lot that I would like to do it in. (Probably set up some cones)
    Here is the link: http://www.mapmyride.com/route/us/mi...s/203620708076
    If you view it in satellite view it would be helpful.

    The practice would obviously be to work on cornering and to just "practice crits".

    Any tips would be helpful.

    Thanks

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    wrong forum
    "When you are chewing the bars at the business end of a 90 mile road race you really dont care what gear you have hanging from your bike so long as it works."
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    Should be in the road racing forums.
    12' SuperiorLite SL Pro w/ Sram Rival | 10' SuperiorLite SL Club w/ Sram Force | 06' Giant FCR (Dropbar) w/ Shimano 5700 | 10' GT Avalanche 3.0 Disc

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    Senior Member brett_beddow's Avatar
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    Agh!! that is what I meant to do. Could a mod move that please?

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    I agree about it being in the road racing forum... but I'll respond anyway. Around this time of year the university team starts doing their crit practice on the local crit course. My favorite format is miss-and-out and to a lesser extent win-and-out.

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    Tuesday night crit training for us is here:
    http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=4...06255&t=h&z=17

    It's a great place to do training races, wide turns and long enough straights.
    Gelato aficionado.

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    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    The only practice I've done was in empty parking lots as well, but I've only done this a handful of times. Usually I try to time-trial it, but launch out of the corners at about a 90-95% sprint each time.

    Mostly, I just do the local series a few times/season.

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    Senior Member brett_beddow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
    The only practice I've done was in empty parking lots as well, but I've only done this a handful of times. Usually I try to time-trial it, but launch out of the corners at about a 90-95% sprint each time.

    Mostly, I just do the local series a few times/season.
    Did you set up cones when you did it?

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    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    No, islands worked.

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    There's a driver's training course at the High School down the street. It works perfectly for me, but you have to get there when there are no future drivers practicing. I saw one run into the observation building they have there - twice. I'm not looking forward to seeing her on the road.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brett_beddow View Post
    I found an empty parking lot that I would like to do it in. (Probably set up some cones)
    Just be careful where you mark the course! Parking lots are great places to find questionable traction due to the amount of oil and anti-freeze dropped by cars. Try not to run your practice course through the portion of a parking space that would have been under a car's engine. Even if the spot looks dry, it may have reduced traction due to years of fluid being leaked on the spot. I know more than one guy who's found this out the hard way...

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    Look at all these buttons EivlEvo's Avatar
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    Our club sweeps the corners... but just a heads up.

    If you don't have a big enough group to properly "close off" the parking lot... watch for the UPS truck!

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    Quote Originally Posted by brett_beddow View Post
    Who do you/do you not like about your crit practice? (if you have one)

    What is the format that you go by? Time? Laps?
    Course length? Course set-up?

    I found an empty parking lot that I would like to do it in. (Probably set up some cones)
    Here is the link: http://www.mapmyride.com/route/us/mi...s/203620708076
    If you view it in satellite view it would be helpful.

    The practice would obviously be to work on cornering and to just "practice crits".

    Any tips would be helpful.

    Thanks

    what do i like? the safety (remote old airport parkinglot with no traffic) and the distance (1.8 miles so probably more of a circuit race practice)

    what dont i like? if i could add anything- it would be an up-hill finish.

    format? usually 40-50 mitues +2

    course set up? depends on how many show. anything from show up and go... to cones and sweeping the corners.

    tips? think safety. look thru every corner, check for sewer grates and curbs, sign posts, speed bumps. be aware of trafffic flow, and whether the locals will have a problem with you. spend some time finding a good location. we hunted for a few months before we found our current venue.
    ____________________________________________________________________

    "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short."

    -----------------------------------------------

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    Use weekly training crits to learn where to be in the pack, especially during the last 5...most important...laps of the race. Use it to learn to move through the pack, learn to be comfortable riding thigh to thigh, etc., learn to determine if your training is paying off...can you accelerate when the pace suddenly picks up without dragging your tongue on the ground...do you have energy left so during the last 5 laps you can stay in the top 10 and be able to sprint or are you left behind. Learn how to be aggressive and not get moved out of a great position by someone more aggressive and a better rider than you are.

    Training...One word is all that's necessary...INTERVALS, INTERVALS, INTERVALS. Nothing improves your crit acceleration than doing full power intervals on varied roads...Not completely flat roads all the time. You need a mix of flats and light inclines. Intervals for crits should be 15 to 30 seconds...those are the critical lengths of time. Crits are known for sudden and repeated accelerations. Their intent is to drop the dead wood than could be dangerous both in handling skills and physical ability later in the race.

    It is also important to be properly warmed up for the start of the race. Quite often crits will start with some mad minute accelerations in the first few laps. They are designed to quickly get rid of as much of the field as possible. You don't want to be dropped in the first few laps. This is also where interval training pays off. When you legs are burning like someone poured acid on them but you can still get out of the saddle and accelerate you know your interval training is paying off.

    Join a local riding/racing club that has regular practice, before crit season starts, for crit skills...riding thigh to thigh, elbow to elbow, how to use your elbows, shoulders, head as a barrier, how to overcome wheel overlap, how to fill a gap, how to hold you place when someone else trys to move you out of it, etc. Their are a myriad of skills needed to be a good crit racer. You can never learn them or become good at them on your own.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kai Winters View Post
    Use weekly training crits to learn where to be in the pack, especially during the last 5...most important...laps of the race. Use it to learn to move through the pack, learn to be comfortable riding thigh to thigh, etc., learn to determine if your training is paying off...can you accelerate when the pace suddenly picks up without dragging your tongue on the ground...do you have energy left so during the last 5 laps you can stay in the top 10 and be able to sprint or are you left behind. Learn how to be aggressive and not get moved out of a great position by someone more aggressive and a better rider than you are.

    Training...One word is all that's necessary...INTERVALS, INTERVALS, INTERVALS. Nothing improves your crit acceleration than doing full power intervals on varied roads...Not completely flat roads all the time. You need a mix of flats and light inclines. Intervals for crits should be 15 to 30 seconds...those are the critical lengths of time. Crits are known for sudden and repeated accelerations. Their intent is to drop the dead wood than could be dangerous both in handling skills and physical ability later in the race.

    It is also important to be properly warmed up for the start of the race. Quite often crits will start with some mad minute accelerations in the first few laps. They are designed to quickly get rid of as much of the field as possible. You don't want to be dropped in the first few laps. This is also where interval training pays off. When you legs are burning like someone poured acid on them but you can still get out of the saddle and accelerate you know your interval training is paying off.

    Join a local riding/racing club that has regular practice, before crit season starts, for crit skills...riding thigh to thigh, elbow to elbow, how to use your elbows, shoulders, head as a barrier, how to overcome wheel overlap, how to fill a gap,
    how to hold you place when someone else trys to move you out of it, etc. Their are a myriad of skills needed to be a good crit racer. You can never learn them or become good at them on your own.
    That's an interesting point.

    This will be my first season racing, but last year I occasionally went out with the racers group. I did encounter a guy who I swore was trying to move me off the wheel I was following. Seemed a bit odd seeing we wern't racing, but the pace was high and I guess it was in his nature. We were really close but I didn't give up the wheel .

    There was also some tall CX looking guys...I felt like I was riding next to moving trees.
    Last edited by FormerBMX'er; 03-03-09 at 11:04 AM.

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    Senior Member brett_beddow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kai Winters View Post
    Use weekly training crits to learn where to be in the pack, especially during the last 5...most important...laps of the race. Use it to learn to move through the pack, learn to be comfortable riding thigh to thigh, etc., learn to determine if your training is paying off...can you accelerate when the pace suddenly picks up without dragging your tongue on the ground...do you have energy left so during the last 5 laps you can stay in the top 10 and be able to sprint or are you left behind. Learn how to be aggressive and not get moved out of a great position by someone more aggressive and a better rider than you are.

    Training...One word is all that's necessary...INTERVALS, INTERVALS, INTERVALS. Nothing improves your crit acceleration than doing full power intervals on varied roads...Not completely flat roads all the time. You need a mix of flats and light inclines. Intervals for crits should be 15 to 30 seconds...those are the critical lengths of time. Crits are known for sudden and repeated accelerations. Their intent is to drop the dead wood than could be dangerous both in handling skills and physical ability later in the race.

    It is also important to be properly warmed up for the start of the race. Quite often crits will start with some mad minute accelerations in the first few laps. They are designed to quickly get rid of as much of the field as possible. You don't want to be dropped in the first few laps. This is also where interval training pays off. When you legs are burning like someone poured acid on them but you can still get out of the saddle and accelerate you know your interval training is paying off.

    Join a local riding/racing club that has regular practice, before crit season starts, for crit skills...riding thigh to thigh, elbow to elbow, how to use your elbows, shoulders, head as a barrier, how to overcome wheel overlap, how to fill a gap, how to hold you place when someone else trys to move you out of it, etc. Their are a myriad of skills needed to be a good crit racer. You can never learn them or become good at them on your own.
    I have raced before. I was seeking advice on the practice crits as in setting them up. Good tips though.

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    I think practicing corners is different from practicing crits. Yes, it's important to practice cornering so that you can do crits, but I think practicing crits would really mean practicing cornering in a group. With a group you get the dynamics of folks following different lines, turning in at different points, etc. Virtually any loop will do for practicing crits if you have a number of riders to practice with - and I'd say 6-8 minimum for # of riders.

    cdr

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    Hi FormerBMX'er,
    Pushing someone off a wheel you want to get behind is an old custom in crits lol. I learned how aggressive it could be when racing crits on the CT/NYC border areas and NYC. Those boys really know how to move you off a wheel. It was real annoying because I was a good crit racer but not "aggressive" and was easily moved off. After a few races and paying a lot of attention to how they did it I soon learned and practiced. I became OK at it but no where near as good as some of those racers are. It just takes practice and nerves because you are basically half-wheeling them out of the way...they generally don't like it and if you know what you are doing, I learned this skill too, you can deny them the wheel hehehe.


    I re-read your post brett. I do not think you will get much out of "crit practice" using a parking lot with cones. I understand your desire to learn cornering better and perhaps the lot/cones may work a bit to get a feel for your bikes handling, your positioning, your comfort and confidence. I would also try slightly different tire pressures...I generally always raced with 120psi front/back but sometimes, depending on the course surface, weather...wet/damp roads...I would drop my pressure to 100 or so for more contact and you can feel the difference in how the bike handles. That is about it though.
    In a crit very seldom will you have the ability to ride a corners "sweet spot" unless you are in the top 10 perhaps. If you are in the bunch you are where you are and generally your braking, oft times quite hard because everyone else has slowed a bit then jamming hard out of the corner. Racing is the best teacher once you know the handling basics.

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    In my opinion, one big mistake people make is using too much tyre pressure, then wonder why they have little grip on fast corners.

  20. #20
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    The local crit here is a loop in the corner of a park, about 5 miles away from my apartment. There is next to no traffic, so my goal this season (just started trying my hand at racing near the end of last season) is to ride over there semi frequently and just keep doing repeats on the course itself. I need to work on 1: the engine and 2: tighter pack riding. I'm actually kind of comfortable cornering in the pack.
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    Senior Member brett_beddow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kai Winters View Post
    Hi FormerBMX'er,
    I re-read your post brett. I do not think you will get much out of "crit practice" using a parking lot with cones. I understand your desire to learn cornering better and perhaps the lot/cones may work a bit to get a feel for your bikes handling, your positioning, your comfort and confidence. I would also try slightly different tire pressures...I generally always raced with 120psi front/back but sometimes, depending on the course surface, weather...wet/damp roads...I would drop my pressure to 100 or so for more contact and you can feel the difference in how the bike handles. That is about it though.
    In a crit very seldom will you have the ability to ride a corners "sweet spot" unless you are in the top 10 perhaps. If you are in the bunch you are where you are and generally your braking, oft times quite hard because everyone else has slowed a bit then jamming hard out of the corner. Racing is the best teacher once you know the handling basics.
    It would be with other people, not just myself. So I guess practicing cornering in packs and such but we wouldn't have actual corners. A parking lot is the best thing that I could find around here that will not have traffic. The point would be to get a good "crit like" workout in where you are accelerating out of corners hard, cornering hard, and everything else that goes on in a crit.

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    Have you thought about finding a nice, quiet business park and using there roads after hours? They usually have newer roads/paving are generally fairly flat and once business hours are over are usually fairly secluded. Many organized crits, including one I was owner/director of for 6 years, used a business park road system.

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    Senior Member enjoi07's Avatar
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    did my first two fiesta island "world championships".
    most fun i have had on a bike.
    Last edited by enjoi07; 06-06-09 at 12:07 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bdcheung View Post
    wrong forum
    Seconded.
    Ride more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 531Aussie View Post
    In my opinion, one big mistake people make is using too much tyre pressure, then wonder why they have little grip on fast corners.
    I remember when the 18mm tyres were all the rage due to their "lower" rolling resistance. Everyone and their cousin was trying them out. I always avoided those guys in crits as they could never seem to go around the corners very well...

    Aside from the lower overall grip, a big part of it is shock absorption on rough surfaces or on the rain-gutter transitions on a lot of corners. Running too much pressure will cause you to launch off the tops of bumps and skip & slide to the outside unnecessarily.

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