Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Tariffville, CT
Bikes: Tsunami Bikes
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
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After the fact, but...
Hairpins in crits. If you're struggling to be at the front, be at the back. Start coasting really early, like 50-100 meters from the corner. Experiment with exactly where to coast. Coast a bit early, like 1 pedal stroke, and see how you simply coast for one pedal stroke. You still have to brake to make it through the turn without rear-ending others. Now coast 2 revs before. 3. 4. 5.
If I'm worried about coasting too much, I'll try and fill an open "lane" in the field, but usually, at some point, I have to brake.
I've coasted too long too - if the field is bunched up for several laps, it'll let me coast for a long time, perhaps 10 seconds, because everyone has to slow to 15 mph to make the turn. But then on a lap where it's really strung out, everyone goes through single/double file at, say, 18-20 mph, and suddenly I find myself 30 feet behind everyone exiting the turn.
When it's strung out, coast less.
At the end of fast straights I've coasted for probably 4 to maybe 8 seconds (at 90 rpm, that would be 6-12 revs worth of time), gone into the turn at proper speed, and smoothly reintegrated into the back of the field as I come out of the turn.
You can do this for all crits. On one slight downhill stretch (1% grade or so - Turn 3 at Sommerville) I coasted for 100-120 meters virtually every lap, going into a normal left turn.
I didn't realize it but all the coasting was keeping me in the race. When I started moving up (strategically, never really seeing wind), I immediately redlined - I moved up maybe 70-80 spots into about 20-25th position in the field and just exploded, dropping out of the race.