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Old 06-11-09, 06:20 PM   #1
mike868y
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New Britain Crit

Hey, I've never raced before, but I'm looking at making the New Britain Crit on July 12 my first race. Obviously I've got some questions, so hopefully you guys can help me out.

1)who has been to this event? Think its good for a first time racer? How is the course?
2)Do I need to have a USAC license to race?
3)The cat 5 race is at 8, the juniors is at 12:30, I can do both, right?
4)What exactly is junior gearing, and do I need to run junior gearing in the Cat 5 race?
5)If I don't preregister, how early should I expect to get there to make the 8am cat 5 start?

I think thats it for now, thanks for all the help!
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Old 06-11-09, 06:44 PM   #2
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Check out the sticky thread at the top of this section.
New to Racing? Here's a tip or two

I've been racing at New Britain since forever. There's even a race there in 2 days, Saturday June 13, the Nutmeg State Games. If you are close by, you can watch some of the races, ask officials or promoters your questions, etc.

To answer your questions:
1. Good course for beginner. Only one turn worth speaking of, easy to see if you're not holding your line (everyone else moves and you don't), fast sections, slow sections.
2. You need a USAC license for the New Britain Crit.
3. I checked bikereg, it appears that the promoters have not made the Juniors off limits to Cat 5s. Promoters will often make age-graded races (Juniors and Masters) open only to Cat 1-4s. I know I do for my races.
4. You must run Junior gearing in all USAC events. You can find info on Junior gearing at USAC's website, usacycling.org.
5. Figure at least 1 hour to prepare for the race (register, pin number, pump up tires, warm up a bit). I prefer to arrive 90 minutes before the race starts, then I can deal with emergencies that inevitably happen, like I can't find a valve extender or something.

Also check out:
http://suitcaseofcourage.typepad.com...101/index.html

The following pertains to the Bethel Spring Series, but you will get an idea of some of the general things you need to know or deal with when you race:
http://www.carpediemracing.org/2008/12/faq.html

This one is better for general information:
http://www.carpediemracing.org/2008/...cing-info.html

You can also go to the local association's site (for New England):
www.ne-bra.org
Specifically:
http://www.ne-bra.org/riders/juniors

I would, since you have plenty of time, read the rulebook here:
http://www.usacycling.org/forms/RdTrkCx_rulebook.pdf

I'd try and read through the majority of it before 2 weeks, i.e. June 25th. Then re-read anything where you're unclear. You'll have to get Junior gears, figure out what gear ratio will work for you, and make it work on your bike. Finally, if you have questions, ask. Ask here, ask the promoter (race specific questions), ask ne-bra.

When I first started racing, someone told me the first thing I should do is read the rulebook. This way I would know some basic rules and understand, for example, if as a Junior I could enter the Cat 5 race. Or what part of the bike is scored at the finish line. Or if I have a flat tire do I have to drop out. What is a prime. What is a free lap. What is rollout. When do I have to wear my helmet. Etc etc etc.

Hope this helps,
cdr
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Old 06-11-09, 06:59 PM   #3
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Hey, CDR, no fair being the first to reply, Now there's no point in anyone else replying !
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Old 06-11-09, 07:01 PM   #4
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Lmfao.

Mike, I'll be racing there on saturday as are CDR and possibly homebrew. If the weather's good, come watch.

I'll have to run right after my 2 races as my mom is coming up to watch, but I'll be around for the race in July, so come say hi then!
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Old 06-11-09, 07:18 PM   #5
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Yup, I'll be there ....

The course can be a bit tricky for a newbie if you're not paying attention. There are lots of slight curves so you have to pay attention to the flow of the pack, which isn't always the same each lap. A "city block" criterium is just 4 straights and 4 corners... much more predictable.
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Old 06-11-09, 07:19 PM   #6
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Can't come saturday, I've got to work in the morning then study for finals Thank you so much cdm for all the great info, I appreciate it!
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Old 06-11-09, 08:33 PM   #7
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When CDR responds, the thread is over!!

I'll be there on Saturday, doing the 40+ and the Cat 3. It's a great race to watch since you can see the whole thing play out in front of you.
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Old 06-11-09, 08:40 PM   #8
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Aw too bad you can't make it, that was going to be my first race too! I was planning on entering junior and cat 5 but I'll stick to just cat 5 now because I can't do both! =(

Do they offer one day liscenses at this race? or do I need to buy a real full year one?
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Old 06-12-09, 04:17 AM   #9
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Aw too bad you can't make it, that was going to be my first race too! I was planning on entering junior and cat 5 but I'll stick to just cat 5 now because I can't do both! =(

Do they offer one day liscenses at this race? or do I need to buy a real full year one?
http://www.bikereg.com/events/register.asp?eventid=8610

"...Day of race entry $5 extra. One day licenses are $10. ..."
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Old 06-12-09, 05:28 AM   #10
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Actually, I forgot something. I have some helmet cam clips of the race.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-gqK3VKNqs

This is the wide angle lens, better than the 2006 clip which has a narrower lens.

The beginning of the clip is a full lap of the course, then I cover the last two laps of the race.

cdr
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Old 06-12-09, 06:16 PM   #11
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Thank you so much CDM, I am really excited to start racing, even planning on pre registering now Just a question, are there are any training crits/weeknight crits over the summer that I could use to get a little more prepared? I notice a lot of the cali guys talking about weekday crits (I am very busy most weekends), and was just wondering if theres anything like that in CT. I live about 30min north of taftville in the killingly/danielson area. Thanks!
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Old 06-12-09, 06:22 PM   #12
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http://capitalveloclub.com/Races/races_002.htm
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Old 06-12-09, 06:26 PM   #13
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Tuesdays don't work for me, I ride motocross tuesday night...Something on monday/wednesday/thursday would be best... thanks though for the suggestion.
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Old 06-12-09, 06:50 PM   #14
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It's a bit far away from you, but it's on Wednesday nights in Bethel: http://www.cyclefitness.com/races.htm
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Old 06-12-09, 06:53 PM   #15
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2 hours away, thats a little too far me...
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Old 06-12-09, 07:39 PM   #16
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Tuesdays don't work for me every week, I ride motocross some tuesday nights...I can try a couple.
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Old 06-13-09, 12:43 PM   #17
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How far are you from East hartford?

My team (CVC) holds a training race there every tues night. See if you can make it to rentschler field when you're not doing motocross on tuesday.

http://capitalveloclub.com/Races/races_002.htm

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Old 06-13-09, 01:59 PM   #18
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I'm not too far from east hartford, but the motocross really limits me as far as Tuesdays go...
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Old 06-13-09, 03:39 PM   #19
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I'm not too far from east hartford, but the motocross really limits me as far as Tuesdays go...
And you have to motocross every Tuesday because .....

How about gaining some valuable experience at training races, before jumping into a "real" race and endangering the rest of the field ?
Would you like to ride motocross with a rookie rider 2 feet away from you who didn't feel like practicing ?
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Old 06-13-09, 03:49 PM   #20
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I'm not too far from east hartford, but the motocross really limits me as far as Tuesdays go...
Well, you said some tuesdays.

W/e.
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Old 06-13-09, 04:36 PM   #21
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And you have to motocross every Tuesday because .....

How about gaining some valuable experience at training races, before jumping into a "real" race and endangering the rest of the field ?
Would you like to ride motocross with a rookie rider 2 feet away from you who didn't feel like practicing ?
No I wouldn't want to ride motocross around a rookie but that's why there is a beginner class (similar to cat 5). I'm not a novice cyclist, and I ride group rides multiple times a week... Everyone obviously had a first race... And my dad is really into motocross, convincing him to not ride on tuesday would be hard haha.
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Old 06-13-09, 04:46 PM   #22
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Doesn't matter if you do group rides.

It's not the same as being in a race, some group rides not standing.

I'm 100% sure your group rides didn't prepare you for a crit.

That being said, it's your decision to make. I'm just letting you know what available.

It's much easier to race when people care more about being safe, instead of the usual tomfoolery. So pick your poison.

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Old 06-13-09, 05:00 PM   #23
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I totally understand where your coming from. And before I do the crit, I will probably try to get to one of the practice races, but I have to start somewhere, and if that means sitting in the back of the pack for the whole 10 miles, so be it. Plus, I can't imagine the Junior field will be too big...
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Old 06-13-09, 05:31 PM   #24
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Junior field will either be combined with seniors, or you'll get your butt whooped by Mystic Velo.

They have a ton of juniors, and they'll just keep launching guys till they have a break.

I have a friend who did a few junior races and hated them because of those 'tactics'.
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Old 06-13-09, 07:19 PM   #25
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Thanks for the bode of confidence
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