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Old 03-12-10, 01:22 AM   #1
tFUnK
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non-racers at crit training rides?

i don't race, but i've been on a few local crit-style training rides. they are a lot of fun, and offers good training. but, at times, especially at the turns, things can get a little sketch (other riders as well as myself). just seems like all it takes is one person to mess up and the whole line goes down. so, sometimes i question whether i should even come out to these rides, since i don't have a training goal or race schedule. also read somewhere (maybe on BF, maybe in a magazine) that it's foolish to train hard or go on a regimen if one does not race or have a reason for training. any thoughts?
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Old 03-12-10, 06:15 AM   #2
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If you have fun, it's fun.

Remember that there's an assumption of risk. It's there when you get on your bike for a regular ride, a group ride, or a practice crit.

If you don't need a license to do the practice crit then it really is just a group ride, i.e. no delineation of rider ability. You'll have riders that feel uncomfortable closer than 2-3-4-5 feet together and others that think 2 inches is just comfy. The disparity makes things a bit sketchier, like speed on a highway (some studies show that anyone driving +/- 15% of the speed most people drive are the most dangerous). When a Cat 3 flies through a gap that a less-comfortable rider left because that was the less comfortable rider's "threshold", it can be unnerving.

The above is a reason why you don't pass recreational cyclists (I'm talking regular folks) too closely. Their comfort zone, their margin of error, can range from 10 feet (for a kid) to about 5 feet (for most adults). Get closer than that and you spook them, even if you never got "close" to them.

If you want to try out more structured practice crits, see if you can't find a summer midweek series. This way you can enter a race that has riders similar to you in group riding experience. If you like practice crits you may find yourself really enjoying a more structured crit, and when I say more structured I mean a race that has riders similar to you in it.

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Old 03-12-10, 06:36 AM   #3
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so, sometimes i question whether i should even come out to these rides, since i don't have a training goal or race schedule. also read somewhere (maybe on BF, maybe in a magazine) that it's foolish to train hard or go on a regimen if one does not race or have a reason for training. any thoughts?
It's hard training on a structured program, so you do have to ask yourself why you do it. However, I can think of several reasons that don't involve preparing to participate in races.

Do it becuase you find it fun,as CDR said. Do it because it wil make you a stronge, faster, more skilled rider. Do it because you'll be fitter and healthier. Do it because it gets you off the couch.

Around here, there are a lot more people that come out for the fast training rides than race USA Cycling sanctioned races.

And there are more locals that did our recent training crits than travel to the weekend races.
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Old 03-12-10, 07:34 AM   #4
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Like CDR and Merlin said, if it's fun, do it. There is a weekly "training crit" round here where a lot of people from different teams come to train, it's not sanctioned and open to anyone. As long as you ride safe and aren't a danger to anyone no one cares if you don't have a license. Of course when someone does do something stupid/dangerous they get yelled at. There are some strong rec riders from the local club that never race a USAC race, but they are good riders.
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Old 03-12-10, 08:09 AM   #5
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also read somewhere (maybe on BF, maybe in a magazine) that it's foolish to train hard or go on a regimen if one does not race or have a reason for training.


Perhaps one of the stupidest things I have heard. Just be careful out there, in training crits all different levels of riders can be represented and cornering is one place where you will see it.

No reason to train hard is dumb--you only get better by training hard(er) and that is applicable to all areas--physical fitness, overall health, happiness, the ability to enjoy those weekend centuries more.

Go have fun (and be careful).
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Old 03-12-10, 08:43 AM   #6
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There is a weekly "training crit" round here where a lot of people from different teams come to train, it's not sanctioned and open to anyone.
Is that the one at Great Valley on Thursdays? I'd like to check it out this year.
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Old 03-12-10, 10:05 AM   #7
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There's a weekly crit training ride here that I've recently started attending. I haven't raced yet, but I figured that I should work on being able to corner at "crit speeds". Like many prospective cat5s, I've found that the base work, intervals, SST rides, etc. have upped my fitness, but not necessarily done anything for my cornering at speed- let alone cornering at speed, in a pack.

The ride isn't sanctioned, so riders of all abilities show up. The first hour of each ride is set aside for the beginners, so that's nice. The 3 laps that I was able to stick with the advanced guys were eye-opening, to say the least.
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Old 03-12-10, 10:16 AM   #8
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The one here in Atlanta includes non-racers to domestic pros. The general rule of thumb is DON'T crash out a pro.


Everybody else is fair game.
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Old 03-12-10, 10:41 AM   #9
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I can only think of one ride around here like that, and it's fast enough to shell people who don't have pack skills. If the motors are averaging 27-28 (spikes to 35+ w/ a tailwind) at the front and you're with it, either you're a beast, or you know how to ride decently in a pack.

That said, I haven't been out there this year, but there were a few crashes last year. One of those crashes was due to a kid who was dying to hang on and in a last ditch effort stood up to sprint mid paceline. Don't know if it was the crazy side to side of the bike or his wheel shooting back, but either way, you can guess what happened. As cdr says, there is assumed risk. c'est la vie.
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Old 03-12-10, 10:47 AM   #10
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Is that the one at Great Valley on Thursdays? I'd like to check it out this year.
Yes it is, should start this coming Thursday, come on down. Start time is 6pm.
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Old 03-12-10, 10:50 AM   #11
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The one here in Atlanta includes non-racers to domestic pros. The general rule of thumb is DON'T crash out a pro.


Everybody else is fair game.
Where's that ride? Marietta?
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Old 03-12-10, 10:55 AM   #12
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There's a weekly crit training ride here that I've recently started attending. I haven't raced yet, but I figured that I should work on being able to corner at "crit speeds". Like many prospective cat5s, I've found that the base work, intervals, SST rides, etc. have upped my fitness, but not necessarily done anything for my cornering at speed- let alone cornering at speed, in a pack.

The ride isn't sanctioned, so riders of all abilities show up. The first hour of each ride is set aside for the beginners, so that's nice. The 3 laps that I was able to stick with the advanced guys were eye-opening, to say the least.
Look for a place where you can do some of your interval work on a closed course. A school on the weekend, an Industrial park. I've used a new subdivision (no houses built yet, just the roads), even have used a cemetary. 4 corners in a half mile or a Kilometer is all you need. Bonus points if you have a buddy on a Motorcycle. You get used to cornering at speed, and cornering when you are gassed.
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Old 03-12-10, 11:49 AM   #13
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Where's that ride? Marietta?
Yep:

Marietta Training Crit-Training. Starts at 6:30 pm at the West Oak Business Park in Marietta. From Downtown Atlanta, take I-75 North to first Hwy. 5/Canton Hwy. exit. Turn right off of the exit. Turn right at the first light onto Sandy Plains Rd. At the second light, turn right into the West Oak Business Park. Look for the cyclists. This is a training race for racers and strong riders only. Aerobars or similar bar extensions are not allowed, and the yellow line rule is enforced. Ride is 60 minutes plus 5 laps. Daylight Savings Time only.

Taken from:

http://www.sadlebred.com/atlroadrides.html
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Old 03-12-10, 12:31 PM   #14
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Yes it is, should start this coming Thursday, come on down. Start time is 6pm.
I'll be there! Look for the guy with the old Specialized desperately trying to hold onto the back
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Old 03-12-10, 01:04 PM   #15
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I live south of ATL, but my 'office' is in Woodstock. I might have to start making Tuesdays an office day.
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Old 03-12-10, 01:24 PM   #16
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I have a youtube video of me getting dropped in one of my first training crits. I lasted through the warmup and thought "this isn't so bad." Then they started ramping up and I was shelled pretty quickly. It took a few more times and some cornering advice from someone more experienced before I could hang in for longer.
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Old 03-12-10, 01:31 PM   #17
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I'll be there! Look for the guy with the old Specialized desperately trying to hold onto the back
Good deal. If you get dropped, there is a spot on the back side where you can CAREFULLY re-enter, or just wait to get lapped. I will be in a black and red HotFoot/Iron Hill kit (I'm racing for Human Zoom in 2010 but kit hasn't come in yet) on either a CAAD9 or Trek Madone. Be sure to say hi.
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Old 03-12-10, 02:22 PM   #18
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Look for a place where you can do some of your interval work on a closed course. A school on the weekend, an Industrial park. I've used a new subdivision (no houses built yet, just the roads), even have used a cemetary. 4 corners in a half mile or a Kilometer is all you need. Bonus points if you have a buddy on a Motorcycle. You get used to cornering at speed, and cornering when you are gassed.
Thanks for the tip- The industrial park we use is pretty abandoned the rest of the week. I think I'll start using it for my interval stuff.
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Old 03-12-10, 02:46 PM   #19
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There's a weekly crit training ride here that I've recently started attending. I haven't raced yet, but I figured that I should work on being able to corner at "crit speeds". Like many prospective cat5s, I've found that the base work, intervals, SST rides, etc. have upped my fitness, but not necessarily done anything for my cornering at speed- let alone cornering at speed, in a pack.

The ride isn't sanctioned, so riders of all abilities show up. The first hour of each ride is set aside for the beginners, so that's nice. The 3 laps that I was able to stick with the advanced guys were eye-opening, to say the least.
the cruz training ride is one of the rides i had in mind when i posted this. my impressions of it mirror those of yours.
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Old 03-12-10, 02:50 PM   #20
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... and some cornering advice from someone more experienced before I could hang in for longer.
care to share?
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Old 03-12-10, 02:54 PM   #21
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Orr Rd should be starting here in Charlotte soon. Tuesday nighters.
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Old 03-12-10, 03:05 PM   #22
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care to share?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANFeQBRFDAg

Last edited by umd; 03-12-10 at 04:12 PM. Reason: Fixed link
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Old 03-12-10, 04:02 PM   #23
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Novice to slow in and too fast out of a corner. Experienced rider, same speed in, through, and out.
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Old 03-12-10, 04:07 PM   #24
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Novice to slow in and too fast out of a corner. Experienced rider, same speed in, through, and out.
Novice = change line or correct line 5 times in the same turn, Experienced = same line in and out.

Try to roll over a dime at the apex.
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Old 03-12-10, 04:08 PM   #25
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is it just me or is the vid not working? redirects to youtube's main page for me, even after copy/pasting the address.
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