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Old 09-10-10, 12:21 PM   #1
BikerPat
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Speed and all that Crit

I was wondering from all you racing gurus if there was a general consensus as to speeds for the different Cat races? I know it will depend on hills and such but as an avg. Cat5 being say 18mph avg for 20 miles or something? working up to Cat1's who will be even faster.

Just curious as to how fast they normally fly around that course
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Old 09-10-10, 12:23 PM   #2
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I was wondering from all you racing gurus if there was a general consensus as to speeds for the different Cat races?
No

:facepalm:
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Old 09-10-10, 12:28 PM   #3
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That said, you can look at a specific race and see what people did. Just doesn't really mean anything for any other race and there are various reasons why even a given category could be faster or slower at any given time the same people do the same race. Remember that the goal is not to go as fast as possibile, it's to cross the line first.

Most races aren't timed, but stage races are. Here are the results from the San Dimas Stage Race crits this year.

Women 3/4 (25 min): Average Speed of Winner 22.87 MPH 36.81 Km/H
cat 5 (30 min): Average Speed of Winner 24.31 MPH 39.12 Km/H
cat 4 (35 min): Average Speed of Winner 24.98 MPH 40.21 Km/H
Cat 3 (45 min): Average Speed of Winner 25.17 MPH 40.50 Km/H
Pro Women (55 min): Average Speed of Winner 25.22 MPH 40.59 Km/H
M45+ (40 min): Average Speed of Winner 25.97 MPH 41.79 Km/H
Cat 2 (55 min): Average Speed of Winner 26.41 MPH 42.50 Km/H
M35+ (40 min): Average Speed of Winner 26.82 MPH 43.17 Km/H
Pro Men (90 min): Average Speed of Winner 27.05 MPH 43.53 Km/H

Last edited by umd; 09-10-10 at 12:35 PM. Reason: added times
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Old 09-10-10, 12:39 PM   #4
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racing is ****ing hard. pin your number and go.
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Old 09-10-10, 12:44 PM   #5
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And the average speeds usually understate how fast the riders are going; One, depending on how a race develops there will lulls where its below the average speed, and surges where its well above, and Two, corners slow down the average (particulary in lower categories)

So, for a Pro race that averages 27mph, there likely will be times where they're going in the mid to high 30's, and around 40 in the sprints.
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Old 09-10-10, 12:46 PM   #6
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No

:facepalm:
I kind of figured I would get this

I keep forgetting that speeds increase in the pack right? at least a bit?
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Old 09-10-10, 12:48 PM   #7
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Old 09-10-10, 12:50 PM   #8
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I kind of figured I would get this

I keep forgetting that speeds increase in the pack right? at least a bit?
A bit.
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Old 09-10-10, 12:58 PM   #9
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And the average speeds usually understate how fast the riders are going; One, depending on how a race develops there will lulls where its below the average speed, and surges where its well above, and Two, corners slow down the average (particulary in lower categories)
Very good points.

And in the race I posted above, it was not a dead-flat 4 corner industrial park course; it was 6-corner L in a mostly residential area with a false flat (1-2% for most of the first half of the lap, a 3-4% bit for about 1/10 of a mile, then a gradual decline for the remainder of the lap into the s/f and the first corner.

I don't know how the official timers computer average speed but I suppose since we are snaking around the course using the whole road my speed and the reported speed don't completely agree. My computer shows 26.4mph for the cat 3 race. The first few laps were a bit slower, and a few of the laps were in the 28mph range, and there was a peak 2 minute period in the middle at 29mph.
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Old 09-10-10, 01:45 PM   #10
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racing is ****ing hard. pin your number and go.
My wife did her first road race two weeks ago. It was a 40 mile course.

After she got done, she gasped: "You were right, racing 40 miles and riding 40 miles are completely different."
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Old 09-10-10, 02:17 PM   #11
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Can a mod please lock this thread and set up a rule that stops these from ever being created in the first place?
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Old 09-10-10, 03:42 PM   #12
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Do cat 1 ants go faster than girls with Lightweight wheels?
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Old 09-10-10, 03:58 PM   #13
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racing is ****ing hard. pin your number and go.
Universal rule.

If you find it doesn't apply then you are what we call a "genetic freak". Collect your prize money, upgrade, and leave us alone.
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Old 09-11-10, 12:45 AM   #14
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I kind of figured I would get this

I keep forgetting that speeds increase in the pack right? at least a bit?
As already mentioned, there's absolutely zero, ZERO chance you can anticipate what it's like in a race unless you JUST DO IT!!! Did you learn to ride a bike by reading a manual? By learning the metallurgy on how a bike is built? By learning the physics behind how wheels and gearing works? Words can never ever accurately depict what it's like to be inside a crit, much less convey the experience to someone else.

If you think ave-speed of 18-20mph can "accurately" describe a cat-5 race, let's go through a couple of laps from a real race. Imagine you're standing on the start line and look around at the other guys, "Holy sh|t!!! That guy has calves like Conan the Barbarian! That other guy looks like a linebacker!". One of your legs starts shaking uncontrollably from the adrenaline coursing through your veins. You get impatient waiting, and waiting, and waiting, "Hell, when's this thing gonna get started?"

<BANG> goes the starter gun, "Crap!" as you flail to get going. WHOosh, whoosh, guys are flying past you on both sides. CReak, scratch as you miss the clip-in and draw some blood from your shin. You sprint like hell to 29mph and catch onto the tail-end of the pack, Ahh... I made it! All of a sudden you catch a mouthful of stinky ass as the guy ahead of you slams on his brakes for the 1st corner... 25, 18, 10mph.... When you get around the corner, they're 10-yards ahead of you and it's another sprint... 15... 23... 32mph.... and you catch on again, yeah! Your lungs are searing with pain as if someone poured liquid, molten lava down your throat. You reach for your bottle, and SLAM, you almost rear-end the guy in front again as they dive into the next corner. You drop your bottle in the mad-rush to hit the brakes and downshift. Out of the corner at 12mph and they're ahead by 20-yards this time. Sh|t, it's another sprint... 16mph... 25... 31mph...

After 5-minutes of this insanity, they get further and further ahead. You're going as fast as you've ever gone, a steady 24mph now that there's no one slamming on their brakes in front of you, but they're still getting away!!! After another couple corners, they're out of sight... You round the corner to go around again and some grumpy guy in a striped shirt is standing in the middle of the road waiving his arms at you and blowing a whistle <TWEEET>!!! You're outa there!!!. You pull over dejectedly and take a look at your computer, 22mph average, the fastest you've ever gone! But during that entire time, you spent all of 30-seconds at 22mph...

That's just answering your question about speed. There's the cornering aspects of being like a game of chicken. Can you lean over as much as the guy ahead? Surely he's gonna crash, damn, he made it. You've never leaned over this far before, can you do it? Your knuckles and fingers are sore from the death-grip of fear, your nails digging little bloody crescent moons into your palms. You hit your pedal & shoes while in a corner, can I save it?

<DING> <DING> <DING> There's a sprint! All of a sudden, the linebackers appear from nowhere and shove you off the line. WAIT, since when is bike-racing a contact sport? You try and hold the wheel of the guy that won the last prime, but those linebackers are swerving to the far side of the street and diving into you at full speed to shove you off. While you're busy fighting them off, one of their sprinters takes your prized wheel and gets a free ride to the finish-line and takes the win!!!

It's a chess-game on wheels. Speed is secondary to skill, strategy, and teamwork.

Last edited by DannoXYZ; 09-11-10 at 12:56 AM.
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Old 09-11-10, 06:17 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by umd View Post
That said, you can look at a specific race and see what people did. Just doesn't really mean anything for any other race and there are various reasons why even a given category could be faster or slower at any given time the same people do the same race. Remember that the goal is not to go as fast as possibile, it's to cross the line first.

Most races aren't timed, but stage races are. Here are the results from the San Dimas Stage Race crits this year.

Women 3/4 (25 min): Average Speed of Winner 22.87 MPH 36.81 Km/H
cat 5 (30 min): Average Speed of Winner 24.31 MPH 39.12 Km/H
cat 4 (35 min): Average Speed of Winner 24.98 MPH 40.21 Km/H
Cat 3 (45 min): Average Speed of Winner 25.17 MPH 40.50 Km/H
Pro Women (55 min): Average Speed of Winner 25.22 MPH 40.59 Km/H
M45+ (40 min): Average Speed of Winner 25.97 MPH 41.79 Km/H
Cat 2 (55 min): Average Speed of Winner 26.41 MPH 42.50 Km/H
M35+ (40 min): Average Speed of Winner 26.82 MPH 43.17 Km/H
Pro Men (90 min): Average Speed of Winner 27.05 MPH 43.53 Km/H
Excellent idea and example for getting some information about your (OP) question.
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Old 09-11-10, 07:42 AM   #16
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As already mentioned, there's absolutely zero, ZERO chance you can anticipate what it's like in a race unless you JUST DO IT!!! Did you learn to ride a bike by reading a manual? By learning the metallurgy on how a bike is built? By learning the physics behind how wheels and gearing works? Words can never ever accurately depict what it's like to be inside a crit, much less convey the experience to someone else.

If you think ave-speed of 18-20mph can "accurately" describe a cat-5 race, let's go through a couple of laps from a real race. Imagine you're standing on the start line and look around at the other guys, "Holy sh|t!!! That guy has calves like Conan the Barbarian! That other guy looks like a linebacker!". One of your legs starts shaking uncontrollably from the adrenaline coursing through your veins. You get impatient waiting, and waiting, and waiting, "Hell, when's this thing gonna get started?"

<BANG> goes the starter gun, "Crap!" as you flail to get going. WHOosh, whoosh, guys are flying past you on both sides. CReak, scratch as you miss the clip-in and draw some blood from your shin. You sprint like hell to 29mph and catch onto the tail-end of the pack, Ahh... I made it! All of a sudden you catch a mouthful of stinky ass as the guy ahead of you slams on his brakes for the 1st corner... 25, 18, 10mph.... When you get around the corner, they're 10-yards ahead of you and it's another sprint... 15... 23... 32mph.... and you catch on again, yeah! Your lungs are searing with pain as if someone poured liquid, molten lava down your throat. You reach for your bottle, and SLAM, you almost rear-end the guy in front again as they dive into the next corner. You drop your bottle in the mad-rush to hit the brakes and downshift. Out of the corner at 12mph and they're ahead by 20-yards this time. Sh|t, it's another sprint... 16mph... 25... 31mph...

After 5-minutes of this insanity, they get further and further ahead. You're going as fast as you've ever gone, a steady 24mph now that there's no one slamming on their brakes in front of you, but they're still getting away!!! After another couple corners, they're out of sight... You round the corner to go around again and some grumpy guy in a striped shirt is standing in the middle of the road waiving his arms at you and blowing a whistle <TWEEET>!!! You're outa there!!!. You pull over dejectedly and take a look at your computer, 22mph average, the fastest you've ever gone! But during that entire time, you spent all of 30-seconds at 22mph...

That's just answering your question about speed. There's the cornering aspects of being like a game of chicken. Can you lean over as much as the guy ahead? Surely he's gonna crash, damn, he made it. You've never leaned over this far before, can you do it? Your knuckles and fingers are sore from the death-grip of fear, your nails digging little bloody crescent moons into your palms. You hit your pedal & shoes while in a corner, can I save it?

<DING> <DING> <DING> There's a sprint! All of a sudden, the linebackers appear from nowhere and shove you off the line. WAIT, since when is bike-racing a contact sport? You try and hold the wheel of the guy that won the last prime, but those linebackers are swerving to the far side of the street and diving into you at full speed to shove you off. While you're busy fighting them off, one of their sprinters takes your prized wheel and gets a free ride to the finish-line and takes the win!!!

It's a chess-game on wheels. Speed is secondary to skill, strategy, and teamwork.
Dude.

Welcome back.
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Old 09-11-10, 07:48 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
As already mentioned, there's absolutely zero, ZERO chance you can anticipate what it's like in a race unless you JUST DO IT!!! Did you learn to ride a bike by reading a manual? By learning the metallurgy on how a bike is built? By learning the physics behind how wheels and gearing works? Words can never ever accurately depict what it's like to be inside a crit, much less convey the experience to someone else.

If you think ave-speed of 18-20mph can "accurately" describe a cat-5 race, let's go through a couple of laps from a real race. Imagine you're standing on the start line and look around at the other guys, "Holy sh|t!!! That guy has calves like Conan the Barbarian! That other guy looks like a linebacker!". One of your legs starts shaking uncontrollably from the adrenaline coursing through your veins. You get impatient waiting, and waiting, and waiting, "Hell, when's this thing gonna get started?"

<BANG> goes the starter gun, "Crap!" as you flail to get going. WHOosh, whoosh, guys are flying past you on both sides. CReak, scratch as you miss the clip-in and draw some blood from your shin. You sprint like hell to 29mph and catch onto the tail-end of the pack, Ahh... I made it! All of a sudden you catch a mouthful of stinky ass as the guy ahead of you slams on his brakes for the 1st corner... 25, 18, 10mph.... When you get around the corner, they're 10-yards ahead of you and it's another sprint... 15... 23... 32mph.... and you catch on again, yeah! Your lungs are searing with pain as if someone poured liquid, molten lava down your throat. You reach for your bottle, and SLAM, you almost rear-end the guy in front again as they dive into the next corner. You drop your bottle in the mad-rush to hit the brakes and downshift. Out of the corner at 12mph and they're ahead by 20-yards this time. Sh|t, it's another sprint... 16mph... 25... 31mph...

After 5-minutes of this insanity, they get further and further ahead. You're going as fast as you've ever gone, a steady 24mph now that there's no one slamming on their brakes in front of you, but they're still getting away!!! After another couple corners, they're out of sight... You round the corner to go around again and some grumpy guy in a striped shirt is standing in the middle of the road waiving his arms at you and blowing a whistle <TWEEET>!!! You're outa there!!!. You pull over dejectedly and take a look at your computer, 22mph average, the fastest you've ever gone! But during that entire time, you spent all of 30-seconds at 22mph...

That's just answering your question about speed. There's the cornering aspects of being like a game of chicken. Can you lean over as much as the guy ahead? Surely he's gonna crash, damn, he made it. You've never leaned over this far before, can you do it? Your knuckles and fingers are sore from the death-grip of fear, your nails digging little bloody crescent moons into your palms. You hit your pedal & shoes while in a corner, can I save it?

<DING> <DING> <DING> There's a sprint! All of a sudden, the linebackers appear from nowhere and shove you off the line. WAIT, since when is bike-racing a contact sport? You try and hold the wheel of the guy that won the last prime, but those linebackers are swerving to the far side of the street and diving into you at full speed to shove you off. While you're busy fighting them off, one of their sprinters takes your prized wheel and gets a free ride to the finish-line and takes the win!!!

It's a chess-game on wheels. Speed is secondary to skill, strategy, and teamwork.
that was a perfect explanation of a race bravo
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Old 09-11-10, 08:17 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
As already mentioned, there's absolutely zero, ZERO chance you can anticipate what it's like in a race unless you JUST DO IT!!! Did you learn to ride a bike by reading a manual? By learning the metallurgy on how a bike is built? By learning the physics behind how wheels and gearing works? Words can never ever accurately depict what it's like to be inside a crit, much less convey the experience to someone else.

If you think ave-speed of 18-20mph can "accurately" describe a cat-5 race, let's go through a couple of laps from a real race. Imagine you're standing on the start line and look around at the other guys, "Holy sh|t!!! That guy has calves like Conan the Barbarian! That other guy looks like a linebacker!". One of your legs starts shaking uncontrollably from the adrenaline coursing through your veins. You get impatient waiting, and waiting, and waiting, "Hell, when's this thing gonna get started?"

<BANG> goes the starter gun, "Crap!" as you flail to get going. WHOosh, whoosh, guys are flying past you on both sides. CReak, scratch as you miss the clip-in and draw some blood from your shin. You sprint like hell to 29mph and catch onto the tail-end of the pack, Ahh... I made it! All of a sudden you catch a mouthful of stinky ass as the guy ahead of you slams on his brakes for the 1st corner... 25, 18, 10mph.... When you get around the corner, they're 10-yards ahead of you and it's another sprint... 15... 23... 32mph.... and you catch on again, yeah! Your lungs are searing with pain as if someone poured liquid, molten lava down your throat. You reach for your bottle, and SLAM, you almost rear-end the guy in front again as they dive into the next corner. You drop your bottle in the mad-rush to hit the brakes and downshift. Out of the corner at 12mph and they're ahead by 20-yards this time. Sh|t, it's another sprint... 16mph... 25... 31mph...

After 5-minutes of this insanity, they get further and further ahead. You're going as fast as you've ever gone, a steady 24mph now that there's no one slamming on their brakes in front of you, but they're still getting away!!! After another couple corners, they're out of sight... You round the corner to go around again and some grumpy guy in a striped shirt is standing in the middle of the road waiving his arms at you and blowing a whistle <TWEEET>!!! You're outa there!!!. You pull over dejectedly and take a look at your computer, 22mph average, the fastest you've ever gone! But during that entire time, you spent all of 30-seconds at 22mph...

That's just answering your question about speed. There's the cornering aspects of being like a game of chicken. Can you lean over as much as the guy ahead? Surely he's gonna crash, damn, he made it. You've never leaned over this far before, can you do it? Your knuckles and fingers are sore from the death-grip of fear, your nails digging little bloody crescent moons into your palms. You hit your pedal & shoes while in a corner, can I save it?

<DING> <DING> <DING> There's a sprint! All of a sudden, the linebackers appear from nowhere and shove you off the line. WAIT, since when is bike-racing a contact sport? You try and hold the wheel of the guy that won the last prime, but those linebackers are swerving to the far side of the street and diving into you at full speed to shove you off. While you're busy fighting them off, one of their sprinters takes your prized wheel and gets a free ride to the finish-line and takes the win!!!

It's a chess-game on wheels. Speed is secondary to skill, strategy, and teamwork.
Man, I can't wait to start.... Great post.
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Old 09-11-10, 08:35 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
As already mentioned, there's absolutely zero, ZERO chance you can anticipate what it's like in a race unless you JUST DO IT!!! Did you learn to ride a bike by reading a manual? By learning the metallurgy on how a bike is built? By learning the physics behind how wheels and gearing works? Words can never ever accurately depict what it's like to be inside a crit, much less convey the experience to someone else.

Correctly punctuated, well written, and informative post.

It's a chess-game on wheels. Speed is secondary to skill, strategy, and teamwork.
Looks like cdr has some competition in town! Excellent post, and makes me look forward to starting racing next season
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Old 09-11-10, 10:14 AM   #20
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Dude.

Welcome back.
+1
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Old 09-11-10, 11:17 PM   #21
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FWIW, here's my Training Peaks data from this afternoon's Folsom Crit. I averaged 26.1. I finished in the pack so didn't contest the sprint but just following the group put me at 36.1 at the line.
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Old 09-12-10, 04:38 AM   #22
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What cat was that caloso?
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Old 09-12-10, 03:45 PM   #23
DannoXYZ 
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Dude.
Welcome back.
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Originally Posted by lovestoride View Post
that was a perfect explanation of a race bravo
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Man, I can't wait to start.... Great post.
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Looks like cdr has some competition in town! Excellent post, and makes me look forward to starting racing next season
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+1
Why thank you guys! I'm getting some itching for racing again. My wife and I have been skydiving all summer with a couple of jumps from 18,000ft using oxygen. Quite a rush. The rewards to time-spent is getting a little low though; so much prep-time for actual free-fall time. We'll probably do one more jump from Angel Falls and call it quits for a while.

Crits are almost as exiting and the adrenaline-rush last longer.
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Old 09-12-10, 03:58 PM   #24
mollusk
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Edge City
Bikes: 2009 Spooky (cracked frame), 2006 Curtlo, 2002 Lemond (current race bike) Zurich, 1987 Serotta Colorado, 1986 Cannondale for commuting, a 1984 Cannondale on loan to my son
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Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
Why thank you guys! I'm getting some itching for racing again. My wife and I have been skydiving all summer with a couple of jumps from 18,000ft using oxygen. Quite a rush. The rewards to time-spent is getting a little low though; so much prep-time for actual free-fall time. We'll probably do one more jump from Angel Falls and call it quits for a while.

Crits are almost as exiting and the adrenaline-rush last longer.
Welcome back.

Now work on your avatar.
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Old 09-12-10, 05:39 PM   #25
umd
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Why thank you guys! I'm getting some itching for racing again.
Come out and join me for some rides again
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