Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 41
  1. #1
    Mr. Dopolina Bob Dopolina's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Taiwan
    My Bikes
    KUUPAS, Simpson VR
    Posts
    9,432
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Riders Who JUST.WON'T. LISTEN. or How to Wield an Axe.

    Bit of a rant/race report/push off the fence.

    Here's the situation.

    We picked up a rider this year who only has a few seasons racing but seemed to be doing well in the lower cats and is a pretty decent guy. His role was to be a domo for our designated riders.

    At each race we discuss our overall plan and I assign roles. He rarely is in the right place at the right time to execute his. Sometimes it's his fault and sometimes it's just racing.

    Last week our race had a technical finish that suited me perfectly. We don't get many of these and we talked about what to do (and no, it's not a language thing. We discussed it in Chinese). Heading into the bell lap I gave him a tap on the leg and he was supposed to take me where I needed to be. He just growled at me and I ended up having to do it myself. In the end it worked out ok but that's not the point.

    This week we had a race that had absolutely no meaning for us so I decided to make him the protected rider so he could see how things are supposed to play out and we could all watch him. Before the race I was even drawing stuff in the dirt to make sure there was no doubt.

    I spent extra time talking about wind direction (it was really windy) and placement in the group in different parts of the course. Then I reviewed it again. I even assigned our top rider (Gavin) to ride with him and "drive' him like a remote control car. He was told clearly to listen to Gavin.

    The plan:

    Circuit race of 6 laps. Windy with rain (BIG RAIN) threatening.

    Laps 1 and 2: Do nothing. Stay out of the wind and in top 20 to avoid the sketchiness. There were 2 teams there with lots of riders and I knew they would up the pace to drop the dead weight and that they would send weaker riders up the road as rabbits.

    So sit in and DO NOT CHASE.

    Laps 3 and 4: Sit in. Myself and another rider would work to chase down anything threatning. BUT...if at least one of the better riders from BOTH of the 2 stronger teams went in a move Gavin was to send him (or take him) across and we would help block.

    Lap 5: We were to actively try to initiate a break if nothing had gone by now.

    Lap 6: Set up for a sprint (being very mindful of the wind) but not to take any risks because there were no points, money or any other benefit from this race for us.

    I honestly didn't care where any of us finsihed it was all about executing as a team.

    The results:

    Lap 1 and 2: This rider was in 3rd wheel. He chased a dumb move and attacked at one point. He was very often on the wrong side of the road and sitting right in the crosswind. Both Gavin and I told him AGAIN where he needed to be.

    Lap 3 and 4: A good move goes and he is nowhere to be seen. Nowhere. Gavin tells me he isn't listening to anything Gavin is telling him. We are forced to chase a move that we should have been in. I spent a lot of jam.

    Lap 5: The chase starts in earnest (no-one was helping me on laps 3 and 4. I was keeping them close but couldn't pull it back by myself). I had already decided to switch off to Gavin and I was in the process of pulling him up along the long thin line at 50kph+, waiting for the pause so I could launch him across and then start blocking when the move finally came back. There was a pause and no-one went.

    Suddenly our rider appears at the front.

    Now there's no break and it's all about a bunch sprint.

    Lap 6: We set up for a sprint. About 4km out Gavin went hoping to catch people napping. For some reason we are all already at the front so we set a false tempo and the gap opened. About 3 km to go and people are having none of it and they jumped around us.

    Our rider was sitting on my wheel at 1km to go when the sprint started to wind up. A rider jumped around me on the right side (the WIND SIDE we talked about) and our guy goes. I yelled at him to move to the left side of this guy and follow wheels on the LEFT. He looked over there and then goes RIGHT. FRICKEN RIGHT!

    300m later the sprint shifted right, closed the door on him and I can see all the way to the finish on the left.

    I sat up I was so pissed.

    I finshed last (except for the dropped riders).

    After the race I had a quick chat with 2 of the more experienced riders on our team. They saw what I saw.

    I was about to axe this kid when one of the guys says something to me; He suggested that maybe this kid is so on the limit he just can't think straight. Or maybe he is trying way too hard to prove himself because he thinks that if he doesn't get reults he will lose his ride.

    I hustled everyone into the team car for a quick coke and a chat. I asked this kid to explain what our race plan was. He does. Then I asked him what the hell he was doing here, here, here, and here. I got a bit angry with him and I could see he was about to cry.

    Really. There were tears in his eyes.

    I stopped.

    I asked him if he understood. He said yes.

    We chatted for a few minutes and then I asked him if he could make the next few Thursday night world's so we could work together on skills.

    He says he can and we left it at that.

    After, I talked with the other 2 guys and they were not very hopeful.

    Comments? Suggestions?

    It's time to start putting together the 2012 program so I need to make some choices over the next 30 days.
    Last edited by Bob Dopolina; 07-31-11 at 05:03 AM.
    BLOG of BOB: Old Guy Racer
    BDop Cycling Company Ltd.: bdopcycling.com, facebook

  2. #2
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Ffld Cnty Connecticut
    My Bikes
    Old Steelies I made, Old Cannondales
    Posts
    15,804
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Did he ever explain his side of the story ?
    Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike

  3. #3
    gmt Grumpy McTrumpy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Binghamton, NY
    Posts
    11,940
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Maybe there is something about the Chinese cultural legacy that insists that he do these things even when you tell him the opposite, sort of like the concept of refusing a drink or a favor when you really are accepting it.

    I only mention this since I recently read Outliers and recall the absolutely foreign-ness of the way the receiver in communication was required to interpret verbal cues from the transmitter in Korean. In many cases the person with lower station was required to do the opposite of what his superior was telling him to do, simply because he had the responsibility of interpreting unspoken meaning, as defined by their culture.

    Whether this applies in Hong Kong, I have no idea.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    878
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    ROFL at this post. The teams at this year's TDF probably didn't put this much time and effort into their gameplan.
    HTFU

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    My Bikes
    1982 Trek 710; 2008 Cannondale F6
    Posts
    114
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    whatever you decide, I think the kid has already been very lucky to get the chances he has been given.

    I doubt most teams would make a screw up their protected rider for any race.

    IF he ever goes "get it" I am sure he will regret blowing that opportunity.

  6. #6
    Announcer EventServices's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    In the drops.
    My Bikes
    Too many and not enough
    Posts
    4,996
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I call it "race head". Some people go into a race as clear thinking, reasonable, well-intentioned people, but then the starter's ****** transforms them into impulsive, impetuous, selfish, and empty-headed dolts who forget everything they spoke about in the parking lot.

    Also, for a rider with only a couple years of racing behind him, there's a LOT to remember in that plan.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    180
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    ok - I am new to this, and not a racer, but

    If you are on a team, and don't even attempt to execute the team plan, you shouldn't be a part of the team.

  8. #8
    Mr. Dopolina Bob Dopolina's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Taiwan
    My Bikes
    KUUPAS, Simpson VR
    Posts
    9,432
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by zigmeister View Post
    ROFL at this post. The teams at this year's TDF probably didn't put this much time and effort into their gameplan.
    Really?

    Raced much?
    BLOG of BOB: Old Guy Racer
    BDop Cycling Company Ltd.: bdopcycling.com, facebook

  9. #9
    Mr. Dopolina Bob Dopolina's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Taiwan
    My Bikes
    KUUPAS, Simpson VR
    Posts
    9,432
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by EventServices View Post
    I call it "race head". Some people go into a race as clear thinking, reasonable, well-intentioned people, but then the starter's ****** transforms them into impulsive, impetuous, selfish, and empty-headed dolts who forget everything they spoke about in the parking lot.

    Also, for a rider with only a couple years of racing behind him, there's a LOT to remember in that plan.
    This is my first thought as well. I know I've been there done that.

    It's the consistency of this that is troubling.

    He did have an experienced rider on his hip (was supposed to be) for more than half the race reminding him to basically do nothing but be positioned for when he was told to go. It's also been this way (in terms of how we lay out stategy) for 7 months now.

    He isn't usually given this much to think about. It's usually something like sit in and come chase when Gavin or I tell you it's time to chase or stick close to so and so and get them a feed at the mid-point of the race. Small tasks.
    Last edited by Bob Dopolina; 07-31-11 at 08:22 AM.
    BLOG of BOB: Old Guy Racer
    BDop Cycling Company Ltd.: bdopcycling.com, facebook

  10. #10
    Senior Member Cyclomania's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    American SPacifNorthWest. PDX
    My Bikes
    American Eagle, Nishiki.Semipro. Great bike.
    Posts
    464
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Sounds like the same ass in Portland who weaves and speeds through denizens of cyclists, barely missing them, to greet the red light in the end!
    Sometimes when I'm out doing a shopping run, I'll be offered a free sample (cut of pizza, doughnut, cheezywiz thingy)...little do they know that behind every bite is my gasoline!

  11. #11
    Mr. Dopolina Bob Dopolina's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Taiwan
    My Bikes
    KUUPAS, Simpson VR
    Posts
    9,432
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
    Did he ever explain his side of the story ?
    He had no answers. I think he was genuinely surprised by it all.
    BLOG of BOB: Old Guy Racer
    BDop Cycling Company Ltd.: bdopcycling.com, facebook

  12. #12
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Let me check.
    My Bikes
    Of course.
    Posts
    11,368
    Mentioned
    16 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    You had to know this was coming:



    Seriously, some people just race with their central nervous system and always will. If you haven't seen an improvement in the learning curve over the course of a season you probably won't in the future.

  13. #13
    fuggitivo solitario echappist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Arlington, VA
    Posts
    7,979
    Mentioned
    11 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    f-a-h-k. i wish i had someone like this to help with race strategies in my lowly races

    now that he knows he's in the doghouse, one or two more stupid race and he ought to be axed. I won't be surprised if his lower-cat results were all from solo efforts that required no strategy.

  14. #14
    **** that mattm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    CALI
    Posts
    11,370
    Mentioned
    53 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Seems like he's in over his head.. if he's new to racing you can't really expect him to know what to do I would think.
    cat 1.

    blog

  15. #15
    coffee-stained punk hammy56's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    6,619
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by zigmeister View Post
    ROFL at this post. The teams at this year's TDF probably didn't put this much time and effort into their gameplan.

    I wish I had someone with this kind of knowledge and experience teaching me real race tactics. Just sayin...
    Last edited by CbadRider; 08-01-11 at 08:34 AM. Reason: removed inappropriate comment

  16. #16
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Western MA
    My Bikes
    Yes
    Posts
    12,021
    Mentioned
    40 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I agree that he is in over his head. Spend the next three worlds with him, teaching calmly, and discussing afterwards. If he still races like a dolt, well then he's probably not for you.
    My 10 speed Shimano sell-off is in the Classifieds-For Sale section.

  17. #17
    Elite Fred mollusk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Edge City
    My 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
    Posts
    10,632
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The kid must have some raw physical skills or else there is no discussion. It sounds like he has a bit of a sprint and a decent FTP based on the race plan. That is not a bad combination.

    Clearly he has no idea about how to race. Asking him to rise to the occasion in a real race might have been a bit too much. I would be bringing him along on weekday "world's" and spirited team rides where the total situation is much more controlled as you suggested. if that doesn't work out, then maybe it is time to cut losses.

    Added in edit: shovelhd beat me to the punch as I was tweaking my prose. Let me give him a big +1.
    I'm the world's forgotten boy. The one who's searchin', searchin' to destroy.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Colonelmom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    VA
    My Bikes
    Giant, Jamis fixie, Orbea Orca; Ceverlo P2SL TT
    Posts
    357
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    agree... might be racing head... you really have to YELL at me to get through my brain in a race..

    I am assuming you're doing this with NO race radio's...

    You gave a young rider A LOT on his plate... and some TOUGH racing conditions... I"d give him a chance as you suggested at the Tuesday night worlds... he may just need a little more time for it sink in... racing is truly a thinking man's game... not many of us master the required skill... I finally KNOW what I am supposed to do in a race.. but getting myself to "execute" is still a work in progress..
    Last edited by Colonelmom; 07-31-11 at 02:56 PM. Reason: spelling

  19. #19
    Munchin' and rollin' chuongdoan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    KCMO
    Posts
    185
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Watch out or he go pee pee in your coke.

  20. #20
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Tariffville, CT
    My Bikes
    Tsunami Bikes
    Posts
    12,507
    Mentioned
    22 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    A couple things. One is when I offered to work for a friend/teammate, I unknowingly put huge amounts of pressure on him. His wife told me he could barely sleep. The race ended up a huge disappointment for him, even though I slayed myself throughout the race. So, lesson here, leadership puts pressure on the racer.

    In a different race a little bit later, I decided to work for the same friend/teammate but I didn't tell him. I kind of politely made efforts, told him to chill, etc. He raced his race (minus about 10 efforts where I could help him close a gap or whatever), then I put in a final effort for the leadout. He won the race.

    I think part of it is the "feature benefit" thing that a lot of sales/misc people don't do. I try really hard to do this so that the person listening understand the benefit.

    For the newbie on the team:

    Strategy - here is our strategy. Benefit: because you are the protected leader, you'll be able to save your energy for the most important part of the races.
    Others will work for you; unless (Gavin) says to go, you should just sit. Benefit: you don't have to think about chasing unless Gavin taps you on the hip.

    Laps 1-2 - Save energy. Benefit: nothing important will go.
    Stay up near front. Benefit: less chance of crashing.

    Lap 3-4 - Watch for moves as this is when they go. Benefit: by getting in a move, you put yourself in a position to win.
    It may hurt to go with the move but it's much easier than chasing the move. Benefit: understand it'll hurt but it won't hurt as much.

    Lap 5 - Initiate moves. Benefit: if others are too tired, we can take advantage and set you up for a potential win.

    Lap 6 - Set up for sprint. Benefit: by giving you a leadout worthy of Cavendish, you'll be in a great position to sprint to a win.

    Now, if I were the protected racer, I'd have a problem with some of the tactics. I can't go in breaks. I can't follow a super fast leadout, it has to be under some control (37-38 mph is ideal, 40 is too fast, 35 is a bit slow). Leadout has to be under a mile long if 3 guys, under 300m if one guy. Etc etc. The plan has to match the racer's characteristics.

    If you have to yell during the race, yell. I yelled at my leadout guy to wait in the only leadout I've captured on tape. He desperately wanted to go but I knew that it was too early. First, it was too early for me (see note about 300m leadout). Second, he'd blow up at about 250m to go and put me in the wind just before the sprint. He's a superbly strong racer, much stronger than me, but he hasn't raced much on the road. He trusted my judgment and delivered. I waited until the pack started to swarm, told him to go, and he still blew up at 200m. But he put me in a spot to win the field sprint, pass all but one guy in the break, and win the 6 week Series (my ultimate goal that day).

    I'll add that a helmet or bar cam would be pretty useful. I obviously believe in their usefulness, and I think that many racers would get a lot of good feedback based on race tape reviews. There's a reason why football players review games on tape. Cycling is not nearly as planned/structured, but a new racer can benefit hugely from reviewing races in a constructive manner.

  21. #21
    Mr. Dopolina Bob Dopolina's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Taiwan
    My Bikes
    KUUPAS, Simpson VR
    Posts
    9,432
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Some good comments thus far.

    I hadn't considered the added pressure of being the designated rider. He seemed pretty excited by the idea when I suggested it after the previous race (at the team meeting right after the previous race). I saw it more as a teaching opportunity since I didn't care aboiut how we finished. This may have even made things worse.

    I think the thing that sticks with me the most are the moments when he was given real time, clear instructions (like in the sprint) and he made the wrong choice. I've seen this a lot in 7 months from him and this last race just crystalized it for me.

    My hope is that the fallout from this last race and what we can achieve over the next 4 weeks will be different than what I've seen thus far.
    BLOG of BOB: Old Guy Racer
    BDop Cycling Company Ltd.: bdopcycling.com, facebook

  22. #22
    Mr. Dopolina Bob Dopolina's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Taiwan
    My Bikes
    KUUPAS, Simpson VR
    Posts
    9,432
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by chuongdoan View Post
    Watch out or he go pee pee in your coke.
    What are you 8?
    BLOG of BOB: Old Guy Racer
    BDop Cycling Company Ltd.: bdopcycling.com, facebook

  23. #23
    Mr. Dopolina Bob Dopolina's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Taiwan
    My Bikes
    KUUPAS, Simpson VR
    Posts
    9,432
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by mollusk View Post
    The kid must have some raw physical skills or else there is no discussion. It sounds like he has a bit of a sprint and a decent FTP based on the race plan. That is not a bad combination.
    This is exactly what I saw when we recruited him. That and the right personality.

    As someone mentioned earlier, his results in the lower cats were all a result of individual efforts. My hope was that we could bring him along over the season and increase the number and complexity of assignments as he gained experience. I never expected him to become our designated guy, just a better domo.

    I did this with another rider in 2006/2007 and he has now gone on to be one of the better riders in the country. The first season he rode with us I gave him minor tasks and increased their difficulty and complexity as he progressed.

    For instance, I really wanted him to work on the big climbs with our designated climber but I needed to know how hard he could go and for how long. He also needed to know this. We had a 'C' race that finished with a big mountain (the finish was at over 3000m) so I told him to go with the climbers, no matter what, and to stay with them until he blew up. I told him I didn't care where he finished the point was to see how long he could survive with the pure climbers.

    He made it about 75% of the way to the finish with the climbers and we had our answer and now we knew how long he could help our climber. Useful information that helped us down the road.

    I was hoping for similar results in this race in terms of establishing some metric for this rider. His PT data is one thing but it's his head I wanted to learn about.
    BLOG of BOB: Old Guy Racer
    BDop Cycling Company Ltd.: bdopcycling.com, facebook

  24. #24
    Mr. Dopolina Bob Dopolina's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Taiwan
    My Bikes
    KUUPAS, Simpson VR
    Posts
    9,432
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Colonelmom View Post
    I am assuming you're doing this with NO race radio's...
    No radios. They were banned here once the UCI banned them at most races (much to our objection).

    We ended up selling the 10 radios we had to a touring club.
    BLOG of BOB: Old Guy Racer
    BDop Cycling Company Ltd.: bdopcycling.com, facebook

  25. #25
    In beaurocratic limbo urbanknight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    My Bikes
    Specialized Allez, K2 Razorback
    Posts
    22,457
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post
    I got a bit angry with him and I could see he was about to cry.

    Really. There were tears in his eyes.
    Sounds a lot like me and my racing skills... when I was 13! But it shows that he really did care and that it wasn't defiant. Not that it matters when deciding if he should be on the team for 2012 or not. Of course, only you know if he has potential to improve or if he's just not cut out for success.
    "Well, I guess you can cut the arts as much as you want... Sooner or later, these kids aren't going to have anything to read or write about." (Richard Dreyfus as Glenn Holland)

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •