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Old 06-27-13, 05:28 PM   #1
pardon
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Duping!

I think I was duped in a race... tell me if I'm crazy.

30 mile road race with yellow line rule in effect. We're coming up on final turn, about half a mile from the finish. I'm psyched! I'm in the front 3rd of the field, in really good position for the sprint. Maybe I'll finally place! Yellow line rule is over after the turn, but damnit, one of the more aggressive women (who's been violating that rule all day without penalty) makes a fast lateral move into me, forcing me over the line just as I'm accelerating. A teammate of the aggressive woman screams at me to get to the back of the field (established penalty for yellow line violation) and I take my lumps... I drop back, then start making my way forward again, and sprint my ass off to a finish in the middle of the field. Proud of my effort but not happy.

Then I start thinking... should I have dropped back? Was I tricked? I'm a new racer, and I'm just getting the hang of pacing and tactics, let alone the psychology of racing. I've heard stories of people yelling all sorts of crazy things to get other riders to falter... words of encouragement for others to take risks and burn out too fast, faking mechanicals to get the field to slow down... Now that I think about it, I should have just held my position and let them protest to the officials. Right?
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Old 06-27-13, 05:54 PM   #2
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When in doubt with the yellow line, yeah, drop back. If the course isn't closed yet, there could be an unseen vehicle coming your way, or even stopped. If she put you over the line on purpose, then I would report to the officials, as that's just batshiat insane.

Good job keeping your head about you and working for position up to that point. The placings will come...
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Old 06-27-13, 05:56 PM   #3
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Now that I think about it, I should have just held my position and let them protest to the officials. Right?
You should never have moved over in the first place. What do you mean a woman made a fast lateral move and forced you over the yellow line? I saw a 160 lb man put his hand on the hip of a 115 lb woman and shove her. She didn't move an inch. You need to work on your pack skills.
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Old 06-27-13, 05:59 PM   #4
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Correct me if I'm wrong but it seems like the women 4s always have a lot of yelling for every few inches of lateral movement.
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Old 06-27-13, 06:03 PM   #5
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Correct me if I'm wrong but it seems like the 4s always have a lot of yelling for every few inches of lateral movement.
fixed that for ya
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Old 06-27-13, 07:27 PM   #6
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i'm betting you didnt get duped intentionally but rather the person yelling didnt really know any better.

pay attention to that yellow line. the reason there's a yellow line (or center line rule) is to keep you from becoming a hood ornament. only the official(s) have the authority to relegate you to the back of the field. if a fellow racer tells you to go to the back, they have no authority to do so and you have no obligation to listen.

keep at it and keep learning!
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Old 06-27-13, 07:39 PM   #7
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What do you mean a woman made a fast lateral move and forced you over the yellow line? I saw a 160 lb man put his hand on the hip of a 115 lb woman and shove her. She didn't move an inch. You need to work on your pack skills.
Don't disagree that I need to work on my pack skills... but by "forcing me over the line", I mean that she pulled up beside me on the inside from behind, and then very suddenly moved laterally at me. We would have collided if I didn't react. Maybe I should have let that happen. I'm a 115lb woman and I've been shoved by a 160lb+ woman/guy/whatever... but never going that fast and into a turn.
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Old 06-27-13, 07:42 PM   #8
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Thanks! If it hadn't been going into a turn and just as I was accelerating, I would have just dropped back. Not being hit by a car is much more appealing than upgrade points, for sure.
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Old 06-27-13, 08:06 PM   #9
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Don't disagree that I need to work on my pack skills... but by "forcing me over the line", I mean that she pulled up beside me on the inside from behind, and then very suddenly moved laterally at me. We would have collided if I didn't react. Maybe I should have let that happen. I'm a 115lb woman and I've been shoved by a 160lb+ woman/guy/whatever... but never going that fast and into a turn.
She made a dangerous move, and you could have reported her. You did the safe thing, but you had no obligation to do anything but get back over the line. Only an official can relegate you to the back. Don't listen to the other riders. Read the rulebook. Know the rules. Tune them out.

The whole thing may have been avoided if you had protected your wheel a bit better. Whenever you are on an inside or outside line in a corner in the field, yellow line or not, you need to protect it. This means sensing when others may try and take your wheel and make yourself wider. In your instance I would have slid over closer to the inside giving yourself more room to work and shutting the door on the other rider.
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Old 06-27-13, 09:51 PM   #10
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The expression they used when I played youth soccer (LOL) was "play the whistle." If you go over the center line unintentionally, get back over and do not advance any places until you're back on the right side. After that, keep racing. Remember that other racers can never make you do anything. You can only let them make you do things. Lesson learned.
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Old 06-28-13, 03:19 AM   #11
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Don't disagree that I need to work on my pack skills... but by "forcing me over the line", I mean that she pulled up beside me on the inside from behind, and then very suddenly moved laterally at me. We would have collided if I didn't react. Maybe I should have let that happen. I'm a 115lb woman and I've been shoved by a 160lb+ woman/guy/whatever... but never going that fast and into a turn.
Don't be afraid of contact. Someone comes into you, lean back into them. In setting up for a finish, you need to guard your position. Other riders aren't just going to hand you the victory. Find a knowledgeable rider (male/female, doesn't matter) and go practice some bump drills til you're blue in the face. Cycling is a contact sport. (Just hopefully not with the pavement.)
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Old 06-28-13, 06:12 AM   #12
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Typically around here, the officials don't enforce the yellow line rule if you cross momentarily, and don't do it to advance your position. At most you'd likely get warned, not relegated.

I would have gotten back on the correct side of the yellow line as quickly as safe to do so, and continued racing.
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Old 06-28-13, 06:18 AM   #13
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Don't disagree that I need to work on my pack skills... but by "forcing me over the line", I mean that she pulled up beside me on the inside from behind, and then very suddenly moved laterally at me. We would have collided if I didn't react. Maybe I should have let that happen. I'm a 115lb woman and I've been shoved by a 160lb+ woman/guy/whatever... but never going that fast and into a turn.
I have a question about this move. When she came over where was she in relation to you, i.e. were her bars ahead or behind yours?

Coming into the final turn of a race, people are going to be fighting for position. Reading between the lines, I'm guessing that perhaps you let a small gap develop between you and the wheel ahead, and this aggressive rider worked your timidity to get you off the wheel, and force themselves in that gap.

If you stay tight on the wheel ahead of you it's much harder for someone to ride you off that wheel.
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Old 06-28-13, 06:52 AM   #14
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I don't have an answer for you, but just wanted to say "hi" - and glad there is another Cat4 woman posting here. Stick around!

Where do you live?
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Old 06-28-13, 07:28 AM   #15
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Well I can't add anything useful at this point other then a "witty" comeback:

"When did you become the Ref?"
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Old 06-28-13, 07:59 AM   #16
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There will be situations where crossing the line may be unavoidable. Officials typically don't penalize you if you cross the line in order to stay upright. Keep in mind that crashing over some other racers is much better than hitting oncoming cars at some crazy collision speed (if you're going 30 mph and they're going 45 mph then you're going to hit the front of the car at 75 mph - that's not a good number).

At a USAC official's seminar I was told that if a rider uses the yellow line to leapfrog ahead that's a definitely a citable violation. If the field suddenly slows or if there's a crash and some riders eek out over the line but then immediately move back then that's technically a violation but usually not enforced. It's a case of "Intention" versus "Letter of the Law". Imagine if everyone that went 0.5 mph over the speed limit got ticketed? I mean, okay, PA had a long time policy of ticketing at 56 mph (I think it was a $96 fine - there were signs next to the highway everywhere with speed and corresponding fine, starting at 56 mph), but there's a reason that policy is gone.

At the same time if a rider is doing something dangerous but it's hard to catch (skilled riders can ride dirty without getting caught, even if being filmed, because they can make moves which are at the cusp of questionable vs illegal) then an official can cite a different rule violation to penalize the rider. Crossing the yellow line can become that rule, just like a law enforcement officer may cite speeding as a reason to pull someone over, even if the person was going 56 in a 55.

The best advice ever given to me was by a 15 year old kid (I was 14). He told me to read the rule book. Then he quizzed me. I failed miserably. I went back and actually read it instead of just skimming it.

If you have a question then you should ask an official. If the answer seems hesitant then ask another one at a later time.

In a race, if in doubt, follow your instincts. I have a feeling that you'll make choices on the safer/better side so go with your instincts. You'll be back in the same situation in other races because you were strong enough to get there already. When you finally do place really well you'll be able to bask in your accomplishment without any doubting thoughts about "well, technically I went over the yellow line".

Finally I second all the recommendations to do bumping drills. Even seemingly pathetic drills can really help. At the bike race series I promote we did a 35 minute or so clinic before each Cat 5 race (and Cat 4 women were allowed in, as well as any other competitor, but it was absolutely required for anyone in the Cat 5 race). One guy, an older Cat 5, new to the sport, participated in the drills. We couldn't get much bumping in but still, it was something. I also impressed on everyone the importance of being on the drops if they ever thought something might happen. By definition that means being in the drops in corners, descents, and any time the pace is high.

(As a counterpoint I'm almost always on the hoods when I'm climbing out of the saddle. I spend more time on the tops than on the hoods - effectively they're virtually the same to me because the hoods aren't a great place for braking; the only advantage from the tops is that you can shift. On the other hand the tops are the most stable if riding one handed, like if you're drinking from your bottle. If you see me on the tops in the middle of a field in a race then I am thinking/gambling that nothing will happen at that time and I might be about to take a swig.)

The older Cat 5 came up to me at a race earlier this month. He'd been at a race, gone into a corner, nothing major, but then the guy to his front-inside swung out. The guy to his outside was swinging in. The front-inside's pedal went into his front wheel while he made solid contact with the guy to his outside. He held onto the drops, leaned against the guy to the outside, and stayed upright. His front wheel wasn't rideable but he never went down. For a first year Cat 5, not super experienced in a group, in his 4th month of sporadic racing, it's amazing that he didn't hit the deck. He told me that he thinks of the drops, bumping, and the Sphere all the time when he's in races and group rides.

Shovel is one of the instructors, as are Homebrew, DocM, and one guy who's not on BF. I'm pretty sure that the Cat 5 in question was not in my group most of the weeks - the other instructors are tougher on students than I am.
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Old 06-28-13, 08:14 AM   #17
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CDR, I'm pretty sure he was in mine at least for one week. I remember him. Stared straight ahead at all times. Never looked over at me when he talked. He was one that you could measure the progress every week. Another guy who was really timid came up to me after a race this year and told me how he got knocked around up front leading up to the sprint and just kept thinking about those drills to stay up. He did.

I am sitting here with a separated shoulder because some guy who had no business being at the pointy end of an M40+ criterium could not handle a brush-by during an attack. I wish this stuff was mandatory. My shoulder is effed for life. I look like a cyborg.

As for the yellow line and how it is enforced, it is very dependent on which officials show up, whether there is a motoref behind the field, etc. I've been yelled at and threatened relegation when I got shoved over the line 1km out (Blue Hills). Some officials have a zero tolerance policy. At Hilltowns, riders attack over the yellow all.day.long and nobody says a thing. I won't, I don't, but that's just me.
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Old 06-28-13, 08:15 AM   #18
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I would love to attend a bumping "clinic" and practice some drills. I've given and received hand touches ("Hey, I'm right here. Don't swerve into me.") but I've never really been in a bumping/leaning situation.
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Old 06-28-13, 08:55 AM   #19
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Next time we head out for a lunch ride, we can work on this a bit if you like.
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Old 06-28-13, 09:16 AM   #20
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The few times I've been pushed or had to push somebody in a race, I've been struck by how oddly mutual it has to be in order to recover. If somebody leans into you, you have to lean hard back into them, or else you both go down. The two riders become this sort of teepee structure where if either one moves away the structure collapses. I found it fairly instinctual, because the obvious alternative was crashing.
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Old 06-28-13, 09:56 AM   #21
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The few times I've been pushed or had to push somebody in a race, I've been struck by how oddly mutual it has to be in order to recover. If somebody leans into you, you have to lean hard back into them, or else you both go down. The two riders become this sort of teepee structure where if either one moves away the structure collapses. I found it fairly instinctual, because the obvious alternative was crashing.
When the guy panics and freaks out, falling all over you, there's not a lot you can do. Leaning works great as long as both parties know how to handle it.
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Old 06-28-13, 01:17 PM   #22
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Next time we head out for a lunch ride, we can work on this a bit if you like.
In!
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Old 06-28-13, 04:51 PM   #23
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OP,
Yes, you were duped.
Duping is part of the game.
I am a duper, because dupee's are easy prey.

Here's a good one:

An opponent asks you how many laps to go, "is it 1, or is it 2 laps remaining" they ask.
You then say "I heard 2", no matter what the actual count is.
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Old 06-28-13, 05:15 PM   #24
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OP,
Yes, you were duped.
Duping is part of the game.
I am a duper, because dupee's are easy prey.

Here's a good one:

An opponent asks you how many laps to go, "is it 1, or is it 2 laps remaining" they ask.
You then say "I heard 2", no matter what the actual count is.
True story..

Also, be sure not to ask an opponent how many are in the break, or if their team is in it.. unless they're friendly of course.
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Old 06-28-13, 07:20 PM   #25
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We have a master here who always berates everyone who doesn't pull through on his little test attacks. Another method to get people to burn themselves a bit. He knows he's heavily marked, and this is one of his defenses. Most experienced guys ignore him and pull when it makes sense (varies), but some will pull b/c they think they're impressing him.
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