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Old 11-26-13, 08:30 AM   #126
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best thread in a while
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Old 11-26-13, 09:20 AM   #127
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Now that I think about it, there is former masters world champion who races a lot around here. He is known for his frequent brake checking and other dubious tactics.
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Old 11-26-13, 09:53 AM   #128
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Testing? There are lots of things to work on. I'd start with contact. Bumping drills at low speed. Once you can handle a little contact I would put you in a single pace line and try and steal your wheel using contact. Also, bottle pickup drills, bridging drills, rotating pace line in a small group. Take a look at CDRs clinic syllabus.
I'd really like to try and make some of these clinics this year, long ass drive for me though. Maybe I can convince some newb teammates to come along as well. Hell, maybe I can convince the club to reimburse for some costs.
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Old 11-26-13, 10:13 AM   #129
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Once you can handle a little contact I would put you in a single pace line and try and steal your wheel using contact.
this is nothing but bravado. 95% of everyone I know would fail this test without any resistance. If someone is about to steer your bike with their hip on your bars, your options are limited.

The rest of that stuff is good bike handling drills, but the issues seem to be that the minute the race gets stressful people lose their ability to think and just overreact. I think everyone learns via experience how to better stay calm and disconnect physical stress from the mental.
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Old 11-26-13, 10:15 AM   #130
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There's always something to learn in this sport. So, crashing someone by accident is bad. Crashing someone on purpose is tactical.
I guess I am far too soft and new school in that I would rather lose than crash, and the idea of crashing someone out is pretty antithetical to my view of the sport as a hobby.
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Old 11-26-13, 10:35 AM   #131
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this is nothing but bravado. 95% of everyone I know would fail this test without any resistance. If someone is about to steer your bike with their hip on your bars, your options are limited.

The rest of that stuff is good bike handling drills, but the issues seem to be that the minute the race gets stressful people lose their ability to think and just overreact. I think everyone learns via experience how to better stay calm and disconnect physical stress from the mental.
You counter it with positioning and overlap, using the crosswind to your advantage. The guy I'm drafting will protect me with his rear wheel.
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Old 11-26-13, 10:59 AM   #132
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You counter it with positioning and overlap, using the crosswind to your advantage. The guy I'm drafting will protect me with his rear wheel.
Seems a rough test for entry in c5 racing. I am stronger than I am smart, so I often move up on the windward side, get even with someone and then slide back and into their wheel. I just about always get it without issue. If I am on the left and they are overlapping on the right, I push them further right until I am overlapping that wheel a bit on the right. Etc..

I am not a strong tactical rider at all, that is what I mean when I say that if I can move around and do this stuff and people aren't seemingly willing to take the contact to stop it, ain't nobody passing that "test" before their first c5 race.
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Old 11-26-13, 12:12 PM   #133
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. I'd been riding a few years, so I could handle my bike well. I'd done a few group rides and new the basics.

Just needed to focus on holding my line through the corners and the wheel in front at the same time (especially when the wheel in front is not holding their line)
No offense, but that's exactly what we're talking about. You assume you can handle your bike well.

Being able to ride a bike and being able to handle your bike well are two very different things. FWIW I don't know anyone who thinks they aren't good bike handlers. And I'm sure some of the experienced guys will have a good chuckle over that.

At basic I want to see someone who is smooth, who looks uptrack and NOT AT THE WHEEL IN FRONT OF THEM. That's the first thing to correct. But right now you're one of the many guys who will crash into the pile of people who crashed into the pile of people who were staring at the wheel in front of them when the guy who was a really horrible bike handler locked up the rear brake in a panic and started that chain reaction.

There's a myriad of things (some of which have been mentioned) that greatly improve your skill set. How's your bunny hopping? Can you rub your front tire on someone's rear wheel for fun? Wheelie? Nose Wheelie? Slide the rear wheel? Brake through an apex?

Those are on the bike skills. How about a written test?

Describe an early, conventional, and late apex and diagram them. What's the maximum front/rear brake bias. What's trail braking? Countersteering? Target fixation? How do you improve a tire's contact patch in a corner? Where should your weight bias be during various maneuvers?

That's a small list of racing 101. 102 we start talking about drafting and group dynamics. 200 is individual tactics. 300 and we start talking about team tactics.
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Old 11-26-13, 12:31 PM   #134
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No offense, but that's exactly what we're talking about. You assume you can handle your bike well.

Being able to ride a bike and being able to handle your bike well are two very different things. FWIW I don't know anyone who thinks they aren't good bike handlers. And I'm sure some of the experienced guys will have a good chuckle over that.

At basic I want to see someone who is smooth, who looks uptrack and NOT AT THE WHEEL IN FRONT OF THEM. That's the first thing to correct. But right now you're one of the many guys who will crash into the pile of people who crashed into the pile of people who were staring at the wheel in front of them when the guy who was a really horrible bike handler locked up the rear brake in a panic and started that chain reaction.

There's a myriad of things (some of which have been mentioned) that greatly improve your skill set. How's your bunny hopping? Can you rub your front tire on someone's rear wheel for fun? Wheelie? Nose Wheelie? Slide the rear wheel? Brake through an apex?

Those are on the bike skills. How about a written test?

Describe an early, conventional, and late apex and diagram them. What's the maximum front/rear brake bias. What's trail braking? Countersteering? Target fixation? How do you improve a tire's contact patch in a corner? Where should your weight bias be during various maneuvers?

That's a small list of racing 101. 102 we start talking about drafting and group dynamics. 200 is individual tactics. 300 and we start talking about team tactics.
I just got flash backs to motorcycle track days.
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Old 11-26-13, 12:38 PM   #135
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A long time ago I realized that I wouldn't ever be pushing and shoving to get position. It's just not something I'd do. I realized this when my (first ever regular) leadout guy did just that to get to the front, then did some pretty dubious moves once I jumped. I actually sat up (it was a prime, not the finish) because the guys behind were all yelling at my teammate. It might be partially because of that prime that I didn't do a great sprint in the finale.

On the other hand a rider has to be able to deal with contact. In that same race above with a lap to go there was a lot of movement in the group. It was curb to curb on a non-corner type course (Montague MA) and no one could go fast enough to string things out. At some point people ended up squeezing together and I was in the middle of it. I had people leaning on my from both sides. Someone hit my front wheel so hard it pulled a J-hook spoke out of my Campy Record (aka cold forged aluminum) hub. The spoke hole was tented. A spoke nipple also pulled out, breaking the rim. Not only did I not hit the deck but I had enough of my wits about me that I could still follow moves and such. I think I got 3rd or 5th or something like that, on a 27 spoke 280g Campy Record Crono front wheel.

After that (it was 1989 I think) I never made intentional active contact. The one time I made accidental contact (I flew up the inside and underestimated my overtaking speed, ended up bumping into a bunch of pro-1s including Adam Myerson) I raised my hand and moved back to where I started. Myerson won that race.

It doesn't mean that I won't fight for position in an important-to-me race, it just means that I rely on tactics and using the other rider's weaknesses against themselves. I've shrugged off very forceful, few second long pushes - the last time was really in 2006 where it was intentional, and the main reason I didn't back off is that I had no room - I simply couldn't back off.

At the end of the day we're all doing this for fun. No one really knows or cares how I did in a race. It's not worth it.
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Old 11-26-13, 12:54 PM   #136
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FWIW I don't know anyone who thinks they aren't good bike handlers. And I'm sure some of the experienced guys will have a good chuckle over that.

That's not really true. I pretty much suck at bike handling and I know it. I don't freak out or panic when bumped or in traffic. I don't overreact to brakes or surges and that stuff. But have me ride over 1/4 inch of sand or a wet corner and my brain shuts it down, I get tense, fearful, overreactionary, etc... Same on dirt or grass or any surface I can imagine the wheels going out sideways.

Somedays I descend well, other days I descend like a novice. Generally once I start braking on a descent (behind a car or something), I'm triggered into this mode where I have to go slow. Race situations help my descending, for some reason. But on training days I vary wildly in what's "comfortable" for speed.
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Old 11-26-13, 01:22 PM   #137
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I pretty much suck at bike handling and I know it.
OK, I did know you and recall you walking your bike down part of Mt. Diablo

I'll restate as "with a few rare exceptions, most of the folks I race with think they are terrific bike handlers".
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Old 11-26-13, 01:26 PM   #138
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OK, I did know you and recall you walking your bike down part of Mt. Diablo
funny enough, before strava started flagging every downhill segment I had worked my courage up to a top-10 descent time on diablo to south gate. Then when I broke my clavicle I reset all my fear levels and sucked again. I'm technically better, and fast some days, but generally I am pretty far from listing "bike handling" as a strength.
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Old 11-26-13, 01:34 PM   #139
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No offense, but that's exactly what we're talking about. You assume you can handle your bike well.

Being able to ride a bike and being able to handle your bike well are two very different things. FWIW I don't know anyone who thinks they aren't good bike handlers. And I'm sure some of the experienced guys will have a good chuckle over that.

At basic I want to see someone who is smooth, who looks uptrack and NOT AT THE WHEEL IN FRONT OF THEM. That's the first thing to correct. But right now you're one of the many guys who will crash into the pile of people who crashed into the pile of people who were staring at the wheel in front of them when the guy who was a really horrible bike handler locked up the rear brake in a panic and started that chain reaction.

There's a myriad of things (some of which have been mentioned) that greatly improve your skill set. How's your bunny hopping? Can you rub your front tire on someone's rear wheel for fun? Wheelie? Nose Wheelie? Slide the rear wheel? Brake through an apex?

Those are on the bike skills. How about a written test?

Describe an early, conventional, and late apex and diagram them. What's the maximum front/rear brake bias. What's trail braking? Countersteering? Target fixation? How do you improve a tire's contact patch in a corner? Where should your weight bias be during various maneuvers?

That's a small list of racing 101. 102 we start talking about drafting and group dynamics. 200 is individual tactics. 300 and we start talking about team tactics.
We have always messed around with each other while riding. I've mentioned it before. In the old days it was hitting brakes or downtube shifters. It was not uncommon to do a team ride and while riding I would grab a teammate's left handlebar with my right hand and he would grab my right handlebar with his left hand. It all helped us develop race handling skillsskills.

A friend of mine is a pro mtb guy and cat 3 road racer. When riding together he often comes by an hits/pulls my elbow so it collapses, he thinks it is hystercial...

There is a reason I got almost 7000 miles on a set of brake pads and have about 8000 miles on a set of cleats:
1. I don't use much brake
2. I rarely, if ever unclip once I get going (except for water stops or to take a leak)
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Old 11-26-13, 01:35 PM   #140
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Describe an early, conventional, and late apex and diagram them. What's the maximum front/rear brake bias. What's trail braking? Countersteering? Target fixation? How do you improve a tire's contact patch in a corner? Where should your weight bias be during various maneuvers?
I don't really know what most of that means. Isn't it possibly some people are already doing it (like countersteering), just don't the name for it?

Should I just go ahead and downgrade??
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Old 11-26-13, 01:43 PM   #141
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I don't really know what most of that means. Isn't it possibly some people are already doing it (like countersteering), just don't the name for it?

Should I just go ahead and downgrade??
Yes...
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Old 11-26-13, 01:52 PM   #142
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Those are on the bike skills. How about a written test?

Describe an early, conventional, and late apex and diagram them. What's the maximum front/rear brake bias. What's trail braking? Countersteering? Target fixation? How do you improve a tire's contact patch in a corner? Where should your weight bias be during various maneuvers?

That's a small list of racing 101. 102 we start talking about drafting and group dynamics. 200 is individual tactics. 300 and we start talking about team tactics.
i'd probably fail the written test
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Old 11-26-13, 02:00 PM   #143
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Describe an early, conventional, and late apex and diagram them. What's the maximum front/rear brake bias. What's trail braking? Countersteering? Target fixation? How do you improve a tire's contact patch in a corner? Where should your weight bias be during various maneuvers?
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Old 11-26-13, 02:02 PM   #144
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best thread in a while
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Old 11-26-13, 02:22 PM   #145
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how did you get my kid's art project?
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Old 11-26-13, 02:24 PM   #146
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how did you get my kid's art project?
I was trying to draw a picture of King Ex...

Listening to an Adam and Eve.com Commercial right now, distracted....
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Old 11-26-13, 02:48 PM   #147
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Describe an early, conventional, and late apex and diagram them. What's the maximum front/rear brake bias. What's trail braking? Countersteering? Target fixation? How do you improve a tire's contact patch in a corner? Where should your weight bias be during various maneuvers?
Thank you for writing this paragraph. It gave me chills.

Counter-steering and target fixation are probably the two most important things that a majority of racers don't know anything about.


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... the issues seem to be that the minute the race gets stressful people lose their ability to think and just overreact.
Truth.
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Old 11-26-13, 02:56 PM   #148
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No offense, but that's exactly what we're talking about. You assume you can handle your bike well.

Being able to ride a bike and being able to handle your bike well are two very different things. FWIW I don't know anyone who thinks they aren't good bike handlers. And I'm sure some of the experienced guys will have a good chuckle over that.

At basic I want to see someone who is smooth, who looks uptrack and NOT AT THE WHEEL IN FRONT OF THEM. That's the first thing to correct. But right now you're one of the many guys who will crash into the pile of people who crashed into the pile of people who were staring at the wheel in front of them when the guy who was a really horrible bike handler locked up the rear brake in a panic and started that chain reaction.

There's a myriad of things (some of which have been mentioned) that greatly improve your skill set. How's your bunny hopping? Can you rub your front tire on someone's rear wheel for fun? Wheelie? Nose Wheelie? Slide the rear wheel? Brake through an apex?

Those are on the bike skills. How about a written test?

Describe an early, conventional, and late apex and diagram them. What's the maximum front/rear brake bias. What's trail braking? Countersteering? Target fixation? How do you improve a tire's contact patch in a corner? Where should your weight bias be during various maneuvers?

That's a small list of racing 101. 102 we start talking about drafting and group dynamics. 200 is individual tactics. 300 and we start talking about team tactics.
Anyone who takes any time to read this post closely and has some ability at self-reflection will hopefully begin to see the counterexamples to so many pieces of misinformation that have become "conventional wisdom" thanks to endless repetition. Like braking through an apex - how many times have I seen or heard riders being instructed, on the Internet or in real life "you are either braking or turning, not both." Maybe that's okay if you're just riding. Follow that advice and you can probably go from point A to point B on a public road without getting yourself killed. But we're racing bikes, and it's a different game with different circumstances. So, as has already been perfectly expressed, we get people coming in who can do a 100 mile ride without killing themselves on a corner, so they think they know what they're doing. But if you think you should never have any braking applied during a corner ever ever, if you're the guy who is yelling "no brakes!" from the back of the peloton, or if you're at least thinking it, then no, you don't know what you're doing. And who wants the ego check of not knowing what they're doing? I don't. But of course it's true. I know a handful of things, but I would be doing better in races if I were as smart as I think I am.

So it's not like this doesn't include me, for all that I know what "apex" and "countersteering" mean. Yeah, I do think of myself as a good bike handler (compared to most roadies, not so much in general - which should tell you something about the sorry state of typical handling skills among road racers), but something has been weird with my head this year, because I crashed a hell of a lot of times. Yeah, I suppose I could say that most of those were beyond my control, and I suppose it's true, but what's different this year than before? Did I get worse at riding a bike? Did I lose focus? Was I just lucky before? Well, whatever, my point is that you don't just hit a point where you know everything and don't need to think about it anymore. Not keeping my head up is probably the worst crime I commit when I start getting scared or just plain lose my focus. I start seeing the wheel in front of me, and then I'm not committed and gaps are opening up and I'm not anticipating what's coming up. Racing a bike isn't automatic for most of us, it requires to commitment to keeping your head in the game, and not only paying attention to the race but what you're doing in the race.

Anyway. To bring it back around, I think that questions like "do I need to be in the drops right now?" should, if you've paid any attention to what riding your bike actually feels like, have an answer that is immediately obvious to you. I have a very clear sense at all times of how balanced, stable and secure I am on the machine. Being in the drops is a more stable position for navigating high-speed corners because it's just obviously the case. Sometimes I wonder if I'm taking crazy pills, because I don't think I have some preternatural sense of balance. On my own two feet, I'm awkward and clumsy. Yet I see lots of riders who don't seem to be listening to what their body is telling them. No doubt we all have different degrees of natural ability to interpret our kinesthetic senses and inner ear, but I think some part of successful instruction in riding a bike must be, deliberately or not, getting the rider to just pay attention to what it feels like to do something the right way.

I think this was a terribly incoherent post, but what the hell. Good luck with it.
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Old 11-26-13, 02:58 PM   #149
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Did you type that with one hand?

Bwahahahaha
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Old 11-26-13, 03:00 PM   #150
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