So I did my first Crit today at the CSP Driving Track. Let me start by saying WOW! Much congrats to The Convert from Boulder , and managed to finish 15th-25th in only his 2nd Crit. "You da man."
What did I learn?:
A road crit is A LOT faster than most Mountain bike XC Short Track Races.
Even for a practice race, the ego's for some people run really high.
Movin 28mph+ in a Peloton, and not feeling like it's an effort, is a blast!
Getting spit out the back by the end of the second lap is not a blast!
Hangin in there just because... worth every second!
All in all I had a great time. I did get spit out, and I did get lapped. But I learned a lot. Much thanks to the guy in the yellow jersey(non lead jersey) for working with me for the remainder of the race. I did my best to start and stay near the front. For the first lap, I was doing well. I was amazed at the perceptual narrowing/tunnel vision. Can't say I have had that feeling before on the mountain bike.
By the end of the second lap, I made a few choice errors that hurt me. 1st, I was working well near the front, however, I wasn't grabbing a wheel. Instead, I felt like I was holding my own bubble, while a line of riders was passing me on either side. When I would make my move to catch the wheel, I would get yelled at ie"Hold your line..." so my question is, w/out causing a crash, how can I move into a line next to me? Is there a Crit etiquette to this, or do I just make my own move? Again, I don't want to be the one to cause the crash, but why would I wait for the line to pass, just so I can get spit out.
Next question, what's with all the dive bombing on corners from out to in? I can't say I noticed a lot of this while watching the other Cats, but maybe I'm wrong.
One other thing I noticed, that I have not noticed in a MTB race, is the sound of people hitting their brakes in the corners. Everytime I heard it, I'd look up waiting for the crash. Definatelly gave me the willies.
All in all, I had a great time, and more importantly, learned a lot. Nothin like trial by fire! I look forward to the next/last "Training Race" next Saturday. Funny how I got into road biking to train for Mountain. I look forward to the first MTB race to see if I have in fact made some improvements. I also look forward to a great season balancing both Mountian and Road.
Cheers and be safe.