"The 33"-Road Bike Racing - Going it alone
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08-01-02, 09:30 PM
I am getting to the point that I would like to do a road race. My question is, are there any solo racers out there or do most racers ride with a team? It is easy to race mtb solo but I have never heard of a roadie racing solo. I realize that riding with a team would be prefered but since I am new to the roadie thing I have no one to ride with. This weekend I will be riding with one of the local clubs but most of the riders in the club who race are way above me in terms of fitness and I would not want to slow them down to much.
08-02-02, 08:00 PM
I ride solo as do many others. Having a team doesn't mean you are great...just means you have great friends that can bike. Now don't get me wrong, there are plenty of teams that are kick @$$ but not all. Anyways, teams just offer the advantage of drafting and protecting their lead rider as in major races (Le Tour). I would suggest that you ride your own pass and settle in behind someone and draft off of them for a while and just remember to compete with yourself rather than those that have much more experience than you do and you can't go wrong.
08-08-02, 09:19 AM
As Kewlrunningz says, it's fun to be on a team, but realistically, unless you have a good chance of winning and can benefit from having people working for you it doesn't really matter. As long as you can stay with the group you will get drafting benefits, etc.
More important than anything is getting comfortable riding in very close quarters at high speeds. On mtb or running for instance you pretty much just have to look out for yourself. It a fast-paced group you have a responsibility to ride in a way that does not endanger the group - holding a steady line, especially through corners, not making sudden moves or stops, etc.
By all means go race (this from someone who hasn't yet, but will), but you will do yourself a big favor if you can find a fast paced group ride. In most areas the local racers get together on Saturday or Sunday mornings or Tuesday and Thursday afternoons for group training rides/races. A good bike shop should know where and when. You will be much more comfortable in an actual race if you have ridden with a group a few times. You will also get an idea where you are conditioning-wise. You may or may not be able to keep up at first, but you will get faster quickly. Better to learn in training than in a race. The other cyclists can also give you advice and introduce you to other details of group riding etiquette.
08-08-02, 09:46 AM
Yeah, get out there and do it :) Here's one tip for group riding: if you're going to stand up to pedal and you're being drafted by another rider, do it gradually, because if you don't, your rear wheel suddenly shoots back about a foot toward the rider behind you, possibly taking him down. This is not always easy to remember!
Also, if there are riders drafting you and you see a pothole or other hazard, sweep your group out early so everyone clears it, and point your left or right hand down on the side of the obstacle a few seconds before reaching it if possible, so people can pass this signal back through the group.
Have fun and don't underestimate yourself :)
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