Recumbent - Tactics for racing roadies
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Those who ride fast recumbents encounter roadies and informal races often break out. Or, you might be riding with some fast roadies and you have some friendly rivalry. Or, maybe you really are in some sort of race situation with them.
I think that we can agree that if the engines are similar, a lowracer or highracer will give enough of an advantage that it won't be too much of a race. However, what if the roadies are younger/stronger? How can you ustilize the advantages and minimize the disadvantages to still emerge victorious?
09-24-06, 06:22 PM
I don't know about younger and stronger, but the roadies I get into friendly races with here often end up having more PRACTICE at going fast than I do, since they do all the fast club rides and really train for it. I end up riding with friends a lot of the time, and they don't really enjoy hammering it out like I do.
I still end up hanging with them or lagging slightly behind during a hilly section, and then dominating the downhills and flats. Often on fast group rides I end up waiting for the paceline or, like yesterday, breaking away from the pack at 34mph and eventually turning around to ride back to them. The second time I did that one of the roadies got his wind and passed me at over 30mph. I cranked it up to 34.5 and he held with me for a while admirably before he gave out and we rode side by side ahead of the bunch.
Sometimes I find that if I keep doing the speed-up-slow-down maneuver, at the end of a long ride they'll be fresher than I will, and if I'm not way ahead of them they may catch up.
When I know the route it's just no contest, unless the roadie is very very good.
09-24-06, 08:40 PM
Well, think about what your advantages are, then do what you can to use them. A high/low racer will have the advantage on flat, downhill, and headwind versus a single upright. Curiously, a tailwind can sometimes help a racing bent more than an upright, too. Packs are a different story; they have the advantage in headwind, but less of an advantage on climbs (group is limited to the weakest climber.)
In hills, use uprights to help pull you up when necessary. For small hills, you want a running start, power up the lower half, spin up, then power over the top so you can reach your higher terminal speed, faster. Don't get stuck behind wedgies at the bottom of a short hill - they lose speed quickly and will downshift, making you hit the brakes. Then they stand up and accelerate to their best hill climbing speed. Taking hills well on a bent relies on carrying your speed as far up as you can; once you lose your speed, you're toast.
Blazing pedals' hill experience matches mine. I too charge smaller hills and can frequently power over them
by keeping the speed and cadence up, downshifting as needed. On longer hills I have to pull out and pass roadies on the first 50yds or so and power on up, but typically am caught near or before the top.
Once I get below 10mph I am, as Blaze puts it, toast. On longer hills, I am always toast after 200-300yds
unless the gradient is such that I can stay at 12mph or above.
And if you start getting tired, signal into a sidestreet. ;) j/k!
09-25-06, 09:21 AM
Hey! Neighborhood kids are always doing that to me! See me coming, spin like crazy on their little bmx bikes, then dive into a driveway just before I overtake them... I guess that means they won the race. ;)
09-26-06, 01:49 AM
Recumbents are banned from most races and competition with DF bikes officially so we really have few oppertunitys to race for "real" with DF folks. Other than in the ultra world where Bents are allowed to start mass start and at the end put in there seperate catagories.
For example Team Bacchetta has scored a number of victories against some of the best US racers.
And Jim Kern's 517 mile 24 hour ride non drafting as a Raam qualifier is already legendary.
I have beat all riders in my Ultra club at one time or other on long rides. some were race pace others were not. Most were race pace.
And Brevets are not races but you could have fooled me here in Wisconsin. Brevets are the only competive ultra events in Il and Wisconsin so folks come to ride hard and fast.
We have a little cycling club in my Area that has totally banned recumbents on group rides. Thats ok by me but my response to them was a race straight up for some personal cash one on one. Me on the bent and any one of them on any type of DF bike that they want to ride. Guess what? No takers. I guess for some real hard core DFers its hard to be beat by a bent or even the possibility of such a defeat. So not taking the bet was the safest thing for them. Some of these hard core folks can be extreamly hard to deal with on a personal level so I choose to avoid such folks. Other clubs have no such problems with recumbents and this is the most common reaction towards them. I ride only with those kind of clubs and folks.
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