Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 06-17-11, 06:03 AM   #1
1855Cru
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
1855Cru's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Bikes: 2015 Specialized Diverge Comp Carbon, 2011 Cervelo R3, 2011 Trek 2.1, 2011 Trek X-Caliber
Posts: 313
Advice on riding in a race with 1200+ participants

Well it's almost time for me to ride in the 2011 Blood, Sweat and Gears race in the mountains of NC. When a few friends and I entered the race in Feb, it was all smiles and jokes, but as raceday approaches everyone has been getting nervous about completing the race and dealing with that many riders.

http://bloodsweatandgears.org/bsg/main/start.htm

I was anxious about the difficulty of the course but allayed my fears by actually going up there and riding the entire route last week. It is extremely hard but I managed to complete it without hurting myself So I'm not too worried about the course but I've never ridden in a race with so many people. If anyone has any tips, strategies or things to watch out for, I'd appreciate the feedback.

Thanks.
1855Cru is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-11, 06:13 AM   #2
bautieri
Downtown Spanky Brown
 
bautieri's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Camp Hill, Pennsyltucky
Bikes: 14 Motobecane Phantom Cross Pro 2000 Kona Lana'I
Posts: 2,102
Be cautious of drafting riders you are unfamiliar with if drafting is permitted in this event. With a large number of riders, be on the constant look out for people doing stupid things.

Other than that: wear sun block, have fun, and keep the rubber side down.
bautieri is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-11, 06:18 AM   #3
bradtx
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Pearland, Texas
Bikes: Cannondale, Trek, Raleigh, Santana
Posts: 6,484
1855cru, Basically just keep your head on a swivel. It's okay to make shoulder to shoulder contact as you do have to assert your position, but no bike to bike contact. The group will thin shortly after the start, but be aware of any choke points.

Brad
bradtx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-11, 06:26 AM   #4
CraigB
Starting over
 
CraigB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Indianapolis
Bikes: 1990 Trek 1500; 2006 Gary Fisher Marlin; 2011 Cannondale Synapse Alloy 105; 2012 Catrike Trail
Posts: 4,081
I looked at their website, and other than saying you'll get a timing chip, it doesn't say a thing about this being a race, sanctioned or otherwise. I'm sure there will be many riders, maybe even most of them, who will treat it as one, but I'd say a century with official sag, food and potty stops isn't really a race.

Of course, if you want to treat it as one, it doesn't make any difference, other than being aware that there will likely be some riders out there who are strictly recreational, throwing one more type of potential obstacle/hazard in your way.

Oh, and ride within yourself. It's easy to go too hard and blow up.
CraigB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-11, 06:55 AM   #5
10 Wheels
Galveston County Texas
 
10 Wheels's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: In The Wind
Bikes: 2010 Expedition, 03 GTO
Posts: 29,027
Rest the day before. Get a good nights sleep.
Have fun. Take some pics to share.
__________________
[SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI
10 Wheels is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-11, 07:20 AM   #6
1855Cru
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
1855Cru's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Bikes: 2015 Specialized Diverge Comp Carbon, 2011 Cervelo R3, 2011 Trek 2.1, 2011 Trek X-Caliber
Posts: 313
Craig, you're probably right, I should call it a ride not a race but undoubtedly many people treat it as a serious race or at least that's what I've been led to believe.

Drafting is allowed and though the crowd will thin out substantially, I imagine there will be many large packs of 40-50 riders working together. There are are a number of very fast (I clocked 45-50 mph last week) descents that have tricky switchbacks and hairpins and that is probably where I am most concerned.

Bred, tks for the tip about shoulder to shoulder, I didn't realize that was permissible.

It's a gorgeous route, I'll take some pics and post next week.
1855Cru is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-11, 07:35 AM   #7
1855Cru
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
1855Cru's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Bikes: 2015 Specialized Diverge Comp Carbon, 2011 Cervelo R3, 2011 Trek 2.1, 2011 Trek X-Caliber
Posts: 313
BTW the winner last year finished in 4 hr 56m at a 2:55 avg pace. That's a 23.5 mph avg for a ride that's over 100 miles with more than 13,000 ft of climbing. I just can't fathom those stats!!
1855Cru is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-11, 07:42 AM   #8
CraigB
Starting over
 
CraigB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Indianapolis
Bikes: 1990 Trek 1500; 2006 Gary Fisher Marlin; 2011 Cannondale Synapse Alloy 105; 2012 Catrike Trail
Posts: 4,081
Those are some incredible numbers. Even though they're likely out of reach for us mere mortals, a ride with that many participants is likely to have a good number of riders similar to you in abilities, so you can have some fun working on your race tactics with them without the fear of getting completely dropped and on your own.
CraigB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-11, 07:57 AM   #9
mkadam68
Senior Member
 
mkadam68's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: 30 minutes North-West of Los Angeles.
Bikes: 2012 MotorHouse road bike. No. You can't get one.
Posts: 3,676
A couple things for riding in groups:
  1. Do not panic!
    Stupid things happen sometimes. Don't over-react. Just continue doing the next two...
  2. Hold your line.
    Ride in a straight & predictable manner. Weaving side-to-side, even unintentionally, is dangerous and annoying.
  3. Don't overlap your front wheel (with someone else's back wheel).
    If the person in front weaves to the side, they can easily knock you over and not even know they did it.
  4. Stay to the right, please.
    If you're passing somebody, look, move left, go around, then get your butt back to the right. My biggest pet-peave is idiot cyclists who shout at me "Don't pass on the right!" Maybe if they weren't sitting on the yellow line, I wouldn't have had to!
  5. Be aware of riders around you.
    Look behind you if you're going to move left or right. I was on one century ride years ago riding a good tight paceline with 10 others. We were out near the yellow line, leaving lots of room for slower riders on the right as we jammed up a hill enjoying ourselves. Some dude, without warning or looking!, decides he wants to take a natural break and cuts left across the entire roadway (and us!) to go behind the bushes on the left of the road. Why he didn't use the bushes on the right, I don't know. But it was very stupid and dangerous to others. We almost had to lock brakes and have everyone pile into us from behind.

As Brad said, it is okay to make contact, however, I would advise trying not to. This is not a race, and you shouldn't be fighting for position. If you're a clyde, you don't stand a chance anyway to win the thing w/13,000' of climbing. And keep in mind that most rec-riders will not have any experience with bumping & touching while moving on a bike, and may very well get agitated or panic. If you do bump somebody's arm, don't panic! Continue to hold your line and pray they do, too.

Because of the stories I mentioned and several others, I rarely ride organized charity events anymore. Which is a shame. But there are just too many idiots out there who don't know how to ride their bikes in groups. Which figures: there are too many idiots out there who don't know how to drive their cars in groups, either.
mkadam68 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-11, 08:08 AM   #10
1855Cru
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
1855Cru's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Bikes: 2015 Specialized Diverge Comp Carbon, 2011 Cervelo R3, 2011 Trek 2.1, 2011 Trek X-Caliber
Posts: 313
Tks Mkadam68 on the sage advice. Believe you me, I have no inkling of winning this thing

I frequently ride in groups of 10-20 riders, but we are all at similar levels. What gives me pause is 1200+ riders of all different levels starting off at the same time. I do think it will be fun though
1855Cru is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-11, 08:12 AM   #11
jr59
Senior Member
 
jr59's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: the 904, Jax fl
Bikes:
Posts: 2,286
If it's not a race and just a timed ride, just go have fun.

The pack will shell itself out rather quickly.
You could always wait and be one of the last over the starting line, as your time won't start until you go over the line.
That way you wouldn't have to worry as much.
jr59 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-11, 08:22 AM   #12
mkadam68
Senior Member
 
mkadam68's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: 30 minutes North-West of Los Angeles.
Bikes: 2012 MotorHouse road bike. No. You can't get one.
Posts: 3,676
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1855Cru View Post
Tks Mkadam68 on the sage advice. Believe you me, I have no inkling of winning this thing

I frequently ride in groups of 10-20 riders, but we are all at similar levels. What gives me pause is 1200+ riders of all different levels starting off at the same time. I do think it will be fun though
Don't sweat it. In a group ride, at any given time, you can only have a maximum of--what?--6 to 8 riders right next to you anyway.

I've ridden several centuries with 1,000+ riders, and, as jr59 says, it will thin out somewhat quickly, probably within a couple miles. If you wanted to facilitate that even further, start near the back, where it'll be even moreso.
mkadam68 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-11, 08:33 AM   #13
WonderMonkey
Senior Member
 
WonderMonkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Vandalia OH
Bikes: 2011 Cannondale Quick 5, 2014 Raleigh Revenio 2.0
Posts: 2,923
Quote:
Originally Posted by mkadam68 View Post
Because of the stories I mentioned and several others, I rarely ride organized charity events anymore. Which is a shame. But there are just too many idiots out there who don't know how to ride their bikes in groups. Which figures: there are too many idiots out there who don't know how to drive their cars in groups, either.
While there are certainly a few idiots in all walks of life I don't think most of the people who don't know how to ride in groups are idiots. Nobody has probably taken the time to be aware of all the types of useful advice that you and others have given. They are just people enjoying these rides and don't know any better. That doesn't make them idiots.
WonderMonkey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-11, 04:01 PM   #14
mkadam68
Senior Member
 
mkadam68's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: 30 minutes North-West of Los Angeles.
Bikes: 2012 MotorHouse road bike. No. You can't get one.
Posts: 3,676
Quite right. I shouldn't be calling names. Absolutely right.

On the other hand, I do think that the moments of inattention I was mentioning (swerving & not looking back before crossing two lanes of a roadway) would be common sense. I think you are right that people don't know any better: they come from an automotive driving mindset, and don't think anyone could be riding faster than they.
mkadam68 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-11, 09:22 PM   #15
sstorkel
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Bikes: Cervelo RS, Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Pro, Schwinn Typhoon, Nashbar touring, custom steel MTB
Posts: 5,416
Quote:
Originally Posted by bradtx View Post
It's okay to make shoulder to shoulder contact as you do have to assert your position, but no bike to bike contact.
Only true during a race. If this event is a ride, which it appears to be, expect dirty looks or outright cursing if you're making contact with someone...
sstorkel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-11, 09:42 PM   #16
Mr. Beanz
Banned.
 
Mr. Beanz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Upland Ca
Bikes: Lemond Chambery/Cannondale R-900/Trek 8000 MTB/Burley Duet tandem
Posts: 20,030
Is it a mass start? The climbing rides I've done out here have a 2 hour window for starts. Only 400 riders but I've been on the road where I've been alone for miles on the climb after it thins out.. Sometimes 2 or 3 riders.

He good thing is that the lesser experienced riders will be behind you so you don't have to deal with as many obstacles they can dish out.
Mr. Beanz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-11, 05:39 AM   #17
bradtx
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Pearland, Texas
Bikes: Cannondale, Trek, Raleigh, Santana
Posts: 6,484
Quote:
Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
Only true during a race. If this event is a ride, which it appears to be, expect dirty looks or outright cursing if you're making contact with someone...
Even in a charity ride it's a good tactic when one is being encroached upon and there's nowhere to move to. Vocal alerts often seem to be heard by everyone except for whom it's intended to, and then there's those with ear buds. I haven't had an issue with another rider once he/she becomes aware of the reason for friendly contact. Generally I'll yield, if I can.

Brad
bradtx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-11, 10:15 AM   #18
1855Cru
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
1855Cru's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Bikes: 2015 Specialized Diverge Comp Carbon, 2011 Cervelo R3, 2011 Trek 2.1, 2011 Trek X-Caliber
Posts: 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
Is it a mass start? The climbing rides I've done out here have a 2 hour window for starts. Only 400 riders but I've been on the road where I've been alone for miles on the climb after it thins out.. Sometimes 2 or 3 riders.

He good thing is that the lesser experienced riders will be behind you so you don't have to deal with as many obstacles they can dish out.
It is a mass start which should be interesting
1855Cru is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-11, 10:43 AM   #19
CraigB
Starting over
 
CraigB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Indianapolis
Bikes: 1990 Trek 1500; 2006 Gary Fisher Marlin; 2011 Cannondale Synapse Alloy 105; 2012 Catrike Trail
Posts: 4,081
Even though it's a mass start, don't be surprised if they have you line up by anticipated speed, or if route options are available, by length of ride.

It's still going to be something of a clusterf***, though.
CraigB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-11, 11:42 AM   #20
DTSCDS
"Fred"--is that bad?
 
DTSCDS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: 214 Represent!
Bikes: Felt f85 (11); Trek 7.3 FX (07); Schwinn Super Sport (86); Specialized Rockhopper (87)
Posts: 513
On the few mass start charity-rides I have done (never a race) I expect it to be just short of chaos at the start then thin out fairly quickly. Since I have no need/delusions of finishing in the first few I always position myself near the back at the start. I go EXTREMELY easy for the first mile or so as the thundering herd begins to thin itself. It's true that putting myself at the back means there are more folks in front of me to weave through as I pick up the pace, it just seems to make life less stressful for the first few minutes.
DTSCDS is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:48 AM.