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  1. #1
    Overacting because I can SpongeDad's Avatar
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    The Pit - for noobs

    Having never raced before, I was wondering if someone could explain the logistics of the pit.

    Do you have assigned spots? Do you just stake out an area? Are you expected to clear out after your race?

    I don't have a second bike, but I'd like to drop my bag of stuff in the pit (tools, tubes, etc).

    Basically, just not clear on what the protocol is.
    “Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm." (Churchill)

    "I am a courageous cyclist." (SpongeDad)

  2. #2
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    why do you want to drop that stuff in there? Usually you put in a pair of spare wheels or a pit bike. Granted I have never been to the bigger races where you have mechanics in the pit, but I imagine if you need things like tools and lube then your race is pretty much over.
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  3. #3
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    Every pit I've seen has been pretty informal. It's 1st come 1st served, no assigned spaces, and there's plenty of spots. Just show up before your race to drop off your stuff, and clear it out soon after your race.

    As far as what to leave at the pit, it's normally just a spare wheelset and/or a spare bike.

    Know that you will not be allowed to short cut or back track to the pit. So if you get a mechanical after you pass the pit or somewhere far from it, you will have to run your bike on the course all the way there.

    Good luck Sunday!

  4. #4
    Senior Member MONGO!'s Avatar
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    There's no reason to put tools and tubes in the pit, if you're doing anything that takes longer that swapping a wheel your race is done anyway.

  5. #5
    Oh The Huge Manatee Lithuania's Avatar
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    unless you would just like to finish the race likes lot of newer racers are trying to do. changing a tube is probably a little too much though.

  6. #6
    Tiocfáidh ár Lá jfmckenna's Avatar
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    Yeah it would be worth it just to get out and finish your race. What is it like 5 minutes maybe to change a tube? Could still be worth it just to get back in and have fun. But yeah just stake your claim to a spot.

  7. #7
    antisocialite dirtyphotons's Avatar
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    yeah, the pit in cross seems to have two main functions, depending on the level of support you have.

    if you've got a b bike and someone in the pit to work for you, you can swap out bikes without losing too much time. then while you're riding your mechanic can wash your bike, air up (or take air out of) your tires, address mechanicals etc. but almost none of us fall into this category.

    for the rest of us, if you need to use the pit at all you can give up any hope of a decent placing (compared to how you normally do). unless you flat or have a mechanical within a few hundred yards of the pit, you're going to lose a huge chunk of time. it can be useful if you want to finish the race no matter what, and that's how i've used it in the past. two years ago i ran 5/6 of a lap with a broken chain in my hand and got lapped by most of the field. but i finished.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sheldon Brown
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  8. #8
    Oh The Huge Manatee Lithuania's Avatar
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    i disagree that most people here have no use for a bike wash in the pit. b racers would benefit greatly from a bike change every now and then in a race like yesterday.

  9. #9
    antisocialite dirtyphotons's Avatar
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    oh i didn't mean we wouldn't have benefitted, i just mean that most of us don't have a personal mechanic

    i most certainly could've used a clean bike swap every lap.

    edit: but i guess if you have a pit bike you get one clean bike swap per race even without a mechanic. if this is what you meant then yeah, that's another effective use of the pit for us unsupported riders.
    Last edited by dirtyphotons; 09-28-09 at 12:10 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sheldon Brown
    Because when fashion conflicts with function, I vote for function.

  10. #10
    Oh The Huge Manatee Lithuania's Avatar
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    you dont need a mechanic just a team mate or friend even ive got those

  11. #11
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    I'm sure you travel with buddies or have other people you know at the races. If they have already raced, or their race is not till a lot later, as for their help.

    Last year I helped out my friend/driving mate in the pit. He raced Elites and I raced the cat 3 race. There was plenty of time after my race and his so I got cleaned up and then headed over to the pit.

    Now I'm racing Elites, so need to find a pit buddy

  12. #12
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    So, if you had only the single bike swap (no support in the pit), where in the race would you use it?

    Save the fresh bike for a last-lap, do-or-die effort? In the middle, averaging out the amount of muck accumulated? Something else?

  13. #13
    antisocialite dirtyphotons's Avatar
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    ok, i'm sold. gonna start bringin the b bike and a friend, at least for the muddy races.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sheldon Brown
    Because when fashion conflicts with function, I vote for function.

  14. #14
    Team Beer Cynikal's Avatar
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    I keep my single speed in the pit. If I have an issue, at least I'm finishing.
    I'm not one for fawning over bicycles, but I do believe that our bikes communicate with us, and what this bike is saying is, "You're an idiot." BikeSnobNYC

  15. #15
    Oh The Huge Manatee Lithuania's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crack Monkey View Post
    So, if you had only the single bike swap (no support in the pit), where in the race would you use it?

    Save the fresh bike for a last-lap, do-or-die effort? In the middle, averaging out the amount of muck accumulated? Something else?
    if i only had one bike swap I would save it for a mechanical or something or if my bike got way loaded down with mud or muck.

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