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Old 02-06-10, 11:13 PM   #1
godsang
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Passing advice needed. (XC mt bike race, beginner woman)

I'm going to race in the MidAtlantic Super Series mountain bike season 2010. I started mt biking a little over a year ago, so I'll be entering in Beginner Women 35+ class (I'm 36). I'm fast and ride with mostly men. I've been told by people who race that I'm fast and good enough to start in the Sport class, but I think I need to start as a Beginner because I have no experience with racing of any type, or with passing people, and I have to get better at keeping my focus after I take a fall. I think Sport would be too much for me at this point.

Does anyone have any advice for passing techniques? When I ride with people, I often think about where I'd pass if I was racing, and I can see that it'll be hard to pass someone who is just a little slower than me.

I've also realized that when I'm riding fast and then I catch up to slower people, if I sit behind them, it's hard to build up enough speed to pass at the "right time". Should I just barrel down on them, shout, "on your left/right" (whatever is the case) and go, assuming they'll yield?

What if I'm passing a man? I'm sure some men may not want to be passed by a woman and they might ignore my shout. Are most racers courteous?

I'd appreciate any advice. I eat, sleep, and breath mountain biking. Ever since I've started, I've been driven to get faster, more technical, and better.
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Old 02-07-10, 07:30 AM   #2
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I doubt you will have trouble passing. Some people will intentionally move to the side when they sense you are there, others will wait for you to say something but I don't think anyone will intentionally block you.

If it is a guy then he is in a different class so it should not matter to him, except for pride

good luck!
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Old 02-08-10, 12:30 PM   #3
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Generally the "rule" is that if you want to pass, it is your job as the faster rider to find the room to do so. The slower rider may move over for you - but they are under no obligation to. The general thinking is that if you are faster, you are also more skilled, so the slower rider gets to keep the better line, and the faster rider uses their skill on the "less good line".

Ideally, the faster rider will come up, and say "on your left when there's room" or something to that effect. That way, if the trail widens, the slower rider knows to move over a little.

Blasting by is fine - if you can do it safely. If you clip the slower rider or bump into them - not so cool. This goes back to my earlier point that the faster rider is generally a better technical rider as well.

Either way, let them know you are there & which side you are passing on. If it is someone in the same class as me, all bets are off and they are on their own. If I'm holding up a rider in a different class, I tend to do what I can to let them get through (short of stopping).

If you are really that fast - you shouldn't be passing anyone, you should be off the front from the start.
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Old 02-09-10, 09:05 AM   #4
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Thanks for your advice. I need to get some practice passing riding buddies so I can develop more skill in that area. I suppose it will be pretty easy for me to tell who's not in my class. (any man is not) I don't envy the men, because it must be a lot harder for you to tell who's a direct competitor in the heat of the race.
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Old 04-07-10, 02:39 PM   #5
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I'm curious as to why it's harder for men to tell who's a competitor. Meh.

Even if I go barreling past someone I at least yell out "left!" or "right!" just to give them a weeny bit of warning so I don't spook them or make them loose concentration. I'd expect others to do the same as well.
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Old 04-08-10, 07:30 AM   #6
godsang
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Hmmm, I guess I thought it would be harder for men to tell who's in their class because your group could be large. You might not know everyone from the back as you coming up to pass them. As the race goes on, I would imagine all the age groups within a class may start to mix up. You could be in the 30-34 group and be passing a 35-39 racer and not be sure if it's a competitor or not. I guess you get to know the people in your class as the season goes on.
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Old 10-29-10, 12:54 PM   #7
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don't worry about age groups and genders etc. ride at your speed and pass those that are slower than you the rest will take care of itself. Just let them know your intentions and then do what you say you are going to do. Try to pass with enough speed that they won't feel like sucking onto your wheel and force you into mistakes down the trail.
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Old 10-29-10, 01:04 PM   #8
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i usually just shoot a red turtle shell if i have one
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