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


Go Back   > >

Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 11-23-04, 11:08 PM   #1
Twitchology
I descend on my face
Thread Starter
 
Twitchology's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: The Land of Milk and Hoppy.
Bikes:
Posts: 93
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm too damn slow

I got my ass kicked on my first race. My dismounts were great, alot better than I expected. My mounts were acceptable.

What really kicked my ass was just riding. I was slow. This was in central coast california with alot of hard dry clay and generally nasty terrain. I'm used to soft mud, maybe I got scared. The descents scared me ****less, I rode my brakes all the way down. I couldn't go faster on the single track for some reason. There was one log that everyone was bunnyhopping over but I can't bunnyhop properly so I had to mount/dismount. All in all I feel really damn slow. I need to increase my general speed and not be so scared of descents, but steep downhills on hard bumpy terrain just feel really scary when the bike is trying to bounce out from under me. Maybe I'm not modulating my discs right, maybe I'm just whiteknuckled with fear. Thoughts?

Oh, end result was I was the last person to cross the line. There was one guy under me who DNFed. I got in 4 laps while most folks did 5 or 6. Next race is Sunday.
Twitchology is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-04, 01:29 AM   #2
oldskoolboarder
Senior Member
 
oldskoolboarder's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 347
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Fort Ord right? I believe I was one ahead of you, I'm Cesar. Don't sweat it. First couple of CX races will be tough when your a newbie. During my first one (DFL at Candlestick) I pretty much raced w/ all racers (A/B/Masters/Men/Women). I got OBLITERATED. My buddy, who got me into this d*&n CX thing, even lapped me on the 2nd to last lap. Technique and practice helps a lot. Practice mounts/dismounts, run ups and carries. Don't worry about the bunny hops. I only saw a few MTBers able to do that this weekend, mostly because they had front susp. I dismounted along side an MTBer on one of the logs and I mounted and kept pace w/ him by running.

I've also found that race-specific conditioning helps. While one may be able to do a century, it's a different story mainting 90% HR for 30 minutes straight. Practices rides should be as close to race conditions as possible, in order to acclimate yourself to riding when your lungs are about to explode.

Don't be discouraged, it's tough but fun. Put it this way, I've pretty much raced all season, and I was 3rd from last, even with 5 laps... Sadly, I've only really completed the full laps at one race, Surf City. And I ride twice a week, cyclops twice a week and run 1 or 2 times. My problem is getting myself to traing at 90% HR, I get lazy. And at this point in the season, most experienced riders are already at peak conditioning.

There's still a few races left. Next week at Fort Ord, Pilarcitos (2), EBCX on 12/19, and CCCX in Jan.
oldskoolboarder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-04, 02:05 AM   #3
Twitchology
I descend on my face
Thread Starter
 
Twitchology's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: The Land of Milk and Hoppy.
Bikes:
Posts: 93
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Wow, that's awesome that we lined up! I'll be hitting the course again this sunday. How do you eat before a race? I found myself cramping alot because I shoved down 3 energy bars on the drive from the peninsula.
Twitchology is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-04, 07:47 AM   #4
jfmckenna
Tiocfáidh ár Lá
 
jfmckenna's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: The edge of b#
Bikes: A whole bunch-a bikes.
Posts: 5,440
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 65 Post(s)
Don't forget to warm up really good before the race. If the course is open you should first of all stretch out real good and then do some laps building up to a final warm up lap at race pace. Show up to the starting line with your heart rate up. A lot happens right off the start line in a cross race and you go 100% till the end so you don't want to use the first couple laps to get warmed up.

As far as being scared on descents you will most likelly just get better and better at it once you build up confidence. I've noticed for things like steep hills and bunny hops when in a race situation you will be surprised at what you can do. Especially if you are in the pack and everyone drops down the hill like a rock. At that point it's like you have no choice but to fly and then when it's over you just think, "oh ok I can actually do that". Also your fear may cause you to be more dangerous to yourself. Sometimes it is actually safer to go faster over certain objects while your fear will slow you down and be more dangerous.
jfmckenna is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-04, 11:50 AM   #5
Phatman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: NC
Bikes:
Posts: 3,411
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twitchology
Wow, that's awesome that we lined up! I'll be hitting the course again this sunday. How do you eat before a race? I found myself cramping alot because I shoved down 3 energy bars on the drive from the peninsula.
aww dude, thats a problem. I find that I need real food before a hard workout. While I've never done a cross race, I would try to get a real meal, like a bagel and pb or something an hour or two before the workout (race). then, try to get at the very least 15 minutes of spinning before the race. for a short race like a cx race, try for 30 minutes to an hour to get your legs ready for the intense effort.

so, while powerbars have their place, their place is not in your stomach along with two other powerbars. try the powerbar about a half-hour before the race, on top of the real food that you ate a few hours before.
Phatman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-04, 11:55 AM   #6
oldskoolboarder
Senior Member
 
oldskoolboarder's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 347
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfmckenna
Don't forget to warm up really good before the race. If the course is open you should first of all stretch out real good and then do some laps building up to a final warm up lap at race pace. Show up to the starting line with your heart rate up. A lot happens right off the start line in a cross race and you go 100% till the end so you don't want to use the first couple laps to get warmed up.

As far as being scared on descents you will most likelly just get better and better at it once you build up confidence. I've noticed for things like steep hills and bunny hops when in a race situation you will be surprised at what you can do. Especially if you are in the pack and everyone drops down the hill like a rock. At that point it's like you have no choice but to fly and then when it's over you just think, "oh ok I can actually do that". Also your fear may cause you to be more dangerous to yourself. Sometimes it is actually safer to go faster over certain objects while your fear will slow you down and be more dangerous.
Good points, you'd be surprised what you'd be willing to do in a race. For me, I like to pick people to pace me. Not necessarily to draft but to motivate me and keep men moving. Speed is also key, slowing down maintains your fear and can cause you to crash. Obstacles will become less important if you're flying by them, just keep an eye on your line and stick w/ it. More than likely you'll crash, but you have to get over that hump. Heck, I crash near the start on the dip before the road. I got launched and my bike unclipped and flew over me. Fortunately, adrenaline has a way of masking pain. I've still got a whole body side of road rash and only now is my neck not sore. But I'm racing again.

As far as food, I agree, eat something more substantial at least an hour before. Bagels OK. I eat powerbars but maybe only half, I'm not a breakfast person. Hydration is VERY important, I try to drink a few bottles before the race to pre-hydrate, though I do carry one w/ me in my back pocket.

Staying warm is also important, you don't want to start cold. This last race didn't have a decent place to do loops and keep your legs moving, but most races have a paved start. Then you can warm up in the parking lot, many times it looks like a carousel w/ all the riders moving in a circle. Keep your legs moving until the gun starts, just don't blow your wad on the warm up.
oldskoolboarder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-04, 02:27 PM   #7
scotj
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 18
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It could be worse; you could be racing cross back in Oregon in the mud! Then again the central coast of California has gotten more rain then we've had this fall.

I can say I know how you feel the first race that I did in 12 years was a 20 mile time trial with rolling hills, and I got just about the same results that you got.

Good Luck!
scotj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-04, 09:34 PM   #8
JimmyMack
Senior Member
 
JimmyMack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 106
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Fast bumpy descents require practice, so it will come with time. Let it slide. Relax it was your first race.

You sound proud of your dismount/remount, so keep that skill up. Dismount remount can make up a lot of time for people with less pedal power. I haven't felt like the strongest guy out there all season, but I do know that I can make up sme lost time in the running sections. Having a bunch of little skils can boost your confidence in the midst of a race.

For food I usually eat a good meal the night before, and a small breakfast. The race is short, so you don't have to worry about bonking. A power bar 1.5 hours before the race should be plenty. Chow down afterwards. Water is my main concern before the race, because there isn't really anytime during the race. One liter of water 40 minutes before start.

Build up a list of things that you can do fast and your overall lap time will come down.
JimmyMack 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 03:26 AM.