Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    I descend on my face Twitchology's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    The Land of Milk and Hoppy.
    Posts
    93
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(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.

  2. #2
    Senior Member oldskoolboarder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    345
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(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.

  3. #3
    I descend on my face Twitchology's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    The Land of Milk and Hoppy.
    Posts
    93
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(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.

  4. #4
    Tiocfáidh ár Lá jfmckenna's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    The edge of b#
    My Bikes
    A whole bunch-a bikes.
    Posts
    5,401
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(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.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    3,411
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(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.

  6. #6
    Senior Member oldskoolboarder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    345
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(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 *** starts, just don't blow your wad on the warm up.

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    18
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(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!

  8. #8
    Senior Member JimmyMack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    109
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(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.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •