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View Poll Results: What should a dropped rider do?
Get off the track. You're not going to win and you're just in the way. 2 7.14%
Ride high on the track and finish. 3 10.71%
Ride as if you're still racing, work with other slower guys to get back to the pack. 22 78.57%
If you're going to get dropped every time, don't bother racing with the boys. 1 3.57%
Voters: 28. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-10-06, 07:35 AM   #1
chimblysweep
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You're Dropped: What Do You Do?

OK, so I'm a woman (Cat 4 of course) and half the time when I show up to the track there aren't any other women to race against, so they throw me in with the 4/5 men. Sometimes, this results in me getting dropped after 3-4 laps. In the case of points races, this usually means I get lapped.

My instinct is just to keep riding to finish, and try to get back with the pack if I can (unlikely but possible), but for those of you experienced racers, what should I do?

Last edited by chimblysweep; 07-10-06 at 07:42 AM.
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Old 07-10-06, 08:33 AM   #2
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you might as well keep racing, until you start getting lapped... once you get lapped maybe ride higher up to keep the sprinter's lane clear. you paid to race and you're not going to get any faster bowing out, you know? if you're a danger, i would think it would be an offical's responsibility to let you know you're posing a problem.

that's too bad there's not enough interested women to have a specific class.
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Old 07-10-06, 08:44 AM   #3
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there are enough women for Thursday night's super-serious racing. It's the friday night "developmental" race series that is really lacking in women. i just don't feel competitive enough (or good enough) to race Thursdays.
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Old 07-10-06, 10:15 AM   #4
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i'd go with what iso said... just ride high and stay aware of when the pack (edit.. is it a peloton when it's on a track, or only road?) is coming around, but you paid to race so you might as well get that training time on the track.
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Old 07-10-06, 10:52 AM   #5
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let them catch you and try staying on the wheel again.
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Old 07-10-06, 11:05 AM   #6
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but i'm not always a full lap down-- usually i'm not that far back.

i guess i ask because i've seen many people just drop out when they get dropped. i've never done that.
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Old 07-10-06, 11:17 AM   #7
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i think you should hang in there then. some people drop out from bruised pride. during the fast men and women races here, the officials will pull people out on the high lap count races to keep the slower people out of the way... but in the less fast races, they usually let everyone be unless they're endangering themselves or others.
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Old 07-11-06, 09:59 AM   #8
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Just keep pedaling and going...it is important to finish.
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Old 07-11-06, 01:49 PM   #9
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Lleaving the track early is only for miss and outs, and then only if an official pulls you or leaving the track is understood before the start.
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Old 07-11-06, 01:50 PM   #10
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Leaving the track early is only for miss and outs, and then only if an official pulls you or leaving the track is understood before the start.
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Old 07-11-06, 02:49 PM   #11
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Keep racing, and stay on the black line, especially if you're not a full lap down. In a points race (especially with 4/5 or Masters) the pace will often ease up and you may be able to chase back up.

I'd disagree about riding up higher on the track-- stay in the drops and ride the black line. If the faster racers lap you they'll have no trouble going over, and you should just hold your line while they do it. Don't try to get out of the way-- everyone's eyes are in front of their heads, and they can avoid you much more easily than you can get out of their way. The last thing I want a lapped rider to do is start pulling up track while I'm going over, especially on a bell lap. The people behind you may be approaching way faster than you realize.

If you're not going a full lap down, then it's likely that a little bit of skill and acceleration improvement will keep you in the pack for the whole race. If you're staying almost constant distance (or losing distance only slowly) from them after popping out the back, you're going the same speed, but doing more work, and you just have to stay with the jumps better.

In something longer like a points race, try to get back on as you get lapped. Accelerate as the group is catching you and get on the tail, or if you get up to speed fast enough, grab a wheel as it comes down in front of you.

Officials will generally pull you if you start to be in the way or ride erratically because you're fried and dropped.
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Old 07-12-06, 03:19 PM   #12
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wow, great advice, duck. thanks!
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Old 07-12-06, 06:12 PM   #13
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beer oclock
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Old 07-12-06, 07:56 PM   #14
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I went with the third option; unless you're the only slow one, there's bound to be another rider dropped from the head pack who you can team up with and sneak back to the chase...
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Old 07-13-06, 09:39 AM   #15
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I went with the third option; unless you're the only slow one, there's bound to be another rider dropped from the head pack who you can team up with and sneak back to the chase...
Sometimes you can get lapped by only the leaders (if a couple people get away off the front) and get on the back of them and let them pull you back up. You're not even *allowed* to do any work on the front with them until you regain contact with the pack, so you just sit in and cruise. This works if you're dropped because you redlined and the pack rode aways, but you have a decent recovery and can accelerate back up with the lapping guys.
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Old 07-13-06, 10:23 AM   #16
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I know how you feel about racing in a mixed field. Last year, there were a few times I had to race with Cat 5 guys.

If I got dropped, I would try to work with other slower folks, or just keep riding on my own. The officials will make the decision if you should move up on the track or exit it altogether.

Hang in there - I'm not sure how upgrades are handled at your local track, but I was upgraded to a Cat 3 at the discretion of a staff member. I had raced about 6 times as a Cat 4. Demonstrating you are a safe rider is a higher priority than your speed for catting up - as it is with men moving from (crash) 5's to cat 4.
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Old 07-17-06, 09:00 PM   #17
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or you could race against me, and never worry about having someone slower than you again...
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Old 07-18-06, 02:53 PM   #18
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that would be nice, but you're not down here!

i'm not looking for an upgrade- not at all. right now i'm just trying to get more track time and racing experience in, hence racing even if there's no field for me to race against.
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Old 07-19-06, 12:12 PM   #19
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I'm also a cat 4 woman who has done some races with the men's 4/5s. Last year I got dropped and lapped a lot. A LOT. So first of all, don't be discouraged--you're going to get better! And staying in these races (versus dropping out) is going to give you a workout that will help you to improve.

Always be aware of where people are at on the track. If you're not in danger of getting lapped, just keep riding low, and work with other riders to catch back on.

As bitingduck said, if you are about to get lapped, and people are coming up behind you fast enough that you're not sure you have enough time to safely move uptrack and out of the way, then just stay at the black line. Generally, though, my recommendation would be to get uptrack (above the blue line) long before they are about to pass. Keep in mind that it can be hairy being in the field if riders are stacked up and everyone has to shift uptrack to get around a lapped rider. These are cat 4/5 guys, after all.

With the men's 4/5 races last year, I generally knew I couldn't hold the wheel of the leaders--so I'd stay uptrack, letting the leaders pass and waiting for the main pack to come through, then drop back on to the end of the pack. I found it easier to watch what's going on and to drop down from the banking to pick up speed to catch on to a wheel instead of trying to estimate the speed directly behind me and chasing on from low on the track.

Last edited by gilby; 07-19-06 at 12:17 PM.
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Old 07-25-06, 02:29 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by gilby
With the men's 4/5 races last year, I generally knew I couldn't hold the wheel of the leaders--so I'd stay uptrack, letting the leaders pass and waiting for the main pack to come through, then drop back on to the end of the pack. I found it easier to watch what's going on and to drop down from the banking to pick up speed to catch on to a wheel instead of trying to estimate the speed directly behind me and chasing on from low on the track.
I was gonna recommend this... IF the refs are OK with you being out there! If the goal is to stick with the pack, when you know yer dropped immediately go to the top of the track and recover. (think Madison) When the MAIN pack comes thru again, drop in on em and surf the back. Repeat as needed.

If the refs are OK with that tactic, you'll get the benefits of the draft and speed training without the drudgery of chasing alone. Ask em first! They may get pissy at you if they don't know that you know whatcher doing.

Its always easier to let gravity help you up to speed than to do it yerself...

HTH,

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Old 08-03-06, 12:32 PM   #21
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recruit some friends, seriously! we have 5 of us out there at about the same fitness level give or take a few bike-lengths. heh heh. but we brought our own womens field to the table. get involved in training and advertise the track class to your girlfriends. or join a team and recruit some women.. but stick in the race, totally finish hard, sprint to the line no matter where you stand and when you come to our velodrom and you are used to racing the men all the time, you'll give us a run for our money!
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