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Yet another first race report

Old 06-01-05, 11:56 AM
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bac
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Since everyone else is posting about his or her 1st road race experience, I thought I’d put my $.02 in. I’ve raced my mountain bike on many occasions including several 24-hour races, but I’d yet to turn a pedal in anger in a real road racing situation … until last evening.

I did a crit race that was run on a ½ mile banked oval. This oval has a bit of an elevation change right @ the start/finish line just to make the sprints interesting. I raced in the Cat-5 group, as this was my first road race. My ambition was simply to stay with the field (read: don’t get dropped!), and get some experience moving around in the group. Shockingly, I didn’t have any trouble staying with the group, and actually went off the front a few times by myself, and several other times with small groups.

Instinct kicked in on the 1st lap as 2 riders jumped off the front. I couldn’t seem to stop myself from bridging the gap, and riding along. All the while, I could hear a little voice in my head screaming “You Fool!”, but I continued regardless as to common sense. The field eventually swallowed us up, and I played around in the group for a while before taking a few more stabs off the front. They also score MARs (most aggressive rider) points @ the start/finish line. So, every lap, there was a sprint @ the line which made it very interesting.

Something I didn’t anticipate was the banked turns. I’ve no experience on them, and it showed through the first 4, or 5 laps. Finally, I got onto looking well ahead, and around the turn, while using my peripheral vision to keep from punting the wheel directly in front of me. I felt relatively good the entire race, and had a fantastic time! In the end, I made a rookie mistake, and ended up being totally blocked in on the last lap, and really didn’t get to contest the sprint. With that mistake, I finished 16th of 25 riders, but was very satisfied with that performance. I can’t wait to do it again!

I’ll also post a pic. That’s me in the green jersey in one of my few attempts @ getting off the front.

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Old 06-01-05, 12:00 PM
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What the heck, here is one more picture taken entering one of the banked turns:

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Old 06-01-05, 12:13 PM
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Looking good, bac!

You'll do better the next time. Keep us posted.
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Old 06-01-05, 12:20 PM
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Hey bac - Where is that? I have seen some sort of cycling park when I took my son to the Pitt Zoo from here in SC
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Old 06-01-05, 12:21 PM
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Looks good... peoples first race experiences are really inspiring... expecially when they do well!
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Old 06-01-05, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Grasschopper
Hey bac - Where is that? I have seen some sort of cycling park when I took my son to the Pitt Zoo from here in SC
This may be it. The track is called the Washington Blvd Bicycle Oval, and it's located in Pittsburgh very close to the Highland Park Zoo/Aquarium. Last evening was my first (but not last!) visit. The other racers, and the folks that put on this weekly racing series were really good guys. It really made for an enjoyable experience.
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Old 06-01-05, 12:43 PM
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We've heard great things about racing at the Oval, and this weekend in Beaver most of the riders were regulars of that race!

Way to go and keep it up!
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Old 06-01-05, 01:34 PM
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That oval does look very cool indeed...
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Old 06-01-05, 03:35 PM
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I see several riders in the same uniform. Are they in a team?

What are the average participants experience level like, in the terms of how many months or how many times?

Last edited by allgoo19; 06-01-05 at 08:31 PM.
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Old 06-01-05, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by allgoo19
I see several riders in the same uniform. Are they in a team?
There were teams there. Although, it's my understanding that team racing shouldn't be applied @ the cat-5 level. I don't really know, as I'm running unattached.

What are the average participants experience level like, in the terms of how many months or haw many times?
Good questions, but I really have no good answers. As far as I could tell from talking with some of the guys, there was a mix of riders - a few first timers (like me), and some with many races completed.
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Old 06-01-05, 08:16 PM
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What part of Pittsburgh is that? My family is from Squirrel Hill. I used to go their haas during the summer when I was young. My grandparents used to take me dawn tawn to Isley's and stuff

I still have some family back there.
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Old 06-01-05, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by cjbruin
What part of Pittsburgh is that? My family is from Squirrel Hill. I used to go their haas during the summer when I was young. My grandparents used to take me dawn tawn to Isley's and stuff

I still have some family back there.
Not too far from Squirrel Hill at all. A couple miles down the road at the old Washington Blvd drivers license test facility. From Sq Hill you'd make a right onto Fifth Ave., and just go straight. Fifth turns into Washington Blvd (route 8) right around East Liberty. It's about a mile down the road on the left.
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Old 06-02-05, 06:55 AM
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Originally Posted by cjbruin
What part of Pittsburgh is that? My family is from Squirrel Hill. I used to go their haas during the summer when I was young. My grandparents used to take me dawn tawn to Isley's and stuff

I still have some family back there.
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Old 06-02-05, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by bac
Good questions, but I really have no good answers. As far as I could tell from talking with some of the guys, there was a mix of riders - a few first timers (like me), and some with many races completed.
It's still intimidating. They look scarely fast to me including you, bac.

My another thought was why they all seem to have big arms unlike classic level racers? Is this a kind of race that strong upper body helps to win?
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Old 06-02-05, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by allgoo19
It's still intimidating. They look scarely fast to me including you, bac.

My another thought was why they all seem to have big arms unlike classic level racers? Is this a kind of race that strong upper body helps to win?
With the exception of a rise @ the start/finish line, it's a relatively flat track. So, I guess it's built for more for a flatland power/sprinter than a climber. Or, perhaps my little girly arms just make the rest look big! It could be!
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