Go Back  Bike Forums > The Racer's Forum > "The 33"-Road Bike Racing
Reload this Page >

Is it a good idea to skip the first crit of the season?

Notices
"The 33"-Road Bike Racing We set this forum up for our members to discuss their experiences in either pro or amateur racing, whether they are the big races, or even the small backyard races. Don't forget to update all the members with your own race results.

Is it a good idea to skip the first crit of the season?

Old 12-07-17, 10:48 PM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Radish_legs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 998
Liked 65 Times in 33 Posts
Is it a good idea to skip the first crit of the season?

In the trainerroad podcast they talked about how the first (or the first few crits) of the season are the very most dangerous.

That was borne out in my experience this past year. There was a pretty major crash in the last turn of my crit. The 4/5 crit. First of the season.

And then the 3/4 race that happened just after was described by some of my friends as one of the scariest, sketchiest races they had ever been in.

Both races had their largest fields in that first week. In the 4/5 there were plenty that were dropped pretty soon after the race got going, and folks all over the course.

But at the same time, the energy is the greatest at the beginning of the season I think. Looking back, the fields were the most competitive and talented at the beginning of the season.

What's your opinion on skipping these very early races, and joining in after the herd get thinned?
Radish_legs is offline  
Old 12-07-17, 11:42 PM
  #2  
**** that
 
mattm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: CALI
Posts: 15,402
Liked 104 Times in 30 Posts
every race is sketchy
mattm is offline  
Old 12-07-17, 11:56 PM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
Doge's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Southern California, USA
Posts: 10,485

Bikes: 1979 Raleigh Team 753

Liked 378 Times in 257 Posts
Does not seem to me that folks start getting good ideas until later in life. If you are not as good as other - that helps with the smarts.
Doge is offline  
Old 12-08-17, 01:06 AM
  #4  
commu*ist spy
 
spectastic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: oregon
Posts: 4,459
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
i think there's some truth there. but I don't think it's enough reason to sway me, personally. there's a probability of crashing every single time. you can minimize it by knowing your competitors (who's good wheel, who's not), having good reaction time and handling, staying near the front and race smart. you're right in that the first races generally have bigger fields with a lot of wannabes. so long as you don't let them get in your way, it shouldn't be a problem
spectastic is offline  
Old 12-08-17, 06:03 AM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Music City, USA
Posts: 4,444

Bikes: bikes

Liked 1,429 Times in 711 Posts
I didn't realize there were ever any 4/5 races that weren't prone to outlandishly sketchy and dangerous behavior.
rubiksoval is offline  
Old 12-08-17, 06:42 AM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
Wylde06's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: NW Ohio
Posts: 2,208

Bikes: Cannondale Six13

Liked 58 Times in 21 Posts
Just stay at the front and you have nothing to worry about
Wylde06 is offline  
Old 12-08-17, 08:52 AM
  #7  
Senior Member
 
topflightpro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 7,575
Liked 686 Times in 434 Posts
We put on an early season race every year. While I haven't tracked it, I don't recall there being a significantly larger number of crashes in those races than later ones.

I will say that a lot of guys show up expecting to trounce the field and get some upgrade points, but it rarely proves to be an easy points grab.
topflightpro is offline  
Old 12-08-17, 09:20 AM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
furiousferret's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Redlands, CA
Posts: 6,313
Liked 469 Times in 250 Posts
You may be right, but I do think that way of thinking is counterproductive. Really if its a concern, line up and go on a break, blow yourself up and sit up at the end. If you end up in the pack, ride on the edges, towards the front.


That being said, I won't race Ladera Ranch. 3 years, 3 teammates, 3 ambulance trips.
furiousferret is offline  
Old 12-08-17, 09:32 AM
  #9  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Radish_legs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 998
Liked 65 Times in 33 Posts
Originally Posted by rubiksoval
I didn't realize there were ever any 4/5 races that weren't prone to outlandishly sketchy and dangerous behavior.
my experience (limited) in 4/5 crits locally was that they felt reasonably safe. However the main crit that I do is kind of like an oval, so perhaps that helps. But it's also the one that I described as being the most unsafe on the first race of the season.
Radish_legs is offline  
Old 12-08-17, 12:08 PM
  #10  
Rides too much bike
 
dz_nuzz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Boston
Posts: 842
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
[MENTION=424813]JJ121591[/MENTION] Get in here!

IMO, skip it. Seen some stupid crashes in the early season that can mess up large swathes of the rest of your season.
dz_nuzz is offline  
Old 12-08-17, 12:28 PM
  #11  
Senior Member
 
arai_speed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Cali Caliente
Posts: 94

Bikes: Yes

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Here in Socal we seem to have races all year round.

Last crit of the 2017 season is Dec 10th (excluding training races). First crit for the 2018 season is January 14th.

I think like Matt mentioned, every race is sketch.
arai_speed is offline  
Old 12-08-17, 01:04 PM
  #12  
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 46
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by dz_nuzz
[MENTION=424813]JJ121591[/MENTION] Get in here!

IMO, skip it. Seen some stupid crashes in the early season that can mess up large swathes of the rest of your season.
LOL. last year i trained my FACE OFF all winter - entered the first crit of the year (a combined field) and dudes slid out in a corner halfway through the race. i remember seeing an upside-down bike in front of me and the next thing i knew i heard the sound of my collarbone crunching.

NEVER AGAIN. notworththerisk/10
JJ121591 is offline  
Old 12-08-17, 01:08 PM
  #13  
out walking the earth
 
gsteinb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Lake Placid, NY
Posts: 21,441
Liked 752 Times in 342 Posts
In 2012 a guy clipped his pedal in the last turn of a memorial weekend classic taking himself out and me with him. I shattered my elbow, had major reconstructive surgery, and 9 months of OT.

It's an inherently dangerous sport, and crashes can happen on any Sunday.

One advantage of the spring races is the fields tend to be smaller.
gsteinb is offline  
Old 12-08-17, 01:18 PM
  #14  
Senior Member
 
arai_speed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Cali Caliente
Posts: 94

Bikes: Yes

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The Gambler's Fallacy:

"...the belief that, if something happens more frequently than normal during some period [early season crashing], it will happen less frequently in the future... [late season crashing]"
arai_speed is offline  
Old 12-08-17, 01:31 PM
  #15  
If you brake you dont win
 
Nooner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Inland Empire
Posts: 103

Bikes: Santa Cruz Bronson, Trek Remedy 9.8, Cervelo S3, Kona Big Honzo, Cannondale R500, DiamondBack Apex, one storage unit my wife knows nothing about, and one ball crushing unicycle for kicks

Liked 6 Times in 3 Posts
I haven't raced in any crit thus far that did not have some sort of sketchiness at one point or another.
Mountain bike racing seems safer sometimes...
Nooner is offline  
Old 12-08-17, 05:15 PM
  #16  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Radish_legs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 998
Liked 65 Times in 33 Posts
Originally Posted by gsteinb
In 2012 a guy clipped his pedal in the last turn of a memorial weekend classic taking himself out and me with him. I shattered my elbow, had major reconstructive surgery, and 9 months of OT.

It's an inherently dangerous sport, and crashes can happen on any Sunday.

One advantage of the spring races is the fields tend to be smaller.
Our late summer 100 degree crits are smaller. Spring are the largest.
Radish_legs is offline  
Old 12-08-17, 10:50 PM
  #17  
neo-poster
 
cold turtle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: the Ozarks
Posts: 48

Bikes: 2018 Specialized Allez Sprint, 2018 Specialized Tarmac SL6 Pro; Cannondale Slice RS

Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
People just think the first crit is sketchier because they've forgotten how sketchy crits are during their time off from racing.
cold turtle is offline  
Old 12-09-17, 08:43 AM
  #18  
Senior Member
 
topflightpro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 7,575
Liked 686 Times in 434 Posts
Can we please stop with the Crits are sketchy nonsense. Crits are no more dangerous than road races. In fact, I'd argue they are less dangerous with fewer crashes than RRs.

Yes, some events can be sketchy. Some courses are less safe than others. Some racers are less safe than others (hence the reason for the Mentor program). But this blanket assumption that crits are by nature dangerous or sketchy is just ridiculous.
topflightpro is offline  
Old 12-09-17, 09:28 AM
  #19  
Not actually Tmonk
 
TMonk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 14,718

Bikes: road, track, mtb

Liked 3,612 Times in 1,885 Posts
I skip the first crit, track night and Fiesta Island "worlds" ride every year in San Diego. Maybe even the first two. Higher incidence of crashes IME. Same reason I no longer race big crits like Dana and Manhattan Beach.
__________________
"Your beauty is an aeroplane;
so high, my heart cannot bear the strain." -A.C. Jobim, Triste
TMonk is online now  
Old 12-09-17, 12:27 PM
  #20  
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Texas
Posts: 49

Bikes: Specialized Venge

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Radish_legs
my experience (limited) in 4/5 crits locally was that they felt reasonably safe. However the main crit that I do is kind of like an oval, so perhaps that helps. But it's also the one that I described as being the most unsafe on the first race of the season.
Was going to say this (Radish and I compete in the same crits). I never felt unsafe in either of the major crits in this area last year, granted I started a couple months into the season.
hammer down is offline  
Old 12-09-17, 02:22 PM
  #21  
Senior Member
 
mike868y's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 9,284
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by JJ121591
LOL. last year i trained my FACE OFF all winter - entered the first crit of the year (a combined field) and dudes slid out in a corner halfway through the race. i remember seeing an upside-down bike in front of me and the next thing i knew i heard the sound of my collarbone crunching.

NEVER AGAIN. notworththerisk/10
with all due respect didn't you also get hurt in a race in the middle of the season? not trying to add insult to injury, i'm just not sure if early races are inherently more dangerous. bike racing is a dangerous endeavor and if you want to race you should race.
mike868y is offline  
Old 12-09-17, 02:45 PM
  #22  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Tariffville, CT
Posts: 15,409

Bikes: Tsunami road bikes, Dolan DF4 track

Liked 183 Times in 104 Posts
When I had the Series one thing I noticed was that the early races tended to have three groups of racers - the ones that were fit and wanted to win/do-well, the ones that were out to finish off their winter training, and the ones working hard simply to hang on. If I were one of the fit ones I would sit in until near the end of the race and go deep toward the end. This meant taking a chance getting caught behind a crash but since I wasn't in the thick of the action I really wasn't where a crash might take me out. This is my typical approach to most crits, sit at the back and go into the risk zone only for a few laps. Generally it works pretty well.

As the Series from early March into mid April the racers got more and more fit and it would usually get harder and harder for me to get to the finish or do well.

By the first non-Series race I was at the point where I had work hard simply to stay in races.

I'd notice the next bump up in overall fitness/strength around August, right after of a series of races in June/July for which many racers peaked. After their peak they're not only very strong but also much more relaxed, much more willing to work. It was less serious, sort of, and so they'd make big moves etc. I did that too, actually, on my good years, but when I was below par August usually ended my season. I remember one year I had 3 DNFs in a week and change and that was that.
__________________
"...during the Lance years, being fit became the No. 1 thing. Totally the only thing. It’s a big part of what we do, but fitness is not the only thing. There’s skills, there’s tactics … there’s all kinds of stuff..." Tim Johnson
carpediemracing is offline  
Old 12-11-17, 03:24 PM
  #23  
Senior Member
 
Doge's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Southern California, USA
Posts: 10,485

Bikes: 1979 Raleigh Team 753

Liked 378 Times in 257 Posts
Originally Posted by topflightpro
Can we please stop with the Crits are sketchy nonsense. Crits are no more dangerous than road races. In fact, I'd argue they are less dangerous with fewer crashes than RRs.
...
It depends...
I see more crashes in crits. I have more video of crashes in crits.

I am more scared there will be a more serious accident in a RR, but I don't think they are as likely. What crits don't have is 50+mph sections, or cars both common to RRs.

In the RR the selections may happen as soon as the 1st serious climb. No hills - is it really a RR? And with that, the smaller groups tend to be closer to the same ability/experience/fitness/handling.
Doge is offline  
Old 12-11-17, 03:50 PM
  #24  
Nonsense
 
TheKillerPenguin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Vagabond
Posts: 13,918

Bikes: Affirmative

Liked 541 Times in 237 Posts
Originally Posted by carpediemracing
When I had the Series one thing I noticed was that the early races tended to have three groups of racers - the ones that were fit and wanted to win/do-well, the ones that were out to finish off their winter training, and the ones working hard simply to hang on. If I were one of the fit ones I would sit in until near the end of the race and go deep toward the end. This meant taking a chance getting caught behind a crash but since I wasn't in the thick of the action I really wasn't where a crash might take me out. This is my typical approach to most crits, sit at the back and go into the risk zone only for a few laps. Generally it works pretty well.

As the Series from early March into mid April the racers got more and more fit and it would usually get harder and harder for me to get to the finish or do well.

By the first non-Series race I was at the point where I had work hard simply to stay in races.

I'd notice the next bump up in overall fitness/strength around August, right after of a series of races in June/July for which many racers peaked. After their peak they're not only very strong but also much more relaxed, much more willing to work. It was less serious, sort of, and so they'd make big moves etc. I did that too, actually, on my good years, but when I was below par August usually ended my season. I remember one year I had 3 DNFs in a week and change and that was that.
The office park was like 100% ideal for early season racing. Wide sweeping corners, could focus on getting used to riding in a pack after solo winter miles. You should quit your job and deal with ungrateful racers and worry about how you're going to pay your bills so New England can benefit from the CDR spring series again.
TheKillerPenguin is offline  
Old 12-11-17, 03:59 PM
  #25  
out walking the earth
 
gsteinb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Lake Placid, NY
Posts: 21,441
Liked 752 Times in 342 Posts
There was a corner?
gsteinb is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Your Privacy Choices -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.