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2019 racing stories!

Old 04-10-19, 06:07 PM
  #126  
Ttoc6
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I've posted it before, but it depnds on your strengths.. short efforts are tough for me, where as jumping and coming over in a more steady way takes longer but leaves me fresher. Depends on the threat!
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Old 04-11-19, 07:32 AM
  #127  
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Your best choice would have been to try and organize the group behind -- it was really a bridge too far. If you couldn't get there in a short high speed effort, there is no way you could have gotten there by pacing yourself. There's a reason that the group was ahead of the peloton and shelled your team mate -- they were going faster or just as fast as the field. You had it pegged at around ~48kmh, which is reasonable for a bridge if it was windy. Any slower and there's no way you could close on them in a flat race. The only time a "pacing" approach works for a bridge is if you have other riders bridging, the front group isn't working well, you're an excellent time trialist, or if the course isn't super flat or easy.
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Old 04-11-19, 08:11 AM
  #128  
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Thanks for the excellent suggestions. Gives me things to think about.

Here's footage from the A race that happened immediately after (this time with front view). I started in the back, big gap opened up at the end of the first lap, and then it was curtains for me being in the lead group. We eventually formed a substantial groupetto. We had a "field prime" (because we were officially the field), but might be called a "pity prime". I wont that, action starts at 36:55. I was third wheel, with 2 teammates in front of me. I knew that the guy who attacked would be the guy to go for it, was able to get on his wheel pretty quick. After the race he told me he didn't know I was on his wheel, and that was why I won. And that he had done a lot of work in the break, and I hadn't. And that he can go really hard from really early and go a lot faster than he did. He was cracking me up. Nice guy. But w/o being too cocky, I'm pretty sure I could beat him 10/10 times in a sprint. The end of the race is interesting. Bret Crosby attacks with about 2/3rd lap to go. For a long time he has been a dominant force in the local crit scene, but now father time is catching up. My teammate, a young Cat 3, gets on his wheel immediatley. And then my other teammate (cat 2) who is on the front, slows up, allows a big gap to open. Crosby fades with 1/3rd lap to go. There is one rider up the road. My teammate passes Crosby, but doesn't quite reach the guy up the road. And gets 2nd. A huge result for him, given that last year this time he was a Cat 4.


Last edited by Radish_legs; 04-11-19 at 08:17 AM.
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Old 04-11-19, 08:34 AM
  #129  
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btw, the guy who caught up to be in the bridge attempt never did catch up to the break. But I was impressed. He's one of those juniors that will probably soon be a cat 2.
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Old 04-11-19, 03:45 PM
  #130  
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
For me, as fast as I can.
...
For me, it's got to be completely explosive and near-immediate or I'll never get across.
same
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cat 1.

my race videos
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Old 04-11-19, 08:52 PM
  #131  
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@Radish_legs you got to cut those down to 5-10 minutes!
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Old 04-12-19, 08:06 AM
  #132  
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Originally Posted by furiousferret View Post
@Radish_legs you got to cut those down to 5-10 minutes!
The videos? It's freaking too much work to make them whole in the first place. Esp when nothing good happens for me.
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Old 04-12-19, 11:08 AM
  #133  
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Originally Posted by Radish_legs View Post
The videos? It's freaking too much work to make them whole in the first place. Esp when nothing good happens for me.
It's 10x more work for us to watch it.
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Old 04-12-19, 11:53 AM
  #134  
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Originally Posted by Radish_legs View Post
btw, the guy who caught up to be in the bridge attempt never did catch up to the break. But I was impressed. He's one of those juniors that will probably soon be a cat 2.
What I did is use my preview function to find the time when you broke away. I did not watch the other parts of the video. I immediately noticed the junior who looks like he just got out of prison. Aero helmet, tight jersey, good position and buff. I might suggest you check your resources after you leave the pack to see who is following, if anyone. Sometimes it is hard to know but maybe you could have worked with the junior and together caught the break. Also, If you have a rider on your wheel, you will go faster for the same power.

Also, it seems like you needed too much power for the speed generated. Maybe it was the terrain or the wind or you need a better aero position / equipment or IAB for solo breaks / bridges.
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Old 04-12-19, 02:57 PM
  #135  
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It was a bit windy (12mph). But my position is not the most aero. I bought a spec allez sprint, it has a longer and lower reach than my prior bike, but I think it could be longer and lower yet still (I would benefit from a formal fit). I've thought about buying a smaller more aero handlebar, but part of me doesn't want to mess with the internal cabling since I don't have experience with internal cabling (I do most of my own wrenching). I may start with buying a longer stem. I can't do IAB. My arms slip, I don't feel stable. I think in part because the handlebars are too close to me.
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Old 04-13-19, 05:51 PM
  #136  
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oof. DFL at the first road race of the year. 60 miles, 3 big climbs. First time over the climb was fine, except like 1 acceleration. Second time up the climb was fine until the steep bit and I blew up. Lack of fitness from the winter playing it's part here. Plus the extra weight I'm sure I'm carrying around didn't help. I knew this wasn't a race for me, but didn't expect it to go this poorly. Wake up call, hoping the races will roll into one another and I'll be able to gain some fitness.
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Old 04-14-19, 02:15 PM
  #137  
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Is what it is. Did my local RR. Tried a few things that didn't work and dropped off and TT'd to the finish.

Last year's winning avg speed was what I did this year, while getting dropped. I did try things, things that didn't work. I'd rather say that than that I didn't do anything.

A few folks have said many times in something like this, you can do just fine without a team. It's low enough level it shouldn't matter. I can understand the sentiment, as folks do fine. Most of the time, probably. Today at least, I'd politely disagree. There were a couple of us loners up front for a while. One guy finished up there as a loner, to prove the point.

But, out of the entire 4/5 field, I was one of probably 3 or 4 not on a team. I dropped, one made it, one broke a chain, pretty sure the other one was behind me somewhere. And every team there seemed to do what a team is supposed to do.

I guess my gamble that lost was my bet to try to get the other loner to follow. Can't remember if 1st or 2nd lap, the ending hill section. We were up front somewhere and I wanted to pull him out. I got good separation, he made it, he took his turn......then didn't spin well going downhill. He just tucked. Group caught us. We probably would have gotten away and been able to team TT it.

He was stronger and made it. We both reabsorbed after that failed, but I fell off somewhere the next lap.

I really really felt with what was happening around me that was my only bet with what the teams were doing, and doing well. That's a crappy bet I feel I had to make. It was very very obvious I would not be in any position to win anything following the team's wheels.

I get told I can't be frustrated by something like that, it just feels kind of fruitless while watching team mates work together and you suffer alone. I hear all the stories of folks moving up over time by themselves. I'm sure they do. The numbers around here though seem highly skewed the other way.

The pace was such that if I had one or two equal compadres.......would have had no problem keeping going.

Summary: choose to gamble on making something happen and finish in the bottom...........suck wheel all day and have zero chance to win/podium

I've got some thinking to do.
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Old 04-14-19, 03:55 PM
  #138  
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
Is what it is. Did my local RR. Tried a few things that didn't work and dropped off and TT'd to the finish.



....
I really really felt with what was happening around me that was my only bet with what the teams were doing, and doing well. That's a crappy bet I feel I had to make. It was very very obvious I would not be in any position to win anything following the team's wheels.
.....

Summary: choose to gamble on making something happen and finish in the bottom...........suck wheel all day and have zero chance to win/podium

I've got some thinking to do.
I'm a little puzzled by why you feel this way.
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Old 04-14-19, 04:59 PM
  #139  
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Iíd rather lose badly trying than not trying? Iím hard on myself?

I dunno. I think the real answer is that maybe Iím not having fun and the rest is just stuff I overthink to rationalize trying again.

Given the time input I have for this, I do more than fine. Realistically. It just doesnít feel that way.

I also donít have a great chance to contribute towards a sense of ďbelongingĒ to racing. My fault only.

Although, everyone today was super nice. Nicer than a lot of hammer rides I do even. Made me wonder about what Iím missing.

Maybe until I have more time someday to contribute to it, I need to be content. And maybe focus on a few more reasonable goals, like maybe TT PRís.

Again, all on me. The thinking is about analyzing if the time I have for this is worth what I get out of it.


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Old 04-15-19, 06:35 AM
  #140  
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
I’d rather lose badly trying than not trying? I’m hard on myself?

I dunno. I think the real answer is that maybe I’m not having fun and the rest is just stuff I overthink to rationalize trying again.

Given the time input I have for this, I do more than fine. Realistically. It just doesn’t feel that way.

I also don’t have a great chance to contribute towards a sense of “belonging” to racing. My fault only.

Although, everyone today was super nice. Nicer than a lot of hammer rides I do even. Made me wonder about what I’m missing.

Maybe until I have more time someday to contribute to it, I need to be content. And maybe focus on a few more reasonable goals, like maybe TT PR’s.

Again, all on me. The thinking is about analyzing if the time I have for this is worth what I get out of it.



To me, it sounds like you need to join a good club -- one that has many active racers -- as you seem to be looking for camaraderie and a social outlet in addition to athletic performance. Being able to talk and interact with experienced racers will also help you grow as a rider.

In racing, it helps to have a strong team -- I could always count on my team mate to nail back a break or increase pace and get me clear of the scrum for the finish, and I could also be content knowing that his chances in a break were really good. However, because we were a dominant "team" of 2, we were always heavily marked and expected to make the race. So being an anonymous individual rider can also be a good thing -- you just have to learn to read the course, the race patterns, and the players. Then your efforts won't be wasted. Remember, in racing there's just one winner and the rest have to be satisfied with getting something -- whether it's just riding hard or a minor result -- so it's good to think about what you're getting out of this sport if you want to last long in this game.
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Old 04-15-19, 07:18 AM
  #141  
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Originally Posted by tobukog View Post
To me, it sounds like you need to join a good club -- one that has many active racers -- as you seem to be looking for camaraderie and a social outlet in addition to athletic performance. Being able to talk and interact with experienced racers will also help you grow as a rider.

In racing, it helps to have a strong team -- I could always count on my team mate to nail back a break or increase pace and get me clear of the scrum for the finish, and I could also be content knowing that his chances in a break were really good. However, because we were a dominant "team" of 2, we were always heavily marked and expected to make the race. So being an anonymous individual rider can also be a good thing -- you just have to learn to read the course, the race patterns, and the players. Then your efforts won't be wasted. Remember, in racing there's just one winner and the rest have to be satisfied with getting something -- whether it's just riding hard or a minor result -- so it's good to think about what you're getting out of this sport if you want to last long in this game.
You've hit the nail on the head.

Especially about the club/join part. It'd be a much better outlet than a huge buildup to a very small number of yearly races, just to learn things the really really hard way.

I'd learn a ton being around those folks. I sorely need it. The fitness to stupid ratio for me is pretty skewed towards being stupid.

The hard part, is how to spread my limited time. All the club rides that would matter would cost me some driving time. Maybe time to suck it up with some really early morning workouts and use my one weekly "freebie" to hit up an experienced group.
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Old 04-15-19, 08:28 AM
  #142  
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@burnthesheep

Racing alone sucks if there are real organized teams around, at least you tried something and unfortunately it failed. You have to be significantly stronger than the teams racing, or lucky.

@Ttoc6 Its a long season just forget about it and keep grinding!
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Old 04-15-19, 04:35 PM
  #143  
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BTS - I looked at the results. I strongly doubt there was the level of team work you imply.

As others have said, maybe it's time you find a club or team to join to find people ride with.
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Old 04-15-19, 05:13 PM
  #144  
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
Is what it is. Did my local RR. Tried a few things that didn't work and dropped off and TT'd to the finish.

Last year's winning avg speed was what I did this year, while getting dropped. I did try things, things that didn't work. I'd rather say that than that I didn't do anything.

A few folks have said many times in something like this, you can do just fine without a team. It's low enough level it shouldn't matter. I can understand the sentiment, as folks do fine. Most of the time, probably. Today at least, I'd politely disagree. There were a couple of us loners up front for a while. One guy finished up there as a loner, to prove the point.

But, out of the entire 4/5 field, I was one of probably 3 or 4 not on a team. I dropped, one made it, one broke a chain, pretty sure the other one was behind me somewhere. And every team there seemed to do what a team is supposed to do.

I guess my gamble that lost was my bet to try to get the other loner to follow. Can't remember if 1st or 2nd lap, the ending hill section. We were up front somewhere and I wanted to pull him out. I got good separation, he made it, he took his turn......then didn't spin well going downhill. He just tucked. Group caught us. We probably would have gotten away and been able to team TT it.

He was stronger and made it. We both reabsorbed after that failed, but I fell off somewhere the next lap.

I really really felt with what was happening around me that was my only bet with what the teams were doing, and doing well. That's a crappy bet I feel I had to make. It was very very obvious I would not be in any position to win anything following the team's wheels.

I get told I can't be frustrated by something like that, it just feels kind of fruitless while watching team mates work together and you suffer alone. I hear all the stories of folks moving up over time by themselves. I'm sure they do. The numbers around here though seem highly skewed the other way.

The pace was such that if I had one or two equal compadres.......would have had no problem keeping going.

Summary: choose to gamble on making something happen and finish in the bottom...........suck wheel all day and have zero chance to win/podium

I've got some thinking to do.
Ah man, don't be discouraged. There are a ton of variables to figure out in bike racing on top of needing to be fit enough to hang. Getting dropped is a part of the learning process. Treat it as an iterative type of thing, you now know that the things you tried don't work for you at this point, so you can try a different approach at the next one and see how that pans out. Maybe in a few more races your confidence is a bit higher and you get what's going on a bit more, and you take another stab at getting off the front again and it works, or it doesn't and they catch you but you don't get dropped. There are so many unknown unknowns for you that it's hard to draw conclusions regarding what racing is and where you fit into it.

I will say that before I got to cat 2 I almost never saw effective teamwork, and in the p/1/2 fields it's not always a given that the tactics make sense as it often depends on which teams show up and in what quantity. It is very possible to be a lone rider and do well if you have watts and/or can read a race, but most people don't start out with either of those things, and they take a bit of time to develop. Have some fun with it and try different things out - everyone gets dropped at some point!
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Old 04-16-19, 05:40 AM
  #145  
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I thought about this more last night. BTS, I think you are pulling up to events - races or hard group rides - seeing a lot of people in matching kits and expecting them to start working together to your disadvantage. I think you are psyching yourself out before you even start.

At your level, there is very little, if any, teamwork. And what teamwork there is, often isn't effective at determining the outcome of the race. Don't worry about what kit people are wearing.
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Old 04-16-19, 07:54 AM
  #146  
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Did Barry Roubaix over the weekend. 36 mile route...came into it with low expectations given my "training" this year. Dont recommend doing this on 0 training. Also, im done with climbing for a while

Didn't come in last place, so at least there is that
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Old 04-16-19, 02:03 PM
  #147  
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I did a real life race lol A crit, my 3rd ever, so not very experienced of course. It was 4/5 field and my goal was just to stay with the pack and not lose wheels. Mission accomplished. I wasn't focused enough to stay near the front, so I missed some guys splintering off the front. I did make it to the front of the pack on the last lap and (stupidly) just pulled them along and then did a half-hearted sprint for 26th (highest I could have gotten was 12th), so maybe I should have tried a harder effort to breakaway on the last lap just to see what I could do. But it was a fun time and toward the end I was navigating much better and finding spots to effectively save energy. Lap times were more or less 2min, and in my better laps I was at 220-240 whereas the laps I was less efficient were 250-280 (and last lap was 313w).

As for the whole team thing at 4/5 (and especially 5), it's pretty nonexistent, it's more likely everyone just goes nuts when they know someone is getting away, I don't think there are any organized efforts. 4/5's are like dogs chasing a rabbit. If the teams were that organized, you would have had strong guys from the respective clubs with you in a break.
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Old 04-16-19, 09:46 PM
  #148  
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There are guys on my team who are known for chasing teammates just for the hell of it every once in a while. I asked teammates about it after a particularly egregious example. I was told he had been on the team for a long time, and that's just how he is. He's going to do his race, and do his plan and intervals however he feels. I'm a cat 3, and effective teamwork in the crits I do is almost nonexistent. I've done more work for teammates, or tried to, than anyone has ever done for me. But I enjoy being on a team, because I can win in multiple ways on a team if I take satisfaction in helping the team. I'm at a point where I don't really have aspirations for myself. I don't ever intend to cat up to 2. It's just for fun.

In fact I just took 2nd in the B crit (3/4) tonight, and I barely care. I'm glad for it. But it was just being one of the stronger guys in the field and the race came to me, everything went right (except not winning). I'll get a few FB congrats, a couple of strava comments, and life goes to the next crit on the next day or next week.
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Old 04-17-19, 09:08 AM
  #149  
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2nd place in the B. Due to complaints, I made a shorter video with voiceover. Last 3 laps. It was very windy. Usually on days like that, a break gets away. I was a bit more attentive in this race compared to last week, because I didn't want to be caught out again. No breaks got away, and it was down to a sprint finish. The first place guy has gotten some pretty big results in the regional races, so apparently the organizer told him after this race that he can't race in the B again. I wish I had won of course. It's my goal to win this race before I transition to doing only the A crit (1/2/3). You have to make those split second decisions at the end, sometimes they pay off, sometimes they don't. The guy I go around at the end, he's the same guy that chased me down last week when I tried to bridge to the break. Some of these strong juniors, they go from podium in the C crit (and now 3rd in this B crit), to being on the podium of the A crit within a year or two.

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Old 04-21-19, 09:40 AM
  #150  
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San Luis Rey RR Cat 3, 4th/12 starters. Course is a 14-mi U-shape with the S/F line after a 10 minute low-grade (4%) stair-step type climb. Flattens out 1 km before the finish. We did four laps.

Short Version: I missed the break (of 3).

Long Version:

I knew that I was fitter than previous years when I wasn't a realistic contender for the win given the course, so mentally it would be different. I wasn't going to "check out" at the bottom of the last climb b/c I knew I would be one of the better ones.

In a race this small, I knew it would be a weird, and kind of fun race. They're not worth as many points (for obvious reasons), but I like small fields. A few short-lived breaks went in the first half with Cal Bike really animating the race with attacks and counters. With two strong riders they were the only "team" there. Halfway through the lap a group of three gets about a minute, then on the climb me and two other riders bridged up. As soon as we got there the cooperation up front just went out the window and the rest of the field was able to latch back on. Great.

Then after climb 2 (of 4), the real move went, and actually after the 180 degree turn after the climb, which is also the feed zone. I wasn't getting a bottle but I did soft-pedal to ditch one on the curb with our Team Director. Lame place to attack really. I didn't want to hustle the break back and instead relied on Cal Bike to bridge us back up but they didn't and that's why I lost. We spent a lap working fairly smoothly (5-6 of us) and just did not get any time. So they were probably the best three out on course.

After a lap of rotating and a third climb most of the rest of the field was dropped. I knew that I was the best of the rest and managed to salvage fourth. The last lap was sloooooooooow as we relegated ourselves to racing for fourth and everyone wanted gas for the climb.

At the final climb, it was a few skinny juniors, myself and Levi (Cal Bike). I knew Levi and I had the best sprints. I had actually planned on attacking the climb on a steeper ramp, but started getting some proto-cramps which is weird b/c I'm in shape and was feeling great. Like my legs wanted to go hard. But I didn't. A minute or two later some junior put in a moderate attack and it dropped Levi, leaving me and two juniors. At this point with ~1.5 miles to go I knew I had it. At some point I found myself on the front with 1 km to go when it flattens out, and I just started coasting. I told the kids if Levi got back to us he would smoke us. But it didn't work and they stayed behind. We were probably going like 6 MPH with 200 m left when one of the juniors launched his sprint. It was easy for me to grab his wheel, squeeze the legs for a few pumps and come flying around for 4th at that point. At a lean 145 lbs I was large and muscular compared to these kids.

Takeaway:

I had a fun time racing SLR and was really glad I showed up. I wanted more out of the race and was a bit frustrated half-way through, but by the end I was content at having had a fun time out on the road after an interesting ride. Plus I got a few points (3!). This puts me at 28 out of 30 upgrade points for Cat 2, so every bit counts at this point. I'll take it!!!



this 5 deep podium is like half the race...
__________________
"Your beauty is an aeroplane;
so high, my heart cannot bear the strain." -A.C. Jobim, Triste

Last edited by TMonk; 04-21-19 at 11:26 AM.
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