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First cat 5 race... *shudder*

Old 06-26-05, 10:00 AM
  #1  
slvoid
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Well I just completed my first cat 5 race (ever) in prospect park. I think it was a group of around 50. It started off ok... people kept attacking at the hill and then getting drawn back in. Then after the first lap, all hell broke loose.
Good lord.. I thought I was a bad rider. They sectioned off 2 lanes of the road with traffic cones. People were swerving left and right weaving between the cones at like 25-35mph. A bunch of guys boxed me in right near the edge of the road and I ended up running over one of the traffic cones, my whole front end was oscillating for about 4 seconds before I steadied it.
These 2 guys were arguing over something and I was right in between them, they were throwing hands up in the air in front of me, screaming, giving each other the finger, etc. I wanted out.
The guys in the front were weaving around back and forth over 2 lanes trying to shake the guys behind them so that made the whole group start weaving, one of the guys from the back tried to make a dash up to the front on the right side and when the whole group weaved back over to the right, he ended up hopping over the curb and riding on the dirt for several hundred yards. No one ended up breaking away, the race was too short anyway. I made my way over to the right side and since it was my first time, didn't know what the hell was going on at the end. So when someone took off, I took off on the right side and broke the field down in 2. Cept this was with 3-400 yards to go and I guess people usually sprint at the 100 yard mark. A whole bunch of em in the middle of the field went blowing by me at the end.
A bunch of people said they were on the left side of the field and the people in front just kind of slowed up right before the finish line and everyone just checked up.

Last edited by slvoid; 06-26-05 at 10:50 AM.
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Old 06-26-05, 10:20 AM
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Funny. That's how I'd imagine a NYC race to be (I kid). Perhaps 50 was too many for the circuit you rode?
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Old 06-26-05, 10:43 AM
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Chicago, NY, Detroit it's all the same street.
When I ride, it is easier to ride on the 'A' rides than the 'B' rides. Those B's are all over the place and try to squeeze into places they shouldn't, and think etiquette is something that 'real racers' don't bother with. At least 'A's' are predictable in their riding.
The A's understand the need work together till the crucial final laps, while the B's think that the 'every man for himself' method is most effective.
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Old 06-26-05, 12:34 PM
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Yeah, remember you going to cover roughly a kilometer in a minute at race speeds, so If you are going from 500m, you will have to go all out for 30 seconds. Thats a long sprint, especially in cat 5, try and suck wheel till about 250 or 200.
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Old 06-26-05, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Smoothie104
Yeah, remember you going to cover roughly a kilometer in a minute at race speeds, so If you are going from 500m, you will have to go all out for 30 seconds. Thats a long sprint, especially in cat 5, try and suck wheel till about 250 or 200.
Holy crap... 60km/hr hehe. I think I was doing maybe 50 or so but yeah, it was my first time and I had absolutely no clue how the sprinting thing works.
Someone later on during the cool down lap told me that most people start sprinting at 200 and then they tap the shifter to go down 1 more cog for the final sprint at around 50-75 yards. Is this true? I basically stopped accelerating at 100m and ran out of steam about half a second later...

Originally Posted by gcasillo
Funny. That's how I'd imagine a NYC race to be (I kid). Perhaps 50 was too many for the circuit you rode?
The field was separated into cat1-2-3, cat4, and cat 5, each by about 2 minutes. I think the cat 5's actually had less people than the pro's and the 4's but man, we were all over the place.

I'm actually afraid to go to my next race in 2 weeks...
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Old 06-26-05, 01:23 PM
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Hahaha, yeah, ok roughly... 32mph is km im 70 seconds, which means that 500 yarder is going to take 35 seconds.

It's take patience to not go from too far out, and the headwind will only make it worse.

If you get a chance before the next race, roll backwards on the course for 1k on your computer, and make a visual refference if you can, same for 500m and 250. It may help you later.
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Old 06-26-05, 01:37 PM
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i did this race with slvoid as well - i hadn't ever seen so many problems with the cones like i saw with this one. a few guys near the front were really causing a bunch of problems. they seemed to weave back and forth with no thought to who was on their wheel or right next to them. this had a horrible ripple effect though the rest of the pack. i mostly stayed safely in the back 1/3 of the field and tried to hook up with the better more stable riders. even that though, i still had a guy swerve to avoid another rider who hit a cone and we almost made contact at 37mph. that made me very nervous. for such a wide road and sweeping turns all the swerving was completely unncessary. strangley enough though...no crashes.
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Old 06-26-05, 05:24 PM
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Did this happen at your previous races in prospect? I thought u said there were crashes but it was never this bunched up.

BTW: you look a lot like travis pastrana, it's creepy.
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Old 06-26-05, 05:36 PM
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yeah, i hadn't really seen so many problems with people staying on the course before. i really think it was like 2 or 3 guys causing a lot of that. i couldn't really see what was going on too much from where i was, but their actions rippled all though the field. each race is different...some go smoother than others. i was very surprised not to see a wreck this weekend. last race someone hit a dog. i think it was in the 4 field.



Originally Posted by slvoid

BTW: you look a lot like travis pastrana, it's creepy.
holy crap! just did a google image search....i DO look a lot like him. i never knew that.

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Old 06-27-05, 08:00 AM
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This Sunday really was a mess. As I stayed in the front 15 for the entire race let me try to shed some light on the events of the morning. There are in the usual PP Cat 5 field more then a few racers with little to no pack riding experience. These riders cannot hold a line and often spend much of the race riding their brakes. Every now and then one of them will break off the front and try to put time on the group on either the downhill or the end of the straight by the bandshell. These breaks never last and often end with the riders getting spit out the back, which is fine by me. So that's how the pack is usually organized, by the time the sprint comes (and it's almost always a sprint) the inexperienced guys are all off the back which allows for a pretty nice sprint coming into 200m to the line.

The problem this weekend was that when the head squirrel started getting tired after the downhill leading into the false flat and the short slightly uphill finish he began to swing wildly back and forth across the road. It was pretty much impossible to pass the kid because he was pulling quite sharply across the roadway. The about 100m from the line just as myself and the riders behind me (10th -15th in the field) were fully winding up the sprint and dropping down that last gear they all started coasting. Suddenly there was a line across the road with riders pulling down from 30-32 to 20 mph.

I've never seen anything like it. 100m from the line and they all stopped. It was one of the most ridiculous things I've ever seen. It ended the race on a sour note for me, 10th-11th would have been fine with me if I had lost in the sprint, but I had plenty more left. Oh well, I don't mean to complain and honestly this was my last race as a 5 so it's on to better and safer races for me.
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Old 06-27-05, 08:16 AM
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yeah, dan, glad you're finally getting out of the 5's! i'm going to try to upgrade as quickly as i can.

do you know if the races i did with a 'one day license' count? i did 3 or 4 of them without a USCF license, and this sunday was my frist with the new license.
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Old 06-27-05, 08:19 AM
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You should be fine. Just note the races on your resume when you send it in.
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Old 06-27-05, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by daneil
This Sunday really was a mess. As I stayed in the front 15 for the entire race let me try to shed some light on the events of the morning. There are in the usual PP Cat 5 field more then a few racers with little to no pack riding experience. These riders cannot hold a line and often spend much of the race riding their brakes. Every now and then one of them will break off the front and try to put time on the group on either the downhill or the end of the straight by the bandshell. These breaks never last and often end with the riders getting spit out the back, which is fine by me. So that's how the pack is usually organized, by the time the sprint comes (and it's almost always a sprint) the inexperienced guys are all off the back which allows for a pretty nice sprint coming into 200m to the line.

The problem this weekend was that when the head squirrel started getting tired after the downhill leading into the false flat and the short slightly uphill finish he began to swing wildly back and forth across the road. It was pretty much impossible to pass the kid because he was pulling quite sharply across the roadway. The about 100m from the line just as myself and the riders behind me (10th -15th in the field) were fully winding up the sprint and dropping down that last gear they all started coasting. Suddenly there was a line across the road with riders pulling down from 30-32 to 20 mph.

I've never seen anything like it. 100m from the line and they all stopped. It was one of the most ridiculous things I've ever seen. It ended the race on a sour note for me, 10th-11th would have been fine with me if I had lost in the sprint, but I had plenty more left. Oh well, I don't mean to complain and honestly this was my last race as a 5 so it's on to better and safer races for me.
OMG, you can say that again! I just finished complaining about yesterday's race to a few other people. lol. I was near the front - probably close to where you were, but not one of the guys causing issues up there. If anything, I got stuck there a few too many times cause nobody would friggin' rotate before, during, and after we pulled all of the breakaways back in. Was the kid you're talking about the young guy in the yellow and blue team kit? Cause that was a pain in the butt. I was boxed in during the sprint and had nowhere to go, but when I asked at the end of the race, my girlfriend (who was right at the finish line) said that everyone was right on the asses of the first 10 guys, so that shows me that something got royally screwed up with that sprint....and the race in general. lol.

That's funny about those two guys fighting. ..I'm just glad they didn't cause a crash. Go figure...what good will it do to argue with one another like that in such a large pack?? The PP races aren't usually like that, are they?
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Old 06-27-05, 09:35 AM
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hey trirmk, good to see you made it. are you going to be doing anymore of these over the summer, or is this the only one?
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Old 06-27-05, 09:39 AM
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Well the guys who were arguing, there was a chinese guy to my left and this black buy to my right. I think the chick who was issuing the numbers, at the end, during my cool down lap, my girlfriend said the chick called over the chinese guy for some infraction and they were arguing.

I'm actually scared about the next race in july, these people are all over the place. I think there are 4-5 more races in PP this summer. This is like when nascar started doing restrictor plate racing.
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Old 06-27-05, 09:43 AM
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hey yeah i looked for ya before and after the race, but saw a few guys who fit the description and didn't luck out when i asked the one guy i ran into. i'll definitely be at probably all of the other PP races. it was a fun time! definitely much flatter than what i'm used to here in PA, but a good time!
did ya have a good day at the race?
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Old 06-27-05, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by slvoid
Well the guys who were arguing, there was a chinese guy to my left and this black buy to my right. I think the chick who was issuing the numbers, at the end, during my cool down lap, my girlfriend said the chick called over the chinese guy for some infraction and they were arguing.

I'm actually scared about the next race in july, these people are all over the place. I think there are 4-5 more races in PP this summer. This is like when nascar started doing restrictor plate racing.
So that's what was going on? Intersting. I'm kinda nervous about the next race too. lol. It'll be interesting to see what happens. I tried to stay in the front to play it safe, but now I'm not so sure anyplace in the peloton is safe. lol.
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Old 06-27-05, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by trirmk
OMG, you can say that again! I just finished complaining about yesterday's race to a few other people. lol. I was near the front - probably close to where you were, but not one of the guys causing issues up there. If anything, I got stuck there a few too many times cause nobody would friggin' rotate before, during, and after we pulled all of the breakaways back in. Was the kid you're talking about the young guy in the yellow and blue team kit? Cause that was a pain in the butt. I was boxed in during the sprint and had nowhere to go, but when I asked at the end of the race, my girlfriend (who was right at the finish line) said that everyone was right on the asses of the first 10 guys, so that shows me that something got royally screwed up with that sprint....and the race in general. lol.

That's funny about those two guys fighting. ..I'm just glad they didn't cause a crash. Go figure...what good will it do to argue with one another like that in such a large pack?? The PP races aren't usually like that, are they?
Yeah I got boxed in on the left. I saw that there was no way to go up the right side and I went for a shot on the left. Still pulled out a good 10th-11th place finish (who can really tell in those races) but it just really bothers me that I was forced to coast over the line. I mean that's really ridiculous.

As far as the PP races. In general they are much better than that. Now I've only done 4 races there, most of my racing is at Floyd Bennett Field which is usually a faster and better organized pack, but in general I've found the PP races to be good. They do tend to gather more 1st timers which can cause problems if they haven't had any time in a group situation where as the CP races are almost all CRCA and the FBF is Tuesday nights and way out towards Rockaway Beach so most people don't head out there (although the last few weeks have been Cat 5 groups in the 40's).
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Old 06-27-05, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by trirmk
did ya have a good day at the race?
i did fine, completely average. i would estimate i finished about 20th or so, not sure. i wish i could have gone for a sprint finish, as i had plenty of juice left. just didn't have a good position coming up the last straightaway. part of that had to do with the fact i thought we had still had one more lap to do.
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Old 06-27-05, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by timmhaan
i did fine, completely average. i would estimate i finished about 20th or so, not sure. i wish i could have gone for a sprint finish, as i had plenty of juice left. just didn't have a good position coming up the last straightaway. part of that had to do with the fact i thought we had still had one more lap to do.
Yeah, that last straightaway was quite a fight for position. I almost ran right off the left side of the road because a guy came from the right and swerved right into my spot. Heck of a scare, but exciting too . There's always next time though!
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Old 06-27-05, 01:20 PM
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hey guys - i emailed the promoter and found out that the pictures (remember the photographer on the hill?) are posted online already. if you want to take a look here they are. the first link are the 4,5 and the women, and the second link are the 1,2,3's.

http://www.nyvelocity.com/content.php?id=316

http://www.mlracingteam.com/cyclingteam/index.php
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Old 06-27-05, 02:01 PM
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I see you guys are back in one piece. I didn't do the cat4 race. Just need some rest time right now. That's cat5 race for you. Disorganized, little to no pack riding skills, lack of tactics, and chase down everything. Here is some tip. If you are not contesting for the top 5 finish, don't contest for the sprint. Otherwise, crashes. I see plenty of those with guys sprinting for the 20th place. If you are not at the front at the 1km mark, you will not finish at the top 5 places. If you are not a sprinter type, launch a solo break after cresting the hill. If lucky, couple of stronger riders will follow you. Remember that as a cat 5 all you need is to start 10 races in order to cat up to 4.
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Old 06-27-05, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by timmhaan
hey guys - i emailed the promoter and found out that the pictures (remember the photographer on the hill?) are posted online already. if you want to take a look here they are. the first link are the 4,5 and the women, and the second link are the 1,2,3's.

http://www.nyvelocity.com/content.php?id=316

http://www.mlracingteam.com/cyclingteam/index.php
Yeah Andy is pretty quick when it comes to posting the pics quickly. His shots tend to be of the Merrill Lynch team, but that's who he races for so it's to be expected. His pics really are great though.
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Old 06-27-05, 05:34 PM
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Looks like he got some good pics. I thought they came out pretty nice. Was that sprint finish the cat 5 sprint? It didn't look like it? Maybe it was the 4?
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Old 06-27-05, 07:00 PM
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It was the 4. The winner was a junior who won the Housatonic Hill junior race.
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