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Race Report - Early Bird Crit #2

Old 01-14-07, 05:42 PM
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'nother
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Race Report - Early Bird Crit #2

I raced the "new Cat 5s/35+". Those of you not familiar with these, it's a series of mentoring/clinic + practice races for new racers. The idea being to get you a lot of on-bike experience before the real fun begins.

This one started off at a lot slower pace than last week. Could have been because of the cold. Also the field was a lot smaller (by contrast, the under 35s looked a lot bigger...they split it up, which they did not do last week).

The clinic this week was on cornering...picking a good line, not "nose-diving", getting comfortable going through corners next to other people, etc. As such I was hoping the corners would be a bit smoother this week during the actual race, but it actually seemed to be worse...a lot more skitterishness, and yo-yoing around (slow waaaaay down going in and massive accelerations coming out). Also wind may have been more of a factor this week.

Anyway, I was setting into a groove, at a decent pace, just holding my own in the pack. With around 5 laps to go, the cries went up; someone went down. I did not see it at all, not even the aftermath as I was on the outside of the pack and the crash was inside. The stories I heard were that basically one guy was going for a (measly $5) prime, cut off another guy and took him down pretty hard. Ugh.

They immediately neutralized us and slowed us down to give them time to clear the wreck. Coming back around to the crash scene and oh no! *ANOTHER* one bites the dust. Someone was not looking up ahead far enough, or was looking at the first crash or something; not really sure...didn't see that one either. So that was pretty much it for the race; they brought the ambulance in and just stopped us, since it's practice anyway.

I felt a lot more comfortable this week, both in terms of holding the pace as well as mixing it up in the pack. Actually rubbed elbows/shoulders with a few guys several times; no worries (well, I wasn't too worried at least...one guy started freaking out a little bit so I had to leave him).

Saw fellow BFites platypus and toshi (who is also a teammate of mine, but in the under 35s) out there, which was cool. Supposedly there was at least one other BF person there but I don't remember who and did not (knowingly) meet him.

Also, I went the Fred route with an un-crumpled number this week...ahhh, Fredilicious Freedom!
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Old 01-14-07, 06:01 PM
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You know, I headed back to watch you guys after I packed my gear up and I was wondering why you were slowed to a crawl... guess the crashes were at the turn before the start line? Anyways taking someone down for $5 in a practice race is a major bummer. I can only imagine what the mentors said at the Q&A afterwards.

There was lots of communication in the earlier race, which was great. And when people saw swerving, they shouted out "line!"
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Old 01-14-07, 06:14 PM
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So that's 2 weeks in a row with no crashes in the under-35s, huh? I would be worried if I were you
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Old 01-14-07, 07:10 PM
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The guy that got the ambulance was a (fast) teamate of mine. From the early reports he'll be fine and what else really matters? I hope the $5 story isn't true, that's just insult to injury.

I had a good day in the cat5, myself and the other 2 guys from the team all did what we wanted. I broke on the last lap cuz some jackass told me lap 1 was lap 0 and I went for it on turn 4. Race & learn.

Got some good pictures of the 35+...uploading as we speak

nother you gotta help with the number, mine was like a parachute!
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Old 01-14-07, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by pelikan
The guy that got the ambulance was a (fast) teamate of mine. From the early reports he'll be fine and what else really matters?
Agreed. That's a relief. Sounded like it was pretty nasty but I guess a lot of times things sound and look nastier than they actually are. Still, sucks to crash, especially in a practice race.

I hope the $5 story isn't true, that's just insult to injury.
I hope so too. I am telling it second hand; I was talking to another rider when the corralled us off in the parking lot to discuss. I can't verify the report myself.
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Old 01-14-07, 07:16 PM
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was curious how you guys placed?

baw
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Old 01-14-07, 07:33 PM
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No placings...the race was stopped with 4 laps to go. And for me, it would've been "pack finish" at best. I have no intention or desire to even be close to the mess up front on the last lap.
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Old 01-14-07, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by pelikan
nother you gotta help with the number, mine was like a parachute!
The easy answer is: lots and lots of safety pins. Three across the leading edge, a couple down each side, one in the center, and one in the trailing edge.
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Old 01-14-07, 08:10 PM
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I was also in the 35+ race with 'nother (good to meet you finally!). The pace was definately mellower than last week. Last week's race was flat out from the gun, but this week the first lap was at a civil pace. I was working the outside of the pack, and moving up a few places on each lap. The crash went down, and it looked pretty gnarly since the fellow was down and not moving at all.

I'm fairly confident I would have been with the pack at the finish, but c'est la vie. Saftey comes first.

I'll be back for next week!
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Old 01-14-07, 08:16 PM
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Good to meet you too, platypus! I saw you zoom by me at one point -- looked like you were hanging in pretty well. I was taking a little breather from all of those accelerations out of the corners

I was a little disappointed that the pace was slower this week, as I was going to use it as a check of my fitness. Well, only a *little* disappointed. I can see that being out in front setting the pace has its advantages. Being in the pack and dealing with all of those surges really takes it out of you.

I will be out next week due to a prior commitment but should be back for weeks 4 & 5.
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Old 01-14-07, 09:21 PM
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My camera is of crappy quality, but it's been around the world w/me and still kicking. If the blurriness bothers you just squint



My favorite, and not just because a teamate is leading



Got some more, but it's more of the same. If you want to see the full set, just PM me, maybe I got one of you.
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Old 01-14-07, 09:37 PM
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**sorry if im thread jacking and excellent race report**
Stole this one from the teams blog but I had to post it since it's me (white sleeves) and a teammate out front.
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Old 01-14-07, 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by 'nother
So that's 2 weeks in a row with no crashes in the under-35s, huh? I would be worried if I were you
Don't jinx! But yeah, I guess it's just a matter of time. Oh the humanity

Oh well, I say bring it on, whatever may come!

And I plan to bring my camera next week... nobody is photographing these things save for what I've seen above - thanks for posting those Pelikan.
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Old 01-15-07, 11:45 AM
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did the under-35 cat 5's race (I'm 29) - still no crashes, got 4th. mighta done better if there's wasn't an almost-wreck I had to swerve like mad to avoid...
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