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My race report (Be gentle. Remember, I'm new at this)

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My race report (Be gentle. Remember, I'm new at this)

Old 02-26-07, 12:01 PM
  #1  
substructure
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My race report (Be gentle. Remember, I'm new at this)

Where to start? Where to start? I guess at the beginning Ė when we got there.
It was cold that morning and I was on edge. So I was shaking from both. Not a good way to start out in a field of other shaking and cold cat 5 cyclists so I tried to relax and take it all in.

People were everywhere milling around getting their bikes ready, dressing, signing in, looking for bathrooms, meeting old friends, meeting new friends. It was quite an eclectic crowd of cyclists from pros to unattached everyday cyclists who wanted to test their ability. The scene itself began to relax me. It really felt like a large group ride at first. Until.

Until, my friend, who was entered to race Masters 35+, asked if I wanted to do a lap around the course to get a feel for it. So we did. Then, I began to get anxious as he told me all about the course, what to expect, when to do what, what not to do, where to position myself, where not to be, what to look out for, who to look out for, etc. (In hindsight, I should have put cotton in my ears, because when the race began, I lost all memory of his conversation with me.)

Anyway, flash forward to the start. The announcer lined everyone up in groups one behind the next: Masters, Cat 4 34 and under, Cat 4 35 and older, Cat 5 34 and under, Cat 5 35 and older, then the ladies. So I strolled to my mass of competitors in front of the ladies and settled in. I was somewhat up front and felt pretty good about my positioning. Slowly we made our way to the starting line. The announcer made a few comments about us having to work the next week, letís be careful, the yellow line rule, lead out car, etc. Then we were off.

It was a gaggle of cyclists all fighting for a position to settle in to. Wheels and elbows were everywhere (or it seemed to me). I held my line as good as I possibly could as I witnessed others wobbling around and changing their tempos erratically. Several times we jammed on our brakes for no reason and whenever we came to a cyclist that fell of the back from a previous group it seemed like people began to freak out. I was mid pack and didnít like it at all. I wanted up front bad. So I saw my chance as the group made a paceline up front and I was on the outside midway on the second lap. I shot forward and took the lead for a moment. Big mistake. Our pace was moderate Ė nothing hard at all. So I thought (second mistake, because Iím not a good thinker) letís increase the tempo and hopefully weed out some of the ones bouncing around all over the place. I led a good portion of the second lap and began to pull off to see if others would come around. Nu-uh. They were too smart. Let this idiot (me) lead out and blow up as we rest back here in his draft. I slowed significantly and someone finally made a move. I settled in and looked back to see how many of us were left. I think everyone. Heck, it looked like people joined our group from another race. Man, I suck.

Last lap. Donít underestimate the little, fat guy. One went around me and attacked the group like a madman after the first turn. I grabbed his wheel and everyone else followed. We were off again. Then Ė and I canít remember how Ė I was up front once more. Oh no. Halfway through the last lap my lungs collapsed. I kept up the pace as best I could. No one would take the lead. When I swerved to come off, so did they. I hate smart, well-trained, cyclists. But once we bounced over the railroad tracks, everyone took off. I stood on the pedals to keep up and did for a while. A short while. My Lord, I hurt in my chest. I was engulfed with smarter, faster guys who were probably snickering at me.

I welcomed the end. Welcomed it like a fat guy would welcome an all-you-can-eat establishment built next to his house.

I have no idea where I placed. I was probably last. No big deal, because I loved it. And I want more. Lots more. But next time, Iím going to be a bit smarter and not lay all my cards (and money, and guns, and holster, and clothes, and candy, and whatever else I owned) on the table at once.
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Old 02-26-07, 12:05 PM
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Great report, and it sounds like a great learning experience!
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Old 02-26-07, 12:08 PM
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It sounds like a great first race. You stayed upright, didn't get dropped, animated the race, and had fun.

Great job.
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Old 02-26-07, 12:11 PM
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Great post.
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Old 02-26-07, 12:15 PM
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You raced the donaldson center? Cat 5 under 35?

Do you know if people raced sunday? Or did it get cancelled because of rain?
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Old 02-26-07, 12:16 PM
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Thanks
I'm in for the long run. I bought a license today.
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Old 02-26-07, 12:24 PM
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Hilarious report - you're a great writer. Sounds like you had a lot of fun out there, too.

My first RR is in about a month, and the first crit some time in April, I believe. Hopefully I'll have a fun (and successful) tale to tell afterwards.
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Old 02-26-07, 01:00 PM
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Good job. You started, you finished, you kept the rubber side down, and you learned. Successful day.
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Old 02-26-07, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by recneps
You raced the donaldson center? Cat 5 under 35?

Do you know if people raced sunday? Or did it get cancelled because of rain?
35 and over.

Rain or Shine - they said. But Sunday was at the BMW plant.
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Old 02-26-07, 01:06 PM
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Thanks, I really enjoyed your report. It sounds like you learned quite a few things on your first race, sounds like a success to me. Good luck at your next one.
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Old 02-26-07, 01:13 PM
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yeah in the 35+ cat 5's don't expect a lot of help or smart racing. get your 10 events in and start racing with the 4's where there's a little (sometimes very little) more smarts.
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Old 02-26-07, 02:50 PM
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Some of those old guys can motor huh?
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Old 02-26-07, 02:51 PM
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Great report!

The next race will be better, just make sure you apply everything (or as much as you can) to your next race. I recently had my first race and placed 46 out of 50, I just had my second race yesterday and I placed 15 out of 50.

See learning can be fun!!!!!!
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Old 02-26-07, 05:30 PM
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Had a lot of fun reading that - I'm sure you'll kick some ass at your next race with some experience under your belt.
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Old 02-27-07, 09:03 AM
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Thanks guys.

My next race is a little longer, the terrain is more difficult, and the field will be combined. So, it will be funner
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Old 02-27-07, 10:14 AM
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Sounds great. Sorry I didnt make it out there. I ended up doing the Mount Mitchell Training Ride at 10AM, heading into some climbing around Saluda. It was cold and I am out of shape for racing. I hope to get out there for one weekend though. I was glad to hear that you were not involved in a crash. I know that there was one in the Cat 4 pack. Yes, they ran the races at BMW on Sunday in the rain.

Are you going to be able to get back up here for more of the races? Sounds like you are hooked, so that is great!
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Old 02-27-07, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by jamiewilson3
Sounds great. Sorry I didnt make it out there. I ended up doing the Mount Mitchell Training Ride at 10AM, heading into some climbing around Saluda. It was cold and I am out of shape for racing. I hope to get out there for one weekend though. I was glad to hear that you were not involved in a crash. I know that there was one in the Cat 4 pack. Yes, they ran the races at BMW on Sunday in the rain.

Are you going to be able to get back up here for more of the races? Sounds like you are hooked, so that is great!

Probably not. Not that I wouldn't like to, but my time is crunched for racing.
I'm doing the one in Alebemarle on the 24th of March.
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Old 02-27-07, 10:45 AM
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Bravo! Well done!

Bob
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Old 02-27-07, 11:32 AM
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So this was the 3-lap Cat5 35+ race at Donaldson Center last Saturday?

If so, I have a few questions:

- Did the field stay together until the end (ie. field sprint)?
- How fast were you going when you led the 2nd lap?
- What was the average speed for the whole race?
- Where there any noteworthy hills?
- How far from the finish are the railroad tracks?
- What is the rule about working with people from other groups?

--Steve
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Old 02-27-07, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by zimbo
So this was the 3-lap Cat5 35+ race at Donaldson Center last Saturday?

If so, I have a few questions:

- Did the field stay together until the end (ie. field sprint)?
- How fast were you going when you led the 2nd lap?
- What was the average speed for the whole race?
- Where there any noteworthy hills?
- How far from the finish are the railroad tracks?
- What is the rule about working with people from other groups?

--Steve
- Did the field stay together until the end (ie. field sprint)?
I think pretty much
- How fast were you going when you led the 2nd lap?
Didn't look
- What was the average speed for the whole race?
22.something mph
- Where there any noteworthy hills?
No. Just a few rollers
- How far from the finish are the railroad tracks?
I could be totally wrong here. But, from memory, less than a mile, longer than a yard stick Can't remember how far actually.
- What is the rule about working with people from other groups?
Don't do it.
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Old 02-27-07, 02:02 PM
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yeah those railraod track seem to be a great place to attack if your on the front.
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Old 02-27-07, 05:43 PM
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That's awesome man. I have yet to encounter my first experience racing this coming Sunday! My heart rate rises as soon as I start thinking about my upcoming race. I hope I can say calm right before the race and not get dropped.
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Old 02-27-07, 06:53 PM
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Wow congrats!!
What a great write-up too...thanks.
...seriously makes me wanna race!
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Old 02-27-07, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by substructure
- Did the field stay together until the end (ie. field sprint)?
I think pretty much
- How fast were you going when you led the 2nd lap?
Didn't look
- What was the average speed for the whole race?
22.something mph
- Where there any noteworthy hills?
No. Just a few rollers
Sounds like it's time for a solo flyer Steve
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Old 02-27-07, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Snuffleupagus
Sounds like it's time for a solo flyer Steve
Thats what I was thinking, w/ almost no wind and at that speed I think a lot of guys could have stayed away for a lap or two.
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