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When or when not to race...

Old 07-22-07, 03:27 PM
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jc33
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When or when not to race...

Hi all i am a fairly new rider, i would like to enter a race, yet i do not know if i am good enough or ready to do so as i train by myself. There is a crit coming up it is 20 mins + 1 lap. Does anyone know where i should be with training miles a week or average speed in order to enter this thing and not look like a complete idiot? Any things i can do in my training to prepare? I know this is a lot to ask but i dont where else to turn. The race BTW is the Tour of Elk Grove, which is a suburb of chicago.
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Old 07-22-07, 03:57 PM
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You just have to race. You will get dropped in the crit, sorry. It happens to most all people the first time they do crits.
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Old 07-22-07, 03:58 PM
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Learn to ride in a pack at speed.
Learn to deal with accelerations, particularly out of corners.
Learn to corner and how to read race lines through corners.
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Old 07-22-07, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by runtimmyc View Post
You just have to race. You will get dropped in the crit, sorry. It happens to most all people the first time they do crits.
Yup, I raced my first crit this morning, I got dropped in less than 8 minutes.
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Old 07-22-07, 04:07 PM
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GuitarWizard
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If you're new, I would suggest not using a race as your first step into riding with others. Talk to your local shop and find out about group rides/clubs in the area, and go from there. Then once you get some miles/fitness/riding experience in you, give it a whirl next year. Get with more experienced riders, and ask lots of questions.

As far as training....if you have a good cardiovascular base, which at this point you probably don't unless you're crossing over from say, running.....interval training will make you faster, as will riding with faster people. In a race, if you can stay out of the wind as much as possible and not work, it's easier (but still hard) to hang in if you can anticipate accelerations and the like and don't sit on the back. In a climbing race, all bets are off. Crits are brutal, especially if you're towards the back. If you're not properly warmed up at the starting line, you're going to be in for a world of hurt.
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Old 07-23-07, 01:40 PM
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I actually did crossover from running and i am also a swimmer so i do think i have a decent cardio base but your right my riding technique is probably not up to what i need to ride a crit. I feel i need more experience with pack riding. anyone in the northwest suburbs of chicago that reads this and is part of a group who races please let me know i would like to ride with some other people.
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Old 07-23-07, 01:46 PM
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as seen here.

1. Find some group rides, fast group rides. Sit in the back.
2. Don't get discouraged if/when you get dropped from those group rides.
3. Go back the following week and do the fast group ride again.
4. If you're dropped a 2nd time, repeat steps 2 & 3
5. Once you're comfortable with the group and pace (and vice versa), take some pulls.
6. Once you're comfortable taking pulls, try some attacks (if it's that kind of group ride).
7. Once you're comfortable with steps 5 & 6, it's time to enter a race.
8. At your first race, repeat steps 1-6, but substitute 'race' for 'group ride'.
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Old 07-23-07, 03:07 PM
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If you can't handle looking like a complete idiot you can't handle racing.
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Old 07-23-07, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by jc33 View Post
I actually did crossover from running and i am also a swimmer so i do think i have a decent cardio base but your right my riding technique is probably not up to what i need to ride a crit. I feel i need more experience with pack riding. anyone in the northwest suburbs of chicago that reads this and is part of a group who races please let me know i would like to ride with some other people.
I'd suggest looking up the "Harper Ride" that leaves from Harper College or around there. You will get smoked, but you'll improve.

Also, get out to rides with both the BBC and ABD clubs as often as possible.
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Old 07-23-07, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by jc33 View Post
Hi all i am a fairly new rider, i would like to enter a race, yet i do not know if i am good enough or ready to do so as i train by myself. There is a crit coming up it is 20 mins + 1 lap. Does anyone know where i should be with training miles a week or average speed in order to enter this thing and not look like a complete idiot? Any things i can do in my training to prepare? I know this is a lot to ask but i dont where else to turn. The race BTW is the Tour of Elk Grove, which is a suburb of chicago.

Oh, and don't race Elk Grove as your first race. Believe me. You won't last the first lap with the field.
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Old 07-23-07, 05:46 PM
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There is an ABR cat4/citizens race next Sunday in Lombard. (20 minute+2 laps)The course is super easy and safe. You can buy a 1 day license so you don't have to shell out the full year fee. This would be an excellent first race. (make sure you enter the beginner's race , not the experienced cat 4 field). If you don't have any group riding experience, go on some group rides before you attempt to race. If you're comfortable riding in a group, put on a number, line up, and see what happens. I wouldn't make Elk Grove your first race. That would probably be a waste of your money. That will be a hard race, even in cat 5. If you don't want to race this weekend, check out the ABR fall fling at the end of September. Last year that was among my first races, and it was a great experience.
http://www.ambikerace.com
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Old 07-23-07, 09:18 PM
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Speaking of looking like a complete idiot, a few years back I did a race and wasnt nearly prepared enough. I got dropped and then the corner guard or whatever you call them didnt do his job so i ended up getting completely lost in a state that i had never been in before. So dont get embarrased or discouraged if you look like a complete idiot. By the way i did get discouraged and now 2 years later I am training to get back into racing
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Old 07-29-07, 11:48 PM
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thanks for all the advice, im going to do the harper ride and see how long i can hang with the pack. i see that i just have to get out there and get my feet wet.
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