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First Race Report! & First Race!...

Old 02-09-10, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by umd
Fail
Thanks for the input.
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Old 02-09-10, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by cbip
Thanks for the input.
No problem. If you think drops are a crutch you are doing it wrong.
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Old 02-09-10, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by MDcatV
^i disagree
I agree.

With the disagreement that is.
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Old 02-09-10, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by umd
No problem. If you think drops are a crutch you are doing it wrong.
Did you even read my post? Let me put it in umd speak!
Lots of times when new racers start to fall off the pace of a race, when they are struggling to keep up, they will get in the drops to be more aerodynamic and hang on. Unless you have practiced riding in that position, and also raced in a pack in close proximity to other riders, it can be an unsafe place to ride. It takes practice to reach the breaks and feather them without grabbing them too hard. It also makes every movement of your wrist, hand, forearm and shoulder much more dramatic. Small movements of those parts mean larger movements of the front wheel. No one is saying its not a great place to be racing. But its not the BEST place for a new racer to be. After some practice and races under his belt then by all means, use whatever position you are comfortable in and still have complete control of your bike. Its only a crutch when your using it because you cant keep up while on the hoods.
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Old 02-09-10, 01:05 PM
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I read what you wrote, I still think you are wrong. Drops are not just about aerodyamics. They are not a crutch, as you said, and if you are treating them as such then you are doing it wrong. Pretty much everything about what you just wrote is wrong.
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Old 02-09-10, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by cbip
Did you even read my post? Let me put it in umd speak!
Lots of times when new racers start to fall off the pace of a race, when they are struggling to keep up, they will get in the drops to be more aerodynamic and hang on. Unless you have practiced riding in that position, and also raced in a pack in close proximity to other riders, it can be an unsafe place to ride. It takes practice to reach the breaks and feather them without grabbing them too hard. It also makes every movement of your wrist, hand, forearm and shoulder much more dramatic. Small movements of those parts mean larger movements of the front wheel. No one is saying its not a great place to be racing. But its not the BEST place for a new racer to be. After some practice and races under his belt then by all means, use whatever position you are comfortable in and still have complete control of your bike. Its only a crutch when your using it because you cant keep up while on the hoods.
so how many races should a new racer have before riding in the drops? are you suggesting it's safer for a new racer to corner while in the hoods? are you suggesting that someone on the rivet and thrashing all over the bike is less squirrelly in the hoods than in the drops?

sorry cbip, i dont agree with any of that.
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Old 02-09-10, 01:14 PM
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I'm of the thinking, and I know people disagree with me, that the drops are often more aerodynamic, sometimes more comfortable, and provide more stability and prevent people from hooking my ****. That's me.
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Old 02-09-10, 01:20 PM
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cbip, one thing I will agree with you on is that someone shouldn't go to the drops when they are falling off the pace... but it's not because they shouldn't be in the drops. It's because they should have been in the drops the whole time.
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Old 02-09-10, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by MDcatV
so how many races should a new racer have before riding in the drops? are you suggesting it's safer for a new racer to corner while in the hoods? are you suggesting that someone on the rivet and thrashing all over the bike is less squirrelly in the hoods than in the drops?

sorry cbip, i dont agree with any of that.
We will agree to disagree! You have your opinon, which I think is right for non-newbie racers, I have mine, which you guys think is wrong. No problem. If you knew why I am saying what I am saying you might change your mind or at least see why I am suggesting a non drops strategy during a riders first races.
If mondodave wants to hear why I am suggesting he stay out of the drops until he gets more crits under his belt, then he will have no trouble finding me at the racetrack he mentioned. Mondodave just find the race promoter and ask him to point out the first time racres "mentor". That would be me, in fact you will be required to race behind me,or possibly another seasoned racer for 2 races and learn the course, how to corner, how to countersteer, how to plan ahead for the chicane and the corkscrew.
Not trying to argue guys, just trying to help mondodave get ready for the upcoming crit season if he plans on racing out here.
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Old 02-09-10, 01:56 PM
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cbip, your argument doesn't make a whole lot of sense to a whole lot of people.
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Old 02-09-10, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by cbip
you will be required to race behind me,or possibly another seasoned racer for 2 races and learn the course, how to corner, how to countersteer, how to plan ahead for the chicane and the corkscrew.

Isn't that what club rides are for? I dunno, the above doesn't sound much like racing.
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Old 02-09-10, 02:25 PM
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Wow...yeah...no. Drops = much safer. New or not. More control. Period.
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Old 02-09-10, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by silversx80
Isn't that what club rides are for? I dunno, the above doesn't sound much like racing.
We had a death in Cat 5 last year, and the rider died in his first race, possibly because of an overreaction due to a lot of nervousness. Big pool of blood on the tarmac and a lifeless body lying there.

In the interest of preventing this, we're starting to get races where all the Cat 5 races are "time+2" (like 40 minutes + 2 laps). At the start of the race, there's a mentor lap, where everyone hears what they should hear, and they get to spend some time in the pack, and some time with the people who will be next to them in the corners at race speeds. The next "lap" is a quick chat at the start/finish to cover some more topics.

This program has wide support in Texas racing. If the 5s don't like it, get the 10th race and upgrade.

I can see where cbip is coming from. I would rather see people show up to their first race being completely comfortable in the drops, but it just isn't always the case. If you talk to someone who has been riding road bikes only a short time, the drops often kind of freak them out, so no need to push it.

On the other hand, if a racer arrives to the first race with some competence with bike handling, drops are where you want to be much of the time, first race or not.
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Old 02-09-10, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by waterrockets

I can see where cbip is coming from. I would rather see people show up to their first race being completely comfortable in the drops, but it just isn't always the case. If you talk to someone who has been riding road bikes only a short time, the drops often kind of freak them out, so no need to push it.
Do people actually show up to races having hardly ridden their bike though?
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Old 02-09-10, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by waterrockets
In the interest of preventing this, we're starting to get races where all the Cat 5 races are "time+2" (like 40 minutes + 2 laps). At the start of the race, there's a mentor lap, where everyone hears what they should hear, and they get to spend some time in the pack, and some time with the people who will be next to them in the corners at race speeds. The next "lap" is a quick chat at the start/finish to cover some more topics.
Well that makes a lot of sense. It sounded like cbip wanted someone to follow him around for the whole race.
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Old 02-09-10, 02:52 PM
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^sounds like a good program hopefully it's a model for other districts to consider following in promoting a safer racing environment. cbip good on you for your active participation. although i'm not convinced on the hoods thing, but i'm done beating this horse.
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Old 02-09-10, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by tspek
Do people actually show up to races having hardly ridden their bike though?
Define "ridden." Getting around, jamming the coffee shop ride, a century, etc. can all be completed without ever sampling your drops. There's no guarantee that everyone toeing the line is comfortable in their drops. There's no reason to add to the discomfort of a first race just to save 40W for any time spent in the wind.
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Old 02-09-10, 03:16 PM
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Ok so I wouldn't say that a person should ride in the drop for their first time ever in a race, but I wouldn't say that a person shouldn't ride in the drops just because it's the first race either.
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Old 02-09-10, 03:18 PM
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It's kind of like riding a bike.
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Old 02-09-10, 03:21 PM
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In a race I'll never touch the drops, unless im in the wind, because I can't reach my brakes from the drops. I often ride with my forearms horizontal though, gets me pretty low.
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Old 02-09-10, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by johnybutts
In a race I'll never touch the drops, unless im in the wind, because I can't reach my brakes from the drops. I often ride with my forearms horizontal though, gets me pretty low.
can i just make a suggestion and get equipment that fits? everyone should be able to reach their brakes from any position, period. (well maybe not the tops)
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Old 02-09-10, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by loreley
can i just make a suggestion and get equipment that fits? everyone should be able to reach their brakes from any position, period. (well maybe not the tops)


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Old 02-09-10, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by loreley
can i just make a suggestion and get equipment that fits? everyone should be able to reach their brakes from any position, period. (well maybe not the tops)
You're right that I should play with the position, but I broke the reach adjust which used to get me there...
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Old 02-09-10, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by waterrockets
We had a death in Cat 5 last year, and the rider died in his first race, possibly because of an overreaction due to a lot of nervousness. Big pool of blood on the tarmac and a lifeless body lying there.


On the other hand, if a racer arrives to the first race with some competence with bike handling, drops are where you want to be much of the time, first race or not.
Thanks Waterrockets!
Look guys, I do believe that there is nothing wrong with the drops. But since it was brought up I will explain why I am sure I am correct for FIRST time racers.
The rider who died last year was a FIRST TIME racer, he had been riding bikes for maybe 20+ years and was a good rider. But there is a HUGE difference between riding a bike and racing one!
What he was not prepared for were the speeds and the close proximity to other riders that crit racing entails.
I am not sure some people realize how much more dangerous and explosive crit racing is than road racing, just ask Lance himself, he hates them. It takes a special kind of rider and skill set to ride at 30+ miles an hour around corners and downhills, handlebar to handlebar. Part fearless and part stupid.
Add to this the fact that he was being pushed beyond what he normally does on a bike and was trying to catch up after getting spit out the back and you can see the problem.
Once he fell behind he was forced to go to the drops so he could gain enough speed to catch up. He physically was past his limit and instead of sitting up and letting the pack go away he got as aerodynamic as he could , in the drops, and raced down a downhill section to wards the back of the group.
Well since he had NEVER raced before he did not have any past experience to draw from and was not aware that the back of the pack would be slowing up at the bottom of the downhill. As he came flying down the hill he was at his limit and tried to slow up but because he was in the drops he was unable to get on the breaks fast enough and he clipped the rear wheel of a rider that was drifting to the left on the back of the group. From that point on he had no chance.

Because he was in the drops his hands were under him when his front wheel was forced sideways. (I don't want to be so graphic but to save future argument from some of you I will try and tell you as clearly as possible.) Since his front wheel was forced left and his momentum was taking him left also, his front tire washed out from under him and his hands were basically behind his head and under his chest as his head was forced toward the pavement. Because he did not have the chance to get his hands from under his body, by the fact that he was in the drops and it put his head so much closer to the pavement anyway, he was never able to reach out and catch himself. He hit chin first into the pavement which drove everything up into his brain. He was DEAD!
And yes it happened directly in front of me! I was riding behind him because I had noticed from the beginning of the race that he was out of his element and I was going to move up and talk to him and just get him to relax and stay off the back with me and ride around. I tried to get up to him the previous lap but I got cut off, so I was waiting for the back straight away where the race settles down a little bit. It has really bothered me that I did not get to him sooner, I know he would be alive today if I had pulled up to him and calmed him down.
Yes I know its not my fault it happened, but it is my fault, as it would be yours if you see such an obvious problem and don't lift a finger to help.

So while I appreciate your input and do agree with your point for accomplished racers, I will never agree with you that first time racers and those who have never riden in a crit should be in the drops. And you all should really take a much more open minded look at those new riders who are in races with you. Take a few minutes out of your lives before races and let the first time riders no that it is ok if they get dropped, its ok to admit they are not prepared for the speed of the race yet, encourage them to find a team, to ride in groups and work on there pack skills, that if your at your limit just sit up and relax. Hell some of the best workouts you can get is letting the pack ride away and then try to stay with um without the draft. That a freaking workout, let me tell ya. I have had a lot of practice.
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Old 02-09-10, 04:09 PM
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It sounds like the problem was that he was over his limit and pushed himself too far, went too fast on the descent and didn't realize what was happening with the back, rather than anything that can specifically be attributed to being in the drops. That's how I read it, I wasn't there.

I hear what you are saying but I still don't think a generic prohibition against being in the drops for your first race(s) makes sense.
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