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Be honest refs

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Old 01-20-12, 08:04 AM
  #1  
Nick Bain
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Be honest refs

I just remembered an August RR where the refs stopped the entire pack of us 4/5s. They women 123 started ahead of us for some reason. After about 30 mins racing and attacks and dropped riders, the lead pack I was in caught up to them. Then the Pace car slowed us down to 15 mph for almost 10 minutes keeping us from passing the W123s. The ref was warning us about crossing the yellow line which was mostly bs since it happens in all races and this one was relatively prudent. Needless to say the crowd grew angrier as dropped riders were catching up. Then after the next right hand turn after a long busy (traffic) strait. They stopped our race for a few minutes and continued to lecture about the centerline which was crap since we definitley were not crossing it on the straitaway although we were packed like sardines in the lane from the slowdown. Then they let us go and mentioned about how we could now pass the w123s ahead. By now all the dropped riders had caught up. I think the real reason is they did not want us to pass them on the busier road and were just making **** up. Either way I think they should have pulled the women over and let us go by. Being there was only 20 of them and like 60 of us.
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Old 01-20-12, 08:20 AM
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During our state RR championships last year, we had a similar incident.

I was driving the wheel truck for the women's field, which was going ridiculously slow - the field was dominated by one team who was trying to work race tactics, but it wasn't working.

Anyway, the men's Pro, 1,2 field, which started before the women, but had more laps to do, caught the women's field just before the final 1k. We had to neutralize the women's field so that the men's field could go ahead, and then let the women proceed for the final sprint.

Fortunately, there were no issues with dropped riders catching up, but it made for a really confusing time.
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Old 01-20-12, 08:33 AM
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Race officials have to make on the fly calls. You may not know the whole story behind the stop etc (or you may, I don't know). A road race like the one you describe is extremely difficult to hold/officiate/etc, and usually the worst of the races are the lower category (i.e. newer racer) ones.

(It's why I don't get very involved in them)

Watch clips on YouTube of pro riders getting a wheel change. Although there may be some panic, the racers are usually amazingly calm. No swearing, no angry gesticulation, no nothing. Watch a wheel change for a Cat 4 or 5 in a crit where there's a free lap (i.e. minutes to change the wheel) and, depending on the individual, it'll sound like the Tour is on the line with this wheel change.

Same with promoting races. The ones that complain least are the ones that have experienced it, have lived it. You may hear grumbling here and there with a Cat 1-2 race but you rarely hear anything overt, just discrete stuff mentioned to the promoter. I've watched Cat 5s freak out when results aren't up in a few minutes.

As both a racer and a promoter (I'm a racer first; I promote because I feel it's an obligation/privilege, it's definitely not a money thing), I have one recommendation: help the promoter in said race this coming August. Do whatever the promoter needs you to do to help the race, whether it's working registration, sweeping (probably not necessary in August), working a wheel van, whatever. Sit on the other side of the table.

After that, if you have complaints, post away.
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Old 01-20-12, 09:36 AM
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I was in a RR in either 10 or 11 where the race got stopped less than 1k from the finish by a freight train. I was in a 5 man break probably 30sec up on the field... needless to say we weren't too happy with the outcome. The official was going to allow the break to take off first while everyone else waited. How do you think that went? Yup, everyone took off as soon as the train cleared. I said screw it and finished in the field.

Been in several other RR's where either the field from another cat we caught was neutralized and stopped or we were caught and stopped. It sucks at the time, but the officials are doing their best to keep everyone safe and the promoters do their best to stagger the start times to keep this from happening while still giving everyone a chance to race.
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Old 01-20-12, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Nick Bain View Post
I just remembered an August RR where the refs stopped the entire pack of us 4/5s. They women 123 started ahead of us for some reason. After about 30 mins racing and attacks and dropped riders, the lead pack I was in caught up to them. Then the Pace car slowed us down to 15 mph for almost 10 minutes keeping us from passing the W123s. The ref was warning us about crossing the yellow line which was mostly bs since it happens in all races and this one was relatively prudent. Needless to say the crowd grew angrier as dropped riders were catching up. Then after the next right hand turn after a long busy (traffic) strait. They stopped our race for a few minutes and continued to lecture about the centerline which was crap since we definitley were not crossing it on the straitaway although we were packed like sardines in the lane from the slowdown. Then they let us go and mentioned about how we could now pass the w123s ahead. By now all the dropped riders had caught up. I think the real reason is they did not want us to pass them on the busier road and were just making **** up. Either way I think they should have pulled the women over and let us go by. Being there was only 20 of them and like 60 of us.
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Old 01-20-12, 11:46 AM
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First off, they're not called "refs", they're called "officials". Second, what you describe is called "neutralizing the field". Have you read your rulebook? Are you aware of the conditions and rules surrounding neutralization? I don't think so or else you would not have made the comments you made.

Read and understand the rulebook.
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Old 01-20-12, 12:15 PM
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yes I should read that, Im just saying the neutering of the field was probably not for the reason they officially stated. Since they were clearly aware the conflict of the two groups which seemed to be the root cause of the situation.

I am aware that safety is Job #1.
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Old 01-20-12, 12:18 PM
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No, you must read that before *****ing about rules you are not familiar with.
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Old 01-20-12, 12:33 PM
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Rules are dumb common sense is better. I didn't really care I wasn't going to win anyway.
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Old 01-20-12, 12:41 PM
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Old 01-20-12, 12:50 PM
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I've been through class C (lowest level) official school and moto ref school and I've worked a few races. As an official your first job is to keep the racers safe.

There are no benign centerline violations. Even if the racer thinks its safe, once people start crossing it then everyone thinks its ok and will start doing it in the dumbest places. If riders start crossing the centerline they need to be shown that the ref is serious about the rule. Your ref could have relegated every rider who crossed the centerline.

As far as holding the fields, that's a judgement call. The refs for the different fields communicate by radio and try to figure out the speed of each field and where a safe place to pass is. It's not easy to do especially since different fields will speed up and slow down in different places due to race dynamics. As far as the guys who got dropped catching up, chances are if they got dropped already they're not going to be a factor at the end anyhow. And if they are, so what. Everyone else who is your ability level has to deal with the same thing. So you get 21st instead of 19th in the Podunksville cat 4 road race. Is that worth taking risks for?

Neutering the field would fix the excessive aggression but it's a bit drastic. Neutralizing them is kinder, and we need future generations of bike racers.

Also, read the rule book. And don't cuss at the officials even if you think they're not doing the right thing. It's rude.
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Old 01-20-12, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Nick Bain View Post
yes I should read that, Im just saying the neutering of the field was probably not for the reason they officially stated. Since they were clearly aware the conflict of the two groups which seemed to be the root cause of the situation.

I am aware that safety is Job #1.
that's harsh.
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Old 01-20-12, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by botto View Post
that's harsh.
Eh, according to a friend who grew up a farmer, with a rubber band and patience, they don't even notice it until it's too late and they've fallen off.
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Old 01-20-12, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Nick Bain View Post
Rules are dumb common sense is better.
A superb example of why you're a Cat4 and I am not.
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Old 01-20-12, 01:25 PM
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hehehehe...Now I remember why a certain poster is on my ignore list

We had a race here last year where there was a wicked cross-wind that was stretching the Elite1/2 peleton across the road and forcing riders to either cross the yellow line or risk being dropped...Half the field got DQ'd...Rules are rules and they are in place for a reason...
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Old 01-20-12, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Nick Bain View Post
Rules are dumb common sense is better.
This is a path that can only lead you to lots of consternation.

Applying the rules with common sense should be the goal.

Knowing the rules and using them to your advantage will get you a lot farther in life, than an attitude of F the rules, and just do what make sense to you.
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Old 01-20-12, 04:21 PM
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My first road race had a big crash with bikes and riders all over the place just a few miles from the end. I got caught behind it and the only way around was to cross the centerline. The official was on a moto right there so I simply asked if I could cross and go around. He looked around, saw no traffic, and said "OK".

After burning all my matches I caught the lead pack, but had nothing left for the finish and just rolled in.
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Old 01-20-12, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
A superb example of why you're a Cat4 and I am not.
And shovel comes in with rkwaki's "Post of the Day"
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Old 01-20-12, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
A superb example of why you're a Cat4 and I am not.
Don't have 10 races yet?










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Old 01-20-12, 09:26 PM
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That's what I get for being generous.
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Old 01-21-12, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
That's what I get for being generous.
Haha try to be witty and look what it gets you. One day I will get my 10 starts. Bwahaha.
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Old 01-23-12, 09:25 AM
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Yeah, I don't know TS. Sh&t happens. When you have all of these people on the road, which is likely difficult to get road racing permits/space to allow hundreds of people all day to take up an entire lane 7-17 miles in distance, they do the best they can.

On the other hand, they can't see and deal with everything. I remember in a circuit race last year with a few laps to go, there was a two lane first stretch into a massive xwind, like 25mph. Group was barely going 16mph at times if that. Anyway, down the center of the lane was a line of orange traffic cones so traffic could go on that lane and the riders could use the other. Well, one team (great tactic) decides to go outside the cones, on the downward side of the xwind of course, to overtake the entire group and get a jump on them. Needless to say, they got out ahead with an illegal move across the side of the cone, which should have relegated them to last position on the day IMO....people were yelling a them while they were doing it....anyway, they took like the top 3 positions in a Cat 4 race....my heros! They must be proud!

Anyway, there was no "ref" to see it, and they did nothing when people told them what happened. So, they are fallable, people/teams can be ******bags...and cyclist in general are idiots often. That is racing!
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Old 01-23-12, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Nick Bain View Post
I just remembered an August RR where the refs stopped the entire pack of us 4/5s. They women 123 started ahead of us for some reason. After about 30 mins racing and attacks and dropped riders, the lead pack I was in caught up to them. Then the Pace car slowed us down to 15 mph for almost 10 minutes keeping us from passing the W123s. The ref was warning us about crossing the yellow line which was mostly bs since it happens in all races and this one was relatively prudent. Needless to say the crowd grew angrier as dropped riders were catching up. Then after the next right hand turn after a long busy (traffic) strait. They stopped our race for a few minutes and continued to lecture about the centerline which was crap since we definitley were not crossing it on the straitaway although we were packed like sardines in the lane from the slowdown. Then they let us go and mentioned about how we could now pass the w123s ahead. By now all the dropped riders had caught up. I think the real reason is they did not want us to pass them on the busier road and were just making **** up. Either way I think they should have pulled the women over and let us go by. Being there was only 20 of them and like 60 of us.
You should consider time trialing.
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Old 01-25-12, 01:33 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by rbart4506 View Post
hehehehe...Now I remember why a certain poster is on my ignore list

We had a race here last year where there was a wicked cross-wind that was stretching the Elite1/2 peleton across the road and forcing riders to either cross the yellow line or risk being dropped...Half the field got DQ'd...Rules are rules and they are in place for a reason...

He he, I guess we do need rules after all, seeing as how racers clearly have little common sense as indicaated by your signature.
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Old 01-26-12, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by rbart4506 View Post
hehehehe...Now I remember why a certain poster is on my ignore list

We had a race here last year where there was a wicked cross-wind that was stretching the Elite1/2 peleton across the road and forcing riders to either cross the yellow line or risk being dropped...Half the field got DQ'd...Rules are rules and they are in place for a reason...
...Because god forbid forming a second echelon? What are you going on about?
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