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Black wallnut 08-05-13 02:01 PM

A disappoinment
My oldest son is in his first year of racing road. He is 17 and has had a bit of a challenging season with flats, getting pulled for being dropped in a crit and then a bike crash that totalled his new bike frame. Last weekend I took him to the Raph NW Juniors Stage Race near Elma, WA. Where he got to compete against Logan Owen (World junior Cyclocross champ) and a handfull of other riders nearly as good. Richard took last in the timetrial, second to last in the crit being pulled after just 8 minutes and then in the road race he was doing fine for a while. The course was one he raced earlier this year so he knew it, a 12 mile nice road course with just one cat 5 climb, with the finish at the top, a nice long descent and a meandering narrow winding single lane farm road. Richard flatted at about mile 11 losing a little over a minute. None of this was disappointing to him, flatting sucks but it does happen..... He ended the race losing time each lap but he was happy with his effort despite the flat.

At registration each rider was given a Rapha feed bag and there was a table with luggage tags courtesy USA Cycling, he took one as did I. He brought along a borrowed feed bag as well. Since the feed zone was open on lap two and three Richard wanted to take full advantage of it. we put luggage tags on each bag and thought nothing more about it. After I handed him the second bag I jumped on my bike and headed to the finish line picking up his first dropped bag on the way, never seeing his second bag. After the race we went to retrieve the second dropped bag. I dropped him along the road, drove a couple hundred yards parked at the start of the feed zone and started walking towards where i dropped him off. I get to where I had dropped him off and turned around. After a few yards I found not the bag but the card from inside the luggage tag. Some loser picked up the bag, removed the card from inside the luggage tag and tossed the card. I was saddened beyond words. What kind of ****** would do such a thing to a junior rider. In no way does this reflect poorly on the organizers but one single person sure soured an otherwise great experience for my son.

KJ4JPQ 08-05-13 02:32 PM

I have heard that in races the feed bags are considered souvenirs that some people will try to collect, so don't feel too bad. At least you got one of them back.

carpediemracing 08-05-13 03:39 PM

I'll second the feed bag statement. They're basically disposable so you use something that you won't miss. "Souvenir" feedbags get saved - I have a couple that are hanging in our bike room.

The thing that seemed unusual in your initial post was the flat. Can you pinpoint the causes of the flat? Pinch flat? Actual glass/sharps?

Black wallnut 08-05-13 04:14 PM

Have not had time to investigate the flat yet, plan to do so tonight. In the spring race same course he flatted out. He also flatted the race before that one or right after, which exactly I do not recall. In both races there was no wheel support so he was done. Because of that we decided that at his level there was not really a downside to using Armadillos. Needless to say I am shocked that he flatted again. I'll report back with the cause.

jsutkeepspining 08-06-13 08:52 AM

One of the things i try to tell new juniors is to not worry about racing junior specific races that are large. They attract 1's and 2's. A local junior race or a cat 5 race is a better option for a junior who is new to racing.

You have to be careful with anything you leave around at a bike race, and remember when doing a feed make sure not to leave the bottle out for too long before your kid can get to it. Feed zones are basically every man for himself, and someone can and will take the bottle from you. If you only need 2 extra bottles, bring 5, trust me someone will take the extra bottle (Hell i do it all the time because i don't normally have a reliable feeder).

Black wallnut 08-06-13 09:04 AM

The flat was a rim tape problem. Why it took so long to show up I'll never know. The race was as local as they get but your assessment of the talent is spot on.

carpediemracing 08-07-13 06:35 PM

I'm glad you figured out the flat problem. I just had a flat on a training ride and guess, what, rim strip migrated a few mm, exposing a spoke hole, and that was that. I'd just come off the bumper of a truck too, and I sat up because the bike didn't feel right.

I was worried that it was pinch flats or something else, some careless error thing.

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