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mcafiero 07-11-11 11:43 PM

Chariot Race - What did I do wrong?
My first race this year was a Chariot Race and I did "OK" (3rd in my heat of 6, didn't get to go to the final round, they only took the top two of the 3 waves). Turned out the two guys who beat me came in 1st and 2nd overall so I was in with the fastest riders. My gearing was a 49x16

So I found myself in another chariot race. This time a 49x14 and I just got murdered by people I felt I should have beat. They were out of there right off the start and even though I had gained momentum in the final turn, it wasn't enough to catch them. What that a bad gear choice? Another factor I have to consider (and this is remarkably embarrassing), I ran a 15 mile half marathon at 13,000 feet elevation two days before the race, so my legs were spent.

For the record, I have given up running completely and am working with a coach to build better track legs, and focusing on sprinting for 2012.

Anyway, can I blame my gearing choice for my lack of performance on that second chariot race?

fordfasterr 07-12-11 06:56 AM

Most likely yes. You over-geared and basically nailed yourself on the line.

Something you have to do is get your lap times measured with different gearing. Once you know what your optimal gearing is then you can race on that gear. As your training and strength progresses you can gradually move to bigger gears to match your strength.

Kayce 07-12-11 09:49 AM

Since you were playing catch up, it seems like you were overgeared. So for now if youre in another chariot go lower. But also work on your initial power and your standing start technique so you can be more effective with a higher gear. Chariots are one of the harder races in my mind.

melville 07-12-11 11:05 AM

Make friends with the biggest, strongest holder you can find. Promise him a beer later. BITD, we were allowed a wee push at the gun.

But yeah, 49X14 is HUGE for a standing start at a 333 track.

carleton 07-12-11 11:59 AM

+1 to everything said above.

It's probably gonna take you a year or two of steady progressive work to get to the point where you are using a 49tx14t as a chariot gear. Once you are on such a gear, you'll be pushing maybe 37-38mph as a top speed on it from a standing start. Even more since you are racing at altitude. So, maybe 40 mph.

49tx16t is basically a warmup gear. You can get on top of it instantly...then you are spinning like a hamster in a hamster wheel till your legs erupt in flames.

Why are you on a 14t as a beginner anyway? You should be on a 15t. I would guess that 48t or 49t x 15t would feel good for you right now.

You are in a building stage. Focus less on beating people and more on building yourself. Race as much as possible to get bike handling and pack experience as the Olympic velodrome isn't open very long. And when it closes, it's closed till like mid-May or even into June when other velodromes like DLV in Atlanta are open year round and start racing in April.

mcafiero 07-12-11 01:29 PM

Glad to know I now have an excuse! Good stuff, thanks. I'll try 49x15 next time.

Carleton, there is a new track in Boulder. From what I hear it's tiny and sketchy but it is open year round. Good for winter training you think?

carleton 07-12-11 03:37 PM


Originally Posted by mcafiero (Post 12918028)
Glad to know I now have an excuse! Good stuff, thanks. I'll try 49x15 next time.

Carleton, there is a new track in Boulder. From what I hear it's tiny and sketchy but it is open year round. Good for winter training you think?

I've heard of that track. I've never been there. It's 142M long, so a flying 200M is a lap and a half!

It's my understanding that you'd really have to "gear down" to ride it. Meaning run a much smaller than normal gear ratio.

Winter training is more about base miles and/or lifting depending on which training program you are on.

Also, some people kinda don't want to race too much in the winter. Some people can only be intense for only a few months of the year. It seems that sprinters really enjoy the winters off from intensity. It's probably because ALL of their efforts are maximal. Max efforts several days a week (including gym) for several months in the summer can wear on the psyche and nervous system.

I REALLY enjoy the first two months of winter training which are basically noodling around on the bike for fun. Like "wherever the wind may blow me" rides with no computer or watch. Just riding. Then lifting heavy weights again. Because by the end of the season, the weight that sprinters lift tapers off a lot when you switch to power phases and start training on-the-bike power.

mcafiero 07-12-11 08:24 PM

We practiced standing starts today. I feel I could go back in my 49x15 now and spank all those guys. I want a rematch!

I also asked a few guys about the track in Boulder and the overall consensus is that it's pretty bunk.

chas58 07-13-11 10:42 AM

What is a chariot race anyway?

We have a 138m track not too far from here - I hear it is quite tight! I should go try it out someday...

shadoman 07-13-11 10:57 AM


Originally Posted by chas58 (Post 12922398)
What is a chariot race anyway?

One lap from a standing start.

chas58 07-15-11 07:27 AM

Ooooh, definately the wrong gearing for that!

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