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Old 08-11-17, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by sarals
Ever forget your aerobars? Yes. I did.
Yup! Was doing a 4km pursuit that day too! Left the drop bars on, dropped the gear a little, went out of the blocks like it was a chariot race and caught my opponent.

Sometimes you have to make do with what you got,
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Old 08-11-17, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by carleton
The absolute worst thing that can happen is for a CAT1 roadie take the intro course then jump into a P/1/2 mass start track race. These races can only be described as high speed organized chaos.
There used to be a secret protocol for this at VSC that was used when roadies with no track experience got pulled onto track world cup teams. There would be invitation-only sessions that were essentially high-intensity training races using the motor as needed to get the speeds up and getting a bunch of local cat 1s and 2s to show up to provide a pack. The local riders get a really fun training race day and watch out for the couple of noobs and keep them safe while racing hard. It works pretty well when everybody knows that's the plan and there are only a few people without track experience but with a lot of road experience. It's similar to how the weekly madison practices work. A certain multiple world-champion got his first mass start track experience like that when he was technically still a Cat 5. We might have even let him into a permitted P/1/2 race day...
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Old 08-11-17, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by carleton
On a related note: This was (and to some extent, still is) an issue for Collegiate Track Nationals.
It used to be an issue for Elite Nats, too, where people at smaller tracks would get an upgrade (sometimes with no track time at all) so they could go to nats. That was part of why they introduced the qualifying process that they've since dropped - it made sure that everybody who showed up at nats had at least done one mass start race on a track. It didn't seem to affect turnout, but then after about 5 years of it and there was a time or two when turnout was low they dropped it (low turnout was probably more due to the economy than the qualifier).
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Old 08-11-17, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by southernfox
The main thing (I think?) is that women's races are typically 'open,' and aren't separated into A, B, C etc. So it's either ABC or you don't race...it seems...for events like this.
To get the best mass start experience you can, race with the men. The fields will be bigger and more consistent in skill level, so you'll get more direct experience in close quarters. The ones to really watch out for aren't really the 5s and 4s - they know they're new and are still trying to figure it out. The 3s all think they should be 2s and are more likely to do stupid things because they're trying to do something they think they saw in a P/1/2 race, but they saw it wrong or don't have the skill yet to execute it.
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Old 08-11-17, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by bitingduck
To get the best mass start experience you can, race with the men. The fields will be bigger and more consistent in skill level, so you'll get more direct experience in close quarters. The ones to really watch out for aren't really the 5s and 4s - they know they're new and are still trying to figure it out. The 3s all think they should be 2s and are more likely to do stupid things because they're trying to do something they think they saw in a P/1/2 race, but they saw it wrong or don't have the skill yet to execute it.
Good advice, thanks. I somewhat figured that I'd be entering some men's races anyway for exactly this reason. Useful reminder ^_^
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Old 08-11-17, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by southernfox
Good advice, thanks. I somewhat figured that I'd be entering some men's races anyway for exactly this reason. Useful reminder ^_^
Yeah, you and the other women will most likely race weekly with the men of similar skill level in the weekly practice races.

It will be all women in "real" races like velodrome championships, regionals, state championships etc...where there is something on the line (medals, jerseys, USAC points, cash, etc...). "practice" races are just the normal weekly races where nothing significant is on the line. Just local velodrome points that only mean something at the velodrome.
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Old 08-11-17, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by southernfox
Already train on rollers, though I prefer my Feedback Sports Omnium trainer (rollers with a fixed fork). Will be using one of my road race wheels (55mm tubular) with a bolt skewer (but my normal track rear wheel, also tubular). I'm not small ^_^ Got my tools and chainrings/cogs on the way for my Dolan TC1 I picked up. And SRAM should be sending me an Omnium crankset soon. Just went with 36cm road handlebars for now. Will invest in some nice aero track ones next season.

Consider the Feedback Omnium rollers a warmup/cooldown tool for travel, not a training tool. Using rollers without a fork stand will help you a lot more. It's not just about moving your legs.

A lot of people don't like normal rollers because they are unstable on them. Some don't realize that the instability is not because rollers are hard, it's because they haven't adjusted the rollers to their bike. There is a sweet spot in the adjustment where you want to be.

Kreitler rollers come with several holes for the adjustment pin. Depending on the hole you choose, the adjustments can be made 1cm (or less) at a time. This is for a reason



36cm road bars will work for now. But they will jam and bruise your forearms when you practice standing starts. Or the bruising will force you into doing bent-arm standing starts which makes a problem in your form and your start strength will be limited to your bicep strength (long story). You can get some Nitto B125AA bars for relatively cheap. They are as light as carbon and very strong. You'll need either shims or 25.4mm stem. Use shims because the stems aren't easy to find locally.



These are around $100. Scattos are around $400. Scattos aren't 4x the handlebar

Crank length is a debate. I'd recommend starting your journey of trial and error on 165mm cranks. But, I think you mentioned having a coach, so listen to him/her first.

Last edited by carleton; 08-11-17 at 08:13 PM.
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Old 08-11-17, 10:44 PM
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Originally Posted by carleton
The two-bolt stem here is kinda interesting. I've known people to stay away from them for fear that they'd be more prone to slipping or breaking compared to a four-bolt. Guess that's not really much of a concern.
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Old 08-12-17, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by carleton
Yeah, you and the other women will most likely race weekly with the men of similar skill level in the weekly practice races.

It will be all women in "real" races like velodrome championships, regionals, state championships etc...where there is something on the line (medals, jerseys, USAC points, cash, etc...). "practice" races are just the normal weekly races where nothing significant is on the line. Just local velodrome points that only mean something at the velodrome.
And then there are the FEW women of "a certain age", like me, who race on the track. The 55+ guys are too strong, and no way I can race with younger men. I was dumb enough to try! I do race with the 1/2/3/4 women, most younger than 35, and that's a better experience, but I don't have unrealistic expectations about doing anything spectacular. I use it for the intensity, workout, bike skills, and oh, fun. If I can stay in the pack or even animate things through the first sprint (in a scratch race or points race, snowballs are just too fast), I'm pleased. The cool thing about track mass starts is that if (when) I get popped off the back, I make a trip up to the stayers line and recover for a couple of laps, and then jump back in when the pack comes by.

My concentration is sprint events, I had said "never" on mass starts, and it's true that most women my age won't go near them, but - they're fun, I enjoy them. And I know I'm not going to out sprint or outlast most women who are half my age! But hey, so what.
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Last edited by sarals; 08-12-17 at 08:22 AM.
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Old 08-12-17, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by seau grateau
The two-bolt stem here is kinda interesting. I've known people to stay away from them for fear that they'd be more prone to slipping or breaking compared to a four-bolt. Guess that's not really much of a concern.
I think "it depends". I'm using a Race Face 2-bolt stem now and it's pretty tough. I do feel my bars (34cm Nitto B123) moving during standing starts. Not sure if it's the bars or the stem.

I've used Bontrager stems like in the pic above with no issue.





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Did the British bikes have 1" steerer tubes? Hard to tell. Maybe that's why they used them?

I've cracked the face of a Thomson 2-bolt X-2 stem before using Easton EC90s. Not sure if it was over-tightening or me pulling on them or a mix of the two. Oddly, the stem stayed together and I didn't notice the crack immediately. I use the Thomson X-4 stem whenever I can. Super duper stiff.
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Old 08-12-17, 12:16 PM
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The Brits did use 1" steerer tubes. They had them on as long as the bikes were UKSI made. The new Cervelos might have them too.
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Old 08-14-17, 06:06 AM
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UKSI bikes used 1" steerers presumably for reducing frontal area. Cervélo T5GB is 1 1/8".
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Old 08-14-17, 06:35 AM
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I ran a two-bolt stem for a few years on my road bike. It went loose on me late in a crit. There was a nice bump at turn three. With about five laps to go, the bars gave a little. Next lap, a little more. By two laps to go, they were so loose I had to sit up and coast to the finish line while holding the stem to steer.

I went four-bolt after that.
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Old 08-15-17, 05:02 AM
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Quick follow-up: USAC approved my upgrade request to Cat 2 based on that policy. Thanks ^_^
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Old 08-15-17, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by southernfox
Quick follow-up: USAC approved my upgrade request to Cat 2 based on that policy. Thanks ^_^
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Old 08-15-17, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by carleton
...it just means I don't have to chase upgrade points, and can just focus on experience.
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Old 08-15-17, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by southernfox
...it just means I don't have to chase upgrade points, and can just focus on experience.
True. I guess my point is that now you will be in Women's P/1/2 fields (and quite possibly Men's P/1/2 fields) where they expect you to already have that experience.

It takes only one day's worth of emails to get the upgrade from 4 to 3 or 3 to 2.

The harder part is that you won't easily be allowed to "race down" into CAT3 races, which is probably where you might be best suited this week.

I know I sound like Buzz Killington, here.
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Old 08-15-17, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by carleton
True. I guess my point is that now you will be in Women's P/1/2 fields (and quite possibly Men's P/1/2 fields) where they expect you to already have that experience.

It takes only one day's worth of emails to get the upgrade from 4 to 3 or 3 to 2.

The harder part is that you won't easily be allowed to "race down" into CAT3 races, which is probably where you might be best suited this week.

I know I sound like Buzz Killington, here.
Most races I see at DLV and RH are based on ARTA categories, so the Cat 2 is largely irrelevant at the moment. No?
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Old 08-15-17, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by southernfox
Most races I see at DLV and RH are based on ARTA categories, so the Cat 2 is largely irrelevant at the moment. No?
It's very relevant.

The ATRA President is in the ATL area and is on the board at DLV.

DLV's website describes the relationship between ATRA categories and USA Cycling Categories as such:

A Grade

Our top athletes. To be an A rider you should be able to go to most velodromes and be competitive in their premier programs. Bike handling should never really be in doubt and you should feel like you can stick with most top riders at any given time. To race as an A, your USAC racing license should be a 1, 2 and in a some cases Cat 3. Average pack speed: 30+mph. Sprints 40+mph.

Last edited by carleton; 08-15-17 at 01:03 PM. Reason: Updated links.
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Old 08-15-17, 01:07 PM
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To clarify: I don't think that, as a women's CAT1 road racer, you aren't fast enough to hang with the groups. It's the misconception that many roadies have that if they are P/1/2 on the road then they can just hop on into a P/1/2 race on the track and know what to do. Most (if not all) accidents aren't caused by someone not being fast enough. They are largely caused by unexpected maneuvers and to a lesser extent, equipment malfunctions.

Either you have the experience or you don't

To rephrase, there are 4 scenarios:

A) I don't know what to do nor do I have the ability to do it.
B) I know what to do but I don't have the ability to do it.
C) I don't know what to do but I have the ability to do whatever I want to do.
D) I know what to do and I have the ability to do whatever I want to do.


There are pros and cons to each permutation
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Old 08-15-17, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by carleton
It's very relevant.

The ATRA President is in the ATL area and is on the board at DLV.

DLV's website describes the relationship between ATRA categories and USA Cycling Categories as such:
I read that differently: to be A, one must be USAC Cat 1 or 2 (and in some rare cases 3). That doesn't mean that if one *is* a Cat 1 or 2, then one is in A. It's a necessary condition, not a sufficient condition. One can be Cat 2 but in C, no?
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Old 08-15-17, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by southernfox
I read that differently: to be A, one must be USAC Cat 1 or 2 (and in some rare cases 3). That doesn't mean that if one *is* a Cat 1 or 2, then one is in A. It's a necessary condition, not a sufficient condition. One can be Cat 2 but in C, no?
Yes. For local racing it won't matter.

However, it might matter when there is something on the line, like medals, cash, jerseys, titles, etc...like at your regional championships which is held under a USAC license.

Now you are in a situation where you are either:

- A Category 2 rider in a P/1/2 field without much experience. Some might object to this.
- A Category 2 rider racing down (sandbagging) in a Category 3 races taking medals & jerseys away from Category 3 women. Some might object to this.

Either way is tough

Also, it's not "sandbagging" if you are Cat 1 on the road and Cat 3 on the track racing Cat 3 track races.
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Old 08-15-17, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by carleton
Yes. For local racing it won't matter.

However, it might matter when there is something on the line, like medals, cash, jerseys, titles, etc...like at your regional championships which is held under a USAC license.

Now you are in a situation where you are either:

- A Category 2 rider in a P/1/2 field without much experience. Some might object to this.
- A Category 2 rider racing down (sandbagging) in a Category 3 races taking medals & jerseys away from Category 3 women. Some might object to this.

Either way is tough

Also, it's not "sandbagging" if you are Cat 1 on the road and Cat 3 on the track racing Cat 3 track races.
Except there is no women's Cat 3 track racing. Do you know of a US track that runs mass start events for a separate Women's Cat 3 field? There aren't enough women racing to break them down to that granularity. Even the National Championships are 1/2/3.
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Old 08-15-17, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by gl98115
Except there is no women's Cat 3 track racing. Do you know of a US track that runs mass start events for a separate Women's Cat 3 field? There aren't enough women racing to break them down to that granularity. Even the National Championships are 1/2/3.
Good point.

Since you commented, do you think that she should hop into a P/1/2/3 race now after taking a beginner's class?
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Old 08-15-17, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by carleton
Since you commented, do you think that she should hop into a P/1/2/3 race now after taking a beginner's class?
Beats me. I've never ridden with this person. Some riders 'get it' faster than others.
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