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To crit or not to crit...(9 posts)

To crit or not to crit...totrod
Apr 25, 2002 6:19 AM
So I'm considering trying out racing tonight. A local club runs a 'crit for beginners' as part of a weekly series and I thought it might be fun to try. I went over to the venue last night and tried riding laps hard for 20 minutes. Ouch! Hard work!

I don't want to embarass myself, but then again I'm not a wimp rider by any means. Just old (43).

Anyone have first-race experiences or advice to share?

re: To crit or not to crit...No_sprint
Apr 25, 2002 6:30 AM
That sounds like it would definitely be the place to give it a first go. Why not?

Do lots of those, local team crit practice, etc. If you like it, graduate to bigger and better.

Hold your line. Don't hit your brakes. Have fun.
I wrote this about my second race.Gregory Taylor
Apr 25, 2002 6:34 AM
It ended a bit prematurely...

My first race went better. The inevitable accident was behind me this time. I finished with the pack -- 41st out of 100.

Oh, I'm about your age (41). The only real advice that I can give is (1) ride smoothly in the group, hold your line and be predictable (2) try and stay up front, but not the very front, (3) be prepared to sprint hard off of every corner, and (4) leave the flashy jersy at home.

Don't think about it. Just go do it.
I wrote this about my second race.totrod
Apr 25, 2002 11:43 AM
Yikes... and I gotta ride this thing home after the race.

I'll go and observe this week. MAYBE next week when my riding partner is back in town.

Thnaks for the inspiration, everyone.
nice post (nm)djg
Apr 25, 2002 12:06 PM
Go for it...rtolle
Apr 25, 2002 8:20 AM
Just start at the front or as close to it as possible because that is where the most experienced riders will be and try to stay there. Low level (inexperienced riders) can be dangerous as hell, especially in a crit, depending on how aggressive they race. Worst comes to worst you fall off the pack and you drop out, but I guarantee you'll learn a little bit about racing (that's what happened in my first crit about 3 years ago). I'm a better racer for it.
You're not old ---- yetMcAndrus
Apr 25, 2002 8:20 AM
I'm 50. I don't ride organized races but I do ride training rides with local Cat 4s, 3s, and 2s. No one would mistake me for Lance on these semi-races but I manage to sit in pretty well. And I have a blast.

It took me almost a full season to be able to sit in for a full circuit so it may take you a few rides to get used to the pace. Also, I was uncomfortable for a while with the closeness of the other bikes. The first time someone came up on my left with his right-hand knuckles literally brushing my left-hand knuckles, I about freaked. But .... I got used to it and I do that myself sometimes now if the gap I want to get into is tight.

Experience is the best teacher so go for it and have fun.
You're not old ---- yetLC
Apr 25, 2002 8:31 AM
You could do a million training rides and never really experience the same level of effort that even a short race will dish out. The same people I have trouble staying with on training rides are usually off the back in a race. Hills that I normally struggle up in a 39x19 are quickly done in a 53x17. Racing just takes you to a whole new level that you never thought you had in you.
re: To crit or not to crit...weiwentg
Apr 25, 2002 12:20 PM
go for it! but be careful; stay near the front if at all possible. and as rtolle mentioned, they will accelerate - hard - after every corner.
my first crit was nothing spectacular - I'd been thrown off my bike at around 30mph the previous day, and wasn't feeling great. I managed to stay on the back of the pack :) I placed in my second crit, and we all know what happened in my third crit. if someone crashes in front of you, SWERVE, even if there are riders to the side of you.