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In Town Crit Ideas(5 posts)

In Town Crit Ideask2biker
Aug 14, 2002 4:56 AM
Several riders in my hometown are trying to revamp some of our rides and are in search of a location for an in town crit. For those who live in large cities, what are some things you guys / gals do in your city for crits? We are reviewing industrial parks, cemetaries, and others but any input would be appreciated. Thanks!

Keep the wheels down and the gears turning!
Aug 14, 2002 6:47 AM
The cemetery. Great idea. Go where the people are, even if they are dead. Maybe you could do it at night and pump in spooky sound effects over the PA. Dress people up as ghosts to scare the crowd.

Crits in industrial parks and outside town are boring. It's racing for racing's sake and all you'll get are friends and family members.

You don't say where your hometown is, but if it is a college town, it will have a nightclub district, and that's where you want to be. Hold your biggest race at night and you will have a huge crowd. People can come out, eat, drink, and be merry. Maybe they'll even watch the race. In Austin, Texas, they used to do it on 6th Street. Athens, Georgia has perfected the twilight crit.

If you aren't a college town, find the club/restaurant district. Maybe North Beach or the Marina in San Francisco. The west end in Dallas. Can you imagine the massive party a race down Bourbon Street and around the French Quarter in New Orleans would be?

I imagine it costs a lot more money and hassle to put on a crit downtown, but you'll attract a lot more sponsors. Maybe the city will help out. Try to combine your race with a fair or festival to maximize the crowds and minimize the cost.
Not too far off, actuallybigdave
Aug 14, 2002 7:15 AM
Ok, so cemeteries would never actually put on a real race... just not a respectful thing to do.

But, my teammates occasionally go to one for cornering practice. There are lots of corners and narrow roads, and the pavement is usually decent. We've got this little 3/4-mile lap that we ride in one direction, then the other, where we can get some straightaway speed, then practice cornering techniques (countersteering, etc). It's actually super helpful, as with all the repetition you get the feel for what carving a good corner feels like, as well as getting critiqued by fellow riders.

Because of that practice, there's no crit corners that are any worse than the cemetery corners we ride, so crit corners are cake and cornering becomes a strength not a weakness.

Obviously, care needs to be taken as to which corners you choose... if there are 3-foot tall headstones 2 feet off the road, then you might want to find another spot. You don't want to join them, after all. :-)

Weekly Rides, Not Just Racesk2biker
Aug 14, 2002 12:18 PM
I see your points on all counts. I'll bear in mind to watch out for headstones!

This is Atlanta, GA -- lots of cars, impolite drivers always in a hurry, smog, bad streets, road plates, and did I mention lots of cars? 4.3 million people live here at last count and there are about 6.4 million cars! Everybody drives here. It's not the best city for in town rides, although we have managed quite well thus far.

We are looking for alternatives. Not sure how familiar you may be with A-town but the set up is simple. You have this interstate which surrounds the city and we call it the Perimeter. Anything inside is considered in town. Traffic during most hours of the day just plain sucks. If you want to do a ride, we have several options depending on what part of town you live or work in and get access with the most ease. We do have a weekly crit ride in an industrial park but it's just north of the city outside the Perimeter. At that time of day, trying to get there is a pain and can take you 30 minutes to 2 hours to travel 15 miles. Hence the need for options.

The idea is to have a weekly training crit ride that is accessible to the intown masses. This would be a training ride and not a typical format race. Sure, friends and family can come out, but it's more for the riders to get used to crits -- the speed, pressure, tension, accidents, etc. Trying to pull something together for a weekly ride where we shut down streets would not go over well in a city where we are constantly fighting for space on the road.

Ok, this is too long so I'm off. Thanks for the input!
Ah, I seebigdave
Aug 14, 2002 2:05 PM
Well, a few more thoughts.

When we ride the "cem" there are only 4-5 guys. We'll do the cornering, then do some other stuff like big-gear starts and some hard tempo. The cem we do it in (WI) is fairly big and sprawling, and we've never gotten any flak about being there.

But if the ride gets too big (lots of riders) the folks who run the place might get testy. So keeping things small at first to get a feel for how things will go might be a good idea.

Also, I did some computer work for a cemetery a while back (yes, the folks who run those place actually use them) so I have little different perspective than I had before. Remember that it's a place of respect, and to respect the folks who visit it. You want to be careful not to let the training races get to large/loud so you don't disturb the folks who are there grieving, cuz if you do so, it'll get back to the caretakers and you'll be banned for sure.

I'm sure a lot of that goes without saying, but just some things to keep in mind.

Have fun!