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First crit ever yesterday, and HOLY CRAP!(10 posts)

First crit ever yesterday, and HOLY CRAP!Zonic Man
Jan 5, 2004 8:28 AM
There was a TON of crashes! We split off into the Cat 5 group/under 5 races at the "early bird" race. That was then split into an "A" and a "B" group. The "A" under 5 races group had 90 riders in it.

In that group alone, I PERSONALLY witnessed 7 crashes. Are you kidding me? It was nuts. Total carnage everywhere. And they ALL started happening at about the 35 minute mark (45minute race) when people were getting complacent/tired. I'm telling you! Nuts! I even saw some dude just completely ENDO for no reason, went from about 25mph to face in no time flat.

The race got shortened, unfortunately, cut it a lap short because of all the crashes. Bummer, because I wasted a sprint after the fact. But hey, at least I was there to see another day. 23/90 in shortened result, 8/90 if they would have counted the crash infested last lap. LOL.

My poor wife. This was her first crit too. She personally saw like 4 crashes in my race. Nervous as hell when she was going off...you shoulda seen her. She did well though, didn't contest the sprint (out of fear of crashing) but she broke with the winning "group" and finished a strong 8 overall in all women, 6/46 in the women 4's.

Overall, it was great. Crits are fun as hell! Now I just wish the people weren't so sketchy!
Mixed Cat.s are toughTJeanloz
Jan 5, 2004 8:35 AM
Generally, when categories are widely mixed up, carnage tends to result. The difference is that categories have different expectations of what is reasonable. What a Cat1 rider views as a perfectly wide space to move into, completely freaks out the Cat4 guy he has slid next to. Categories have more to do with just strength, and a lot of people don't understand that.

An "A" Cat5 group is likely to be an pure crash-fest, as it will be full of guys who are stronger than they are smart - or who think they're stronger and smarter than they are. It's one of the perils of lower-category racing that you just have to grow out of.

OTOH, crashes at the Cat3 level, while rarer, tend to be more vicious.
Not much funThe Human G-Nome
Jan 5, 2004 8:35 AM
My teammate broke his collerbone in the Early Bird Crits last year and won't touch them ever again. I think that kind of carnage is typical for that series. Your wife sounds like she did fantastic. Where are you guys from?
Sacramento, Elk Grove specifically. (nm)Zonic Man
Jan 5, 2004 8:38 AM
Darn!The Human G-Nome
Jan 5, 2004 9:25 AM
I was hoping you were going to say you're from the Bay Area so I could recruit you guys. Ah well.
NASCAR on bikes baby!!!biknben
Jan 5, 2004 9:01 AM
Quote, "We split off into the Cat 5 group/under 5 races at the "early bird" race. That was then split into an "A" and a "B" group. The "A" under 5 races group had 90 riders in it."

I'm confused, the cat. 5s were split into two groups? One group had 90 riders? Are you saying there were 180 riders without 5 races under their belt? That's an insane turnout!
This is lesson #1 as to why you ride at the front! nmMShaw
Jan 5, 2004 10:00 AM
120 brand new Cat 5 racers!outofthesaddle
Jan 5, 2004 10:23 AM
I did my first races at the Early Bird Series last season. There is lots of excitement for sure. Bikes and bodies flying everywhere. It's a great training course - good road with really wide turns. There's no getting around it though - when you get that many new racers together at speed there will be crashes. It's a concrete lesson in why you want to ride near the front with your head up.

Results are at the link below.

http://www.ncnca.org/road/2004/EBirdCrit1.html
re: First crit ever yesterday, and HOLY CRAP!No_sprint
Jan 5, 2004 1:02 PM
Lots of fun huh? I love them.

I'd recommend that you do whatever it takes to lie your way into the cat 5 experienced group with 27 other riders. If you're at all hesitant, just stay in the back.

60 rider crits this time of year with 59 other completely unexperienced riders is a recipe for one fine disaster cake, as was obviously baked. With odds like that, you can ensure yourself some pavement time 1 in 4. Not good.

If the weather turns a hint damp, I'd avoid those babies like the plague.

Have fun, keep it upright.
I'm still recovering from my first rain crit...biknben
Jan 5, 2004 1:35 PM
Most stressful race I ever did. 6 corner crit through a rolling downtown/res. area. Painted lines, manholes, and storm drain everywhere. I crossed the line and gave a huge sigh of relief.