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waiting period before doing the 1st Criterium?(10 posts)

waiting period before doing the 1st Criterium?scary4u
Apr 14, 2001 5:09 PM
I started cycling last year. At the time I could pedal in between 14mph and 17mph. But this year I found out that I can pedal up to 18mph max and 15mph avg. Considering that I purchase a New road bike this year. The new Road bike is a Raleigh r500 with Shimano Tiagra Shifter and a 27 drivetrain, and a 9 speed, with racing tigometry aluminum frame. I am a 30yrold male going on 31yrs old who is Afro-American. How long should I wait to do a criterium. And what should I expect if I do? Need good advice please.
No waiting?Kerry Irons
Apr 15, 2001 3:34 PM
How long should you wait? How bad do you want to do a crit? You can expect speeds of up to 25 mph with bursts higher than that, but it depends totally on who shows up, which is pretty unpredictable for local races. If things are age graded for Cat. V, the break is often 20-29 and then 30+ years old. In my experience, the 30+ is faster than the 20-29 in Cat. V, but that may be a local situation. If you want to avoid being spit out the back very quickly, you'll need to work on sprint intervals (go as hard as you can for 60 seconds, recover for 120-180 seconds, repeat five times). This is the way to prepare your body for the speed jumps you'll see in crits. Also work on speed intervals (go hard for 3 minutes on, 3 minutes recovery, repeat 5 times) to build your ability to hold a sustained high speed. Note that speed intervals are not as hard as you can go, but still pretty hard. The average speed of a crit may be 20-22 mph, or it may be 2-3 mph faster, but that average is made up of calmer and more intense periods, and this is what you need to prepare for. Many riders get shelled in a race thinking "I just can't keep this pace" and a short time after they drop off, the pace slows down. You absolutely have to give it all you've got to stay with the pack - once you drop off it is highly unlikely that you'll catch back up. If you want to see where you are, you can enter a race ASAP and you'll find out if you can hang on, and if so for how long. Done properly, the interval training will have taught you to know your personal limits. If 18 mph is as fast as you can go for short periods, you will likely have a tough time hanging on in a race.
No waiting?scary4u
Apr 15, 2001 5:05 PM
That was with a old Motercane Road bike. But know I have a 2000 Raleigh Road bike with Shimano tiagra shifters,and 9 speed,and a 27in drivetrain with Alminum trigometry racing frame. I really don't know my true speed on the new road bike yet. But I was wondering when should I try a Criterium. But thanks for the vote of cofident. I keep it in mind. Should I try one this year with the New Road bike?
You're kidding, right?The Real George
Apr 16, 2001 1:01 PM
Aluminum trigonometry? My 5 year old can top 18mph on the flats, and might hold 15mph for 5 or 10 minutes. Tiagra? OK, I get it, it's a joke right? If so, the African-American comment was quite uncalled for.
You're kidding, right?scary4u
Apr 17, 2001 7:39 AM
Aluminum geometry, and excuse me for the spelling. I am proud that your 5yr old can pedal faster than me . I hopefully will see him in the Tour De France when he get 21. and I did 18 max on a old road bike thank you . But I have a 2000 Raleigh Road bike now . I was thinking about doing a criterium. But since there is such rudeness in racing I think I wait until I am good enough or Go back to Moutain biking racing . Thanks
Your crits are slow if they only ave 20-22mphOnrhodes
Apr 17, 2001 10:08 AM
Our typical crit here in New England (cat 3) is usually in the 25-27mph range. I did one in New Britain, CT. where we averaged 28.8mph for a 25 mile crit.
Also did a 57 mile road race on Cape Cod (1/2/3) race where the field averaged 28mph. Break finished 45 seconds ahead of us.
I know that a cat 5 crit will be slower, but at the same time, don't disillusion this poor guy by telling him ave speed are only 20-22mph. Burlington, VT has a 50K pro/1/2 crit on a 1k course that has a course record of under 1hr (i.e. over 50kph)
Please read what I said (nm)Kerry Irons
Apr 17, 2001 4:30 PM
Your crits are slow if they only ave 20-22mphRobO
Apr 18, 2001 11:37 AM
Why are you comparing the speeds of 1/2 and 3 races to 5 races?
pretty much agree with KerryDog
Apr 18, 2001 6:13 AM
The only way you'll know if you will enjoy racing is to try it. For all you know, you've been tooling along at 15 mph, but you may be perfectly capable of bursts to 30 mph in a pack; maybe some hidden talent that you just never uncovered.

Also keep in mind that riding 25 mph behind 40 guys at times may be easier than riding 18 mph by yourself. The group draft makes a big difference. It's all the changes in speed that get you.

In a crit, you can discretely drop out on the back side if you blow up. I've seen it happen many times. But, as others said, hang in there until you absolutely cannot turn the pedals. There is a good chance things will slow up soon. If you get dropped, treat it as a learning experience, a yardstick for where you are, and a workout. No harm in that. If you get dropped 10 laps into it, maybe next time it will be 15 laps, etc.

Some guys may portray the conditions rather harshly, but there is a reason for it. Racing is very hard, make no mistake about that. It is not a pleasure ride, and you certainly will suffer now and then. That's why they call it racing. So, we are just trying to give you a realistic picture. Fact is, knowing that may allow you to do better. If you went into it thinking it was easier than what it is, you might think you are the only one suffering, and might get discouraged. Believe me, everyone is hurting in relative degrees. So, try it, but don't get discouraged.

if u get dropped...steveuk
Apr 18, 2001 1:49 PM
just pull over and fall to the ground feigning intense leg pain OK? Then, after a while 'recover' and hobble away discretely abandoning your racing gear in hedges/bins the like. No one will notice and anyone who does will completely sympathise with your 'injury'. Works for me everytime :)