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I don't know about this road racing stuff...(long)(14 posts)

I don't know about this road racing stuff...(long)biknben
May 7, 2001 7:05 PM
Did my third road race over the weekend. You guys may remember the "Spankings" I received in my first 2 races.

This one was a 32 mile race around an 8 mile circuit. At the start we were told that we would be using the yellow line rule. IE, We could only use the right hand portion of the road. After the start everyone is jockeying for position towards the yellow line trying to stay away from debris and potholes near the shoulder. I'm on the yellow line about 2/3s back in the pack. ALL OF A SUDDEN...Some guy about 20 feet ahead of me rubs tires with someone in front of him. He goes down HARD and slides to the left. I immediately brake hard. I can't go left because he's there. Can't go right because everyone else is there. I nearly stop before his bike but run up on his rear wheel a little bit and am hit from behind by someone else. I end up toppling over...nothing major. I untangle my bike from his and get back on to go. I then realize my rear wheel shifted in the dropouts. (the one who rearend me hit my axle causing the rear wheel to shift) I get back off, reset the rear wheel and go. I look up to find the pack about 30 seconds up on me. I look back to see who else is around. The guy who started the crash is DONE. The guy who rearended me is getting on his bike a few seconds behind me. I give a rather commanding yell to him to grab my wheel so we can catch back up. Once he catches up to me I step on the gas. After about 15 seconds I look under my saddle and see nothing. He's DONE too. I'm left hangin out to dry trying to catch the pack which just turned into the wind.

I continued for a while thinking I will either catch back up or others will get dropped and I'll ride with them. Neither happened. I rode 45 minutes solo on a rolling hilly and windy course. After two laps I climbed up a small rise towards the finish, looked up the road and saw no one, pulled over and called it a day. All I got out of it was a flat spot on my tire, a couple small bruises to my body, and a large bruise to my ego.

Oh, but the drama doesn't end there...At the finish a guy rolled his front tubular while sprinting. He SLID across the finish while someone else flew over him. This had special significance to me because I just glued my first tubulars this past week on my new Zipp wheelset.

Just another weekend of racing I guess.
You know a lot more now!rollo tommassi
May 7, 2001 7:21 PM
Ah, welcome, welcome to the Den of Inequity, the Pothole of Hopelessness, the Dead Air of The Gap!

I, like so many others who are reading your post, are nodding our heads in Been There, with a knowing laugh, a snicker of Membership, a happy sigh...

Everyone has bad days; don't be too down on yourself. Be thankful there wasn't a car in the oncoming lane when you all stacked on and across the yellow.

Wish that next time an official actually tries to do the job right, and does a 'roll' test of tires at the start line(grab the tire with both hands and YANK!).

now, get back on that horse, Ben!
Agreed.slbenz
May 7, 2001 9:27 PM
Agree with the previous poster. Everyone has a bad day once in a while. Just wondering which Zipp wheelset did you purchase? I have the 2001 Zipp 404 tubulars bought through Charlie Weisel at Empire Bicycles. I have raced mine for over a month now without any problems. I have descended at speeds of over 50 mph without fear of the tire rolling off. Just make sure you are generous with the glue. If you haven't ridden your Zipps yet, you are in for a treat. Very stiff and light, perfect for climbing and accelerating quickly. From one Ben to another Ben, good luck on your next race.
so you missed the crash on the back side thenclimbo
May 8, 2001 6:38 AM
I raced it too. On the back side in lap 3 there was a combine harvester on the road taking up one and a half lanes. Nobody at the back saw it and the pack came to a complete halt from about 35 mph and there were a few pile-ups. I went off the side on to the grass and over someones driveway to escape it. Nothing major as far as I know. That guy who crashed at the finish broke his collarbone (going for about 30th place)
I didn't..Wayne
May 8, 2001 7:17 AM
I did the race also, What the F*** was that combine doing out on the course and where did it come from? After the first couple of laps when it looked like it might split up due to the crosswinds and pace but didn't, I decided to take it easy and sit in the pack. Ended up toward the back just in time for the combine incident. Saw some guys stack it pretty good, I barely squeezed around a downed rider's front wheel and rejoined the pack. Pretty surreal, it all happened in slow motion, and when guys went down it seemed liked we had slowed alot until someone gets launched over their handle bars at what seems like a ridiculously high speed. I just remember tensing up, braking like hell, and just waiting to get slammed from behind and pushed into the pile of bikes and bodies in front of me. Luckily that never happened.
BTW, to the original poster, since it was only your third race I hope I'm not stepping on your toes but just to clarify. The reason (for the most part) people were plastered to the yellow line at the beginning (and on subsequent laps as well) on that stretch of road is because the cross/headwind was from the right so to get any draft you needed to be to the left of the rider in front of you. If he's on the yellow line, you need to be right behind him to get any benefit of the draft, if you go to the right you'll be fully exposed to the wind and have to work harder to maintain the same speed.
Gee I had more than enough room around the combine...biknben
May 8, 2001 5:38 PM
...since I was by myself.

Don't worry, no feelings hurt. I overheard someone mentioning at the start that it was best to stay towards the middle of the road to avoid debris. Sounded like a good idea to me.

I was riding the Zipp 303 tubulars. Crazy light...crazy fast!!!
re: I don't know about this road racing stuff...(long)Wayne
May 8, 2001 7:29 AM
I noticed you (well, the wheels) on the start line. Do you like the 404's? I'm thinking of getting the 303's for a nice light pair of climbing/crit wheels. I already have a pair of old Cosmic Carbones that I use for races, but these are relatively heavy and really best suited for flat road races and time trials (I bought them when I was doing triathlons/duathlons). Did you see the guy with the ADA wheels (now marketed under the name Lightweight)? I don't know what the cost actually is, but I thought I remember reading that pro's were paying (out of pocket) like 5 grand for a pair of ADA wheels.
U wouldn't happen to be cat 5's would you? (nm)Onrhodes
May 8, 2001 12:20 PM
U wouldn't happen to be a prick, would you?Wayne
May 8, 2001 1:32 PM
It's really sad you need to make yourself feel better by demeaning other people. I hope your a cat. I so you can feel superior to most everyone. Of course, the original poster is a cat. V, it was his third race. I'm sure by your third race you we're at least a cat. II and knew everything there was to know about racing bikes. Hopefully, you are young and that explains your lack of self-confidence and humility. But if your over 20 and writing emails like that that makes you a pathetic adult, irregardless of your bike racing abilities.
U wouldn't happen to be over reacting, would you?Old Guy
May 8, 2001 2:34 PM
I don't think he meant it that way. Cat 5s bounce around a lot. It's a fact. 1/2s crash, too. Hell, I'm a 5. I was a 2 in the 80s. I came back. Big deal. Lighten up, take a lude, all that...
U wouldn't happen to be over reacting, would you?Wayne
May 9, 2001 6:55 AM
Perhaps, but I think the guys meaning was fairly clear, if I took it the wrong way, I'll gladly apologize. I just started racing a couple of years ago, coming from a multi-sport background for a couple of years, I powerlifted before that, played football in highschool, etc. and the ego's in cylcing just amaze me. I've never seen a sport where there seems to be such a large number of people (still the vast minority though) who love to put down and demean other people. And this isn't limited to higher cat riders doing it to lower cat riders, even within cat 4/5 races it goes on. It just seems uncalled for. I really don't know why people feel the necessity to do it, I guess some people need to prop themselves up, and one way of doing it is to feel superior to others, and then let them know that you feel superior by demeaning them. Well, I'm done ranting, that's just been one of my pet peeves with bike racing, and I love to take a lude, but I don't think you can get them anymore.
Touchy aren't youonrhodes
May 9, 2001 8:37 AM
SO, you assume that because I write that you think that I am demeaning him eh? Perhaps you have some issues that you need to work out yourself there buddy.
First, he only said it was his 3rd race this year. Perhaps he did a ton last year and is a cat 4,3,2,or 1. He doesn't say.
secondly. I wanted to find out some information before I went into a long reply. Because here is the answer to most crash problems. Stay in the top 10-15 riders at all times. If this isn't an option, you stay on the outsides edges of the field so that you have an escape route.
I can honestly say that in all my years of racing (10) that I have been involved in only about 5 crashes. That is over the course of over 300 races. If you must know, yes. I do consider myself a pretty darn good bike handler. It isn't just luck that has kept me below a 1.6% crash average. It is skill and knowing where to be and how to avoid such things. If you must also know, I am a cat. 3 Not that it makes any difference. I know cat. 2's who are squirrels.
I'm also assuming you never jump to conclusions yourself. that you have no biases and that you're perfectly open minded?
If the kid wants advice, here it is. Stay at the front. Crashes happen in the middle and back of packs most of the time. Keep a good escape route planned at all times. If you have to go to the left side of the road, go for it. Just be weary of oncoming cars.
So that is enough of my ranting and raving......oh just one more thing. As has been expressed many times on this board, it is my right to express my opinion. I don't care if you don't like it. It is just my opinion. You have your own. I can agree or disagree with it. That is what makes this place so great.
Touchy aren't youWayne
May 9, 2001 9:29 AM
Like I said just one of my pet peeves with bike racing. Now wasn't your second post more considered, and you actually provided some useful information. Of course you're free to express your opinion and everyone is free to repond to your post. What opinion was expressed in the first post? And were you really just inquiring if the guy was a cat. V? If so, I apologize.
The Jerk
May 8, 2001 2:35 PM
No, he's a Cat II. He managed to gain enough points in his FIRST 2 RACES to upgrade. Use your brain. I heard that a crash happened once in a pro race, but I don't believe it. Everybody knows that only cat V's crash, right?