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Good luck to everyone this weekend!(8 posts)

Good luck to everyone this weekend!rollo tommassi
May 11, 2001 9:45 AM
I'll be racing on the Southside Sunday at the University of Chicago, but I want to wish you all best of luck!

Check your bike over tonight.
Pack your race gear tonight, don't forget the shoes (left and right of the same pair, not two of two different pairs, like SOMEONE I know did once!)
Don't eat too much before you go to bed.
Everyone get a good nights sleep
Everyone keep the shiny side up!
I'm looking forward to the race reports on Monday morning!
Same to you!! (nm)bigdave
May 11, 2001 3:11 PM
nm
re: Good luck to everyone this weekend!lonefrontranger
May 13, 2001 3:53 PM
Thanks, same to all

"don't forget the shoes (left and right of the same pair, not two of two different pairs, like SOMEONE I know did once!)"

I once packed my MTB shoes instead of my road shoes to go to a crit. Darn Sidis, they all look the same at 5 AM.

Ahh, the joys of Colorado racing. 10 times as many in your field, and everyone's twice as fast. It's like starting all over again. Yesterday was no different- yours truly was shot off the back on the 4th lap of a 45 minute circuit race. Hey, they said it was a flat course! Who knew that "flat" in Colorado racer terminology means a 300' elevation gain per lap on a 1.6 mile circuit. I climb about as effectively as your average Midwestern flat crit specialist, so things got progressively uglier with every lap.

For anyone thinking of making the move out here to join the nation's elite, it is a humbling experience. But well worth the suffering for all the great people you meet. These folks kick your butt with great enthusiasm, then come shake your hand, introduce themselves and invite you to the local cafe for post-race klatch. Sometimes it's hard on the old racer's ego to think that last season I was making podiums in the Midwest. Now I'm groveling in the gutter just to cling to the second or third chase group in a women's 3/4 race. It's fun though, very motivating and since I can't just go off the front anymore, I'm forced to draw on tactics and experience, which will make me a smarter, stronger racer in the end, right?

Everyone kept the rubber side down here this weekend. We're all still dazed from the Carter Lake accident. For those of you who don't understand the reference, Nancy Bruner, a woman in our Cat 4/35+ field was killed on a fast descent at Carter Lake two weeks ago, an incredibly sad and sobering occurrence. The worst part is that those of us in the front had no clue what had happened, and many who left right after the morning races didn't know until later in the week when we saw the announcement. It's a bit daunting to think we were all enjoying ourselves and racing "business as usual" while Nancy had lost her life out there. I got some sick heebie-jeebies when I saw the ambulance go past on the first lap, but the field was attacking at 25mph in a headwind, so there wasn't much to do but put my head down and hang on.

Sorry for the downer, hope it doesn't damp the thread, but I've been feeling sort of weird about racing after that happened. Look forward to hearing everyone else's race reports, too.
how safe is this sport and what to do if a crash is enevitableishmael
May 13, 2001 8:41 PM
im older now and i try not to take risks but this sport is filled with the old and crashes seem to happend all the time..i havent been in one but from what i hear they happend every other race in cat 5s...i figured it would happend to me and id get maybe a bit beat up but this is the second death of heard of in the sport....i guess im still going to race but other than staying away from the back of the pack and keeping an escape route in mind what should i do to be safe...what is the safest thing to do when you are in a crash..i plan to just put my gloves to the ground and scream "watch out" thats not much of a plan..what did the people who died do wrong, if anything...maybe ill just time trial....doesnt crashing make anyone else quezzzy....the one and only race i was in had one right behind me and the sound made me think we should all stop the race and make sure everyone was ok...what is this motivating force that pushes us to disregard our own safety as well as others....i hope im over reacting, ive only been in one race..
crash safetylonefrontranger
May 13, 2001 10:09 PM
I've been racing or hanging around at local races for 14 years, and this is the first fatality I've seen or heard of - that doesn't mean there weren't others, just that it's very, very rare, thank goodness. The worst thing I ever heard of before this was broken collarbones, and acres and acres of road rash.

Most crashes are just that - you lay the bike down, lose some skin and perhaps damage the bike, but you're essentially fine. This is what happens 90% of the time. Perhaps you're unlucky and hit a curb or come down hard and bust a collarbone. It's painful, but heals well and depending on your pain tolerance you can be back to riding in a few weeks.

The best tips I can give are to ride alertly, stay focused on the task at hand, don't overlap wheels and leave yourself an out if you're unsure of the situation. Always hang onto the handlebars all the way to the ground, as this will save you breaking a wrist. When you don't like the wheel you're on, by all means pick another one. Every crash I've been in, I've thought (usually the instant before it happened) that I really didn't like the rider I was sitting on much.
crash safetyishmael
May 14, 2001 7:26 PM
that puts me at ease...ill still be hanging on the edge in my next race, i cant see myself ever in the middle of a pack going 30...but im glad to hear we arent all insane.
Sara Kay Memorial Circuit RaceBipedZed
May 13, 2001 7:43 PM
After a month of structured intervals, things are starting to look promising. I've been getting great results in the weekly TT series, consistently placing in the top 6 (50 plus Cat 4 field) including a sub 25:00 time over the rolling 10.5 mile course. But I was still surprised this weekend to find myself easily riding with the lead group in a fast and relatively flat circuit race. The course was wide and smooth with a fast downhill leading to a left hand sweeper followed by a slight uphill to the start/finish, but not selective enough to thin the lead group much after the initial laps. I was feeling great the entire race and was content to sit about 5-10 riders back and let the antsy riders in front chase down every break attempt. I met each acceleration with ease and coming into the last two laps all the guys in the sub-25 min TT club were watching each other closely. For the first time I felt I could go for a win, feeling fresh and knowing I had a strong sprint. Passing the start/finish the lap counter said 2 to go and you could feel the group starting to get ready. Down the descent, through the left sweeper and I was in the top 10-15 and going great, mentally preparing for a very fast last lap. Rounded the corner towards the start/finish line and all of a sudden a guy from Swift Racing touches wheels and goes down right in front of me. Somehow I was able to throw my bike down and fall in the grass as 5 or more guys hit the ground hard, splitting the lead group in half. I jump back up and lift my bike up but the handlebars are tangled in someone's chain. I free myself and start to get back on, but it's too late and I know it - the lead group is long gone. Besides torn bar tape and some fresh scratches on my right STI shifter, body and bike are fine. I look over and the angry, disappointed look on a fellow crash victim's face echoes my own feelings - you ride a great race and make all the right moves, only to have it taken away by some maxed-out squirrel riding over his head. "F@%k it! It's not worth chasing back on," he curses. I weigh the words but decide to finish the race solo so at least my name will be in the results somewhere. I wanted credit for at least showing up. There's always next weekend...
Sara Kay Memorial Circuit RaceMaillot Rouge
May 14, 2001 10:38 AM
I was sitting comfortably towards the back of the pack at the end of 2 to go and came to a complete stop to avoid the pile up. I saw this crash coming a mile away, there was no way we were going to make through that corner as bunched up as we were. Some of the teams with 5 plus riders left in the field towards the end of the race need to step up and sacrifice their people to keep it strung out in the closing laps. There must have been 5 or 6 Jamba Juice guys and 4 Pro Pelatons they could have done something. It seems like having a team is pointless is they all ride for themselves. One guy riding tempo at the front is all it would have taken to keep everything lined up. Unfortunately, all of my team mates were shot out the back pretty quick.

Talk about bad riding, as I was trying to catch back to the pack on the last lap some guy went down in the sweeping corner at the bottom of the hill and he was all by himself.

Oh well, we'll see if these guys can get their crap together at Meridian or AST.

MR