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Tips for racing(9 posts)

Tips for racingbigbadtrikid
Jun 18, 2001 1:11 PM
Hey guys I'm 15 and I have my first road race in 2 weeks and I was wondering what I could do to not look like a fred (a.k.a. dork)and how to race since I don't have any group riding experience.
re: Tips for racingFlothru
Jun 18, 2001 2:41 PM
Just a note in jr. divisions you have to have Jr. gearing or they might DQ you. I did my first race yesterday and I saw one dude get DQ'ed after he raced the 27 miles. I am not sure of the specifics on this but something I thought you might want to know about. Good luck and have fun.

the specifics are in the USCF rulebookrollo tommassi
Jun 18, 2001 5:27 PM
assuming it's an USCF race; they will ask you to do a 'rollout' before and after the race to check your gear length.

Otherwise, pack your bag the night before; go to bed early; warmup with another rider or teammate; ride the course if at all possible (or at least look at a map and check out any hills, turns, etc); stay near the front but out of the wind; don't panic if a break goes away, and work with whomever is around you. There is strength in numbers.

And definitely have fun! ;)
patienceDuane Gran
Jun 19, 2001 6:08 AM
From what I have observed of junior races, there is always someone who guns it too early and blows up and gets caught. Often times this is a person that may have placed really well if the effort were exerted later in the race. In short, the race really starts in the last 1/3. In the first 1/3 you have to be patient and conserve energy, in the 2/3 you have to be mindful (but not paranoid) of attacks.

Good luck and have fun!
Noticed your tip below...Marlon
Jun 19, 2001 7:52 AM
Hey, saw the advice you gave in my post below...

If you've never done a road race before and don't have group riding experience, I'd say: be careful.

I guess you're coming from a Tri background? So did I. First thing I learned: get group riding experience, and fast. Things work differently in a group and it can get pretty intimidating fast. Learn to be smooth and controlled and practice maintaining your calm if you get jostled or bumped. Learn how to move within a pack and not get forced out. If you're squirrelly or rude, you'll find yourself taking flak from others.

Second thing I learned: leading is no good. Being near the front is good though. Learn to position yourself and save your strength. 3rd crit I did, I made the mistake of pulling the pack for a lap and a half, trying to get away. Reading Lance Armstrong is great, but then again, he's an anomaly of strength and power. I'm definitely not a Lance and I can't time trial faster than a pack. Which leads to...

Third thing I learned: this is not a triathlon. It's not a time trial. There's strategy involved and there's skill involved, not just brute strength. Learn to draft and suck wheel like you've never done before, then attack by cornering agressively and climbing hard. Look for breaks and bridging attempts, and use your judgement on whether to join. Last but not least, do intervals. Triathlons/time trials are steady burns of energy. Road racing are bursts of incredible speed followed by intervals of alternating recovery and pain.

Good luck and don't worry about being dropped.
Hey, what happened...Lazy
Jun 19, 2001 10:08 AM
To your bent frame that your dad messed up? Did you end up getting a new bike? What kind of wheels did you end up with to replace the taco?

That not withstanding, I've never seen a junior race that had more than about 15-20 kids per age group. The advice from the others is all sound.

With your total lack of pack riding experience, I would recommend using this race as group riding practice. Make sure to hold your line through turns and don't freak out when someone bumps you. As someone a few days ago said (can't remember who or I'd give credit) it's not usually the bump that causes the accident, but the over reaction to the bump.

Good luck, ride fast.
Hey, what happened...Skeptic
Jun 20, 2001 1:38 PM
He put his HED Deep Jet wheels that he got for $100 on his mangled bike.
re: Tips for racingDaniel H.
Jun 21, 2001 5:15 PM
From personal experience I think that it is very important to be safe. try to take a safe line into corners, as well as in the pack with other riders. I wasn't safe and I ended up cutting somebody off. I didn't touch him and he didn't wreck but later in the race I was hanging near the back and somebody cut strait across my front wheel. It was a crit, and we had three laps to go, going about thirty mph. I hit the ground hard, luckily the bike was ok and I escaped with only massive road rash. If someone is starting to drift into you, be sure to yell at them. Be sure to get thier attention, whatever it takes.
Race safe and have fun,
Daniel H.
Read the Pack...Canidraftyou
Jun 24, 2001 10:42 AM
This is my first year racing, I may not qualify for giving advise, but hear I go anyway. My biggest mistake, which has happened more than once to me...slow learner...LOL, I was in great position around 3 or 4 from the front of the pack, we had 6 or 7 laps from finishing a local crit, when a rider from behind took off, I anticipated the pack to jump and off I went chasing him, not even interested in the prime, next thing I knew, we had some distance between ourselves and the pack but yet I was not strong enough to catch him for the prime, the pack did not give a damn about the distance He or I had, they knew we was coming back. Well, three laps left in the race and I found myself getting dropped, not that the pack was going any faster, I was spent. My bad, if I had just stayed with the pack I could of finished with the pack, a big goal of mine at this point of my racing. Point being, you better have more than you spend, or you'll get dropped quick. Also, you need all the group riding you can get in. One more thing, can't learn from others when in the front and its too hard to get in a rythem at the back, stay in the middle seems to work best for me. With little pack experience, this could be tough, not impossible. I like the up half of the pack. Ya'll feel free too correct me if Im way out in left field.

Peace out