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first road race(2 posts)

first road racemad max
Jun 26, 2001 5:29 PM
Maybe...

Really eye-balling this one race comming up. Thinking about it. What are the CAT V'ers doing for speed these days?

Not sure I can hang but it looks like some good stuff. I was thinking of just getting out there and following the pack to see what is going on. I'm patient, I don't have to win today (not that I could). What are the odds of getting tied up in a crash using this strategy?

The race is pretty short (8 mi?) there has to be a monster hill in there somewhere.

I can avg. 15 + mph with a few big (pretty big, I can't imagine this race having any bigger for this area) hills and many smaller ones for about 60 miles (8 miles seems too short - there must be something wrong). Should I bother trying to hang near the front and hopefully away from any crashing.

The other advice for the other guys below is all worth keeping in mind. I'm trying to facilitate more talk-up for Fred (me).
re: first road raceJRP
Jun 27, 2001 9:23 AM
Here is a posting that I did after my first road race earlier this season:
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I experienced many 'firsts' last night.

After much prodding, a "friend" of mine convinced me that I should join him in road race that is part of a local series. This series is run every Thursday night, rain or shine. I understand that there can be upwards of 400 riders that participate on any given night.

The races are held on a 2-mile automobile race course. The riders are split into two groups, 'A' and 'B', 'A' being people who know what there are doing. There are many turns, but not many hills. Yesterdays event was 1 hour, 15 minutes + 5 laps for the 'B' group, which is the group that I rode in.

It was cold (about 55F) and raining off and on. There were only about 80 riders, split about evenly between the two groups. The course was very wet, with some standing water. The rain stopped during the course of the event, but the course stayed wet.

First #1:
This was my first road race. The pace was slow. Until the last half of the last lap, when it was an all-out sprint. I learned how to draft and "hold my line", since people kept shouting at me "Hold Your Line!!!".

First #2:
I don't ride in the rain. I had never ridden that far, that fast in the rain. It was a new experience, and one that I am not very eager to try again. See "First #3".

First #3:
I crashed. Hard. That was my first real crash on a road bike. I have nasty road rash up and down the left side of my body. My bike came through the incident OK. I twisted the handlebar and pushed the brake lever off-center, but these were easily fixed. And I got a hole in my Pearl Izumi tights...

So today, I am in some pain.

The race was fun, in a weird sort of way. My wife has golf league on Thursdays, so I plan to race in this series whenever I can. I do hope it doesn't rain too often. The people were mostly nice, and there are quite a few MTB'ers that use this series as a training aid.

I'll post again when I can finish a race with both wheels being on the ground for the entire race.

Joe
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As a side note, I have done three more races since then, finishing mid-pack once, taking 3rd once, and taking 2nd once. So, it is possible to get better!

This is the Grattan Series sponsored by the Rapid Wheelmen, near Grand Rapids, Mi. If you are in the area, be sure to check it out!

Joe