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My first crit.(5 posts)

My first crit.Beetle
Jul 29, 2001 6:24 AM
I finally did it. After one month of riding I tried my first race. I almost didn't compete in it after seeing all the other bikes. Mine must have weighed twice as much as everyone elses in the field. But I wasn't about to drive an hour and a half for nothing. Basically, I got my ass kicked. I think I would have done allright if I would not have been so hesitant in the turns. I was getting hammered in the corners, there were eight turns on this .85 mile loop, and once I lost the pack it was all over. I guess once I get some experience I won't be so afraid to go through the corners. I almost dropped out but there was one rider behind me so I continued. I finished 17th out of an 18 rider field. I ended up averaging just over 22 miles an hour and was about a half a lap down. It was a ten mile race. I definately learned a couple of things. It is way different than racing on foot and I will need more than a month of riding to have any chance of being competetive. I can't wait until my next race on August 11th. By then I'll have new wheels, forks, seatpost and anything else that will lighten my bike. If anyone can offer me any advice on training or whatever, I would be very gratefull.
re: My first crit.pmannion
Jul 30, 2001 9:32 AM
You just learned what racing is about. It isn't about average speed. It's about coping with rapid acceleration, maintaining that acceleration, and once it eases up a bit (which you'll barely notice when you're out of breath as a biginner) then being able to recover quickly enough to repeat the process in the next turn.

Normally, one month of riding won't get you fit enough to keep up in a race. It takes several weeks of consistent trianing (proper training). I'd suggest you start riding with a local racing club on saturdays. And read a ot about training. I suggest Joe Friel's book.

And don't give up.
re: My first crit.Beetle
Jul 30, 2001 1:44 PM
Thanks for the words of advice. Due to 7 years of competitive running I don't have any trouble with running out of breath. It just seems that my legs are not yet suited to cycling. I have been riding with a group of riders for about 3 weeks and plan to start riding with them on their hard days. I think I can do pretty well with a year or two of training, my only concern is that at the age of 30 I might be a little too old to improve very much. I guess time will tell.
re: My first crit.pmannion
Jul 31, 2001 1:44 PM
I'm 34 and last year started riding again after a 13 year layoff (with very little riding in between). Within 8 weeks (with a racing specific training plan/program) I was able to enter a Cat 5 criterium and stay with the field.

I know guys who are in their late 50's, regularly compete at the Cat 3 level (with us young tikes) and only began RIDING in the last 5 years. Just because Lance doesn't think he can improve his top-end very much after he turns 30, doesn't mean you can't improve on the low-end.

I propose that if you wanted to, you could finish with the field in a Cat 5 Crit by the end of this year, if you really want it. Forcertain, with proper training, effort and determination, you can start next season a serious competitor.

Grab Carmichael's book and try out that 7 week plan, and see how you do. Don't quit.
re: Do not give upSteve A
Aug 1, 2001 9:13 AM
It will take awile and some work but you can do it.
I'm 57 years old and a Cat4 I can hang in most North East crit races and have won primes but always in top 10, its about covering the surges, keep your eyes open, in crits the strong don't always win. Work on your sprint, you will find some guys jusrt sit in back for the whole race then come to the font for the sprint, learn about pack savy. Crit racing is the best!