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My second crit.(4 posts)

My second crit.Beetle
Aug 11, 2001 5:53 PM
After 6 years as a runner and over 70 races, I have never quit a race. I've had some tough ones where the legs just weren't there but I always stuck it out. Today's 10 mile crit ended for me after about 5 miles. It was a 15 lap race. My plan was to stay in the middle of the pack and stay in the draft. I was actually doing pretty well for a while and was up near the front a couple of times. Much better than my last race. But I just couldn't seem to find the right line through the corners and was riding by myself on the inside of the pack down the straight aways. My race was pretty much over when I made slight contact with another rider in one of the fast corners and as he voiced his displeasure with me I lost my nerve and dropped to the back of the pack. Once I got in the back I slowly lost the draft and once I realized I wouldn't catch them I just dropped out. It was so frustrating. I know I could hang with these guys if I just knew how to race. I think I learned one important lesson today. I can't get stuck on the inside where I have to break hard in the corners and sprint hard to catch back up to the pack. And as much as I hate to admit it, I think cycling is more exciting than running. I am definately hooked on cycling. If anyone can offer any strategies for crit racing, I would be very grateful.
re: your fault...but don't fretpmannion
Aug 12, 2001 5:05 AM
The first pointer will be somewhat obvious: You must _already_ be following a wheel when you enter the corner. Follow the same wheel through the corner, and keep following it. Only after you're out of the corner should you contemplate changing positions. While we're all independent human beings, there is somewhat of a "pack ettiquette" in a race. That guy was most likely lecturing you on your not "holding your line"...It sorta means that switching positions in a corner is a no-no. He was mad because you endangered him and the others by doing it.

The "right line" through the corners is either the one you choose as the guy in first position, or the line you are obligated to follow as a drafter. The jockeying for a new position happens after a corner is done. Guys in the middle of the pack, but not following a wheel (and heading for a turn) are most likely in for trouble. The line you choose will likely conflict with the line chosen by the larger line of riders. Try and butt-in on that line, and you're GOING to hear about it later, either by crashing, or by getting an earful (or sometimes an elbow in the face). Sorry, but "mob rules"...learn to be part of the mob when you have to be.

Again, join local racing club, ride with them, and learn from them. You learned some good lessons. I hope you think they were good lessons too.
but...the other side of the coin...greg n
Aug 13, 2001 5:53 AM
you can be where you're supposed to and have some idiot bump you from behind and send you off onto the curb which blows your tire and ruins your perfect attack and position to win with one lap to go because he can't hold his frickin' line.

Sorry just had to vent there.

And has anyone else had a string of bad luck, or is it just me? Two weeks in a row now I've had a mis-hap that ruined the race and a podium position for me.
I hope next year.....Beetle
Aug 13, 2001 12:04 PM
I am good enough to be in the position where a mishap will ruin a podium chance for me.