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Should I try Crit racing next year(8 posts)

Should I try Crit racing next yearflyinbowlof milk
Aug 12, 2001 4:59 PM
I just brought a new Raod bike this year. I can ride 11.6 to 13.3 avg speed on hills, and up to 20 on flat terrian. How much more riding should I do before I try a Crit. And as far as speed what is the range that I should try to get up to before next year ,as a beginner. I am 31 going on 32 next year Hint:(Afro-american). When should I try my first Crit. And what should I expect? And do you think it will be a joke for me to try a Crit Race?
do it!pmannion
Aug 13, 2001 5:17 AM
It's never a joke to start racing. Of course you should try it.

However, the average speed you crank out on a given ride over a given course is really not a good indicator of your racing fitness level.

You may try this as a basic guage though: Find a three mile course (flat with no interruptions, or a 1.5 mile out-and-back course). If you can do this in 8 minutes or less (going as hard as you can), then it's probably a good guess that you're fit enough.

I would make one basic, core suggestion before you do try racing, though. Go ride with a local racing club and learn about drafting (how to actually do it) and pack riding skills. The pro's make it look easy in the TDF, but it can be a bit more scary when done in real life. You need to be comfortable riding in the pack at speed.

What to expect? Not only faster average speeds then you're used to riding (due to the effect of drafting), but some rather fast accelerations....And just overall really friggin fast riding. Try it once, and you'll be hooked.

best o luck!
Hell yeah!Beetle
Aug 13, 2001 12:19 PM
Just do it man. I was hooked after one race. I probably started racing too early after buying my bike. My first race was less than 4 weeks after I started riding. I thought I would do much better because of several years as a competetive runner, but crit racing is very technical and being in great shape is not enough to make you race well. Just don't get too frustrated if(when) you get dropped by the pack.
one step at a timeGutterball
Aug 14, 2001 8:18 AM
Crits are fast, but if you can get on a wheel and stay on it then you'll probably do okay. Make sure you get your group ride time in first though. Bike handling is key in a Crit, if your wobbley and shakey, people are gonna yell at you and you could even get caught up in a crash. Crits are the most dangerous form of road racing. I've seen some ugly wrecks. Get your practice in first. As far as speed goes, if you can do 20-25mph and hold that pace for an hour you'll do fine.
one step at a timeishmael
Aug 14, 2001 5:51 PM
if you can hold 20 for an hour things dont look so good ..if you can hold 25 youll kick ass
one step at a timeflyinbowlofmilk
Aug 14, 2001 6:46 PM
I have roade with a group one time this year with out knowing my average speed. I stayed with them for a while,But on that occasion I was stupid enough to have rode at leat 2 days before it. I learn from the brief time that I was in the group how to hold the line pretty good. I was on the inside near the curb. They had me boxed in. But when I did it it was with a very old bike. Now I have a 2000 Raleigh Road bike with 9speeds and Tiagra Shifters. I haven't tried to ride with them ,since that time. But as far as holding 20-25mph for a hour I can do it coming off a hill and up to 20 on flat terrian,for a hour.
go for it (and some advice)Duane Gran
Aug 17, 2001 10:15 AM
In my opinion a road race makes for a better initiation into racing. Criteriums are lots of fun, however they require you to have very good handling skills. A road race has much fewer turns per mile covered. I have known some people to get all prepped for their crit and get dropped after a few laps because the fast cornering & such intimidated them and they slipped off the back. I'm not saying this will happen to you, but if you are at risk of getting dropped it happens much quicker in a crit than in a road race.

This is just an opinion about preference. If crits are the predominate venue in your area, go for it. They are lots of fun. Just read some of Marlon's race summaries to get a notion of what it is like.

A little advice... racing hurts. Generally nothing you can do in training prepares you for how hard you will push yourself in a race, at least with respect to your first race. Almost every time I race I hit a very uncomfortable moment and I think to myself, "I pay money to do this... I wake up at 5:30 to do this... I'm crazy."

Here is the trick. Everybody is hurting. Just keep that phrase in mind and it will help. Racing is lots of fun, but there are moments where everyone is about to puke on their bars. Read your body, but don't feel alone when you are on the rivet.
go for it (and some advice)BigRingKing
Aug 23, 2001 6:57 PM
I agree with Duane for the most part. Everyone is just about ready to puke on their bars (or yours for that matter.) Just STAY IN THE RACE NO MATTER HOW BAD YOU FEEL. If you can do that to just before you actually blow chunks you will be fine in the next 30 races you do. Keep telling yourself that you can keep going no matter how bad you feel. Hell Lance beat cancer that way. Surely you can finish a 45 min crit, right? My point is this: use your mind and will power to stay in and finish. The confidence boost will be amazing.

As far as being uncomfortable with the fact that I get up early to do this and pay money to do this.... well, that is my motivation. I sacrifice time and money to do it because I enjoy trying to get myself to race so hard I feel the need to spew.