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My first RACE...(9 posts)

My first RACE...pappy_d
Jun 24, 2002 2:22 PM
I really want to start racing and have the opportunity to particepate in a "citizen's" criterium this coming weekend. I've only be riding a road bike about a month and half, 300 miles. I've never ridden in a pack (though I'm excellent in traffic).
Would I be crazy to try it?
What should I do this week to prepair?
Any suggestions would be great.

Yes you would be crazy to try it.Pack Meat
Jun 24, 2002 3:38 PM
Get some pack experience or at least some experience riding with other people. 300 miles is a good week. Ok let me back off here a bit. Definitely get some experience riding with other bikers in close proximity to each other. Try to find a club or a team in your area that you can hook up with and learn from people.

Go ahead and try it, don't overlap wheels, dive the corners, stare directly at the wheel in front of you, slam on the brakes or be nervous. Do be cautious, keep your head up and always look towards the front of the pack.
Stay at the back if you're really nervous or off the front. Bernard Hinault (5 time winner of the Tour) was so nervous in his first race that he rode the whole thing 10 meters in front of the field.
re: My first RACE...mixinbeatz
Jun 24, 2002 3:56 PM
IMHO, I would take it slow and join a club before jumping head first into a crit. A good club or team will help you become a much better and safer rider and you will have a ton of fun. In fact, one of my best rides of the year was a training race with a bunch of my teamates this past weekend. I realized that so much of racing enjoyment is had chasing your teamates up the hills on some of the non-racing weekends. This year I also realized that I really do not enjoy crits that much. I am ok at them, but I prefer the tactics or a road race much more than dodging crashes at 30 mph at your redline for 45 minutes. If I had started racing crits, and never done any real road races, I may have quit racing completely. Don't get me wrong, a lot of people love crits and you may as well, but I happen to really enjoy the breakaways of road races and time trialing.
re: My first RACE...bikenraider99
Jun 24, 2002 5:30 PM
Find a club, they'll help you become better and more efficient at riding (kinda shortening the learning curve). If you're not comfortable riding in packs, getting bumped from the side or the back, then wait. Better yet, if this is a weekly series race, take some time and go check out what you're getting into. I had to do that for crits (came from MTBing to RR and now to crits). If you should go ahead and enter, stay relaxed and don't get too bummed if you get shot out the back.
re: How do you break away on a TT? I want to learn...cguck8
Jun 24, 2002 9:43 PM
Please refer to your last sentence. By the way, i'm just
being a smart ass. I knew what you meant, I just found humor in the way it sounded.
You have never broken away in a timetrial?mixinbeatz
Jun 25, 2002 6:52 AM
All you have to do is leave the gate a minute or so early and the breakaway is trying not to get caught by the officials in the follow car!
You have never broken away in a timetrial?cguck8
Jun 28, 2002 10:09 PM
That shit is pretty funny!
re: My first RACE...kaiser
Jun 25, 2002 5:09 AM
Bike racing looks fluid, smooth and easy from the sidelines (or on OLN)...But you must first gain experience riding at speed in such close proximity to others.

People without this experience often do many dumb things like: hit the brakes suddenly, fail to 'hold their line' in turns, and they tend to overcompensate when they get bumped (you will get bumped)....Others are just so damn nervous, they just crash for no explainable reason at all. You need to have calm nerves. They can be attained with just a couple of months of solid pack riding experience, best gained during racing 'club rides'.

And then there's the fitness angle. But we'll talk about that later.
Jun 30, 2002 11:19 AM
If you want frank advice, I'd say you are not ready. Go ride with some racers for at least a month or so and see what happens.

Aside from getting shelled, you might be a danger. I'm not saying you will be, but at this point none of us know. Ride with some racers in a group for while and at least get used to cornnering on someone's wheel.

Normally I encourage everyone to try racing. Usually, the worst case scenario is that they get dropped and suffer off the back for a while. I think it's premature here, though, from what you've told us.