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My Comedy of Errors(4 posts)

My Comedy of ErrorsVoodoo
Aug 5, 2002 10:01 AM
Some days the dog will hunt, some days it won't!

First race of the season. I tore my ACL (partial) in March skiing, so training has been slow and easy. Over the last couple weeks, I felt I had enough form for a Cat 4 crit (but not enough for the masters 35+).

Anyway, knee doesn't feel great but Doc said it won't blow out, go ahead, knock yourself out. And, crits are not my thing but I like 'em well enough when you stay upright.

Here's my comedy of errors:

Saturday crit, wake up with a REALLY stiff neck (from riding in the rain home from work night before). Do not feel very athletic.

Feeling lethargic all day and food going down hard.

Leave home at 1pm to arrive at about 2:30 for a 4pm start. Huge traffic jam, arrive about 3:20 (just enough time to register and jump on the trainer.)

Jump on the trainer. Heart rate jumps about a zillion. It's 90 and humid, feel like crap.

They call us for the practice lap while I'm still on the trainer. I unhook my bike, throw on my jersey and helmet, last one around and they're lining us up. Great I think.

Crit of course, everyone jumps from the gun. My plan is to get up front (or near it), check the group, watch for breaks.

I pop out of the pedal on the third strok (pilot error but SPD and road shoes are over for me). Guess I won't get to the front before the first corners.

Taking an outside line on the second corner and three dudes go down right in front of me, complete stop, see the tail of the race heading around the uphill corner. Sh!t, thinks I.

I solo the lap to get back on right at the end of the first lap and feel very, very close to blowing. Hanging on near the end of the group, recovering but feeling crappy.

Last left hand corner into finishing straight, I'd found a dangerous but fast outside line I liked and over laps 4-7, am moving up a little. Don't feel good, but don't feel like I'm coming apart.

8th lap, time to make a move on that corner and guess what? Big, bad crash out right across my line (that's me being selfish, but this was not a good looking or sounding crash, no one hurt real bad, one into the ambulance.)

Anyway, pretty much total stop again and I just said screw it. It was just not my day. I didn't feel good about a DNF (first one) or a bad result (I've never not had a result I was reasonably pleased with) but another anaroebic chase wasn't in the cards and the race gods were not with me.

Sometimes the dog will hunt, sometimes it won't.
or... "Some days you the hammer, some days you the nail!"merckx56
Aug 5, 2002 10:33 AM
dude take a free laplonefrontranger
Aug 5, 2002 11:20 AM
If the free lap rule was in effect, you could have exercised what is a very gray area in crit racing - the "I was stuck in that crash back there" rule. Technically you don't get a free lap unless you actually hit the ground or suffered a mechanical as a result of the crash, but they're not gonna check you or your bike for road rash. Hell, do an Arte, roll around on the ground if you have to, pretend your wheel got knocked sideways in the dropouts, *something*. This is a gray zone that many, if not most experienced racers have exploited at least once in their lifetime.

If you EVER get stopped behind a crash like that again, go to the pit, tell the official you were "involved" in said crash and leave it up to them to decide whether to put you back in. Some officials will consider getting stopped an allowable mishap, depends how hardcore they are and how big / serious a race it is. 9 times out of ten they'll just put you back in without question and (here's the bonus part) this is one of the easiest ways to move up in the field, since they'll release you *before* the field gets to you. With a good sprint you can easily position yourself near the front, and bingo! Problem solved.

Of course if you were feeling as bad as all that, then maybe the Powers that Be were trying to tell you that it was not in your destiny to race that day...

It's written in the rulebook of the TDF plain as day that there will be no taking pace or pushes from team cars, period. However, guys do it all the time, there just happens to be a set "protocol" to doing it - as long as you're not too blatant it's acceptable. Also watch the guys getting mechanical or medical help in the pro fields. Many times they'll time their "boo-boo" fixes to allow them to hang onto the car as it goes 60 kph up a hill ;-) Is that cheating, or is that effectively utilizing the resources at hand? I have been known to use the official's moto to launch an attack myself and not been called on it, so I guess it was a sound decision at the time; I'm also prepared to take my medicine if they decide I've gone a bit too far over the line. That being said, I'd never ever do stuff like sit out a lap, take pace illegally from another field or cut the course in a crit, and I've known other amateur racers who base their entire strategy on stuff like that.
dude take a free lapVoodoo
Aug 6, 2002 4:58 AM
Yea, I know the rule but whereas I didn't go down, I didn't think I could pull the trigger (and feel ok about it). Plus, I was able to get back on. The 2nd time it happened, well, I knew that Saturday wasn't my day.