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Bonehead crit crashes(9 posts)

Bonehead crit crashesPBLed
Oct 22, 2002 3:48 AM
What are some of the stupidest things you have seen people do while racing in a crit causing a crash...so we can all learn from it.
Learn to ride a bike before you enter a racegreg n
Oct 22, 2002 6:26 AM
The most pissed I've ever been in a race was at this year's Downers Grove race. All my training for the year led to this race, and I was hoping for a podium spot. 110 riders or so at the line. I was in about the third row. Not bad position. Gun goes off, and the guy in front of me falls off his bike. His handlebars are tangled in my front wheel he's under my bike. I'm yelling and swearing at him. He finally gets up and gets out of my wheel. By this time, I'm the last one off the line, and spent four laps and all my energy chasing the lead group. By the time I caught them, my legs were cooked. I had nothing left to contend the final sprint and finished with the group.

Two lessons to be learned here.

1. Before you enter a race, do everyone a favor and make sure you can ride a bike without the help of training wheels.

2. If you're involved in a tangle-up at the start, take a free lap and save yourself a lot of pain and suffering chasing.
Lots of reasonsmass_biker
Oct 22, 2002 6:57 AM
Sprinting for 37th place: If you're out of the top 10 heading into the final sprint in any crit that is not NRC (or UCI) sanctioned, call it a day. You had 40 laps to win it, and you're not going to win it from halfway back through the field. Nothing quite like someone barrelling into somebody else as they duke it out for 37th place.

Doing the Euro weave...badly: It sure looks good on TV when those pros weave from side to side of the road in the last km of a race, as they all wind it up for the finish. Of course, they don't have to contend with a) open courses b) crazed, upgrade point hungry hacks c) all of the above Nothing quite like someone swinging from left to right in his best Petacchi impersonation and promptly taking down half the field.

Blowing up gracelessly: Yes, breakaways sometimes get reeled back in, and when people go for fliers (to get those primes), they sometimes fade after the sprint. But fade with grace (and safety). There's nothing quite like motoring around a turn in an effort to scoop up the breakaway and coming up (fast) on someone who is roundly in the middle of your way and going 2 mph (when everyone else is going 30). Do the math.

Braking in the corners: Sure, it can take a lap or two to really dial a course in, but after 40 laps, you'd figure that this should become second nature. Nothing quite like the squeal of brakes on the second to last lap on that one corner EVERYONE knows is gnarly.

As someone wise and fit once said, if you're not moving up, you're moving out. The key to racing crits (safely) is to be up front and out of traffic. And if mass sprints (and the craziness that occurs with them) are not your gig, you have many laps and opportunities to trim down the group to a more manageable size. If not, and if you're #37 coming around the last turn, call it a day, and retire with your skin in one piece.

MB
re: Bonehead crit crashesbrider
Oct 22, 2002 8:18 AM
Probably one of the most obvious causes of crashes is not viewing the course prior to the race. I've seen a lot of hacks take the second turn too hot because they thought it was wider that it was.

Not knowing how to get out of a pack when you get a flat can be a big crash-causer. I've seen many people taken out by a bad choice.

The Euro-weave thing can cause big crashes in the final 200 meters of a long finishing straight. People see the Tour videos, where you see all that mahem at the front -- guys weaving all over the road to get the good wheel. Looks like they're soooo close... Until you see the bird's eye view, and you see that there's really about a bike-length between most of these guys. The head-on shot is deceiving, and people try to do what they THINK they see on those videos, with the result of trying to squeeze into gaps that aren't there.

That's all that comes to mind for now. I'll try to give it some more thought.
Oh yeah, one more...brider
Oct 22, 2002 8:23 AM
This is one that happened in Bellingham several years ago. The course was pretty hilly, and there was a good uphill just one block into the course (one block, then a left onto an uphill). That made start position pretty important, as the pack would string out (11 corners in a half-mile course). Well, there was also a downhill leading to the start line, and when the course was opened for warm-up, a bunch of geniuses decided it was a good time to line up for the start to claim their place in the grid. Well, they started from the inside of the corner, and covered about half the road. You guessed it -- when some of the racers came around on their warm-up, they plowed right into these guys lined up in the middle of the road around a blind corner. Resulted in 5 DNSs. Funny thing, I ended up starting in the back of the grid, and finished the race in the top 5.
The "Frank Vandenbrouke lookback"JS
Oct 22, 2002 9:15 AM
The Idiots who take one hand off the bar in the bunch and look back at the group after doing a monstrous 30 meter pull.....I want to sock you in the eye. Sprinting for 30th, heheheh, comedy.
re: Bonehead crit crashesNo_sprint
Oct 22, 2002 1:12 PM
Beware of *sweepers* as I call them. They are dudes who cut inside the preferred inside line established upon entering a turn. This clown inevitably cannot hold that thin line he entered the turn on. He'll sweep outside upon exiting the turn and take the inside of the field down with him. This happens from the outside too. Some clown sweeps inside with too little or no gap and takes your front wheel out along with 15 guys behind you who run over you and your rig.

I counter the clowns by aggressively entering a turn. Not allowing a gap in front of me and making sure to stay in front of the clowns.
re: Bonehead crit crashesSpunout
Oct 22, 2002 4:15 PM
I have one, and I was the result! In one of my first Junior races, we raced up and down a boulevard. So, imagine two 180 degree turns, and two big jumps every lap.

I had been dropped early, but found my legs and was powering back to the group, and pulling three other riders back on. These others weren't pulling though. Anyways, almost caught the bunch but I'm working hard, like blacking out from the jumps and effort. One uphill straight I am hammering with my head down, not looking, and I blow the turn! Crash the barricades, get back up, and keep going!

But, I never did catch back on after the spill, but I learned to keep my head up, vision forward, no matter the pain.
Over-inflationB123
Nov 4, 2002 9:38 PM
I see a lot of guys inflating their clinchers up past 120psi, blowing on the line or in the first corner.

I've perfected the "fake crash". Someone falls and creates a gap between me and the pack, I just get off my bike and lay on the ground for a second. I get up and get a free lap. No chasing, no worries.

I've seen a couple crashes from drivers/spectators on the course. One time a guy broke his stem in a sprint...nasty.