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Beginner Racing Questions(4 posts)

Beginner Racing Questionslexington476
Feb 17, 2003 6:04 PM
This BBS is great. I just sent for my first USCF license ($50. it is a racket). After reading a few threads, I have a few questions. What does agro (looking) mean? What are nats, crits (criterium?), and road race (and how do the three relate)??? What is the yo-yo effect in a pack? Do road racers use Camelbaks like in MTB races??? What is the average length for cat 5 races?
re: Beginner Racing Questionsbrider
Feb 18, 2003 10:37 AM
I'll try to take these in order
1) What does agro (looking) mean? "Agro" usually is a contraction of "aggressive." Can mean a lot of things, depending on the usage. In reference to bike geometry, it usually means a relatively steep seat tube angle and very reactive steering. In reference to a person, it usually means an aggressive attitude.

2) What are nats, crits (criterium?), and road race (and how do the three relate)??? "Nats" are the cycling national championships, usually contested in June, and are the selection for the national team. Crits are indeed criteriums. Short races done on fairly short courses (usually less than a mile) done for a certain amount of time. Road races are on longer courses, usually have fewer (a lot fewer) corners, and are for a given distance. There are national championships for road racing, criteriums, time trials, and the normal track events (kilometer, pursuit, points, and sprints)

3) What is the yo-yo effect in a pack? Usually seen in criteriums, happens in corners. What happens is that the lead riders slow down to set up for a corner. The pack has to slow down as well. As the following riders are still going slow through the corner, the lead riders are accelerating out of the corner. The following riders must accelerate faster and get to a higher speed to stay on the pack, or risk getting dropped. This effect will tire a rider out fairly quickly, relative to the leaders. For this reason, it's always a good idea to stay near the front in a criterium (as well as crash avoidance).

4) Do road racers use Camelbaks like in MTB races??? Sometimes. Depends on the rider and the distance. For a long distance, you won't be able to refill the Camelback, but you can take a bottle at a feed zone. Also, every time you stand, you're carrying your water. It's rare, but I have seen them used in road races (usually circuit races that are of fairly short duration).

5) What is the average length for cat 5 races? For criteriums, it's usually 35-45 minutes. For road races, 35-50 miles.

Hope that helps.
you from KY?doog
Feb 18, 2003 8:09 PM
Hey, are you from lexington KY...? I am and am thinking about racing.
From Michiganlexington476
Feb 19, 2003 7:10 PM
No, not Kentucky. I live in Michigan, part of the Great Northern Tundra. Lexington relates to the USS Lexington, sunk at the Battle of the Coral Sea. And 476 relates to AD 476, the Fall of the Western Roman Empire.