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CritLover...I'll provide photos, you give the report...(5 posts)

CritLover...I'll provide photos, you give the report...biknben
Jul 6, 2003 8:27 PM
I got a suprise greeting while pre-riding my crit. course on Friday. A woman pulled up next to me and asked if I was Ben. When I said yes, she introduced herself as CritLover from RBR.

She had noticed I wrote (on the general board) that I'd be racing in Jersey on the 4th and kept an eye out for me. Although, I had recognized her handle, I hadn't noticed CritLover was a woman so it came as a surprise.

I have to say, my friend riding with me was quite jealous. It was a boost to my ego having a woman, racing a bike no less, introducing herself to me. I figured I'd repay the favor with a few pics from the race.

Here are the best ones:

I've got some others but those were the best. I cropped these but saved the originals. Let me know if you'd like the originals or the other files. I could e-mail them to you.

BTW: Nice ride. I'm a fan of Sevens and I ride Zipps too.

Here's my mini race report:
I showed up early not believing they would run the cat. 5 men's race so late. Well, they did and my race didn't start until after 1pm. My HRM says the temp. was 98*. I hung near the front for most of the race. In the last few laps the pace picked up and I was already pegged. Once I realized I was too far back in the last couple turns I just sat up and rolled in. Boring!!!
re: CritLover...I'll provide photos, you give the report...CritLover
Jul 7, 2003 8:45 PM
Geez, I wish I could say that my race was a lot better than yours. My morning started out lousy, I got pulled over for speeding on my way to the race (too bad I wasn't speeding during the race). I should've turned around and went home then.

Having never done that course, I actually believed what the flyer said- flat with a small hill. Stupid me! The small hill, yes it was small, had a steady rise that started about 1/4 mile or more before it. This was the part that put the hurtin' on. That and the 3 or 4 turns in the middle section that tore every race apart.

I felt great at the beginning. I had a lousy warmup due to my run in with the fuzz. But as I pre-rode the course, I spot the bright blue and yellow criss-crossed bar tape that I had spotted a week or two back on RBR. And I had saw that post that BiknBen would be attending the race, though I had no idea what he looked like. Figured I should just ask. Well, I have to say it was really awesome meeting someone from the board. I haven't been here a long time, so I was happy that someone knew me. I wonder how many lurkers were also at the race... hmmmm.

The race was getiing hot when we started (I despise racing in hot weather). I felt pretty good the first 20 minutes in, despite my 15 minute warmup, and stayed in the front of the race. There were a few minor attacks, but nothing serious. Halfway, I decided to sit in and get rested for the sprint. It was a good plan, for about two laps, but completely backfired on me.

The middle of the course had three turns really close together, and there were way too many ladies that had no idea how to roll through without breaking. I got annoyed and sprinted out to catch back up, but got severly cut off by Miss I-can't-corner-to-save-my-life who didn't even have the decency to pull me back up to the pack. So I get back on, zip down the fast downhill trying somehow to recover and simultaneously move up to avoid the same problem. Little did I know that Miss I-have-steering-spasms had friends. Next section of turns I got caught behind 3 or 4 newbies who had little confidence cornering - now I am cursing under my breath- WHY THE F#$% ARE WE BREAKING??. When I finally had room to sprint around them, there was a fierce attack by one of the pro women in the group. Ouch! OK- belly breathe, belly breathe(been working on nailing this technique lately). The pack got strung out on the uphill portion and I hung on until the downhill, at which point there was a counter attack and I knew I was cooked. I couldn't get my hr down and I was just too frustrated. I chased with two other ladies for two laps, but they thought it would be fun if I pulled them around, so I decided to bail.

I stayed to watch the finish, and felt better that out of the 20-25 starters, the only women who finished in the pack were the 4 pros, 3 cat2's and 1 cat3. I knew I could've stayed with them, but I completely underestimated the importance of staying in the front through the turns section. If nothing else, I learned some valuable lessons.

And thanks for taking some pics. Geez, I look short on that bike. And it looks like some wild animal clinging onto my back - gotta braid that thing. I guess we don't always look the way we think we do on the bike.

And for the experts out there- how's my bike fit?
nice report!lonefrontranger
Jul 8, 2003 5:57 AM
Bike fit looks good. BNB took the pic at exactly the right phase of the pedalstroke to judge well. Your upper back looks a tad stiff, but that's technique not fit. It's hard to relax your shoulders in a crit anyway.

The ACA *makes* the girls with long hair braid it or tie it up so it doesn't cover their number. I've seen a few incredulous arguments on that one. Wild animal indeed, ha! If I let mine grow long it would be at least twice the wild animal yours is, so I opted for the postpunk aggro look (shorn & bleached). So far I've resisted the temptation to get all the tats and piercings to go with it...

Open women's races are a pain. We had a real good one on Sunday - fortysome women all the way from Diet Rite and T-Mobile pros to 2 gals who'd obviously never raced a bike before. It was an 8-corner tough course and they score all cats in the women's races here, so lapped riders were left in. As a good friend who races in the Pro/1/2 guys said afterwards "who was doing bong hits when they thought this up?!!". It was really dangerous. The pros kept trying to get away or string things out, and finally succeeded in launching a break. The 1/2/3s hung together in a clump of fifteen or so girls. The 4s (and some 3s, thankfully not yours truly) got shelled all over the course, getting lapped at something like 2 and 3x the approach speed. The field was dodging lapped riders in both sides of every corner. Not how I wanted to spend my Sunday.

You probably already figured this out, but a good idea is to find a good wheel to "ghost ride", and stay there. One of the 2s or 3s who rides smooth but doesn't have a wicked jump would be ideal. This way you don't have to play the accordion at the back or constantly dodge the clueless. The key to crits is essentially to rest more than anyone else does, and use your efforts on your terms, not at the mercy of the field.

Don't have time to do a Saturday race report, except to say it was like doing a bike race in a half-pipe. One of the stranger courses I've done. It was up in one of the casino towns (at 10,000'!). They closed the main road down in front of all the casinos, so was a 1K crit with 2 180's and a steep climb on each end. It wasn't a climber course and it wasn't a sprinter course, it was just an endless interval session.
re: CritLover...I'll provide photos, you give the report...No_sprint
Jul 8, 2003 8:04 AM
Fit looks fine. Nice rig. There is an understated but really valuable technique in racing. It's called avoidance. Avoid this guy, avoid that girl, avoid this guy. I use it all the time. I've been known to be pretty vocal in the peloton too. Things like *get the F#$K away from me* and *swing wide again on this turn pal and I'll take you down*. Pretty vicious out there really. Good job hangin' with the big girls. 15 minutes warmup doesn't cut it.
re: CritLover...I'll provide photos, you give the report...CritLover
Jul 10, 2003 7:01 PM
Hey all

Thanks for the fit opinions. Hopefully, one of these days when I have a good race, I can post a more exciting race report.