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Race etiquette -- what do you guys think of this? I know(11 posts)

Race etiquette -- what do you guys think of this? I knowbill
Aug 4, 2003 8:46 AM
race etiquette is mostly an oxymoron, but I think that there may be exceptions and this may be one.
I did the Altoona Cat 4 race (saw wiewen from this board there -- he's fast and he did very well). The Saturday race is basically a loop going up a mountain and down it twice -- forty-two miles. Okay, climbing is not my thing, which I well knew, and I started out killing myself to stay with the pack but got dropped about halfway up the first climb (I think weiwen thought that I was snooty when he introduced himself from the pack as the climb started, but I didn't talk mostly because I couldn't).
The climb summits, sort of, hits a false flat, and then you sort of ride this ridge for a while that continues to go up some. I hooked up with a teammate who also had got dropped, and we picked up a third rider. We all started working together, which was good, because, even though the road tilted down, it was down into a headwind.
Okay, this other guy then takes off down the descent. He later said that, darn, he just put this bike together and had no idea how well it descended. He couldn't control it. Have you ever heard such BS? Fine.
Anyway, we picked up a couple more riders and, working together, we caught jacka**. My teammate dropped out completely, but I continued working with these guys. Everyone is saying, no one gets dropped, we stick together and finish together. Fine. I'm not taking the longest pulls, but I'm taking my pulls.
We continue along for another couple of miles of rollers until we hit the bottom of the climb again, but there I just could not hang. They weren't going a lot faster than I was, but they picked up the intensity a little, and, I literally hear them saying, into the distance, no one gets dropped. I think that they got to the top of the climb maybe twenty or thirty seconds ahead of me -- so, but for the first part of the climb, I basically paced them. I had just climbed my own pace, but they were working together across the ridge now, and obviously continuing to, and I finished the next fifteen miles or so by myself. I think that they finished a couple of minutes ahead of me.
I'm sort of ticked -- I had worked with everyone, we were all out of contention big time (everyone in this little group finished just shy of twenty minutes from the leaders) -- was this necessary? And the dumba** who went on about how he couldn't control his bike's descending -- what crap.
I'm whining, I realize, and I'm hardly scarred, but what do you all think?
I think that they meant.."No Attacks"MR_GRUMPY
Aug 4, 2003 10:41 AM
Did you expect them to slow down just for you ? You should have started taking shorter pulls, when you were getting tired. Next time, ride smarter. Sometimes, the smartest rider wins.
yes you're whiningThe Badger
Aug 4, 2003 10:43 AM
If you're in a group of dropped riders that will maybe finish outside top 75 and twenty minutes behind're no longer in contention and just treat it as training miles. It doesn't matter who you finish with or if you finish alone. It's not like you're trying to make the time cutoff at the TDF, where its important to stay in a group. What's the difference if the group determines "no one gets dropped?"......everyone in the group is dropped!! Are you guys planning to sprint it out for 101st?
Hey, it was 68th, not 101st.bill
Aug 4, 2003 11:09 AM
It was just a long afternoon, that's all. No, I certainly wasn't planning on sprinting out to beat out anyone to move up to 64th, but it would have been a lot more fun, I guess. Considering that they finished 64th, 65th, 66th, and 67th, it seemed rather pointless all around.
What bothered me as much as anything was the dork who attacked us on the downhill, got caught (not that we were trying to catch him, we just wanted to work together), and then wanted to work with someone so came up with the story about the bike. Now THAT was ridiculous, particularly since, if anyone was laying off the pulls, it was him.
Indeed...pointlessThe Badger
Aug 4, 2003 11:50 AM
pointless listening to the dork complain about his bike and getting upset that he didn't take his pull in a group that's finishing twenty minutes behind. also, you're in a position to "attack", only if there is some potential advantage gained, in his case he was merely accelerating from a group at the tail end of the race. you should be more upset that you got dropped in the first place, and concerned about how you'll be able to hang with the race next time.
why does this elicit a lecture? I asked a questionbill
Aug 4, 2003 1:32 PM
about whether, under these circumstances, there is any etiquette or tradition that says, if you say no drop, when there is no possible advantage other than somebody's vanity, does that mean no drop (which Mr. Grumpy did address, to be fair)?
For the record,
I indeed am much more concerned about what it says about my fitness that I got dropped, particularly by guys I had beat up the hill the first time, meaning that I need to work on both hill-climbing and endurance, than I am about anything else. The answer to this, however, is beyond the scope of this inquiry (training more on hills springs to mind). I am not upset that dorko didn't pull, although I am a little upset that gullible me didn't think he was an a**hole from the first, until he had to emphasize it by disguising his "attack," pointless as it was, by blaming his new bike for its previously unfathomed descending qualities. And he did attack us, with about twenty-five miles to go, and it was indeed ridiculous. Which doesn't p*ss me off, but rather makes me feel good that I am not he.
I think, Badger, that you are indeed sharing some wisdom, which I do appreciate, by saying worry about yourself and realize that you lost nothing that you otherwise deserved to have. But, you probably can spare the scolding tone.
sorry dude, no lecture here just some hard factslonefrontranger
Aug 4, 2003 8:27 PM
When you are OTB all bets are off, regardless of the race. There is no etiquette involved, merely survival of the fittest. The "autobus" concept only applies in major stage races where you're in a group that is trying to make the time cut (not applicable at Toona). And yes, there are dorks who will sprint for 67th place, or 80th place or whatever. That you just have to let go. I've done that Saturday course. At a certain point, fortysomethingth, sixtysomethingth, it doesn't matter - you just want to get the damn thing over with and it's every (wo)man for him/herself.

To cite a case in point: I have even dropped teammates (after okaying it with them first, naturally) because I did not want to prolong the agony any longer. As it was I finished :35 down on the field, and they finished :45 behind me. Was I going to wait around for them? Absofreakinglutely no way, and they didn't expect it of me. This was on an 80+ mile road course -- I'd rather solo TT for thirty miles than spend nearly an extra hour on the bike noodling myself into saddle sore oblivion.

Chin music from your competitors is just that, chin music. Please don't take it to heart or you'll drive yourself mad or quit the sport. Next time don't kill yourself to "work together" because if they're not teammates, and you're not driving a breakaway, you're not working together. Heck even if you ARE driving a break in Cat 4s you're typically not working together... Show me three Cat 4 guys from separate teams that can work together effectively and I'll sell you some prime swamp land.

To cite the cruelest fact of all: if you can't keep up at what is for them a reasonable tempo (on the 2nd climb), then you are dead weight that needs to be shelled.
sorry dude, no lecture here just some hard factsRIAN
Aug 5, 2003 3:21 AM
Two simple things I learned as a junior, which I have never had cause to reconsider 40 years on. 1) If its a race, they don't wait for you. 2) Don't believe anything someone not on your team tells you.

OK, I can think of a reason why a small tailed off group might wait for someone slightly off the back at the top of a climb. That someone would need to be a strong rouleur and able to help them get back up to the next group before the finish (and also not be a threat in the sprint). But they would be doing it for their own benefit, not the guy who has been dropped. That's the beauty of bike racing - its a pure natural selection process.
why does this elicit a lecture? I asked a questionThe Badger
Aug 5, 2003 9:49 AM
I am not scolding.

Maybe I didn't answer your main question of about proper race ettiquette in your situation, because I beleive you're asking the wrong question, from the wrong perspective. I think the tone of my response was appropriate, given your statement..."I'm whining...I realize." I'm just confirming your sentiments and explaining the reasons why.

Lonefrontranger made a good point, in that sometimes there is no etiquette involved.
re: Race etiquette -- what do you guys think of this? I knowweiwentg
Aug 5, 2003 6:00 AM
>I think weiwen thought that I was snooty when he introduced himself from the pack as the climb started, but I didn't talk mostly because I couldn't).

let's clarify that. I was pretty sure you were starting to go into oxygen debt. so was I, which is why I didn't talk longer. it wasn't any easier for the climbers, we just did it faster. :)
any chance you saw John Knighton (tall guy with a goatee and lots of stubble, on a Salsa Campeon with Bontrager wheels, probably wearing the same jersey as me)? I know he finished way down.
to get to your question, in my experience, us cat 4s don't know (and don't usually need to know) the finer aspects of group riding. forming an autobus would be out of our capabilities. the guys in front, though, they worked quite well together.
say hi to Gonzalo and Roland for me, eh?
Etiquette is to cat. 4 racing as honest is to politician (nm)hrv
Aug 5, 2003 10:27 AM