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So who here races?

Page 20 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
ElleSquared said:
Hypothetical situation:
Imagine you are a girl (fun, no? :p ), imagine you are in your mid-20's, and imagine you ride a lot for fun/fitness/commuting but have never raced or been part of a club/team, but then imagine you reallyreallyreally love being on your bike and kindasortamaybe want to get into racing (at a very low/not intimidating level, obviously.....)

What are your first steps? How do you go from "I love riding my bike for fun"-girl to "I am actually training towards the goal of competing against other human beings"-girl?


Hypothetically speaking, of course....
;)
:D
your local bike shop may be a good place to ask. you can find out where the group rides are and about local clubs that support racing teams. most have website also google your town and bike clubs. and the national federations can help you too. good luck.
 
Jul 15, 2010
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Usetobefast in on the money. Find out about your local club and see if they have a website. If they do they will usually have a list of training rides that the club members are involved in with an explaination of the leel of intensity route etc. One way of doing things is to just rock up at one of those (an easy recovery one) and let it be known that you are interested in joining a club. My experience would be that girls in their mid 20's will get lots of people that are happy to ride along and have a chat!!

The other thing you can do is find out who is on the committee of the local club and make contact with them. These people are usually salt of the earth types who really love cycling and want to gi ve something back. They will know all the members and will be able to hook you up with some of the female members who can help you get started.

Hypothetically you could let us know what part of the world this young lady would be in and someone on here would most likley have all the info already.;)
 
Mar 26, 2009
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www.ciclismo-espresso.com
This past sunday done my first Granfondo event since 1 year ago roughly; ended 16th in the 80kms event out of 363 guys.
The location was Valpolicella, very famous for its vineyards and wines.

dnf21c.jpg
 
Apr 10, 2009
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Nice job Michele!!

Have done a few races since Dana Point. Finished 7th in the field sprint in a crit course that is one of my favorite.

Last weekend, a couple of guys went hard from the line. We were away in a group of 15. Two laps later, Greg Liebert, one of the strongest riders in So Cal attacked the break. Richard Meeker (current National champ in my age group) went with him and I covered Meeker. That was it, until the end I groveled on the back of those two. I would love to tell you I went pull for pull with them but I would be lying. I dangled and came off and fought back on all race long. One of my hardest efforts on a bike ever. Tried to "sprint" at the end after they gapped me one last time up the "hill". Meeker won easily, Liebert got me by about a half a wheel. Rolled in 3rd, extremely tired but happy.
 
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Hey guys,

I really want to race a few 10 mile TTs in the London area. I live in South Kensington. Do you know what club organizes TTs closest to S. Ken/Fulham/Richmond Park? I'd rather not take the train to Dorking/wherever just to embarrass myself for 30 minutes.
 
Mar 26, 2009
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All good ideas for starting in racing. I'd also suggest time trials as a gentle and safe way to start getting into bike racing. Ignore people that think you need a specific TT bike for this, though some clip-on aero bars would sure help. The stress and risk of group racing is not for everyone. As another alternative you might look at cyclocross races. They are a lot of fun, safe, and short enough that if you hate it you'll be done soon enough! As a last suggestion you might want to post an ad at your local bike shops, as a way to find some like minded people to ride with. Riding with a couple of other women might be a better introduction than a large group of men.

This is all hypothetical, of course.
 
Bumping this thread.

I graduated/finished racing collegiately (track and cross country) over the spring, and I can finally cast off my amateur status and accept some money. I've raced two 5k's and a 4Mile in the last 2.5 weeks or so, and collected $600 and a nice watch.

First race was early in my build up, so I was not confident and drafted the eventual 2nd place for two-thirds of the race, winning in 15:31.

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The second race was a cool set up, raced on two runways on an airport. I felt bad for leaching off the guy last week (same guy was in the race), so I led the whole thing, putting in an acceleration in the last 800 to get away. Also, I beat '72 Marathon gold medalist Frank Shorter! 15:04

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Both races were training days, with workouts right after the race. I was hoping for some real racing yesterday, in a 4 Mile. Last years winner had since run a 3:55 indoor mile, and me and a buddy wanted a crack at him. I'd had a few more hard days under my belt, and was ready to go. He didn't show, though. Bummer. During the race, the two of us worked with another guy for a mile, but he cracked pretty easily, and we coasted in for the last 2.5 miles, saving a little bit for a workout right after. We crossed the line together in 19:44, 50 seconds ahead of 3rd.

DSC_2368.jpg



The first big test is in 2 weeks. The winner gets $1000, and it attracts a lot of attention. Last year's winner ran 18:31 for 4 miles, with the top American 20 seconds behind him. Depending on the racing, I think I can get close to 19:00, and hopefully under it. I prefer racing for place much more than time trialling, so I'm looking forward to a top-heavy field. Its been a nice little season so far, and I'm looking forward to getting into the thick of it.
 
Jul 10, 2010
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Scott SoCal said:
No photo's but did a couple of pretty fast masters crits in Brea, California today. The first race of the year is always an eye-opener. Hard to believe how many blazing fast old men there are out here. No results, just glad to hang on.

I worked for a year in Pasadena a few years back - commuted to work on my bike. Went to the Rose Bowl rides a couple times - SoCal is a grand place to find monster strong senior riders. And by senior I mean 55-60+.

When I raced there were no digital photographs. If I can find one of my old photos I'll scan it in - but don't hold your breath. In the late 80's I rode Masters races in the vicinity of Memphis TN (and around the mid-south), for myself and a local club team. While I did get a number of 2nd places, I never won a serious race. I did win one club cyclocross event that was more for fun than racing.

My PB was at the Assault on Mt Mitchell, either '88 or '89, I forget. 13th Annual. I was 72nd to the top. Online records have me at 71st, but the original printout said 72, and that is what I go with.

Shortly after that, RL got in the way - I didn't ride for a few years. My weight went up, and when I finally got things back in a decent place so I could ride again, I had to lose 50 lbs - which I did, and was almost back to something like decent condition when Hep C was discovered. The treatment for that is a year long chemotherapy that makes you stop producing red blood cells. Within a few weeks of starting treatment, the fatigue was so bad I couldn't walk up 4 steps in a row. I had to rest on the 3rd step. My weight went back up again. That was several years ago.

Got thru that a-ok. One of the lucky ones. Only this year have I been able to once again put things in order so that I can lose weight and start riding seriously again. Still on that path, not there yet.

I know as much, or more, about racing from when I was a freelance photog/journalist/touring rider that hung out with and followed a couple local store teams (out west). That was in the early 80's. That was where I met riders who were willing to dope. And most who weren't. I got some race coverage published in VN, and a helmet article published in Bicycling. Took photos of 7-11 at a criterium in Las Vegas that Southland (the 7-11 corp) bought for rider PR packets. They dominated, and it gave me a super chance to get in tight with a 300mm lens. Unfortunately, they wanted the negatives and rights, so I no longer have those shots for my files. I might have kept a contact sheet, I should go see if I can find it.
 
Bumping this despite the current interest only being about the Tour...

2 reasons...

1) interest in seeing who's about and racing,

2) I'm looking for tips on crit racing.
Did my first road crit race a few weeks back and will do the second in about 3 weeks. The course is a 3km circuit with a hairpin turn at each end. Really struggled coming out of those turns. Any tips or advice on how to come out of the turns without losing ground?




FWIW my road racing has improved steadily with at least 1 grade win of late and a couple of near misses in the final flurry (sprint) at the end. :)
 
Jul 10, 2010
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Archibald said:
. . .
2) I'm looking for tips on crit racing.
Did my first road crit race a few weeks back and will do the second in about 3 weeks. The course is a 3km circuit with a hairpin turn at each end. Really struggled coming out of those turns. Any tips or advice on how to come out of the turns without losing ground? . . .

Take it as wide as possible so you can take it faster. EDIT: removed the bit about the apex, because you are slower out of a turn than coming in, your theoretical most efficient apex will not be @ 50%. For safety sake, I wait until 55 or 60% if there are other people - that gives you more room to change your line for people in front of you or beside you. Don't burn a match trying to get back on - better to go to the front and float back a bit as you get back to speed.

Practice. Practice cornering. It is now scientific - and not just "user preference" leaning on or off works. Which one works better, I don't think we know yet. But I think leaning in (knee drop) is more popular for crits than leaning out (pushing the bike down).

I just went to my notes to try and find the study that came out a year or two past - the first one for a bicycle that - afaic - proves that cornering dynamics are more than just the tire/road interface. I can't find it - so posting that link as a reference will have to wait. I don't think it is common knowledge yet, so somebody will likely come on and slam me for saying leaning on/off works. I'll try to post the link later. I know I have it somewhere.

But most people would gain more by just practicing getting through the corner fast - learning how low they can get - and practicing not burning a match to get back on when they come out.

Also, interval training will help, if you aren't doing that already.
 
Archibald said:
Bumping this despite the current interest only being about the Tour...

2 reasons...

1) interest in seeing who's about and racing,

2) I'm looking for tips on crit racing.
Did my first road crit race a few weeks back and will do the second in about 3 weeks. The course is a 3km circuit with a hairpin turn at each end. Really struggled coming out of those turns. Any tips or advice on how to come out of the turns without losing ground?




FWIW my road racing has improved steadily with at least 1 grade win of late and a couple of near misses in the final flurry (sprint) at the end. :)
The trick to getting through turns such as hairpins with the best of the bunch is to relax and remember that nobody is defying physics out there, if they can get through on a certain line, with time and practice you can too. Don't get hung up on what could go wrong, focus on where you need to be.

Start by positioning yourself well on the run in to the corners that you struggle with. Get close to - but not on - the front and observe what the most confident guys are doing. Follow their lead, take note of their lines and watch when they start

Like Hiero said, don't burn yourself out trying to get back on, just hold your line, stay predictable and just work hard enough to keep with the bunch, even if it's the back.
 
Cheers Gents! Appreciate the feedback.

The apex thing is interesting as I know the motor racing line isn't - I prefer the left example, which I think you're referring too as well, but I end up more like the right side:
corner_harpin_early_late_apex.gif


As for leaning in/out, I corner like I did when I raced MTB - pushing on the outside leg and inside handlebar with the inside knee out, but for some reason this always means i'm quite wide on a tarmac corner...
I'd be very interested in your link/study on that.

as for intervals, I don't really do any other than to have hills and other sections of my commute to just go full gas. been trying to just accelerate hard out of any corners lately, which is "burning matches", but an attempt to build that ability/strength...

The positioning will help a great deal, but moving up each lap may also be "burning matches" to a degree?
 
Found another crit race on the weekend to try it out at...

Only had a small number in my grade/cat. Went wide on the turn, left it a little later than the others, shifted my weight onto the outside pedal, lent the bike and was able to take the corner a little sharper than the others. This meant I was coming out of the corner just before them and was pedalling again that bit sooner to get back up to speed. Noticed the others out of the saddle to come back up to me. So far so good.

We got caught by the top grade/cat, so wound it up in an attempt to hang with them. All good to sit in on the back til the first hairpin. Took the same strategy as above, but damn, they were pedalling sooner in the turn than me, although they took pretty much the same line… was 3 lengths off the back just like that! Thankfully the rest of my grade/cat were a touch further behind and out of the saddle again to come up to me. Was good to see how these guys did it.

When the next grade/cat caught us, I could stay with them on the two turns. Unfortunately, our grade/cat finish came up before I thought it was, so got caught out when the only other guy in my grade/cat who had also stayed on took off for the line. :eek: Nearly had him, but needed maybe another 50-100m…
 
Jul 10, 2010
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Archibald said:
Found another crit race on the weekend to try it out at...

Only had a small number in my grade/cat. Went wide on the turn, left it a little later than the others, shifted my weight onto the outside pedal, lent the bike and was able to take the corner a little sharper than the others. This meant I was coming out of the corner just before them and was pedalling again that bit sooner to get back up to speed. Noticed the others out of the saddle to come back up to me. So far so good.

We got caught by the top grade/cat, so wound it up in an attempt to hang with them. All good to sit in on the back til the first hairpin. Took the same strategy as above, but damn, they were pedalling sooner in the turn than me, although they took pretty much the same line… was 3 lengths off the back just like that! Thankfully the rest of my grade/cat were a touch further behind and out of the saddle again to come up to me. Was good to see how these guys did it.

When the next grade/cat caught us, I could stay with them on the two turns. Unfortunately, our grade/cat finish came up before I thought it was, so got caught out when the only other guy in my grade/cat who had also stayed on took off for the line. :eek: Nearly had him, but needed maybe another 50-100m…

Sounds to me like you're gonna be coming back here and telling us how to do it soon! Good on ya. Like others said above - and you're doin' it - watch the better guys - follow them.

Push down on the outside leg, yeah, light countersteer - essential. You MIGHT benefit from trying to constantly push the countersteering lightly, as many of us back off instinctively due to fear - it can be hard to keep it down.

I'll try to find that link later this week. Meanwhile look on youtube for vids of Cancellara downhill cornering - yes, I know it's is downhill, but you can watch the body language better, and he is good. Canc uses both methods - look up how Phinney (not Taylor, his dad) recommends to downhill - it's online somewhere. He says push in with the topside leg - push the countersteer - push the bike down, and weight shift up and in - what I've called leaning out - because your body language is moving up and "out" of the line of the turn. Leaning in is weight on outside leg, drop knee, shift weight down and into the line of the curve - like a moto GP racer. It doesn't take much - this is very subtle on a bicycle, unlike a motoGP rider.

I think the latter is more appropriate to a crit corner. As for the apex diagrams - nice! I think, though, that on a bike you would do something a little different - staying wide later, and then doing something closer to the "early apex" - as you scrub speed in the turn (careful now, keep your line), the radius gets sharper and you end up more like the track of the late apex.

But, on a bike, once you've followed those better riders, I think you will find that the apex positioning matters less than getting it more or less right, and getting the power back on sooner.

As for burning matches - goal is least effort possible. If you did that in a race by coasting the whole time and only going full gas 4 times, well fine. But you'll only have a few sessions at full gas - I've heard 3-4 - before performance suffers even with some recovery. On the other hand, too much constant effort can also leave you with nothing in the legs to burn at the end. Find the middle path, grasshopper.

On a workout ride - going full gas out of corners for practice IS intervals, of a sort. If you haven't already, read up on types of interval training.

Next? Blow 'em away!

Edit - corrected "Steida" to Phinney. Ooops.
 
Cheers, will look those up.

Hadn't thought of countersteering. 2 wheel drifting when doing XC dirt crits and enduros was fine, but not sure I'd be confident to try that on tarmac.
I'm crap at descending too - bit of lost nerve thanks to a few nasty crashes downhilling the MTB a while back. Been working on improving it, but it's been a slow process...

Back to hammering it during the commute-corners and then see how the main event goes in 2 weeks.

Cheers again

EDIT/ADDENDUM: Burning matches - something I noticed that the Cat 1/A Graders did was when they weren't pedalling through the course, while my grade/cat only freewheeled into the two hairpin turns...
 
Update:

managed to get back to the same crit race last sunday...
didn't quite go to plan - was losing speed each time through the two hairpins. Wasn't burning my matches to get back on though. Only just took a bit longer to get there - ie; while I dropped back then accelerated from the saddle to close the small gap, the others would jump out the saddle and hammer it to get back on sooner. Within 100m of the turn the pace dropped each time anyway [until the last 1 and a half laps, when it stayed on], which did make this reasonably easy to do.

Unfortunately during that last one and a half laps I had to touch the brakes when cut off during the turn, and couldn't close the gap as the pace wound up for the finale...
 
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Archibald said:

I love that clip - it has got to be one of my all time favs. You can see Canc using BOTH lean-off techniques - altho I haven't figured out quite why. It seems he might be using the push-the-bike-down technique when he might need to respond more quickly to a change or isn't quite sure of the corner. I think he might be using the drop-knee-get-the-body-weight-down-and-to-the-inside when he has a bit more time to set it up. Or maybe it is all the other way 'round. Notice that, unlike a motorcyclist, less of the body goes to the outside, and the shoulders even go inside a bit.
 
May 11, 2009
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RedheadDane said:
I've had some pretty epic races against clouds... :p
But actual racing... no. Besides; I'd be terrified of being in the middle of the bunch!

Why not ride time trials - that is what I do both road and track - lots of fun.
 
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First race of the season is next Sunday. It's getting earlier every year! :)

Here is a pic of one of our rides at training camp…..


Our 35+ squad in our new kits and bike…..