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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I just did my first crit... The Team Cycleworks in Johns Creek GA
I had a blast!
It was 25 min +3 with a few preems thrown in for good measure.(I hate those)
I got 9th or 10th out of about 30. Probably could have got 7th if I really wanted to die on the last uphill straight.
It was a 1k course with the avg at 24mph The course had a decent incline about 1/10 of a mile leading up the finish line with the rest of the course being flat or some rollers. Is that fast for a Cat 5 crit?

I watched the Historic Nally Cat4/5 crit a few weeks ago it seemed wayyy slower than the crit I just did. The course was also flatter at Nalley.

Am I just being a weeny?

One other gripe... These guys can't take corners for squat. I come from speedskating and the corners are where you either try to keep as much momentum as possible or actually increase your speed. Every freekin corner the entire paci.... brake, turn(no apex), hammer out. Haven't they ever heard of conservation of energy and momentum? I could move from all the way in the back to the top 5 in one corner at any given time because no-one was every remotely aggressive. I could understand if we were hauling and need to scrub some speed, but they'd slow down from 25 - 29 all the way to under 20 and they hammer to get back again. That killed my legs.. LOL.

Anyway, I still had a lot of fun. I hadn't raced at all(in any speedskating, and didnt' take up cycling till last winter) in the past 3 years and it felt good to compete again.

Craig
 

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csh8428 said:
I just did my first crit... The Team Cycleworks in Johns Creek GA
I had a blast!
It was 25 min +3 with a few preems thrown in for good measure.(I hate those)

One other gripe... These guys can't take corners for squat. I come from speedskating and the corners are where you either try to keep as much momentum as possible or actually increase your speed. Every freekin corner the entire paci.... brake, turn(no apex), hammer out. Haven't they ever heard of conservation of energy and momentum? I could move from all the way in the back to the top 5 in one corner at any given time because no-one was every remotely aggressive. I could understand if we were hauling and need to scrub some speed, but they'd slow down from 25 - 29 all the way to under 20 and they hammer to get back again. That killed my legs.. LOL.

Anyway, I still had a lot of fun. I hadn't raced at all in the past 3 years and it felt good to compete again.

Craig
Cat 4's are better in corners. You'll probably need to get up to Cat 3 race to be single file in corners.
 

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Move up.

I could move from all the way in the back to the top 5 in one corner at any given time because no-one was every remotely aggressive.
If you're saying you rode all the way in the back, you witnessed the accordion effect, not lack of skill or aggressiveness on part of everyone. Most likely, the more experienced and aggressive front riders barrelled through the corners at full speed, with the less experienced mid-pack and rear riders tapping their brakes.

Riding in the back is hard, as you found out. Ride near the front next time. It may take some aggressiveness on your part to defend your place up there, but it's worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
wim said:
If you're saying you rode all the way in the back, you witnessed the accordion effect, not lack of skill or aggressiveness on part of everyone. Most likely, the more experienced and aggressive front riders barrelled through the corners at full speed, with the less experienced mid-pack and rear riders tapping their brakes.

Riding in the back is hard, as you found out. Ride near the front next time. It may take some aggressiveness on your part to defend your place up there, but it's worth it.
The ENTIRE pack did this from, the front to the back.. This is why I could move from the back to the front in one corner. The leaders along with everyone else would slam(just a tap, I wish) on the brakes for the corners and then hammer out.
No.. not really. In the pack that I was in, I was never farther back then 18th or so, I wouldn't consider this "all the way in the back."

Yes riding in the back is hard.. LOL. this I know from speedskating.
What I was trying to learn was how to stay up front. Started to get the hang of it midway through the race.


Craig
 

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In the 4's, I'll occasionally slow down and spring out of the corners deliberately, especially if I'm around the front. My pop is pretty good, so I have typically don't have any problem closing a gap I create.

Just one way to reduce the size of the lead group. It works well!!

I don't know if the guys in your race were doing that. If 5's, probably not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·

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The Cat. 5 guys are just starting out just like you. Don't forget that. Just because you have some experience taking corners at speed; doesn't mean they do.You will find that bike handling/riding skills run the spectrum. That used to be the Cat. 4's when I started racing. Crits were always fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Poncharelli said:
In the 4's, I'll occasionally slow down and spring out of the corners deliberately, especially if I'm around the front. My pop is pretty good, so I have typically don't have any problem closing a gap I create.

Just one way to reduce the size of the lead group. It works well!!

I don't know if the guys in your race were doing that. If 5's, probably not.
We do something similar in speedskating, called "jamming the pack." The purpose is to lock everyone's legs behind you. I also figured that the guys up front in the crit might be doing this as well, but I was too busy taking it all in on my first race to really observe and understand everything that was going on at the time.

I was also trying to be somewhat respectful of my riding style and control my agressiveness. In speedskating we don't take kindly to newbies acting like fools to show off. We dont' allow them track position until they've earned our respect, so I was approaching cycling this way as well(as the newb).


Craig
 

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Just because the race averaged 24 mph, doesn't make it "hard". If everyone is just motoring along at 24, the race could be a breeze (like a training ride). On the other hand, a race that motors along at 22, and has surges that goes to 30 to 33, and last for a lap or two, can be much harder.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
MR_GRUMPY said:
Just because the race averaged 24 mph, doesn't make it "hard". If everyone is just motoring along at 24, the race could be a breeze (like a training ride). On the other hand, a race that motors along at 22, and has surges that goes to 30 to 33, and last for a lap or two, can be much harder.
Yes, I know this. I agree, 24mph avg over 25 minutes on the flats is cake.
The only reason I brought it up was I watched a crit a few weeks ago that was 4/5 not just 5 and was slower and on a flatter course. This course did have an incline on the front stretch and rollers on the back, so it wasn't flat. Most of the pack was out of the saddle each lap going up the incline. We hit high 20s low 30s on the back stretch most of the time.

Craig
 

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bauerb said:
. . . the yo-yo effect on corners will kill you in the back. stay up front. its also safer.
Also know as the Accordion effect.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accordion_effect

The problem with riding at the back of the pack in a crit comes from having to ride at the same speed in the straight away as the guy up front when he is in the corner. Or in other words you can only go as fast as the fastest link in the chain. When the front of the chain is in the corner doing 26 after doing 30 down the straight away. You can only do 26 in the same place the front was doing 30. So the further back in the pack you get, the harder you have to accelerate out of the corners.

Most crits have 4 corners, laps in some small town's downtown or whatever. The Crits I really hate are when they lay the course out in a u inside a U course/shape.
 

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Well, thanks everyone for setting me straight on skating—in-line or ice. I need to get out more or start watching sports on TV, or both. I do appreciate the video clips—even an old dog learned something new today! :D
 

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d00ds.. at an avg speed of 24mph, you might be able to work with a couple guys and time trial away from the pack. Got any guys you can work with? Bust outta the corner hard, before the grade, with your buddies, get a gap and hold it.
 

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This is...

Poncharelli said:
In the 4's, I'll occasionally slow down and spring out of the corners deliberately, especially if I'm around the front. My pop is pretty good, so I have typically don't have any problem closing a gap I create.

Just one way to reduce the size of the lead group. It works well!!

I don't know if the guys in your race were doing that. If 5's, probably not.
This is one of the reasons that you're still a 4 methinks. That's just stupid racing, and will get you put into the gutter at higher levels in the sport. Watch a 1-2-3 master's race for learning how to corner with everyone else. Doing what you're doing is douchey at best, and dangerous at the worst.
 

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csh8428 said:
Yes, I know this. I agree, 24mph avg over 25 minutes on the flats is cake.
The only reason I brought it up was I watched a crit a few weeks ago that was 4/5 not just 5 and was slower and on a flatter course. This course did have an incline on the front stretch and rollers on the back, so it wasn't flat. Most of the pack was out of the saddle each lap going up the incline. We hit high 20s low 30s on the back stretch most of the time.

Craig

Did the Nalley 4/5 and the speed average was 26 mph. It always seems slower watching I always watch the other cats and think "I can go that fast" (yea, right!).
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
coyotebike said:
Did the Nalley 4/5 and the speed average was 26 mph. It always seems slower watching I always watch the other cats and think "I can go that fast" (yea, right!).
Was that online? I tried to find it, but I couldn't.
It was flatter than the one this weekend though.
 
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