Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 20 of 44 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sunday I did my second ever road race, the Georgia Cup 3 Gap, billed as the hardest race in the Southeast with 9000 feet of climbing in 52 miles and almost double that for the pros. My previous race was a flat course cat 4/5 where I was unprepared for the fast start , my mountain bike race strategy of starting in back only succeeded in getting me dropped and spending the race solo and passing the occasional straggler.The 3 Gap had a beginner-cat5 class and as I am a decent climber I thought I might be competitive. It was 90 degrees at the noon start and the field of about 75 broke up quickly at the first mountain climb 8 miles into the race.After starting in the rear I began passing people and was enjoying the race as the the many climbs eliminated team tactics and drafting was limited. Coming down Neels Gap 40 miles into the race I started thinking a top 20 finish was possible when I came to a traffic jam and found our race had been stopped. There was a motorcycle accident up the road. The race official took the numbers of the first few racers for a restart and the rest of us just waited. About 15? racers had passed before the accident. After waiting over 15 minutes the road ahead was cleared and the race official restarted the group whose numbers he had taken. He addressed the rest of us and said our race was basically over and that we could just ride back to the start as none of us were factors in the race. The course was set so that the finish was at thetop of a 5 mile climb and he was saying rather than complete the race just return to the start. I was stunned. When the group started 5 minutes after the first group he restarted we proceeded at group ride speed for 6 miles to the turning point where you could climb to the finish or return to your car. About 6 of us opted to finish the race and the other 30 plus turned back to their cars. I finished the race, which I am proud of, but I feel totally disgusted. Why would so many racers quit, why are they racing ? The impression I get from this is that in road racing if you aren't a factor it is okay to quit. My reason for racing is to test myself against others , to chase and be chased. I know I've started too late ,age 52, to ever win a road race but I enjoy racing. I race mountain bikes in sport class and am competitive and the atmospere is completely different, no one would ever voluntarily quit just to save some suffering. I guess my point is if you don't enjoy racing don't show up.
 

· Lexicon Devil
Joined
·
964 Posts
Barring a crash, injury or mechanical, I'll finish any race that I started. I too, am sometimes flummoxed by those people who DNF out of a race once they realize that they aren't in the running for a podium place. We're all amateurs here - we could benefit from riding our bikes at the level of intensity that is only found in fast group-rides, and well, races.

Sure, if you're dead-last and you're way off the back, then I can understand rolling out of a race. But dropping out 'cause you missed the break? Go ahead and finish the damn thing and get some miles in. You've already woken up dead-early on a Sunday morning and bagged out of going to the bar with your friends, driven 50 miles and handed over $20 to the promoter - why not just finish the race and at least be glad that you didn't pack it in.

Of course, things change if you're rolling in an organized team effort. But if your A-Man is up the road and your job as a pseudo-domestique/blocker is done, what's the point of quitting?
 

· You're Not the Boss of Me
Joined
·
7,749 Posts
Were was the race? I've done the "three gap" and "six gap" courses around Dahlonega, and the three gap gains only about 5500 feet, unless this is a different route with the same name.

Just curious.
 

· n00bsauce
Joined
·
13,627 Posts
Last year at the Chequamegon Fat Tire 40 mountain bike race I decided, based on past experience, to ride without a tube or pump. Big mistake. I got a flat about the 10 mile mark. It was my fault I didn't bring anything so I wasn't about to beg for help. I rode about 4 miles on the flat until a young woman offered me a tube and pump. I put in the tube but, unfortunately and after much pumping, I noticed the valve was busted. The bike patrol then pulled up and gave me a new tube and his pump. By the time the second flat was fixed I was dead last.

After getting going again I began to pass people, including the nice young woman and the bike patrol. A couple more miles down the trail, you guessed it, another flat. This time a guy stopped and gave me a tube and pump. The rest of the race was uneventful and I finished in the last quarter of all riders.

The moral of the story is, finish what you start. BTW, my number for the race was 666.
 

· your text here
Joined
·
13,203 Posts
honestly, i can see why people rolled out. when the race director acts that way, i would be tempted to roll out, too. he didnt care about the riders finishing, or about the crowd awaiting a possible sprint from the group that got held up at the accident. he also made it sound like they werent gonna keep time for anyone outta the "pre-accident" group. so there goes any chance of a personal best.

too bad there wasnt any schwag to give to the 1-2-3 riders in the "accident" group. for a few tshirts, water bottles, and gu packs he could have made another race of it, not just for the riders but for the spectators as well.
 

· Alien Musician
Joined
·
4,542 Posts
Sounds like there were some organizational issues too - motorcycle accident?

Was it not a closed course? Why was traffic allowed on the road during a race?
I'm not super experienced with this but during the bike leg of the triathlon I was in
they closed the road to motorized vehicle traffic preventing such things.

Sorry to hear you had a bit of a bad time of it - I would have made sure that I
finished too but if the law enforcement people were like "it's not worth it",
sometimes people listen to that.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
467 Posts
aliensporebomb said:
Why was traffic allowed on the road during a race?
I'm not super experienced with this but during the bike leg of the triathlon I was in
they closed the road to motorized vehicle traffic preventing such things.
Around here they have a "roving bubble".If you are in the main pack you will have an officer in front and behind you.The officer in front will go up the road and close intersections.However,they tell you at the start that if you are dropped,you will have to obey traffic laws and you are on your own.

The only close traffic off the last 700 meters of the race so both lanes are open for the feild to sprint.This didn't stop them at my last race from letting a motor home in on our finish and almost causing 2 guys to go head on into it at 35mph.:mad2:
 

· Registered
Joined
·
3,375 Posts
R.Rice said:
This didn't stop them at my last race from letting a motor home in on our finish and almost causing 2 guys to go head on into it at 35mph.:mad2:
I love this talk about "them" Who do you think this "them" are? They're volunteers doing their best so you can have a race and getting very little in return for it. You make it sound like these people deliberately put the motor home on the course to ruin you're race. Maybe that's something you'd be willing to do, but the volunteers I know, don't spend hours of their time on a weekend just so riders can have a bad race experience, just the opposite. So now tell us, all-knowing one, how do you deal with motorists who ignore you're instructions when you're doing traffic control?
 

· Registered
Joined
·
3,230 Posts
along these lines, if you're out of contention, do everyone a favor and get off the road. Every rider on the road is a responsibility. It's a race, not a group ride or, certainly, an individual ride. If the road is closed, and is going to stay closed, that's one thing, but if it's not, and if you're not in a position to race anyone but yourself, take it home and go out by yourself.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
467 Posts
asgelle said:
I love this talk about "them" Who do you think this "them" are? They're volunteers doing their best so you can have a race and getting very little in return for it. You make it sound like these people deliberately put the motor home on the course to ruin you're race. Maybe that's something you'd be willing to do, but the volunteers I know, don't spend hours of their time on a weekend just so riders can have a bad race experience, just the opposite. So now tell us, all-knowing one, how do you deal with motorists who ignore you're instructions when you're doing traffic control?
According to my wife,a wife of a friend who was racing with me and 2 guys I know that where waiting for their race to start,the officer was sitting around BS'ing and the volunteers weren't paying attention either.The officer waived the motor home through without looking.Considering the finishing straight was relatively flat and you could see about 3 miles down the course they had plenty of time had they been paying attention.If you call that "doing their best" you must not have such high standards.

I would like you to point to anywhere in my post that I suggested that this was done on purpose.YOU made that accusation.I understand it was an accident caused mostly because some people that should have been paying attention weren't.The only reason I have a problem with it is that it almost caused a very nasty pile up.

I really appreciate the people that volunteer.However,these people on this day weren't doing their job very well.Try again,cool guy.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
6,422 Posts
Well...

Doctor Who said:
Barring a crash, injury or mechanical, I'll finish any race that I started. I too, am sometimes flummoxed by those people who DNF out of a race once they realize that they aren't in the running for a podium place. We're all amateurs here - we could benefit from riding our bikes at the level of intensity that is only found in fast group-rides, and well, races.

Sure, if you're dead-last and you're way off the back, then I can understand rolling out of a race. But dropping out 'cause you missed the break? Go ahead and finish the damn thing and get some miles in. You've already woken up dead-early on a Sunday morning and bagged out of going to the bar with your friends, driven 50 miles and handed over $20 to the promoter - why not just finish the race and at least be glad that you didn't pack it in.

Of course, things change if you're rolling in an organized team effort. But if your A-Man is up the road and your job as a pseudo-domestique/blocker is done, what's the point of quitting?
Well, if you've been shellacked out of a race, and you're way out of it, there is really no point in continuing, especially if you have to race the following day. I know from past experiences that I've gotten hammered on, dropped, and then rolled off early, to save the legs for the next day, and then the next day, had a great race. Sometimes, it doesn't pay to finish. You've got to know when to pull the plug. If you want to get mileage in, then just go do a ride by yourself over the weekend. If you want to get race miles in, then stay in the race as long as possible. As soon as you get dropped out the back of the pack, seldom, or let me make that, never do you keep the same race pace as you would in a group. If you miss the break, and there is still a field, by all means, make sure you stay in the mix, the break can come back, people can mechanical out of the race, and so on. Still with the pack, keep cranking.

And yes, we do race because we do love it, not for the money and things like that, but this is a race, and the point is to win, or to make a good contribution, and things like that. If you want to feel good about finishing something, try triathlons. Cycle sport is sometimes, make that most of the time, not a "feel good" sport. I think that's why we don't have high participation numbers like running, triathlon, and other sports where it's considered an accomplishment to "just finish". Cycling, is never about just finishing, unless you're doing some sort of charity ride, or big century, or something along those lines. Racing, is about winning.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
289 Posts
3 Gap Race

I was in the Open Masters (4/5 35+ and cat. 1 - 4 for 45+) race that day (this past Sunday), and the motorcycle accident was unfortunate (anyone whose ridden the 3 Gap loop knows there's a huge problem up there with motorcycles and guys who have more machine under them than they can handle). My race was the first group on the road, and I was in the first group that had to stop (no more than 1/2 mile behind the accident). There was a solo break in my race that either got by before the accident or slipped by without being stopped. If it was the latter, he may have technically broken the rules, but if no official was there to time the gap and give him his lead back, I could see not stopping. In any case, no one had any doubt that he would have won anyway.

We got to stand along the side of the for half an hour so I definitely feel your pain. In fact, standing there and restarting was about the most painful part of the race. My group (we were down to 9 at that point) did race up to the top of Woody.

Frankly, I'm not sure there were many more DNF's because of this incident. After all, if you turned right towards the finish line, you had 5 miles up the mountain and then another 10 - 11 back to the staging area in 90+ degree heat. However, turning left would get you back to your car in 5 - 6 miles. To boot, the promoter provided NO WATER at the finish.:mad: I know that it's understood that you're on your own for water at bike races, but I drank 3 quarts before the race and carried 3 bottles with me...what else are you supposed to do?. For the $40 entry fee I paid, you'd think they could have saved up milk jugs for a month, washed them out, filled the with tap water, and tossed them in the back of someone's pick-up truck to haul to the finish. Luckily, I managed to bum half a bottle of Powerade at the finish from a spectator or fellow racer's SO...God bless you whoever you are.

To the OP, I'm the same way about finishing as you...I'll finish if I can or, in the case of a crit, unless an official tells me to DNF because I'm lapped/out of contention...I figure it's my job to keep my foot in the gas. That being said, I definitely would have found taking the short road home tempting in this case even in the absence of the motorcycle crash.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I should have posted this thread on the racing forum instead of general from the start, thanks for all the responses. To jtolleson the georgiacup.com website shows the topo, Woody Gap is climbed twice and the course leading to Woody is quite hilly , accounting for the 9000 foot gain. To magnolialover I can see your point about cutting your losses if racing at the pro level but at the cat 5 level and in my case not having done enough races to be jaded there is no way I would voluntarily abandon the race.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
494 Posts
Whining about the race here won't do you any good. If you have problems with it, email the promoter from www.georgiacup.org.

BTW, I heard later that the motorcycle rider died. The women's race was also stopped. After standing around for over 30 minutes, they opted as a group not to continue and to take their placings where they were stopped. It was hot, and they were out of water.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
3,140 Posts
Its not just cutting your losses

The promoter may not have had the resources to follow the folks that did get through and get the race safe enough for the following riders that got caught. Really once your out of the field you out of the race and not protected by the rolling enclosure and should obey the rules of the road. Its sucks that happened but since races are run on open roads you will have incidents like this occasionally.

Mag is not jaded it just makes good sense to cut your losses when you are no longer in contention. Really once you outside the money/points placings you not racing for anything at all unless its a TT and you are going for you PR or benchmark. If you wish to continue riding hard you can, just don't really expect the the race org will keep carful track of your or your placeing. I can't count the times I have been around the officals listening to some guy argue that he got 33rd not 35th really it does not matter. Unless I finish top 10 (or where ever the money stops) I don't even bother looking for the results theres not point really. All that said I am not ripping on you at all when I started racing I wanted to know where I placed all the time too it took me a while to figure out that after a certian placing the rest of the results did not matter, thats just the way it is in road racing.


newfield said:
I should have posted this thread on the racing forum instead of general from the start, thanks for all the responses. To jtolleson the georgiacup.com website shows the topo, Woody Gap is climbed twice and the course leading to Woody is quite hilly , accounting for the 9000 foot gain. To magnolialover I can see your point about cutting your losses if racing at the pro level but at the cat 5 level and in my case not having done enough races to be jaded there is no way I would voluntarily abandon the race.
 

· Lexicon Devil
Joined
·
964 Posts
Doctor Who said:
Barring a crash, injury or mechanical, I'll finish any race that I started. I too, am sometimes flummoxed by those people who DNF out of a race once they realize that they aren't in the running for a podium place. We're all amateurs here - we could benefit from riding our bikes at the level of intensity that is only found in fast group-rides, and well, races.

Sure, if you're dead-last and you're way off the back, then I can understand rolling out of a race. But dropping out 'cause you missed the break? Go ahead and finish the damn thing and get some miles in. You've already woken up dead-early on a Sunday morning and bagged out of going to the bar with your friends, driven 50 miles and handed over $20 to the promoter - why not just finish the race and at least be glad that you didn't pack it in.

Of course, things change if you're rolling in an organized team effort. But if your A-Man is up the road and your job as a pseudo-domestique/blocker is done, what's the point of quitting?
Just to clarify - I was speaking more of the racing around my neck of the woods, rather than hitting the points made by the OP. Basically, my input into this discussion is pretty much worthless. :)
 

· Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
We were not pulled from the race, it was voluntary. My complaint is that I entered the race to compete against riders of similar ability and most dropped out before the final mountain climb, which is the only thing I do well. Coming from mountain bike racing the fitness level of road racers is much higher , to call cat 5's beginners is laughable but unfortunately for me that is the lowest class. Everything is relative Mr. Mojo, so telling me to look into the MS150 is like me telling you to quit racing since you'll never turn pro.
 
1 - 20 of 44 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top