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I raced today (report to come). I race cat 4/5.

There was a guy who had moved up on the left of the pack. I was sitting with my front wheel about even with his back wheel. He pointed to the rear wheel of the rider in front of me to indicate he wanted to move in. Silently, I called BS and moved up to establish my position on the wheel. My opinion is: this is a race not a Sunday group ride. I am not going to make it easier for someone on another team by giving way to a wheel.

Is my attitude out of line?
 

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Certainly not out of line...

dirtydownOR said:
I raced today (report to come). I race cat 4/5.

There was a guy who had moved up on the left of the pack. I was sitting with my front wheel about even with his back wheel. He pointed to the rear wheel of the rider in front of me to indicate he wanted to move in. Silently, I called BS and moved up to establish my position on the wheel. My opinion is: this is a race not a Sunday group ride. I am not going to make it easier for someone on another team by giving way to a wheel.

Is my attitude out of line?
Within the war that is a bike race there are constant battles for position. Everyone wants to move up and stay in the draft. There's no reason to give any gifts to a rider that means nothing to you. OTOH, I might offer it to someone I knew well, a teammate, or some huge smooth rider who will be better to draft anyway.

If you have nothing to gain from it...make him earn it.
 

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dirtydownOR said:
I raced today (report to come). I race cat 4/5.

There was a guy who had moved up on the left of the pack. I was sitting with my front wheel about even with his back wheel. He pointed to the rear wheel of the rider in front of me to indicate he wanted to move in. Silently, I called BS and moved up to establish my position on the wheel. My opinion is: this is a race not a Sunday group ride. I am not going to make it easier for someone on another team by giving way to a wheel.

Is my attitude out of line?
It depends where you are in a race.... if you're in a crit, make him earn it. If your'e on mile 10 of a 50 mile road race then sheesh...just let 'em in already. Choose your battles and this isn't one of them. IMO, of course.
 

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depends but...

Yes it may depend... But remember, you are out to have fun and you are racing 4/5's. If the 4/5's are cuttroat then begginers aren't going to want to race, and then you have no new people racing, then after awhile you have no racers or races.
 

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The Human G-Nome said:
It depends where you are in a race.... if you're in a crit, make him earn it. If your'e on mile 10 of a 50 mile road race then sheesh...just let 'em in already. Choose your battles and this isn't one of them. IMO, of course.
Your response didn't influence me. It actually moved me back to my original response. I don't know if I am trying to influence you or still trying to convince myself that I was not out of line.

We were at about 27 miles into a 44 mile circuit. The pack was still together. I was progressively moving up and didn't want to move back. We were also climbing and I didn't want to ease up on my momentum. We were headed into a descent that ended in technical turn. I have a very high level in my ability in descending turns. I don't have a lot of confidence in other riders.

I guess the bottom line is: In a race situation, I am highly resistance to taking instructions from competing riders when I can't see any obvious advantage for me. I am not really an *ss. I just play one for races.
 

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sunnysideup said:
Yes it may depend... But remember, you are out to have fun and you are racing 4/5's. If the 4/5's are cuttroat then begginers aren't going to want to race, and then you have no new people racing, then after awhile you have no racers or races.
OK. That response is more appealing to my fun nature. I do need to remember that.

Speaking of beginners. There was a kid riding on an old bike with Carhart work jeans and a fleece pullover. It was great. He hung in there to the end. Eventhough, he kept dropping his chain when he shifted to the small ring.
 

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ORdirtydown said:
Your response didn't influence me. It actually moved me back to my original response. I don't know if I am trying to influence you or still trying to convince myself that I was not out of line.

We were at about 27 miles into a 44 mile circuit. The pack was still together. I was progressively moving up and didn't want to move back. We were also climbing and I didn't want to ease up on my momentum. We were headed into a descent that ended in technical turn. I have a very high level in my ability in descending turns. I don't have a lot of confidence in other riders.

I guess the bottom line is: In a race situation, I am highly resistance to taking instructions from competing riders when I can't see any obvious advantage for me. I am not really an *ss. I just play one for races.
To put it in simplest terms, you're racing the 4/5s. This is only about fun. Do whatever the heck you want to do because it makes no difference either way.
 

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Banana Belt

ORdirtydown said:
OK. That response is more appealing to my fun nature. I do need to remember that.

Speaking of beginners. There was a kid riding on an old bike with Carhart work jeans and a fleece pullover. It was great. He hung in there to the end. Eventhough, he kept dropping his chain when he shifted to the small ring.
Now I know that you were talking about the Banana Belt. That guy raced last year also... or someone with nearly the same outfit.
 

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ORdirtydown said:
I ended up blowing up on the final lap and he went on to take 2nd or 3rd.

I am persuaded by the fun factor reasoning. I need to lighten up. It might make racing more fun for me.
Dude, it was halfway in a long race. Giving up one spot now won't make a hill of beans in the end.

If it were the last few laps of a crit and someone did that to me, that's a different story!

Mike
 

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Good chance to make an ally in the field. You never know who you might be working with in a break. If someone let me in, I would look to reward them likewise. Of course, not in the last mile before the sprint- but otherwise "come on in". Additionally, that gets me one extra turn before my pull. Everyone wins!

Caveat- Super Shaky Man gets to go to the back. But pointing out the spot prior to coming over signals experienced rider to me.
 

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Agreed, depends on where you are in the race.

If you are in the last couple of miles, you are smart to hold your spot. Also, if an attack or shuffle is going on then I would forceably hold the spot if it is a wheel you were comfortable following that was in a good spot.

If it was early in a race why take the risk of wrecking, spots are easy to come by. Especially in Cat 4/5. I race Cat 4/5 and masters. It's a lot tougher finding a hole in the masters crowd than in the 4/5 races. In Cat 4/5 you can always find someone that will back off when you make a hole for yourself. In masters I have been forced into the gravel more than once when trying to make a hole for myself.

The rider signaling intent is fine. Good way to tell the bike in back what you are going to do at noncritical points in the race. Why risk a wreck when you don't need to. Sliding along the pavement hurts.
 

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dirtydownOR said:
I raced today (report to come). I race cat 4/5.

There was a guy who had moved up on the left of the pack. I was sitting with my front wheel about even with his back wheel. He pointed to the rear wheel of the rider in front of me to indicate he wanted to move in. Silently, I called BS and moved up to establish my position on the wheel. My opinion is: this is a race not a Sunday group ride. I am not going to make it easier for someone on another team by giving way to a wheel.

Is my attitude out of line?

I don't think your attitude is out of line, but you may want to rethink your positioning to keep this from happening again. From your description, you say you had to move up to establish your position on the wheel in front of you. Guys that are moving up along the sides are always going to look for the easiest wheel to steal away when they want back in. If you leave them a gap to the wheel in front of you, they're going to take it from you.

If you hold tight to that wheel and don't budge, they'll look for an easier target. If he was more aggressive and wanted that wheel, he could have just forced his way over without motioning to you that he wanted in. If you leave enough of a gap that when he comes over, your bars are behind his hips, you've got no choices but to back off or to crash over his rear wheel. If you stay up tight on the wheel in front of you, when someone comes over on you, you can push back with your elbows and shoulders and lean into them.

IMHO, keeping a gap to a minimum is safer for the bunch since you aren't giving the false impression that you are going to let someone in, then slamming the door shut on them.
 

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TWD said:
I don't think your attitude is out of line, but you may want to rethink your positioning to keep this from happening again. From your description, you say you had to move up to establish your position on the wheel in front of you. Guys that are moving up along the sides are always going to look for the easiest wheel to steal away when they want back in. If you leave them a gap to the wheel in front of you, they're going to take it from you.

If you hold tight to that wheel and don't budge, they'll look for an easier target. If he was more aggressive and wanted that wheel, he could have just forced his way over without motioning to you that he wanted in. If you leave enough of a gap that when he comes over, your bars are behind his hips, you've got no choices but to back off or to crash over his rear wheel. If you stay up tight on the wheel in front of you, when someone comes over on you, you can push back with your elbows and shoulders and lean into them.

IMHO, keeping a gap to a minimum is safer for the bunch since you aren't giving the false impression that you are going to let someone in, then slamming the door shut on them.
Very good points! When all is said and done, if someone wants in and they have any skill, they're getting in whether you like it or not short of your elbow or shoulder.
 

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The Human G-Nome said:
Very good points! When all is said and done, if someone wants in and they have any skill, they're getting in whether you like it or not short of your elbow or shoulder.
Hell, some of them are going to get in regardless of elbow or shoulder!

I know I've moved some people off wheels before. All it really takes is more confidence than the guy you are moving.

MOST* people I've met will give way if you really push the issue. *not everyone will move. You'll just have to figure out who will and won't by trying to move them.

Mike
 

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I think that the people above have given lots of good advice that makes sense to neophyte moi, including that, if your front is even with his rear, he's at an advantage, and if he wanted to move over and block you out, you probably were going to have to let it happen or you were going down. So, in that sense, pointing did you a favor.
I've also done what you've done, too, though, because I'm learning, just like you, and I wanted to practice some assertiveness myself in the pack. I have let in guys who were going into the gutter if I didn't let them in, but I'm not inclined to give up a wheel to a total stranger just because a guy points. If you did that too much, that's all you'd do. I'm not smart enough to sort out the difference between when it would help me and when it wouldn't. The trick, I guess, is to get yourself a wheel and stick tight enough to where you're not even vulnerable to the request.
I don't think it's a d*ck move, if that's what you're asking. Under similar circumstances, if the roles were reversed, I like to think that I would be more philosophical about not getting let in than to go out of my way to get back at someone who didn't let me in when I pointed.
 

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bill said:
I think that the people above have given lots of good advice that makes sense to neophyte moi, including that, if your front is even with his rear, he's at an advantage, and if he wanted to move over and block you out, you probably were going to have to let it happen or you were going down. So, in that sense, pointing did you a favor.
I've also done what you've done, too, though, because I'm learning, just like you, and I wanted to practice some assertiveness myself in the pack. I have let in guys who were going into the gutter if I didn't let them in, but I'm not inclined to give up a wheel to a total stranger just because a guy points. If you did that too much, that's all you'd do. I'm not smart enough to sort out the difference between when it would help me and when it wouldn't. The trick, I guess, is to get yourself a wheel and stick tight enough to where you're not even vulnerable to the request.
I don't think it's a d*ck move, if that's what you're asking. Under similar circumstances, if the roles were reversed, I like to think that I would be more philosophical about not getting let in than to go out of my way to get back at someone who didn't let me in when I pointed.
Not that anyone needs to substitute my judgement for your own, but I'd say the general rule of thumb should be:

If letting the rider in gives him/her no real advantage and at the same time gives you no real disadvantage, then let him in. If you can make a case for either then attempt to keep him out. Someone with more experience is obviously going to have a better idea of when to let the rider in. Cat 4s/5s are notorious for just letting the rider cut in.... not so easy in other Cats.
 

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gap

If there was a big enough gap between your wheel and the person's in front of you, then you should have let him in or you should have never let the gap form.

For those that say Cat 4/5 is just for fun and doesn't matter, I disagree. It is getting experience, learning the rules of racing and paying your dues. It is no less of a race for the beginner than a Cat 1 race is for a more experienced racer.

When it comes down to the reason most people race, it is just for fun. Most people that are racing Cat 1 or 2 aren't making money from it, an occasional race win or placing but they still would have a hard time making back all the race fees they have paid to get to where they are. Even if they have a small sponsorship they aren't going to break even for all the money they have put out over the years.
 

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I have to respectfully disagree

mtpisgah said:
If there was a big enough gap between your wheel and the person's in front of you, then you should have let him in or you should have never let the gap form.

For those that say Cat 4/5 is just for fun and doesn't matter, I disagree. It is getting experience, learning the rules of racing and paying your dues. It is no less of a race for the beginner than a Cat 1 race is for a more experienced racer.

When it comes down to the reason most people race, it is just for fun. Most people that are racing Cat 1 or 2 aren't making money from it, an occasional race win or placing but they still would have a hard time making back all the race fees they have paid to get to where they are. Even if they have a small sponsorship they aren't going to break even for all the money they have put out over the years.
A 4/5 can get away with being a casual rider. There is nothing casual about a Cat2, about his/her training, about the races, anything. They say that when most racers are able to make it to 2, your relationship (if you had one) disintegrates. Of course this is the rule and there are plenty of exceptions, but if you have a job AND are racing the Pro/1/2s, there's a fair chance you're neglecting lots in your life. And just what is the percentage of Cat 4/5s who will actually ever have the opportunity to race in the Pro/1/2s someday? Very small.

And as far as what matters.... well, realistically, the only person who really, truly cares whether you got a 4th place or a 12th place at your local crit is you. Sure, friends and family and significant others will cheer you on, but in the end you're only doing this for yourself. In conclusion, yes, it's ALL just for fun unless a dissappointing result in a race means your team manager or your sponsors are upset with you.
 

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Well...

The Human G-Nome said:
A 4/5 can get away with being a casual rider. There is nothing casual about a Cat2, about his/her training, about the races, anything. They say that when most racers are able to make it to 2, your relationship (if you had one) disintegrates. Of course this is the rule and there are plenty of exceptions, but if you have a job AND are racing the Pro/1/2s, there's a fair chance you're neglecting lots in your life. And just what is the percentage of Cat 4/5s who will actually ever have the opportunity to race in the Pro/1/2s someday? Very small.


My point is, that everyone started at a Cat 5 unless they managed to sneak into a 4 race. Cat 4 and 5 are competitive because that is where people are starting and working their way up by way of the rules.

You could have someone that is a very experienced rider and trains with racers all the time but does not race. He is going to have an advantage going into a Cat 5 race. Then you have your casual rider go do a Cat 5 race with the experienced guy, it is going to be a hard race to the casual guy. Proportionally speaking, the casual rider is going to work his butt off to stay in the pack. A Cat 2 is going to have to work his butt off to stay with the Pro/1s.

Is racing Pro/1/2 harder? Yes. But does it mean that someone racing 4/5 isn't working hard, no.
 
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