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Climbs like a sprinter...
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The Twilight Criterium in Boise, ID. I was in the Cat4/5 class and it was a 45 min. race. It was freaking hot!!! About 95 degrees. I vowed to myself to work harder than last week's crit. Last week I thought I was really working hard because I was at 105-107% of LTHR most of the time. Today I would have been very happy to have my HR at 107%. It was always around 110% and I saw it at 113% a few times.

Little mini breaks would try to start but they never got more than a ten yard or so gap and when they would start to go I would work my way up through the field and get on the tail end of them. Then I figured out I could hide in the middle of the group and basically coast down the whole front straight. After a few laps of that I got some legs back and with six laps to go I moved up the inside of the pack down the front straight into the #1 spot just as we got to the first corner. I held my line in the corner but I guess the guy in the #2 spot didn't expect me to be there because he dove into the corner and right into my back wheel. I heard things breaking (some of my spokes) and then a big crash (two guys went down). I stayed up but my wheel was rubbing my frame and slowing me down. I was just coasting to a stop and the peloton is freaking out on me - Hello, I can't go - I just kept a straight line until they all went around me. There was less than 8 laps left so I couldn't get a wheel and a free lap so I was done.

The thing that sucked was that the guy that hit me was the former Cat3 guy I ride with back home. Last week when he said that he had reclassified to Cat4 and that we would be in the same class in our crit he said "Don't crash me." I feel really bad. He broke his collar bone. I don't think I did anything wrong. I was ahead of him and holding my line and he ran into my back wheel but I've been pretty bummed out about it all evening.
 

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That sucks.

Did you raise your hand after the broken spokes thing and/or yell "something" (flat is for flats) so that the pack behind knew what was up?
 

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'brifter' is f'ing stupid
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bmxhacksaw said:
After a few laps of that I got some legs back and with six laps to go I moved up the inside of the pack down the front straight into the #1 spot just as we got to the first corner. I held my line in the corner but I guess the guy in the #2 spot didn't expect me to be there because he dove into the corner and right into my back wheel.
"just as we got to the first corner"...
does this mean you dive-bombed the corner and the rider that actually had the line turned into you because you weren't supposed to be there? maybe he rode the 'right' line and hit a later apex and contacted your wheel because you (on the inside) turned in early, hit an early apex and ended up coming across the road in front of him, actually taking out his front wheel instead of him hitting you?
of course i wasn't there, but it sounds like a classic case of a 4/5 racer trying to shove it up the inside, the only thing missing was the beginning racer battle cry of "inside inside inside!" if i'm wrong, i'm sorry...but really think about what happened, maybe talk to some other guys that were there. if what i'm thinking happened actually happened, take it as a learning experience and don't do it again.
 

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cxwrench said:
"just as we got to the first corner"...
does this mean you dive-bombed the corner and the rider that actually had the line turned into you because you weren't supposed to be there? maybe he rode the 'right' line and hit a later apex and contacted your wheel because you (on the inside) turned in early, hit an early apex and ended up coming across the road in front of him, actually taking out his front wheel instead of him hitting you?
of course i wasn't there, but it sounds like a classic case of a 4/5 racer trying to shove it up the inside, the only thing missing was the beginning racer battle cry of "inside inside inside!" if i'm wrong, i'm sorry...but really think about what happened, maybe talk to some other guys that were there. if what i'm thinking happened actually happened, take it as a learning experience and don't do it again.
Yup, sounds like Hacksaw "divebombed" the turn and took out the guys on the actual racing line, which is why I hate cat 5 and most cat 4 flat four corner crits. And to think that 90% of the time these guys think yelling "inside, inside, inside"! is somehow going to make it better that they are F'ing up and give them the right to ride a stupid line. Moral of the story: don't divebomb the inside of corners, stay on the racing line (enter wide, apex, exit) and when you see douch's divebombing the inside yell obsenities at them until they get the hint and stop doing it.... or wait until the big wreck happens and hope your not in it, then sprint! :thumbsup: Crits held on flat, wide courses are notorious for this kind of shenanigan, which is why many seasoned racers avoid them like the plague.


EDIT: Hacksaw, after a re-read it seems that you may or may not have been in the wrong here, I was'nt there so I cannot really say. However, it sounds like you made a typical "new guy" error, and learned the consequences of that error. While sneaking down the side of the pack is acceptable in crit racing you have to do it in a safe manner. BUT this rarely works and you found out the hard way why. You will need to get back onto the racing line as the corner approaches or else you will need to either slow way, way down to make the corner without affecting those on the right racing line going through the corner or cut everyone else off as you exit the corner. Rarely will anyone let someone back in the pack after they sneak down the inside to move up, so you will be forced to "divebomb" the inside, which F''s everyone else over as they try to ride at race speed into a corner and suddenly there is a guy crossing in front of them on a collision course because they took an extreme early apex instead of what the peloton is doing. This is inevitably slows everyone else down on every corner even more, is dangerous, and causes crashes. While the guy who crashed paid his money, pinned on a number, and should have known the risks it still sucks when new and unpredictable riders take you out. All I can tell is to learn from the experiene and not repeat it. This is a common thing in Cat 4, 5, and 4/5 crits where I race and one of the key reasons many want to get out of the 5's ASAP. This kind of thing rarely occurs in the higher cat's due to "self-regulation" of this type of behavior. Other than that I don't know what to tell you..
 

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hmmm

I second guessed my first response to hacksaw. I guess i'm not the only one who thinks you"dive bombed" the corner, by your description. Of course we didn't see anything and are totally wrong. I did base the response off a previous post of hacksaws claiming the other riders did not know how to ride the apex of a turn. FYI hacksaw, that technique is not used when 8 guys are going around a turn together. You MUST hold the line.
 

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Climbs like a sprinter...
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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Believe me, I've been replaying the scene over and over in my head. I am extremely bummed out that my friend crashed and broke his collar bone and the possibility that it was my fault. But I do not believe that I took a messed up line. I've been BMX racing since the 70's and rode gravity bikes at over 60 mph with guys inches from me in the 80's. I understand the concept of the racing line and hitting the apex. I did not sweep out across the faster racing line. The streets were one way streets three lanes wide so even being on the inside meant that you were way outside so it was not difficult to hold your line and hit the apex being on the inside. Besides, as it seems is the want per Cat4/5 we were going through the corners three and four wide all day long. The other thing is that because of my BMX racing experience I understand that the guy on the inside has two choices take the guy out or brake. It only took about four or five laps of my first crit last weekend to get tired of the idiot yelling "Inside!" behind me and realizing that I didn't need to accommodate him. If I had the choice of taking people out and braking I would brake. In this instance I felt I could safely take the corner and not alter other people's lines. I'm not saying that there is not the chance that I didn't blow it but I really don't think I did. I will, however, learn from this.
 

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I doubt you did anything wrong in the context of a 4/5 crit. On that course, at 4/5 speeds, there's no single "correct" line through turn 1. You guys probably could have rolled that 5 wide with no troubles.

While I hate guys moving up on the inside as much as anyone, it happens in every crit, at every level. I've seen Cat 1s that are worse at it than Cat 5s (unless the 5s have gotten worse since I played in that sandbox). Everyone is responsible for taking line that's safe in a group. You can't act as if you are the only guy taking the corner and then get pissed off because there are guys inside and outside of you.
 

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" I will, however, learn from this."

Thats all that you can do, don't beat yourself up, learn and move on. The bottom line is that bike racing is dangerous and you can be taken out in any race by a friend, teammate, or a total stranger while your doing everything exactly right... that's racing. You either sack up and deal with it or ride the rail trails and watch out for dogs and old lady joggers.
 

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Climbs like a sprinter...
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
pretender said:
I would try getting in touch with the guys who were actually involved in the crash.
I plan on writing a letter to him expressing my regret about the situation. Having said that - after another night of reflection and even with the notion that while I held my line and he is responsible for his line after surrendering a position I have to consider my lack of experience in crit racing and the other guy having a lot more experience and assume that I might have done something that I shouldn't have. I am extremely distraught and discouraged that I might have been the cause of harm to another rider. I'm pretty bummed out right now.
 

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Climbs like a sprinter...
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
iktome said:
I doubt you did anything wrong in the context of a 4/5 crit. On that course, at 4/5 speeds, there's no single "correct" line through turn 1. You guys probably could have rolled that 5 wide with no troubles.

While I hate guys moving up on the inside as much as anyone, it happens in every crit, at every level. I've seen Cat 1s that are worse at it than Cat 5s (unless the 5s have gotten worse since I played in that sandbox). Everyone is responsible for taking line that's safe in a group. You can't act as if you are the only guy taking the corner and then get pissed off because there are guys inside and outside of you.
So how exactly does one move up then? Every time I was on the outside I would get squeezed into the protruding curb on the back straight and the announcer's trailer on the front straight. You can't just muscle yourself up the middle can you?
 

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Definitely learn how to ride and how not to ride in a crit, but try not to beat yourself up too much. If you're in a mass start, there's always a risk of getting tangled up. Try not to beat yourself up too much since it could have easily been you getting crashed out due to someone's mistake.
 

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I race cars as well as bikes, and there is a certain etiquette to that kind of pass. If at the entry you are clearly visible to the other rider AND you have solid position (usually takes at least 3/4 bike overlap, or your front wheel is overlapping his), then you are entitled to the inside line, and the outside person must adjust slightly. However, cars have rear view mirrors to help prevent collisions. From the sound of it, you are both at fault. You took a dangerous position and the other rider didn't yield properly (maybe he couldn't have done so if other people were outside of him?). I've seen this all the time in auto racing.
 

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bmxhacksaw said:
So how exactly does one move up then? Every time I was on the outside I would get squeezed into the protruding curb on the back straight and the announcer's trailer on the front straight. You can't just muscle yourself up the middle can you?
Yes, you can just muscle yourself up the middle. Although, I'm not sure muscle is the right word. Moving up the middle is as much a learned art as anything... and exactly the kind of thing you can work on when just tooling around in the pack. Move up quickly into any space that opens in front of you (and there's actually a LOT of it in 4/5 races). Keep an eye on riders going into sweeping turns shoulder-to-shoulder as (in Cat 4/5) races they both tend to over-compensate and leave a lot of room between themselves on the exit, etc.

Also, I've found that it's much easier on the legs over the long haul to pass guys by carrying as much momentum through the exit of the turn than anywhere else. If you focus on working yourself to the best line possible through the critical turns and carry as much speed as is safe, you'll find yourself picking up a position or two without even really trying.

None of it is necessarily easy. Once you get the hang of it, the sport will be that much more exciting.

Crits are like crack. Once you really get into it, you'll never want to stop.
 

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bmxhacksaw said:
So how exactly does one move up then? Every time I was on the outside I would get squeezed into the protruding curb on the back straight and the announcer's trailer on the front straight. You can't just muscle yourself up the middle can you?
I'm not sure why you're asking me this, since my comment said nothing about moving up or not moving up.

There's a big difference between (a) moving up on the inside immediately before a turn, taking an early apex, and then sweeping the rest of the pack as you exit (which is what people are talking about here), and (b) the 517 other ways to move up in the field.

It's totally appropriate to move up on the inside, then re-establish position before the turn and take the same line as everyone else. If you know you're on the inside, you can take a tighter line through the turn, accelerate earlier, and move up that way. You can (and should) follow anyone else that moves up in a straight, or you can do that on your own. You can follow attacks or attack yourself.

But mostly, you specifically just need to relax and ride your bike. You were near a crash. You'll be near a lot more. You may or may not have had anything to do with the crash.
 

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'brifter' is f'ing stupid
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Creakyknees said:
if he hit your back wheel, it's his fault.
i think we all understand that...what we're saying is that the OP "may" have taken his front wheel out, thus making it the OP's fault. if the OP was doing the passing, this seems kind of obvious, unless he came through and then hit the brakes...then it would still be his fault...
 

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cxwrench said:
i think we all understand that...what we're saying is that the OP "may" have taken his front wheel out, thus making it the OP's fault. if the OP was doing the passing, this seems kind of obvious, unless he came through and then hit the brakes...then it would still be his fault...
he already addressed that. doesn't sound like it to me. sounds like a typical 4/5 crash.
 
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