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A friend wants me to go on a 33mi race with him on Sunday, just to see how I compare with the locals. I'm meeting him there an hour or so before, but have never raced before, and have only ridden with other cyclists two or three times. I can hold a line IMO as good as a cat5'er could, and I'm not too reckless.

Any tips for a starter-outer? (I'm worried about pacing, but not sure what else to be concerned about)

Race: http://www.wvucycling.com/Flyers/WVStage08.pdf (PAGE 4 & 5)
 

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Get a good warmup, including some hard efforts.

Try to stay with the group for the first six miles or so of uphill. Don't worry about pacing yourself, do whatever you can to stay with the main group. If you stay with them, move towards the front before the second substantial climb.
 

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lalahsghost said:
A friend wants me to go on a 33mi race with him on Sunday, just to see how I compare with the locals. I'm meeting him there an hour or so before, but have never raced before, and have only ridden with other cyclists two or three times. I can hold a line IMO as good as a cat5'er could, and I'm not too reckless.

Seriously, be careful. You will be riding in close quarters, which can be a bit unnerving if you are not experienced with it. Racing really isn't about "holding a line." I don't see much point in looking at the tactical aspect--- so I will focus on safety. Watch your front wheel--- anticipate speed changes (when people will slow down for a corner, or hill)--- don't worry about drafting closely downhill--- don't be unpredictable. I don't want to make it sound too extreme--- since it isn't that complicated.

BTW- that is quite a bit of elevation for such a short race. You will likely find yourself riding with a small group at some point in the race. Best tips--- have fun. Finish.
 

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Holy Schmidt! That's got some hills in it. In Creakyknees world, that's known as an "off weekend"

Have fun, ride your eyeballs out to not get dropped (but stay safe!). When/if you do get dropped, take a moment to recover, then see about finding a group to ride in with.
 

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Go mountain biking instead.
 

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lalahsghost said:
have never raced before, and have only ridden with other cyclists two or three times. I can hold a line IMO as good as a cat5'er could
If you've never raced before and have only ridden with other cyclists two or three times, how could you even know if you can hold a line as good [sic] as a cat5er?
 

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pretender said:
If you've never raced before and have only ridden with other cyclists two or three times, how could you even know if you can hold a line as good [sic] as a cat5er?
In fairness, its not exactly complicated to figure out whether or not you can hold a line.

Tips... hmmmm... don't crash, but also don't think about crashing or worry about crashing. Just kidding... sort of...

Don't forget to drink while you're racing, its easy to forget or be too afraid to reach for your bottle.
 

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PigmyRacer said:
In fairness, its not exactly complicated to figure out whether or not you can hold a line.
I disagree. You see plenty of people who think they ride fine, but are annoying (or even hazardous) to ride with. Pretty much anyone can "hold a line" under normal circumstances with no surprises. What about while taking a drink? Taking a look backwards? Or after pulling through and filtering back to the end of the line? Or what if the rider behind you touches your wheel? What about when you're super tired and starting to get tunnel vision.

If my original post didn't make it clear enough, I think two or three group rides is too few before entering a road race. There are other forms of bike racing (mtb, cx, time trial) where group riding skills aren't nearly as important. In those races, you're pretty much going to harm yourself if you screw up. In a road race, crit, or track race, you can easily hurt a bunch of other people if you screw up.
 

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pretender said:
Personally, I think two or three group rides is too few before entering a road race, if my original post didn't make it clear enough. There are other forms of bike racing (mtb, cx) where group riding skills aren't nearly as important.
I wasn't disagreeing or trying to sound argumentative.
 

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Don't worry. After five minutes you won't have to worry about crashing into other riders.
 

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PigmyRacer said:
Well if the organizers are letting him into the race maybe they deserve it.
huh?
to enter cat 5 the requirements are a heartbeat and a bike roughly resembling a road bike.
how exactly would they not let him into the race? have him miss the secret handshake?
 

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Way to boost the guy's confidence!
Seriously, after a point the cynism and snide arrogance get a bit stale.
The schtik is wearing a bit thin.
Good luck, you're a better man than I, Gunga Din!
 

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Climbers' race

Creakyknees said:
Holy Schmidt! That's got some hills in it. In Creakyknees world, that's known as an "off weekend"

Have fun, ride your eyeballs out to not get dropped (but stay safe!). When/if you do get dropped, take a moment to recover, then see about finding a group to ride in with.
I wonder how this perception varies by district. I'd call 70 ft/mile climbing a pretty normal road race (Pescadero, if you're in NorCal) and 110ft/mile (Patterson) a tough, hilly race. (And then there's University, which is like 130ft/mile.)
 

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In your first race, you will learn whether or not you love the ITT.
 

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CleavesF said:
In your first race, you will learn whether or not you love the ITT.
man, you guys are tough.
the world is full of stories of guys with no experience who ride off the front of their first race, as it is of guys who, well, don't.
you won't know until you try.
just be aware of your surroundings. remember that it isn't the mistake that causes the crash as much as the reaction to the mistake, so, just relax. try to see who looks smoother on the bike, and hang around that guy. watch what he does.
and, have fun. racing is war, but it is fun war.
 
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