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  1. #26
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    Here's a story of a couple that took it up and fell in love with crit racing as well:

    Fasturdays: The Ultimate Cycling Road Trip | Bicycling
    Every climb has its end, for verily with difficulty there is relief...

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by arai_speed View Post
    You imagine correctly. The crits in my area are mostly flat but a quick search shows a few. One called Rock Hill in SC and how could I forget, Laguna Seca, just to name a couple.
    I've raced in Rock Hill before. I forget if it was that course or another in the area, but there was one Crit I refused to finish due to how dangerous the course was- I witnessed 3 crashes and almost crashed myself when I hit a small patch of gravel at 45 mph in the middle of the pack while on a downhill curve. I'm glad I didn't try to participate in the final sprint, because there were two separate large crashes in the last 500m, both of which sent riders to the hospital and broke about $20,000 of equipment in just a few seconds.

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by TDFbound View Post
    I've raced in Rock Hill before. I forget if it was that course or another in the area, but there was one Crit I refused to finish due to how dangerous the course was- I witnessed 3 crashes and almost crashed myself when I hit a small patch of gravel at 45 mph in the middle of the pack while on a downhill curve. I'm glad I didn't try to participate in the final sprint, because there were two separate large crashes in the last 500m, both of which sent riders to the hospital and broke about $20,000 of equipment in just a few seconds.
    Why are you trying to scare Rashadabd?

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by arai_speed View Post
    Why are you trying to scare Rashadabd?
    Exactly dude?!?! I thought we were boys, lol.
    Every climb has its end, for verily with difficulty there is relief...

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rashadabd View Post
    Exactly dude?!?! I thought we were boys, lol.
    lol I should note that this was my singular negative racing experience out of the ones I have done.

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodys737 View Post
    I certainly don't want to give the impression there is not an increased risk while racing a bike, however I disagree. People seem to not give any thought to group rides or even riding around on roads solo. Which one has more associated risk? No clue. Just have my experience to draw from. I usually enter 30-40 races a year. The vast majority are sanctioned. All 11 broken ribs, clavicle, punctured lungs, 1 hit and run by a car, concussions came from group rides, unsanctioned events or riding solo. While I have crashed in races luckily just came out with some road rash.

    I honestly feel that grouping riders more closely by ability and to a lessor degree age reduces risk. Now take that group and put them on a closed course and the safety just went up again.
    I think you're missing a few factors.

    -Not many, if any, group rides are 20 miles of laps where anyone cares about fighting for position in corners.

    -Testosterone and competitive nature. Yeah, it happens on group rides but too but with nothing on the line it's easy to convince one's self to not go near said cement head.

    -Grouping people by ability may reduce risk but Cat. 5 isn't grouping people by ability. It's grouping them by how many sanctioned races they've done. I've seen guys with the bike handling, fitness and race feel to be cat 3 no problem and guys who just got a bike yesterday (so to speak) in cat 5. The worse combination is cat 3 legs with cat 7 race feel and bike handling ability. Living in a college city where a lot of great athletes don't play their sport in college so take up bike racing instead I saw a lot of that in cat 5.

    To a certain extent, unfortunately, that was me in my first few races. I picked up bike racing coming from hockey so could hang with pretty much anyone for a short period (had the speed but not the endurance) but didn't have a clue. And while I certainly didn't consider intentionally laying someone out that mentality carried over from hockey and likely influenced my actions.
    I won my first race fairly easy and thought I had it all figured out. Turns out it was just a pretty weak field and I was a bit of a horror show in the next few where I could hang in the thick of it but didn't have a clue what I was doing.

    On the other hand there are guys who have been riding for decades and/or racing mountain bikes who enter cat 5 and are model racers right off the bat.

    And I get that it's human nature to lose a bit of objectivity when supporting what one does but implying that riding out of one's driveway might be statistically more dangerous than racing crits crosses the line to absurd.
    Last edited by Jay Strongbow; 1 Week Ago at 02:54 AM.

  7. #32
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    OQ by Jay Strongbow...I think you're missing a few factors.

    -Not many, if any, group rides are 20 miles of laps where anyone cares about fighting for position in corners.
    Totally not my experience here in Arizona. Gainey Thursday is a prime example especially when heavy hitters like Eric Marcotte show up (most weeks) and other strong men. It's a ride where the meat of the ride is 5 short (4 min tops) climbs but they are all up then down the same road. Fast descents followed by fast corners followed by another VO2max climb within a minute or two descent. Position is everything. Especially with such a wide variability of riders if not near the front you're closing needless gaps and having to work way harder. With EM on the front or McNulty or...bye bye. Yes you could just chill in the back and ride whatever pace you want but, that is why we all show up at 5:30am. A number of other rides are similar.

    OQ by Jay Strongbow...-Testosterone and competitive nature. Yeah, it happens on group rides but too but with nothing on the line it's easy to convince one's self to not go near said cement head.
    There really nothing on the line in races either though. I see (as in observe) virtually no difference between "fast" group rides and races. Sorry man but, the rides like the shootout in Tucson are all about going hard. Those that don't know what's up may view "it" as testosterone filled riding but, it's more a training thing from my experience. Same with a number of rides here in Phoenix...and Socal. You are correct in a sense that it's easier to fade off the back if it's getting sketchy. But, truthfully, I do the same thing in races as there is nothing on the line for me. Yeah I'd like to win/podium but, not worth unnecessary risk. And that is where I think the line is blurry.

    OQ by Jay Stronbow...-Grouping people by ability may reduce risk but Cat. 5 isn't grouping people by ability. It's grouping them by how many sanctioned races they've done. I've seen guys with the bike handling, fitness and race feel to be cat 3 no problem and guys who just got a bike yesterday (so to speak) in cat 5. The worse combination is cat 3 legs with cat 7 race feel and bike handling ability. Living in a college city where a lot of great athletes don't play their sport in college so take up bike racing instead I saw a lot of that in cat 5.

    To a certain extent, unfortunately, that was me in my first few races. I picked up bike racing coming from hockey so could hang with pretty much anyone for a short period (had the speed but not the endurance) but didn't have a clue. And while I certainly didn't consider intentionally laying someone out that mentality carried over from hockey and likely influenced my actions.
    I won my first race fairly easy and thought I had it all figured out. Turns out it was just a pretty weak field and I was a bit of a horror show in the next few where I could hang in the thick of it but didn't have a clue what I was doing.

    On the other hand there are guys who have been riding for decades and/or racing mountain bikes who enter cat 5 and are model racers right off the bat.
    Group rides can have everything and more was the point. That's really not safer than a cat X race. Ever. Things tend to get separated pretty early on rides that are anchored by some accomplished riders I'll give you that. But at least in a race they sort of start out there from the get go.

    OQ by Jay Strongbow...And I get that it's human nature to lose a bit of objectivity when supporting what one does but implying that riding out of one's driveway might be statistically more dangerous than racing crits crosses the line to absurd.
    Getting hit by a car is absurd. Been there done that. A really fun hit and run. Truthfully, something has changed in the area where I ride. Maybe it's me getting older. But bs. The number of aggressive or drivers not paying attention here in Phoenix is way up. So many reports of accidents and even deaths each year. Yeah not all the fault of cars but, never have I thought about until recently. So yeah I think riding on roads (at least around here) is far more dangerous than any race. This is all bs as we need to come to some agreement on what dangerous is. More or less I really trust most of the guys I race against. Not perfect but, it's more predictable than the open road. My opinion of coarse.

  8. #33
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    I'm from Boston and the term "group ride" has a completely different meaning to me. The goal is go as fast as possible AS A GROUP meaning working for, not against, each other with the exception of town line sprints and breaking up on climbs.

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    I'm from Boston and the term "group ride" has a completely different meaning to me. The goal is go as fast as possible AS A GROUP meaning working for, not against, each other with the exception of town line sprints and breaking up on climbs.
    There are ABC rides out here where the B and C do stick together through thick and thin. One guy gets a flat and everyone stops. The A rides or the Shootout or BOS and many others that are not technically ABC rides pretty much do the opposite of what you all do. That is it goes as fast as the fastest guy (group/break) can go then goes even harder on climbs. The only regrouping is at known stops. It's really interesting when Silber, Jellybelly, Chad Beyer, Travis McCabe, EM, McNulty and others show up. It's just flat out from the get go for most of us.

    ...

  10. #35
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    Clearly the type of group ride in your area is going to influence your view.

    Like Woody mentioned, here in Southern California, we have group rides that are really training rides. You get a flat, blow up, etc, you are on your own and nobody is gonna wait for you. Then we have a few crit style rides that go around a loop. Check out a few seconds of the video below for a local group ride and tell me if you see much difference between this and a race?


    https://youtu.be/fV5AD79425c?t=1m33s


    Lastly, we have fun, social group rides w/regroup points etc.

    My group riding is mostly in the first 2 so maybe my views on the dangers of group rides and racing is jaded.

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    I'm from Boston and the term "group ride" has a completely different meaning to me. The goal is go as fast as possible AS A GROUP meaning working for, not against, each other with the exception of town line sprints and breaking up on climbs.
    That's not how group rides are where I'm at. Dominate the sprints, blow people up on the climbs, and slowly tail them off whenever possible every where else.

    No one cares about how fast a group goes. I'm not sure I've ever thought about that. No group mentality in bike racing or group rides where I'm at.

  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by pedalbiker View Post
    That's not how group rides are where I'm at. Dominate the sprints, blow people up on the climbs, and slowly tail them off whenever possible every where else.

    No one cares about how fast a group goes. I'm not sure I've ever thought about that. No group mentality in bike racing or group rides where I'm at.
    We have those around here too. I shouldn't have implied we don't. I just tend to not go to those and wasn't thinking of them when replying. I used to attend those and still do once in a blue moom, but beating the same guys up the same hill, or trying to, got old pretty fast and I find team work a lot more fun now.
    And from a training perspective, I'm naturally really good at sprints and short efforts but long sustained fast but steady efforts I need to work at so a steady pace line helps me more I think. These are drop rides but people get dropped off the back though attrition not because they weren't ready for a sprint right after they did a long pull and stuff like that. I do race shortish races but it's not a big priority for me.

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