Completed first Crit - please beat me up
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 34
  1. #1
    Pay heed people
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    545

    Completed first Crit - please beat me up

    A quick back story - I'm very new to cycling having just started my 3rd season. I got into it as my son started showing an interest with the intent of getting more fit and having something to do as a family. Right after getting into it (like 2 weeks after getting our bikes) we were in the Pyrenees on vacation as we saw a training day and the last part of a TdF segment in 2012. This motivated my son and I to the point where he has declared he wants to ride pro and do the TdF. He's now 9 and has gotten pretty serious. He's on his 3rd bike (since he keeps out growing his) and his first official road bike (a woman's Bianchi since it fits him and will hold some resale value).

    Anyway, that back story aside, I also got very motivated. I began doing group rides and everyone kept telling me I was riding WAY better than I should given my lack of wheel time. I rode my first century 6 weeks after returning from France and another only 4 weeks later. The beginning of the next season, I did a Fondo of sorts - a 65 mile timed "compete against yourself" ride and did quite well (finished in the top 100 out of 1500 riders).

    In the past 2.5 years, I've done a consistently high number of group rides in varying size and difficulty including moderate hammer fests and quickly-paced road rides.

    I decided to try my hand at racing and just raced a local crit this past weekend. I had been moving pretty quickly, doing some serious interval work, and my weight is down 10 pounds from this time last year (5'10", 157lbs - age 37). I did have a pretty wicked crash on a group ride about 6 weeks ago which had me pretty shaken up.

    I took the field this weekend with 19 others in the Cat Vs - some VERY experienced guys (1 guy is a cat 2 Cross racer), and a young guy (15). The weather did NOT cooperate and there was heavy rain. The roads were very slick. At the start, I maintained a position at the front of the pack for the first 2 corners. On the 3rd corner, the young guy cut me off really bad and threw me out of line. My back tire slipped on the wet road and I promptly got spit out the back. On the first friggin lap.

    I'm pretty sure I over reacted due to my shell shock from my previous wreck, but he did cut me off pretty bad.

    Not wanting to quit in front of my kid, I held on behind the pack but was eventually lapped. They did not pull me - the ref kept yelling encouragements instead. I stayed out of the way of the pack when they picked a line for their corners so I wasn't really a safety issue.

    I did finish, DFL of course. But, I pushed through as hard as I could and did not attempt to grab the pack after they lapped me (I'm not clear if that would have been bad form).

    Here's where I have some questions -

    First - Should I try again? There were some guys that DNF'ed but they did that to themselves. I've already registered for another race this Friday (another crit with a lot of the same guys).

    Second - my training rides preparing for this have involved me doing some hill interval training - max efforts for 2-3 minutes followed by rest followed by moderate, then max, rinse, repeat. Also, I've done a few mock crits where I pick a lap around my neighborhood where I go as hard as I can for 30 minutes surging at stop lights and around corners. All of which, I've been watching water intake, heart rate, and to a lesser extent, speed. Other than getting into more group rides, what else would you suggest?

    Third - About holding with the pack. I feel confident that I'm not going to crash and in general, I'm not too worried other than for the other guys that would be impacted (I'd HATE to cause a wreck). Is there a tip that could help me stick with them but keep from having a repeat of last time?

    Fourth - There were a few points, since I went out at 100% the whole time (no drafting) that I thought I was going to straight up die. I have a very high HR as it is (Lactic threshold over 180 and max over 210, but I've had this checked in a stress test and with a cardio specialist and I'm all clear). What kinds of mid-race side effects have you had from oxygen debt and how long was your recovery?

    Sorry for the VERY long post.

    Cheers!

  2. #2
    banned
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    8,105
    As life is short and time is precious, I had to skim your thread.

    But I still feel like I can offer some advice. Get back in the saddle and race again. Nobody gets out there and kicks butt on their first try. Everyone has bad races. There's no better way to improve than to keep at it.

  3. #3
    festina lente
    Reputation: runabike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    512
    Absolutely, definitely, 100% go race again.

    Crit racing is a SKILL. You can be a very, very strong cyclist and still get spit out the back of a crit because there are so many aspects to the race that you simply don't do that often in regular training rides.

    EVERYBODY gets dropped and lapped at some point or another if you keep racing up the categories. Absolutely do not let that discourage you. The cool thing about bike races is that there's generally another one coming up very soon.

    The straight up dying feeling isn't that uncommon. Getting that blood taste and drooling all over yourself and feeling like you're about to vomit and maybe some tunnel vision... these feelings happen from time to time, doesn't matter if you're a cat 5 or a 1 or a pro. A hard effort is a hard effort for everyone. Just manifests itself at different speeds.

    As for your questions, they can all be pretty much summed up with one piece of advice which you've already mentioned: go ride with the fastest groups you can find. You will simultaneously work on your fitness, your handling, your group riding (staying out of the wind), and your technical skills.

    Solo rides for the very motivated individual can get your fitness to where it needs to be to perform, but without the experience of riding in faster situations you might not be able to fully utilize that fitness.

    And for me personally, I hardly ever go as hard solo as I do in a race or group ride. That extra competition is precisely what I need to dig that little bit deeper, just like in a race.

    But absolutely do as many races and group rides as you can. You'll find yourself getting more and more comfortable with more and more situations and you'll be able to try different things and probably start enjoying the actual racing part a lot more. Good luck!

  4. #4
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    133
    For sure try again. You will get there. Also every race is different, I did a 4/5 crit with 75 riders this Sunday and won (upgraded to 3 now). I almost felt bad for some of the 5's we lapped only 6 laps into the race, people were just getting spit out the back left and right. The field finished with something like 45 riders. A few weeks before that i did a crit where no one got lapped, no one crashed and no one could break away.

    In bike racing in general it's fairly easy to stay with a field that is maintaining a constant speed as long as you aren't in front doing all the work. The issue that arises is when there is a sudden acceleration, someone attacks, then the field responds and the slower riders get dumped out the back. I'd practice working on hard accelerations to jump back onto the back of a pack. Try to ride about 25 mph (normal group speed for a 4 or 5 crit i'd say give or take) then jump to 30+mph as fast as possible and hold it for 10 seconds. Once you hit the back of the pack you'll be safe again and can rest so dont really worry about thinking you could blow up to get back on. If you dont get back in the pack in the first 30 seconds of a mishap its probably not going to happen. If it's just a training crit sit out a lap jump back in and keep racing. You wont win but you can still ride and practice racing.

  5. #5
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: jspharmd's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    1,222
    Here is my thought on your race experience. It was your first race and you didn't crash! That is more than I can say. In my first two races guys went down right in front of me and I couldn't avoid them. Without knowing the details, I would say that you likely overreacted to the the other racer that "cut you off" and your reaction was likely related to the fact that you recently crashed and were nervous in this race. It is very easy to say that you are comfortable with your own bike handling, but for this to be true, you should be very comfortable riding in a close group (even with sketchy riders - in fact that is when you know you are comfortable).

    Definitely get back out there and race! Try crits, try road races, try time trials. The more you race, the more comfortable you will be in a group. Also, it is not clear what level riders are in your group ride, but this is a great place to work on handling and comfort in close proximity to other riders. I tell new guys on our team to practice cornering in the pack on the local Worlds ride. I tell them to practice jumping out front on this ride and see what corning is like without the group. Mostly, I'm just wanting them to get comfortable taking corners at near race speed. It helps with their confidence in races.

    The key is to race or simulate racing with other riders so you will feel more comfortable in a pack and cornering with a pack.

  6. #6
    Pay heed people
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    545
    Thanks guys for all the great tips and encouragement. I've paid for the registration fee for Friday's race, so as far as I'm concerned, I'll be racing again unless the world ends just slightly before the race.

    I did go out for a solo training ride yesterday and was feeling great! That is until I heard the unmistakable sound of carbon dragging concrete and I got a flat. And of course I had forgotten to put my bag back on my bike after the race. :-(

    Cheers!

  7. #7
    'brifter' is a lame word.
    Reputation: cxwrench's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    14,798
    Quote Originally Posted by Corenfa View Post
    Thanks guys for all the great tips and encouragement. I've paid for the registration fee for Friday's race, so as far as I'm concerned, I'll be racing again unless the world ends just slightly before the race.

    I did go out for a solo training ride yesterday and was feeling great! That is until I heard the unmistakable sound of carbon dragging concrete and I got a flat. And of course I had forgotten to put my bag back on my bike after the race. :-(

    Cheers!
    Carbon wheels?
    I work for some bike racers
    I've got some bikes, some guns,
    and a bunch of skateboards

  8. #8
    Pay heed people
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    545
    Yes. I have a pair of carbon clinchers and a pair of aluminum clinchers. I was riding the carbons on yesterday's ride.

  9. #9
    Pay heed people
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    545
    And yeah, I know the stigma associated with a MAMIL riding a carbon bike with carbon wheels when he hasn't even raced before...

    Not that I'm defending that, but it's a choice that I've made based on numerous factors.

  10. #10
    'brifter' is a lame word.
    Reputation: cxwrench's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    14,798
    Quote Originally Posted by Corenfa View Post
    Yes. I have a pair of carbon clinchers and a pair of aluminum clinchers. I was riding the carbons on yesterday's ride.
    Probably a good idea to get through your first season or so of racing w/ the aluminum wheels. You know what they (we) say...'only race what you can afford to replace'...
    I work for some bike racers
    I've got some bikes, some guns,
    and a bunch of skateboards

  11. #11
    Pay heed people
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    545
    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    Probably a good idea to get through your first season or so of racing w/ the aluminum wheels. You know what they (we) say...'only race what you can afford to replace'...
    That's probably a good idea. I did ride the carbons on the first crit, but I'm not opposed to riding the aluminums. Thankfully, Zipp does have a good crash replacement program that makes replacements relatively affordable, but factor that in with a new lid, new bar tape, possibly new bars and whatever else gets damaged, well...yeah. I'll probably race the aluminums (ROL Race SLs) this time.

  12. #12
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    133
    Deep carbon wheels will not really help you much in a crit anyway unless your plan is to ride up front and go off the front in a break away.

  13. #13
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    3,494
    My 2 cents...if you enjoy the experience then there is your answer whether to stay at it.

    What I find amazing about cycling is how one guy can crush souls doing an ITT or hill climb yet hang on for dear life in a criterium. The ability to go well beyond threshold (for various lengths of time) AND recover with enough time and energy to do it again and again is one of those gifts or abilities some have more than others. This works the other way as well. Case in point, a buddy of mine won one of the masters 24 hour mnt bike national champs. He is so much better conditioned for longer road races when it comes down to a situation where we are in a small break and have to contribute a lot of energy staying away. He can just sit under his threshold for much longer than I. On the flip side, I've ridden away from him and made many breaks this year in criteriums. Perhaps some of that is positioning but, there is definitely something to being able to go super threshold for how long it takes to decide the race.

    Another poster recommended doing other types of racing which I think is good advise. It's really difficult to understand what your strengths and limiters are but that's what you should do.

    Best of luck man!

  14. #14
    Pay heed people
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    545
    Quote Originally Posted by scooterman View Post
    Deep carbon wheels will not really help you much in a crit anyway unless your plan is to ride up front and go off the front in a break away.
    Wait - that was my plan! (JK. My plan was to finish and to do so with a pulse and walk out without aid).

    FWIW, they're not deep Zipps. I got the 303s since, based on info that I could glean as well as my few test rides of a few different profiles, they seemed to be the most versatile. Good for long rides (doing the STP in 2 weeks), reasonably good for moderately hilly terrain, and road races/rides. But yeah, I'm definitely going to use the Rols this weekend.

    That means that I'll have a pair of 303s in the wheel pit though... (I'll pay a guard).

  15. #15
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    3,494
    Quote Originally Posted by Corenfa View Post
    Wait - that was my plan! (JK. My plan was to finish and to do so with a pulse and walk out without aid).

    FWIW, they're not deep Zipps. I got the 303s since, based on info that I could glean as well as my few test rides of a few different profiles, they seemed to be the most versatile. Good for long rides (doing the STP in 2 weeks), reasonably good for moderately hilly terrain, and road races/rides. But yeah, I'm definitely going to use the Rols this weekend.

    That means that I'll have a pair of 303s in the wheel pit though... (I'll pay a guard).
    If you were a friend I would tell you to move beyond wasting time worrying about wheels. I'm not going to say it doesn't matter but, for the vast majority I think it doesn't matter enough to make a difference. Focus on the big ticket items first then maybe move to the smaller ones later. Or, if you have the cash and like the looks and feel then by all means ride what you want. Just don't fall into the trap thinking deep wheels will make the race for you.

  16. #16
    Pay heed people
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    545
    Quote Originally Posted by woodys737 View Post
    My 2 cents...if you enjoy the experience then there is your answer whether to stay at it.

    What I find amazing about cycling is how one guy can crush souls doing an ITT or hill climb yet hang on for dear life in a criterium. The ability to go well beyond threshold (for various lengths of time) AND recover with enough time and energy to do it again and again is one of those gifts or abilities some have more than others. This works the other way as well. Case in point, a buddy of mine won one of the masters 24 hour mnt bike national champs. He is so much better conditioned for longer road races when it comes down to a situation where we are in a small break and have to contribute a lot of energy staying away. He can just sit under his threshold for much longer than I. On the flip side, I've ridden away from him and made many breaks this year in criteriums. Perhaps some of that is positioning but, there is definitely something to being able to go super threshold for how long it takes to decide the race.

    Another poster recommended doing other types of racing which I think is good advise. It's really difficult to understand what your strengths and limiters are but that's what you should do.

    Best of luck man!
    Thanks!

    I know it sounds weird, but I can't seem to figure out what my strengths are. I'm not great at anything (though, I hope with more practice to change that). I can climb okay (never KOM, but usually in the top 10), but I blow up easily if I'm not careful. I sprint okay - again, never first across the line, but okay. I descend okay, but that rarely wins prizes and is lost to anyone who can out climb or out sprint me.

    There are many times where I start to feel really strong and then someone comes along and deflates me! I was hammering it up a nasty little hill on one of my training rides a couple weeks ago. It's about .5 miles at avg 7% and I was moving along at a consistent 15-16 MPH when some guy just FLEW past me. I had a little more to give, but nowhere NEAR what that guy could.

    I know the answer is - spend more time in the saddle. That's the plan. I'm just impatient and cranky.

  17. #17
    Pay heed people
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    545
    Quote Originally Posted by woodys737 View Post
    If you were a friend I would tell you to move beyond wasting time worrying about wheels. I'm not going to say it doesn't matter but, for the vast majority I think it doesn't matter enough to make a difference. Focus on the big ticket items first then maybe move to the smaller ones later. Or, if you have the cash and like the looks and feel then by all means ride what you want. Just don't fall into the trap thinking deep wheels will make the race for you.
    Don't worry, I'm not wrapped up in thinking that the gear will win the race for me. I've ridden with guys that hand me my butt on a junk yard salvaged fixie. One of mottos in life is that it's a poor craftsman who blames his tools.

    On the other hand, I personally like owning nice things and have some disposable income with which to afford them. I'm under no delusion that owning a particular set of wheels will win me a race.

    I will say that, using objective measurement, I have seen an increase in performance, but it's not the kind that would make a hill of beans difference in a crit.

    Cheers.

  18. #18
    Token Sprinter
    Reputation: RaptorTC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    644
    Just keep at it! Last year I got dropped in my first few cat 4 crits. Opened up this season with a 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 5th in collegiate B crits (essentially 3/4). Upgraded to collegiate A's (essentially P/1/2/3) and got pulled 12 minutes into my first crit, then 30 minutes into the next one. Kept working and managed to pull out a 7th in a local 1/2/3 crit before winning a cat 3 crit a few weeks ago. Definitely just keep on working and you'll definitely improve!

    As for carbon wheels, I'd recommend not racing them for a while, and even then picking and choosing which races get the carbons. I just got a set that I've been itching to race. Had them all mounted up for a race last Saturday when I got news that a teammate had just crashed and destroyed a 404 on Friday night in a 3/4 crit with a 70+ man field. I got 2nd thoughts and took my carbons off and threw the aluminium trainers back on for the race. Good thing I did, because a guy clipped a barrier right in front of me on lap 2 and I had nowhere to go so I had to ride straight into him. The aluminum wheels got knocked out of true as a result. The carbons might have survived, but its a risk I'm glad I didn't take.

  19. #19
    banned
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    8,105
    Quote Originally Posted by Corenfa View Post
    Thanks!

    I know it sounds weird, but I can't seem to figure out what my strengths are. I'm not great at anything (though, I hope with more practice to change that). I can climb okay (never KOM, but usually in the top 10), but I blow up easily if I'm not careful. I sprint okay - again, never first across the line, but okay. I descend okay, but that rarely wins prizes and is lost to anyone who can out climb or out sprint me.

    There are many times where I start to feel really strong and then someone comes along and deflates me! I was hammering it up a nasty little hill on one of my training rides a couple weeks ago. It's about .5 miles at avg 7% and I was moving along at a consistent 15-16 MPH when some guy just FLEW past me. I had a little more to give, but nowhere NEAR what that guy could.

    I know the answer is - spend more time in the saddle. That's the plan. I'm just impatient and cranky.
    This may not apply to you but a lot of people think they are sprinters. They think this because it is what they suck at the least, they have no TT skills, they cannot climb, and they cannot respond to repeated attacks. They think that if they can just make it to the sprint they just may have a chance!

    In other words, thinking one might be a sprinter is the default skillset. They are just going to sit in and wait for their chance at the end of the race then (hopefully) the magic will happen. It's the street fighting equivalent of "I don't know k'arate but I know c'razy!" -- a good way to get your ass kicked when the competition knows what they are doing.

    My advice to you is to identify your strengths and limiters.

  20. #20
    banned
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    8,105
    And I'll go against the grain here and say that you should race on your carbon wheels with your nicest bike. Ride it like you stole it. If you break it, so what.

  21. #21
    Pay heed people
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    545
    Quote Originally Posted by Local Hero View Post
    And I'll go against the grain here and say that you should race on your carbon wheels with your nicest bike. Ride it like you stole it. If you break it, so what.
    Good sir, I am quite fluent in the language of sarcasm.

  22. #22
    Pay heed people
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    545
    Quote Originally Posted by Local Hero View Post
    This may not apply to you but a lot of people think they are sprinters. They think this because it is what they suck at the least, they have no TT skills, they cannot climb, and they cannot respond to repeated attacks. They think that if they can just make it to the sprint they just may have a chance!

    In other words, thinking one might be a sprinter is the default skillset. They are just going to sit in and wait for their chance at the end of the race then (hopefully) the magic will happen. It's the street fighting equivalent of "I don't know k'arate but I know c'razy!" -- a good way to get your ass kicked when the competition knows what they are doing.

    My advice to you is to identify your strengths and limiters.

    Thanks. Yeah, I'm definitely NOT a sprinter. I may be some day, but right now, I'm just mediocre at best at everything. I want to find my strong areas so I can start to figure out how to best concentrate my efforts. My plan is to do some crits, roads, kermesses (kermessen?), and see how that works out.

  23. #23
    evs
    evs is offline
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: evs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    843
    Keep racing and gaining experience. Stay up front longer and longer. But it's different training and not having all those bodies around. That's why racing is good training. It can't be simulated no matter how hard you try. :-) Good Luck.
    'Over the Mountains Of the Moon, Down the Valley of the Shadow, Ride, Boldly Ride,' The Shade replied, - 'If you Seek for El Dorado!'

  24. #24
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    112
    If you don't have one, buy a power meter and study training with power. Just using the power meter for several weeks to record your rides and downloading the data to a good analysis site should help you understand some of your current strengths and weaknesses.

  25. #25
    festina lente
    Reputation: runabike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    512
    Quote Originally Posted by Corenfa View Post
    My plan is to do some crits, roads, kermesses (kermessen?), and see how that works out.

    Wait, are you in Belgium???

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Step 1 completed
    By takl23 in forum The Lounge
    Replies: 24
    Last Post: 02-08-2012, 07:24 AM
  2. NNC unit completed...
    By bmxhacksaw in forum The Lounge
    Replies: 31
    Last Post: 12-09-2009, 08:39 AM
  3. Cherry Pie Crit 2008 - my second crit...
    By Ramses in forum Beginner's Corner
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 02-02-2008, 11:55 AM
  4. How to not start a crit (or maybe HOW to starta crit)
    By Kram in forum Racing, Training, Nutrition, Triathlons
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 07-16-2007, 04:03 PM
  5. New Maasi completed
    By gizzard in forum Bikes, Frames and Forks
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 05-23-2007, 01:09 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT ROADBIKEREVIEW

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2020 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.