Body Protection for Road Racing & Crits

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by CDR114, Sep 6, 2007.

  1. CDR114

    CDR114 New Member

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    Back in July, I had a major crash during a crit which resulted in an four day hospital stay for a collapsed lung and broken rib and I also sustained a shoulder injury that will result in surgery in early October. The race was my 10th as a CAT V and was my first on a rain slick course. I am 52 years old and was finally becoming competitive, finishing the previous two crits in the the top ten and was third with two laps remaining when I crashed. The crash was my fault as I applied to much power during a turn. The problem and question is what to do about my racing future. I am receiving a lot of pressure from my employer and my spouse about not racing again. The question is: Does anybody wear mountain bike body protection (either pressure suits or body armor) for road racing and crits? It would appear that if I had protective padding, I would not have suffered any substantial injuries! Any comments would be appreciated.
     
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  2. JAPANic

    JAPANic New Member

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    Take up MTB racing then. Wearing all that stuff won't help you on a road bike race.
    You'll have to ask yourself. Why do I race? Is it worth it? I've been in 2 big crashes, both not my fault...luckily no broken bones. If I were to miss work due to a crash I'd have to probably give it up.
    Cat5 is probably always going to be dangerous.

    How about race from the front and if you get over taken decide to come last and keep away from everybody? Play a game with your self to see how long you can stay out in front. You don't have to race to win. Be the peleton puller. You'll make a lot of friends doing that.
     
  3. iliveonnitro

    iliveonnitro New Member

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    Considering you're strong enough in the cat5 races, I would just play it safe until you can upgrade to cat4. Actually, you are at 10 races, so you can upgrade to cat4. At least the probability of having a complete moron racing is somewhat lower in cat4 than it is in cat5...these are usually the people causing numerous accidents every race. You don't win anything in cat5, anyways.

    Don't race in the rain anymore and start practicing your bike handling skills?
     
  4. USCswimming

    USCswimming New Member

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    That is an excellent statement. I went out and dropped the hammer on my first 2 Cat 5 races and placed top 5 both times and felt great about it. I learned all I needed to know about winning by completely messing up at the finish both times. I started my sprint to late, than started way to early.

    Well my 3rd race came along and SPLAT. I got taken out about 10 minutes into the race. I didnt go down super hard but enough to scare me for about 3 months. Plus the $1000 it cost me to replace my front fork and front wheel didnt help either.

    I didn't race for 3 months but than got my confidence back and entered a road race. Well I didnt care to win but just to finish in one piece. I went out and avoided atleast 5-10 crashes over the next 3 races. I absolutely HATE doing this because I am all about competition but I just want to get to the 4's in one piece.

    Honestly its all about getting out of the 5's in one piece. That has been my goal in the second half of the season. This is pretty good advice for any new 5's racer.

    Good luck in the 4's. I will be there next year.
     
  5. Alex Simmons

    Alex Simmons Member

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    That's tough. Do you live to work or work to live? Crashes happen in crits at all levels. Maybe consider time trialling.
     
  6. BeeGuy

    BeeGuy New Member

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    One, don't race crits in the rain. Even if you're great at handling your bike, there will be folks in Cat 5 and Cat 4 who aren't, especially in the rain. It also helps to be strong and ride in the first 5-10 wheels to avoid crashes and actually be a player in the race. With time and experience you'll also learn how to fall better...
     
  7. Bigbananabike

    Bigbananabike Member

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    ===========================================================
    Sorry to read this. I hope your shoulder surgery goes well.
    If I were you I wouldn't be racing crits. I gave them up years ago as being too dangerous(especially in the rain).
    I only race road courses now.
    You could wear a thinner form of elbow and shoulder protection which wouldn't be a hinderance to movement or feel uncomfortable and have them under a longsleeved jersey. Perhaps have them sewn into a favourite jersey. The next step could be a thin back protector sewn in too.
    Shoulders are a favourite joint to get smashed on a crash:eek: .
    I still think you would've done you rib/lung in with armour on. Generally MTB downhill armour doesn't have a lot of chest protection and a hard fall will momentarily deform part of the chest and so crack a rib etc.
    Happy and safe riding, Paul :)
     
  8. CDR114

    CDR114 New Member

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    Thanks to all for the feedback. I think for next year I will only race time trials. Especially since I will have to work hard to get back in shape after months of no race training (right now per Dr's orders, I can ride but I am not allowed to put any pressure on my shoulder, only steering inputs from that side). If all goes well, I will rethink the issue. Definitely no rain racing. I am not sure I will ever agressively ride in the wet again. I have had numerous other riders comment favorably on my dry road riding skills, however it seems riding in the wet throws all things out the window. It seems too unpredictable!
     
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