First Road Race...

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by SIDIscarpe4, Apr 19, 2005.

  1. SIDIscarpe4

    SIDIscarpe4 New Member

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    Ok, so a buddy of mine is big into mountain biking and knows I just got a road bike, and he really wants me to go with him to a race. There is a road race/mtn/criterium race here in WI on the weekend of May 7th. The road course is a 32 mile 'loop', I have no idea about the hills or anything like that. I have never done a race before and the longest ride I've gone on so far was approx. 20-25 miles. I'm in good shape, being a competitive swimmer here at my college, but I'm not real strong in the leg dept.

    So really I'm just curious if you guys have any tips/advice on what I could do to prepare and what I can do in the race as to not be one of those annoying newbs who gets in all the pro's ways, and also be semi competitive.

    thanks a lot,
    Josh
     
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  2. rolfdevinci

    rolfdevinci New Member

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    From one newbie to another I`ll throw in my 2 cents. Did my first race last summer which was a rolling 28K loop. I had been doing fast training rides with the club prior to that but realized I was really nothing but pack fill. My objectives were to ride hard, go after a PB over the race distance(84K) and to finish. No DNF. Oh yeah...most importantly. To have fun! :D

    Gotta tell you when the Men`s Master A and B cats left the start line with about 68 riders it was pretty impressive. I was in the middle and the colors and sounds of the peleton was pretty cool.

    As for getting in the way of the pros don`t worry to much about it. When the course hits the first big hill usually the fast guys are off the front and the pack thins out. I got dropped on the first big climb when I got caught behind a slower rider. As he struggled to find the right gearing the pack sped up the outside and I was trapped. Spent the rest of the race chasing solo or with smaller groups of riders.

    All I can suggest is to find the wheel of an experienced rider , especially if you know him, and hold it as long as you can. Make sure you are in the right gearing for climbing as you approach the hill so you are ready to respond to any attack.

    Finally a good course of action is to show up early and drive the course noting the climbs, condition of the pavement and any obstacles ie: railway tracks or bridges. If it is being held close to home go out the week before and actually ride the course. Do a little recon...knowing that there is a false flat on the climb beforehand or that a stretch of roadway is wet first thing in the day because of runoff may come in handy. At least it will limit surprises.

    Bottom line is have fun. Enjoy.
     
  3. TrekDedicated

    TrekDedicated New Member

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    For your very first race, really no tips.

    Just go with an open mind, be smart, be safe, and have the time of your life.

    After you get the hang of things, you'll learn from past races and then tips will actually make sense.

    Racing is so much fun!

    GOOD LUCK!
     
  4. insung

    insung New Member

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    It's great you're trying your hand at racing. Since you're just starting, you and your friend will be racing Cat 5 so you don't have to worry about getting in the way of the pros. Since you only have a couple weeks to prepare yourself for your first race, here's a couple things you can do before the race:

    1. Ride with a large group. Find a local club ride and ride in the pack so that you're comfortable in a group. You've got to learn to ride smooth and steady in a pack for your safety and the safety of others, especially in a criterium where its almost always bunched up. I've seen too many crashes in Cat 5 caused by inexperienced riders making sudden turns.

    2. Interval training. Find a flat open road and from a rolling start ride 80% of your max speed for 10 seconds. Roll easy for 2-3 minutes then repeat. Do this for about 5 times to build up your legs. You should find a more detailed description online.

    3. Watch and learn. If you can find an experienced racer that you can ask questions and get tips from, that will help tremendously. If you don't have that option, watch the pros on OLN or dvd. You can learn some things just by watching. Plus you'll get yourself inspired to race.

    Like others mentioned, have fun, but be safe. Racing is a great motivator to train (especially those early cold mornings).
     
  5. RC2

    RC2 New Member

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    Ride the course in advance.
     
  6. SIDIscarpe4

    SIDIscarpe4 New Member

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    Alright thanks for all the info guys I really appreciate it. With my class schedule the way it is, I don't think I'll be able to ride the course in advance. However, I'm planning on goin' out on a longer ride this weekend sometime, but I have a slight knee bursitis so we'll see how that goes. My cardio is up pretty well as I've been running and doing offseason conditioning for swimming, I'm just a little worried about the legs makin' it the whole way. Any training advice for on the bike to condition my legs a little more?

    again thanks for all the info,
    Josh
     
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