My first err, um, race................

Discussion in 'Australia and New Zealand' started by flyingdutch, Mar 10, 2004.

  1. flyingdutch

    flyingdutch New Member

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    OK my first 'as promised race' last night.
    Kew boulevard loop run by the Hawthorn Cycling Club.
    Spoke to Ray Blucher at his shop to get the lowdown and signed up (lovely chap. one of those guys that genuinely oozes enthusiasm!).

    goals in order
    1 - not to crash
    2 - to finish
    3 - not get dropped
    oh well, 2 outta 3 aint bad, as the fat bloke sang.

    D-grade. 30 minutes plus 3 laps we are told by the starter.
    I start with the Dgrade crowd (i think they start 1 minute before the C's who go round at the same time).
    D's go forth up the hill and we all shuffle about and try and settle down on a wheel.
    There is a field of approx 20 in Dgrade
    (there were only 10ish last week and a few of the faces this week I recognise from last weeks C grade. just great!)
    We go around fro 3-4 laps and 'accordian' in and out like a caterpillar every time we hit the straights.
    The hill brings us all together. Not feeling too bad. Hey, maybe I can do this, me thinks.
    I look down. 6 minutes gone. oh boy!
    After about 5 laps Cgrade can be heard coming up behind, and wouldnt you know it but its as we approach the sharp U-turn.
    As we had all been lectured at the start to stick left and not 'hang-on' to C's, I sat up a bit. I was about 15th wheel in the D-line at that point.
    We go around the corner, Most of the D's are off and heading up the hill, Im hesitating making sure I make that corner smoothly and very left so as not to get shouted at, and that's all she wrote!!!
    Me and about 3 other D's are a good 200m off the lead pack now. Bugger. Point 3 in my plans failed

    Oh well, perhaps if we work together we can get them back (apologies for not knowing the lingo guys/gals).
    By the time we approach the Uturn again I realise they are pulling away. Nobody is helping and Im just pulling them along.
    Come on guys! Decision time. 10 minutes gone. 20+ to go. I step it up a few kph and 2 stay with me. Then one.
    Bugger! "Im stuffed", he says. "Let's just finish" i reply. I delude myself that if we keep to a pace we can slowly bring em back again.

    4-5 more laps the two of us go harder. We are only very slowly bringing them back. I can glimpse them every time we approach the Uturn.
    "Im gonna give it a spurt", I say back to the other guy as we round the Uturn and stomp up the hill. I reach the top and look down seeing I am doing 35kph up the hill.
    C grade seem to do that almost every lap, but I aint got too many of them in me. I look back to see how my mate is doing.
    He's gone!!! Bugger, bugger, bugger!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Im on my own. 18 minute mark. This aint fun anymore guys. come back and play with the rookie...
    Grind, grind. Go hard on the hill and try and hide from the southerly on the downhill.
    Many laps go by and I see nobody apart from a few guys who are warming up for A/B grade.
    Then I see them! about 5 D's are up ahead. for 3 laps I get nowhere.
    Who's idea was this? Oh yeah... mine!
    25 minutes gone. 2 more laps and I am within about 200m. Maybe I can do this after all.
    If only they would just momentarly ease up. with only a few minutes to go until the bell I knw that's not likely.
    I decide to see what I can make. 2 hard laps and Im within 100m. Im knackered!!!
    And then it happens...
    3 of them get dropped at the Uturn and are obviously spent.
    Adrenaline is a wonderful thing (why doesnt it come in a drink form???).
    I go hard again up the hill and get 1 one of the guys.
    the other 2 are trying to get back onto the others up ahead.
    C grade come past again and i think 2 of the stronger D's lap me.
    Oh well, Im not last i justify to myself.
    2 laps to go the marshall shouts out.
    cramping slightly in my left leg (its always my left. what's with that?????????)
    Im about 50m behind the D'ers. The others up ahead have gone. their race is just starting i guess...

    I pass the 2 going down the last hill.
    May as well have some fun! Im stomping just for the hell of it, cruise up the last hill and catch another D'er,
    the girl on the nice Paconi ( sad i know but this little black duck has some semblence of male pride )

    i roll over the finish line and nobody looks at me nd I start to panic there is one more lap!
    "What about D?" i say. "Youre finished". ........Relief.
    I turn around and go stand with the other D's. Some of them know each other but most of us just stand around awkwardly.

    So that was it. Roll back around the the bottom at the Uturn and the others I had passed are sitting to one side.
    I try and figure out what, if anything I jsut did.
    Im guessing i finished about 14th out of 20 which is reaaly crap but Im philosophical about it.
    I didnt fall
    I finished
    I got dropped. Man it must be so much easier riding in a pack. Mental note. try and hangon next time

    Great fun. Feel like a big kid. Shall be there next time, trying to learn a bit more.....

    The 'Not-so-FlyingDutchman':rolleyes:
     
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  2. jazmo

    jazmo New Member

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    Well done!!!!!!!!!

    By the sound of it, you would've been able to hang it with D grade had you not had that incident with the C graders.

    I reckon racing on that circuit gives you the best workout than any other race around. Pity about that sharp left which I'm always tentative about, it would be a perfect circuit if it didn't have that in it.
     
  3. Hitchy

    Hitchy New Member

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    G'day Dutch,

    show me a bloke who reckons he didn't get dropped in his first ever crit....& i'll show you a liar!.......I got lapped about 4 times on an 800m flat course. 4 weeks later I won!. Told ya you would learn more in one race than reading threads!.....keep at it, you'll get better each week, learn from whatever goes wrong & you'll get there,

    cheers,

    Hitchy
     
  4. flyingdutch

    flyingdutch New Member

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    Nice theory Hitch-man

    does that mean you expect me to win in the next few weeks???

    The pressure.............
    How about I just not get dropped???


    "We're just going to go out on the park , yer know, and give it a redhot go. At the end of the day , yer know, the team who has the most points on the board is the , yer know, winner and we just have to get all our plans in place to make sure that we can pull together and play as a team. We are just taking it one week at a time and nobody is thinking finals just yet. At the end of the day, yer know, Football will be the winner on the day"
     
  5. Hitchy

    Hitchy New Member

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    G'day,

    how 'bout don't get dropped next week, get done in a sprint for 3rd the week after, a place the week after that .......& then the sky's the limit!!!!...stick it out, it'll come,

    cheers,

    Hitchy
     
  6. hippy

    hippy New Member

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    Nice one dutchy!! :)
    You know you like it! :)

    All you gotta do is follow the bunch.. wheel sucking ain't evil I tells ya! :)

    I've gotta try this course out one day.. sounds like a nasty corner and my scabs are starting to heal...

    hippy
     
  7. hippy

    hippy New Member

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    Hitchy..

    What about a bloke who got lapped AND came 3rd in his first crit race? You can read all about the story of hippy, his evil down-tube shifting Skansen and scumbag sandbaggers here:

    3rd in 1st Crit

    Tiny: http://tinyurl.com/2mwh9

    hippy
    suffering post-race delusions...
     
  8. Jeff Jones

    Jeff Jones Guest

    "Hitchy" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > G'day Dutch,
    >
    > show me a bloke who reckons he didn't get dropped in his
    > first ever crit....& i'll show you a liar!.......I got
    > lapped about 4 times on an

    Pick me :) Admittedly, it was E grade at Heffron, which is
    not exactly the "deepest" grade and I think 5 starters
    generally constitutes the bunch. A friend and I decided to
    start racing (this was a looong time ago in the summer of
    '88-'89) so they stuck us both in E grade. There were three
    races on the day: he won the first and third, and I won the
    second one. We got put up to C grade after that :) And I
    can tell you it took many months and a lot of racing before
    the promotion to B grade, and many more before we got to A
    grade finally. I still hate crits with U-turns in them!

    Perserverance is the key in cycling. You'll get there
    (wherever that is) if you stick at it.

    cheers, Jeff
     
  9. flyingdutch

    flyingdutch New Member

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    definetely liaring! :D :D :D

    I jokingly asked at he signup if they had an Egrade. no such luck Im afraid.

    Cant wait till next week now...

    Occurred to me last night that this was the first sporting thing I have ever done as an individual. Having spent my yewf from 12-to-32 playing baseball, from T-ball to representing Oz.
    Totally different obviously but the thing that got me was how 'true' cycling racing is. Nobody to carry you if you aint hitting the ball well, or backing you up.
    Just you and a bike (and the wind, the hills, and the ... )
     
  10. hippy

    hippy New Member

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    >Originally posted by flyingdutch
    >definetely liaring! :D :D :D

    :p

    >Totally different obviously but the thing that got me was >how 'true' cycling racing is. Nobody to carry you if you aint >hitting the ball well, or backing you up.

    Until you start making friends and can work as a team to take other riders apart or drag your sprinters up the hills, etc. :)

    hippy
     
  11. flyingdutch

    flyingdutch New Member

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    yeah, I see now how people comment that cycling is rather unapproachable. a tad clique, but Im just a greenhorn with hairy legs at the moment!

    They could really do to introduce some form of 'buddy' system perhaps? Ray was really good but he couldnt really help me once we got going and was rather busy help organise everything before/after to chat. I think my heartrate was probably 30% higher before starting out of shere anxiety I was doing the right thing and not knowing was kinda stressful

    Speaking of hairy legs, when does one get 'worthy' enough to do so and/or do I need/want to do it ?
     
  12. hippy

    hippy New Member

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    >Originally posted by flyingdutch
    >yeah, I see now how people comment that cycling
    >is rather unapproachable. a tad clique, but Im just
    >a greenhorn with hairy legs at the moment!

    Nah man, it's so true! Unless you start as a junior
    or have exceptional talent, starting to race is just
    plain hard. There are no rules until you are yelled
    at, you don't have a coach going "good try, maybe
    do <this> next time", etc.
    I am still feeling out of my depth and still learning
    new 'rules' and techniques every race and I've
    been doing it on and off for ~3 years...

    >They could really do to introduce some form of
    >'buddy' system perhaps?

    Yeah, but the fast guys don't have time for the
    slow guys, it's hard to match abilities and many
    things that happen in racing just can't be
    replicated in "training". Racing really is the best
    form of training.
    But, just having someone to show you the ropes
    like some of the juniors seem to have would be
    great - maybe more people would keep racing?

    >I think my heartrate was probably 30% higher
    >before starting out of shere anxiety I was doing
    >the right thing and not knowing was kinda stressful

    I still get crazy nervous before a lot of races and
    even training rides. I think it's because I spent so
    long riding on the flat and alone that bunches and
    hills scare me bigtime...

    >Speaking of hairy legs, when does one get 'worthy'
    >enough to do so and/or do I need/want to do it ?

    Worthy? Meh! If you wanna do it, do it. I thought I'd
    try and it's strange cold feeling.. then I let them grow
    and didn't care and now I've shaved again and with
    my track scabs it's growing again..
    I tend to shave when I start riding more 'seriously',
    if I ever ride seriously :)
     
  13. flyingdutch

    flyingdutch New Member

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    I only flt like i was 'On' going up to bat in baseball if I had 'stomach-butterflies'...

    advice needed. what kinda lead up do you do?
    Is it your hardest ride of the week?
    Do you taper up to it in some way?
    how far out do you eat/not eat?
    How much do you warm up beforehand?
    Go easy the following few days?

    Im stuck in an office at the mo so anything I can gleen from you lads would be appreciated until I canget out on Sunday am to ride
     
  14. hippy

    hippy New Member

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    >Originally posted by flyingdutch
    >advice needed. what kinda lead up do you do?

    You mean like warmup? or training?
    Warmup for METEC for me is bugger all because
    I'm always running late. 2k ride from home to the
    circuit usually. Not optimal at all.
    Glelvale on Sundays is better as it's a 20k ride
    to the course before the race.
    I initially couldn't fathom riding to/from races but
    20 easy k's seems like nothing compared to a
    race. I won my first race killing myself just to get
    there on time - different things work depending
    on how much 'juice' you've got in your legs. The
    more you ride/race the longer you will last and
    the more you can race with perhaps less recovery
    time needed.

    >Is it your hardest ride of the week?

    Glenvale (sun) and METEC (Thu) would be the
    two hardest rides of the week as they are races.
    But then I also get cained going over the
    mountain on Wed nights - depends on how I feel
    as to how hard I ride on the training rides.
    Track training is fairly intense but can't be classed
    as 'hard' because I was never recovered before
    doing it so couldn't go "flat out" even if I wanted
    to.

    >Do you taper up to it in some way?

    Other than the fact that I've basically stopped
    bike commuting (just recently), I don't have a
    taper as such. Maybe for bigger races I would
    take it easier in the few days prior, but certainly
    not the mid-week crit stuff.

    >how far out do you eat/not eat?

    For crits, I don't eat right beforehand, the
    intensity is usually enough to prompt some
    regurgitation, if you know what i mean!
    Depending on your own digestive system, give
    yourself 2-3 hours without food before a race.
    Drink water and maybe carbo drink if you think
    you are short on energy. Just before longer
    races people tend to have a small, high GI
    intake, e.g a gel or something. But for crits
    that is not necessary IMHO.

    >How much do you warm up beforehand?

    Anything from "not at all" to "1.5 hrs riding
    to circuit then riding around, building up pace
    towards the start so HR is high near start"

    >Go easy the following few days?

    If you can have time off the bike, great. I'm
    trying to fit in as much as possible and I'm
    sure my recovery suffers a bit, but that's why
    I've stopped commuting, at least until I get
    back into the groove...

    >Im stuck in an office at the mo so anything I can

    Me too.

    >gleen from you lads would be appreciated until I
    >can get out on Sunday am to ride.

    Always willing to help. Don't take what I say
    as gospel though, nor anyone else, only you
    know what works on race day and prior...
    Experimentation is the key - that's where you
    get used to not winning races :)

    hippy
     
  15. flyingdutch

    flyingdutch New Member

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    >> "Experimentation is the key
    >> - that's where you get used to not winning races "


    check! got that one down pat!!

    One last one hipster. Got (just little ones but woulda got worse if not we ran out of laps).
    Wot's causing me to cramp? (how's that for open-ended?)

    Got em with a lap to go on Wed and on the alpine classic too

    I suspected on the AC it was cos I got too cold descending Falls without pedalling much
    But I have been getting the twinges more often recently

    Im fairly religious about my riding positin after years of tweaking and Im strting to suspect that my seat is a few mill's too low.
    Only shows itself on longer or harder rides

    I am also guilty of being a 'toe-pointer'.
    IE toe is too downwards a couple of people have mentioned over the years

    any ideas

    (PS whattya do that allows you to surf this much?)
     
  16. hippy

    hippy New Member

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    >Wot's causing me to cramp? (how's that for open-ended?)

    This topic is done ALL the time on heaps of forums.
    From _my_ research and trials I found the following:

    Drinking large amounts of bourbon and coke the
    night before a ride is not good if you don't rehydrate.

    Drinking coffee all week is not too good either.
    Though, apparently, if you are a regular coffee
    drinker, dehydration is not an issue as your body
    makes up for the caffeine's diuretic effect.

    Taking in insufficient amounts of magnesium,
    potassium and other electrolytes is not good.
    Make sure your diet includes them.

    Lack of sleep is one thing I noticed increases
    cramping. This is why the bourbon-fueled, all
    nighters aren't so good pre-race.

    >I suspected on the AC it was cos I got too cold
    >descending Falls without pedalling much

    You should always try to pedal on descents,
    especially long ones, otherwise you stiffen up
    (your legs! mind out of the gutter!) and can't
    power up as quick. Just soft pedal down hills.

    >Im fairly religious about my riding positin after years
    >of tweaking and Im strting to suspect that my seat is
    >a few mill's too low.

    That's an interesting call. I don't reckon I'd notice
    a few mil difference. I think my seat can go up a
    bit at the moment.

    >Only shows itself on longer or harder rides

    That's probably because your body is already low
    in electrolytes and water and longer/harder rides
    just exacerbate this situation. More water and
    more sleep. I don't drink coffee any more but I
    also don't often drink sports drinks. Water is much
    cheaper! I'll usually mix up a gatorade after a long
    ride, but I drink water on the ride. Cleaner bidons
    too. :)

    >I am also guilty of being a 'toe-pointer'.
    >IE toe is too downwards a couple of people have
    >mentioned over the years

    Huh? Never heard of this. Extending the toes
    would mean your seat should be higher maybe?
    None of this should have anything to do with
    cramping though.
    Try the more water, more electrolytes, more sleep
    method.

    >(PS whattya do that allows you to surf this much?)

    Don't sleep much and I'm on a computer all day so I
    just do a little multi-tasking when I'm waiting for
    something else to finish running..
    What about you? You reply pretty quick (and bloody
    often! ;))
     
  17. flyingdutch

    flyingdutch New Member

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    Work on a computer (PC bluuurgh!) and hate my job!

    but I lurv ridin...

    the toe-pointing theory is cos I think i might be not using the lower part of my legs properly due to foot angle and I feel sometimes like Im pulling up with my hammies too much when tired or climbing alot

    NOT THE COFFEE?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

    youre scaring me man. I am seriously addicted altho i suspect does 'bung' me up a bit (dont ask) and it does seem to encourage rather 'turbo-like' side affects
    5 cups a day. take the wife, take anything. just not the coffee...

    I have shed 10kilos in the last 6-9 months and so have slowly dropped alot a crap out of my diet, but the coffee???

    The few mills for my seat is a tweak. i only ever move it a bit at a time otherwise it feels like Im on someone else's bike
     
  18. RideToEat

    RideToEat New Member

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    Well done mate. gotta say I was impressed. I was riding in the C grade bunch, in the front, the back, the front again, till 25 minutes into it I just got spat out the back, and pulled out. So I was standing there talking to Ray when I saw you finish, cramping (was that you?). Good job.

    You should come riding in the Mascot bunch on Saturday mornings if you can. Leaves Mascot Cycles, Bridge rd Richmond at 7 am, slow to Blackrock, fast to Mordialloc, stop for a whiz and a chat, then medium-fast back to Richmond. It's good training cos if you can do that ride, you can race, except in racing you don't need to be polite about pushing in or letting people in.

    For shaving legs - do it when you want to. No-one will say you're not worthy.

    Come up and say g'day if you see me. I'll be in C grade with the Blucher bike with a strange mix of blue, white and yellow, and "odd" tyres.

    Cheers
    Ben

    PS Buddy system sounds like a good idea. Might be a good excuse to ride D grade, rather than riding C grade and never finishing!!
     
  19. Andrew Swan

    Andrew Swan Guest

    flyingdutch wrote:
    > advice needed
    Advice given (below). Just remember that you paid nothing
    for it! :)

    > what kinda lead up do you do? Is it your hardest ride of
    > the week?
    Always. With my part-Scottish blood, I feel that after
    spending $10 to enter, I'm going to go as hard as I can to
    win. You don't want to finish and think, "ehh, I could have
    done better if I'd gone harder". Unless you win, of course,
    in which case it doesn't matter!

    > Do you taper up to it in some way?
    Not for weekly races, because it messes with your training
    too much, but yes for more significant races (or long slogs
    like the Alpine Classic). It's a trade-off between results
    in the short term and condition in the long term. It's
    amazing how many people race (or train hard/long) the day
    before an important ride, because they always do that ride
    on that day, then wonder why they didn't perform when it
    counted...

    > how far out do you eat/not eat?
    My club races at 2:30, so I make sure to finish my lunch by
    12:30. Eat too late and you can feel it sitting in your
    gullet ready for an encore (especially if you're inclined
    to get pumped/nervous just before the start), eat too early
    and you run a lesser risk of starting to feel hungry again
    before the race is over. You never want to feel hungry on
    the bike, either racing, training, or whatever. Touring in
    Japan once, I ran out of food and (shortly thereafter)
    blood sugar on a longish climb up a freeway in the rain,
    and by the time I got to the top I was cranky, cold,
    irritable, cursing everyone and everything, and ready to
    eat a sumo wrestler's jockstrap. Fortunately I found a
    roadhouse selling a nice hot chicken curry instead. With a
    full belly, the world was a rosier place, and I was quite
    happy to go back out into the rain again and start enjoying
    my holiday again.

    > How much do you warm up beforehand?
    I ride about 3.5km to the course, staying on the 42T ring
    and spinning lightly. I do a couple of laps (total 4km)
    gradually bringing the HR up to 150 (about 82% of my max,
    i.e. not too hard and below racing levels). Then I spend a
    few minutes stretching quads, hammies, and calves. If you're
    cramping, try this yourself if you're not already. Hold each
    stretch for about 30 sec, don't bounce, and don't go to the
    point of pain. I think some people don't warm up even this
    much, on the basis that they can warm up in the bunch during
    the first few laps. The wisdom of this depends on the
    likelihood of a successful break being made during that
    time, which in turn depends on the bunch size, the course
    layout, the wind conditions, etc. Certainly if you're
    struggling to hold onto the bunch even when there's no break
    on, it stands to reason that you should already be loose and
    warm when the gun goes.

    > Go easy the following few days?
    Some races really wipe you out, and easy spinning is all you
    can do. I found this to start with, but once you build a bit
    more condition, you'll be able to go for an easy spin the
    next day or even a training ride. Some people race both days
    of the weekend, but that would take even more conditioning
    (or maybe they treat one of the races as a learning/social
    exercise, who knows). In fact I met one guy whose total
    riding for the week consists of a race on Saturday and a
    race on Sunday!

    Hope these ramblings of a relatively inexperienced C-grader
    are useful...

    Cheers,

    &roo

    P.S. You've asked good questions and are obviously keen
    to learn - why not borrow some books from the
    library, google(tm) for race tips, or even (gulp)
    buy a book or two? You can find stuff in 2nd-hand
    shops if you're not prepared to pay RRP.
     
  20. On Mon, 15 Mar 2004 19:48:20 +1100, Andrew Swan
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >flyingdutch wrote:
    >> advice needed
    >Advice given (below). Just remember that you paid nothing
    >for it! :)

    <good advice snipped>

    Sometimes the A-graders get it wrong.

    Conversation on a Wednesday morning.

    "So, Brad, how did the race go yesterday?"

    "It went great for about ten minutes. I was with Tiggs and
    Hilton. Then I pulled over and chucked my guts up."

    "Something you ate?"

    "Nah. It was the training ride before the race."

    "So ... er ... what? A warmup?"

    "Not really. We did 240 something Ks through the Dandenongs
    at an average of 34 km/h. Then we rode to the race."

    "OK. Um. Overdid it a bit, eh?"

    "Probably."

    --
    Regards. Richard.
     
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