View Full Version : Racing advice for my friend who's just starting

01-22-2006, 07:22 AM
My friend just got a license cause a few people he thinks know what they're talking about told him he ought to try it.

What nugget of wisdom would you impart, ye guru types?

Other than these from various sources:

- "Don't"
- "If you're going to crash, try not to take anyone with you."
- "Stay near the front, so the people that fall over are behind you."
- "Stay near the back so you don't get run over by the fast guys."
- "Stay near the white line, if you get pushed out you're in the ditch, not in oncoming traffic and besides it always gets wider and everybody's bunched at the yellow line so you can get up front easier."
- "If you've got too much speed in a corner just go straight."
- "Go in a straight line and don't use your brakes to slow down."

01-22-2006, 07:31 AM
- Get out of the 5's as quickly as is safely possible
- Remember you are NOT going to be the next Boonen/Mcwen, so no funny stuff. We all have to go to work on Monday.
- Work as little as possible, until you understand the dynamic and what is involved. Then work only as much as you need to.

01-22-2006, 09:16 AM

Just go ride and pay attention to what is going on around you.

After you do a couple you'll have questions of your own.

Then go ask your questions to a few older guys who are not so full of themselves that they confuse their own speed for any kind of brains at all...

01-22-2006, 09:18 AM
1. watch the elastic
2. keep mouth shut
3. keep eyes open
4. keep mouth open to breath thru

01-22-2006, 11:02 AM
never overlap wheels

always leave an escape route

do lots of club rides/races

don't be afraid to take wind, its usually the safest place and it will make you stronger

focus and use all of your senses

listen to the little voice

never sprint for 14th

top priority, go home with all parts intact

01-22-2006, 05:29 PM
bro I like this one keep mouth shut that is the hard one i.m.h.o. cheers :beer: forget everything after the race

01-22-2006, 10:48 PM
- Get out of the 5's as quickly as is safely possible

I hear this advice a lot but I haven't found the 4's to be any safer than the 5's, in fact the opposite. I started last year and did some 5-only crits as well as 4/5 races which were mostly 4s. The 4's seemed to think they were hotter **** and were more aggressive and less predictable, had the same range of bike handling skills, and there were more crashes. I think the better advice would be to get out of the 4's as quickly as possible... but thats not as easy and frankly I don't think the average adult with a job, family or both has the time to be a 3 unless they have a lot of natural talent. Just my experience in one season though and maybe there are regional differences too.

PS I just re-read your post and you didn't say why you suggest getting out of the 5's but I assumed it was for safety reasons....sorry if I misinterpreted.

01-22-2006, 10:56 PM
Nope, you hit it on the head.

I'm not saying 4's are the pro's as far as safety, by any means. You have people that are fresh out of 5's, but you also have guys, that like you said, can ride a bike well, but have commitments that keep them from pushing towards a 3.

5's, you're still getting guys in flat pedals or showing up with aero bars that have never ridden a race and think it's the same as an MS ride.

We're saying the same thing, just differently... :beer:

01-23-2006, 12:18 AM
5's, you're still getting guys in flat pedals or showing up with aero bars that have never ridden a race and think it's the same as an MS ride.

Yeah, we agree. But you can usually spot those people early and avoid them. :beer:

Talk about mp... jump into a "paceline" of ex tri guys and soccer dads doing an MS ride with aero bars angled like a 747 at liftoff... There are more dangerous organized events out there involving a bicycle than a cat 5 race!

andy mac
01-23-2006, 06:59 AM
don't go see the ex-dr. from phonak.

01-23-2006, 07:38 AM
bro The 3's ain't that much better a least the ones I race in i.m.h.o. cheers

01-23-2006, 07:58 AM

How'd your training Crit go this week? Hope you are feeling better.

01-23-2006, 08:00 AM
I'd say--and this is likely against common wisdom--that the new guy should, about halfway into the race, start going off the front. One of several things will happen: 1) he'll find out he's really strong and just ride away from the fiedl, 2) he'll find out the field is often asleep, and even though he's not that strong, he'll ride away from the field, 3) he'll find out that most of the field is often asleep and he'll be in a break that will be much safer than the pack, 4) he'll find out how hard going off the front is and have fun anyway after he gets caught.

He should do this about 3 times during his 3rd, 4th, and 5th race. 1 and 2 should be about getting a feel for it, but stay near the front. (hence manet's point, watch the elastic.)

01-23-2006, 08:00 AM
we both had colds we rode but didn't go to the race ,be there next week thanks for asking bro cheers :beer:

01-23-2006, 09:14 AM
Yeah. Always ride a 0-setback post. :rolleyes: