Posts Tagged ‘Racing’

JC164709-X2

I got started Crit racing this year. It was intimidating at first with high speed cornering, large tight packs and crashes.

The season started off very cold in early April with the Branchbrook series in Newark, NJ. The series got off to a rocky start with cancelled races due to high winds, ice and snow. When we did race the average temperature was 25-35 degrees. I would head over at 5 am to pick up my number each week as the Cat 5 race would start around 6, do a few warm up laps to not freeze then freeze anyway when waiting at the start line.

The whistle blew and we are off. The races started off at a very manageable pace as everyone was just trying to get warm but I alway was hanging towards the back because the pack felt so tight and I was super worried about getting hung up or touching wheels.  Yeah and I thought my fitness was good.  I made it a few laps with then would see them gradually drift away from me.  The repeated hard acclererations out of the corners wore me down and I just couldn’t keep up.  Eventually the field passed me and I was in a solo TT just trying to finish.

As the weeks went on I got more comfortable with the group and fitness improved and was able to finish with the pack and even put in an attack throughout the season.  It was a great learning experience about pack dynamics and staying calm and smooth.  This year I was able to advance to Cat 4 and now I’m looking forward to next year to keep on learning and training to get some results that I am happy with.

A couple takeaways are:

  • Get to the race early so you aren’t in a rush
  • Ask what side to pin your number on
  • Preride the course – with someone who has done it before if possible
  • Don’t run a 5k the day before a race – it ruins you
  • Float within the group and look for good wheels to follow
  • Trust your bike when cornering
  • Easy on the brakes or just sit up to slow you down
  • Have Fun – it will keep you loose – even if you are nervous at the start