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First race... expectations?

andrewJohnsonandrewJohnson Posts: 201
edited October 2009 in Amateur race
Ok so I set myself the target of doing one race by 2010 when I got my bike. There is only one race I can enter near me so I have decided I'll enter it. I'm just curious as to what to I should expect ect...

(I don't expect to keep up ofcourse)
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Posts

  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    Presumably a normal road race (ie all competitors starting together rather than a handicap with staggered start)? What category of riders is the event open to?
  • Regional B, open to 3rd & 4th cat racers.
  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    Expect to average around 24mph (assuming a flat course).................with periods of around 30mph followed by everyone slowing up until the next attack goes.

    Try and stay in the first 20 if possible but keep off the very front unless you are feeling strong. This is especially important if there are climbs (and you aren't a great climber) or if there are likely to be crosswinds at any point - you don't want to be too near the back in either of these situations.

    Expect to get sworn at if your riding in the bunch is not great. Don't make sudden changes of direction or grab the brakes.

    Just hang on as long as possible and be prepared to push yourself far harder than you ever do training alone.
  • ProssPross Posts: 29,559
    As above - don't be tempted to lurk near the back of the bunch as you can end up getting trailed off on hills or in corners and despite how easy the pros make it look getting back to the bunch is hard! Don't half wheel i.e. partly overlap a bike in front as if they need to change their line they'll wipe you out so either ride directly behind or fully alongside. If you puncture or have other problems get your hand up and shout so that people behind can get around you. Most races start with some sort of neutralised section - once this ends the bunch usually put the hammer down so be prepared. Remember that the races won't be a steady pace, you'll sit in comfortably for most of the time assuming you have built up your stamina in training but there will be periods where the pace will rocket and you'll start to think you can't keep it going. When this happens grit your teeth and hold on, the pace can't stay at that level and this is the time which makes it a race rather than a ride. It's easier said than done but remember that everyone else is going through it too.

    Most importantly have fun and set a realistic target whether its to finish in the bunch or last 40 miles in the bunch. I would say try to finish even if you get dropped, I spent most of my first couple of seasons getting dropped but going the distance until I eventually started staying on for the whole race. 3rd and 4th cat races are a good place to start as there's no really fast guys in there and also no juniors who tend to be erratic on the pace front!
  • Ok thanks very much for the advice Pross and Bronzie. It's not too long (50miles) so I hope I'll be able to maintain a decent speed.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,678
    What race is it?
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,678
    Pross wrote:
    As above - don't be tempted to lurk near the back of the bunch as you can end up getting trailed off on hills or in corners and despite how easy the pros make it look getting back to the bunch is hard! Don't half wheel i.e. partly overlap a bike in front as if they need to change their line they'll wipe you out so either ride directly behind or fully alongside. If you puncture or have other problems get your hand up and shout so that people behind can get around you. Most races start with some sort of neutralised section - once this ends the bunch usually put the hammer down so be prepared. Remember that the races won't be a steady pace, you'll sit in comfortably for most of the time assuming you have built up your stamina in training but there will be periods where the pace will rocket and you'll start to think you can't keep it going. When this happens grit your teeth and hold on, the pace can't stay at that level and this is the time which makes it a race rather than a ride. It's easier said than done but remember that everyone else is going through it too.

    Most importantly have fun and set a realistic target whether its to finish in the bunch or last 40 miles in the bunch. I would say try to finish even if you get dropped, I spent most of my first couple of seasons getting dropped but going the distance until I eventually started staying on for the whole race. 3rd and 4th cat races are a good place to start as there's no really fast guys in there and also no juniors who tend to be erratic on the pace front!

    How old are you Andrew? :oops:
  • andrewJohnsonandrewJohnson Posts: 201
    edited September 2009
    NapoleonD wrote:
    Pross wrote:
    As above - don't be tempted to lurk near the back of the bunch as you can end up getting trailed off on hills or in corners and despite how easy the pros make it look getting back to the bunch is hard! Don't half wheel i.e. partly overlap a bike in front as if they need to change their line they'll wipe you out so either ride directly behind or fully alongside. If you puncture or have other problems get your hand up and shout so that people behind can get around you. Most races start with some sort of neutralised section - once this ends the bunch usually put the hammer down so be prepared. Remember that the races won't be a steady pace, you'll sit in comfortably for most of the time assuming you have built up your stamina in training but there will be periods where the pace will rocket and you'll start to think you can't keep it going. When this happens grit your teeth and hold on, the pace can't stay at that level and this is the time which makes it a race rather than a ride. It's easier said than done but remember that everyone else is going through it too.

    Most importantly have fun and set a realistic target whether its to finish in the bunch or last 40 miles in the bunch. I would say try to finish even if you get dropped, I spent most of my first couple of seasons getting dropped but going the distance until I eventually started staying on for the whole race. 3rd and 4th cat races are a good place to start as there's no really fast guys in there and also no juniors who tend to be erratic on the pace front!

    How old are you Andrew? :oops:

    17 8|
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,678
    edited September 2009
    Heh heh, what race is it? Weaver Valley?
  • Weaver Valley CC Autumn Road Race
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,678
    Tempted myself but I'll be so far off the bl00dy pace it'll be embarrasing :oops:
  • NapoleonD wrote:
    Tempted myself but I'll be so far off the bl00dy pace it'll be embarrasing :oops:

    ... And I wont? >:o
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 7,960
    NapoleonD wrote:
    Tempted myself but I'll be so far off the bl00dy pace it'll be embarrasing :oops:

    You can ride around at the back with me. :) I think I might have a go at that one....
  • Would like to see the route but I cant seem to find it anywhere on there.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,678
    I did a search on bike hike to see what it came up with, this was under Weaver Valley Road Race, so maybe it's the one!

    http://www.bikehike.co.uk/mapview.php?id=19464
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,678
    It's full :(

    Just got this e-mail from the organiser -

    Alex, the race is full and I am in the middle of putting together a reserve list. We still allow entries on the line but only if there are places ie more people don’t show up than reserves who turn up. Sorry I can’t be more specific than that.

    Eleanor
  • Looks like I wont be able to race then, was going to enter online tomorrow, damn.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,678
    :(

    Entries closed on the 20th...
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 7,960
    Bummer. I was up for that one! Maybe we should start our own race!
  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    Also, expect full fields for the last few races of the season with people desperate to secure the last few points they need to move up a category. :)

    You may stand a chance entering on the line on the morning of the race, but if they've already got a big reserve list, probably going to be unlikely you'll get a ride unless the weather is censored and lots of people bail out. Make sure you get there when the HQ opens for signing on if you try this.
  • ProssPross Posts: 29,559
    Hi Andrew did you say you are 17? If it's only a 3 / 4th cat race you may not be able to enter anyway as you will need something open to juniors.

    Also (unless things have changed in the last 13 years :oops: ) you will need to have BC membership and a racing licence although you used to be able to get day licences and probably still can.

    If the race isn't too far away for you I would say go along as you often get people not turning up but even if the field is full it is worth watching at a few points on the course to get a feel for it ready for next season.
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 7,960
    Pross wrote:
    Also (unless things have changed in the last 13 years :oops: ) you will need to have BC membership and a racing licence although you used to be able to get day licences and probably still can.


    You only need a bronze membership and then can buy a day licence (usually about £5).

    If you don't already have a membership - it can be expensive JUST for one race. But the membership lasts a year - and you can buy a racing licence at the start of next year (Jan 2010).
  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    Pross wrote:
    If it's only a 3 / 4th cat race you may not be able to enter anyway as you will need something open to juniors.
    Reginal B races (3/4) are open to senior & junior men 3rd or 4th cats and senior or junior women of any category.

    But I think you will need a Parental Consent form completing if you don't already have a racing licence.
  • ProssPross Posts: 29,559
    Ah, that's something new then (or at least in my region). When I last raced they would have had to be designated 3/J/W - showing my age as 4th cat only started as I was finishing! Are they still restricted to junior gearing?
  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    Pross wrote:
    Are they still restricted to junior gearing?
    Yes
    In all road events (other than events promoted in accordance with T.R. 7.12) juniors shall be restricted to a maximum gear such that the distance covered per crank revolution is 7.93 metres. The gear restriction shall not apply to seniors.
  • Pross wrote:
    Don't half wheel i.e. partly overlap a bike in front as if they need to change their line they'll wipe you out so either ride directly behind or fully alongside.

    I thought half wheeling was speeding up at the front making it harder for the right line to get in front of you on the up and overs?
    Every winner has scars.
  • ProssPross Posts: 29,559
    Hmmm, to me it always meant the numpty who rides with the front half of his front wheel overlapping the rear half of my rear wheel :?
  • Bronzie wrote:
    Pross wrote:
    If it's only a 3 / 4th cat race you may not be able to enter anyway as you will need something open to juniors.
    Reginal B races (3/4) are open to senior & junior men 3rd or 4th cats and senior or junior women of any category.

    But I think you will need a Parental Consent form completing if you don't already have a racing licence.

    I have gold BC membership and a racing license.
  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    I have gold BC membership and a racing license.
    You have a racing licence but haven't used it by the end of September?
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