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Overtaking during race.

chaffordredchaffordred Posts: 131
edited March 2010 in Amateur race
I will be doing my first race on Saturday (Cat 3/4). I read a thread where it said you should not switch across and and up i.e diagonally as you will get shouted at, so what is the best method to get to the front of the bunch?

If I am at the back of the bunch (highly likely) do I overtake around the right hand side of the bunch then sit in? What about undertaking i.e. going through from the inside. Is that considered bad etiquette?

Also one of my biggest other fears is not getting clipped in at the start, then getting spat out at the back. Are there any good techniques for getting clipped in to your pedals quickly?

Thanks.

Posts

  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
    It's a race, as long as you are safe and there is a gap, go for it!

    In my first race I didn't get clipped in properly at the start and was immediately dropped.

    Took me 5 mins of flat out to rejoin the bunch then I was toast! Just keep practicing. If you find you are better at clipping in with one leg ensure you do that at the start line...
  • Dess1eDess1e Posts: 239
    As above, just a quick glance to ensure no-one is coing up on you before you change your line though. If you try and get near the front on the start line - it gives yo a few more seconds to clip in.
  • jibberjimjibberjim Posts: 2,810
    I will be doing my first race on Saturday (Cat 3/4). I read a thread where it said you should not switch across and and up i.e diagonally as you will get shouted at, so what is the best method to get to the front of the bunch?

    Have someone else pull you up, sit on the outside, wait for someone to come past who's moving up, check they have no-one on their wheel and just pull out into it and jump on. Don't go riding yourself into the wind to move up unless you absolutely have to, save your energy when you can.
    Jibbering Sports Stuff: http://jibbering.com/sports/
  • chaffordredchaffordred Posts: 131
    Thanks for the good advice. We have been practising some fast through and off's with the club and I feel really confident with that but, somehow I can't see it being as organised as every man fights for themselves!

    r.e. The clipping in thing, you just know the more nervous you are, the harder it is to clip in. When I'm down a country lane I can clip in straight away, but put me on a busy roundabout where I have to take the 3rd exit and the outside lane, I fall to pieces :D I keep having visions of trying to get clipped in on the start line, failing miserably then everyone shouting whilst going around me and still trying to get clipped in, then the bunch are coming round to lap me :lol:
  • Lou_mLou_m Posts: 97
    What kind of race is it? Is there not normally a neutralised distance before the actual racing starts?
  • racingcondorracingcondor Posts: 1,434
    You can go wherever you like in the bunch if you're careful. The reason people get shouted at is normally because they've just cut across the front wheel of 2-3 other riders without looking and people have had to take evasive action.

    Take a quick glance so see if there is anyone there (and indicate your intention) and move over smoothly (no sharp changes in direction) and you'll be fine. JibberJim mentioned the fastest and safest way to move up.

    One other thing I saw far to much of in Cat 4 racing, don't indicate with your hands! A glance is enough for everyone to know what you want to do and unless you're drinking you should have both hands on the bars.

    The first race is an experience you'll remember. Enjoy yourself and learn from it, you'll be fine.

    Where's the race?
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,027
    The reason people get shouted at is normally because they've just cut across the front wheel

    it is a real ignorant habit that
  • MikeWWMikeWW Posts: 723
    Try and start near the front and then make a slow and deliberate movement to clip in when you set off. You might lose a few places but you will be off and running well before you might get left. Worse thing is to try and rush and have several goes at clipping in before you manage it.
    Whilst you should look to conserve energy you need to be working at staying near the front by moving through most of the time.
    If you stay what you think is static for a little while you will find yourself at the back and it then becomes a lot harder to find your way through again
    Its the sudden direction changes without being aware who is around you that winds people up
    Enjoy...its a real buzz
  • I will be doing my first race on Saturday (Cat 3/4). I read a thread where it said you should not switch across and and up i.e diagonally as you will get shouted at, so what is the best method to get to the front of the bunch?

    If I am at the back of the bunch (highly likely) do I overtake around the right hand side of the bunch then sit in? What about undertaking i.e. going through from the inside. Is that considered bad etiquette?

    Also one of my biggest other fears is not getting clipped in at the start, then getting spat out at the back. Are there any good techniques for getting clipped in to your pedals quickly?

    Thanks.

    I did this once because the people on the front were just sitting in the way and not moving out so we could get through and they were cycling slow as censored . Just exploded through the gap. If you're gonna do it, just do it very quick. Less time between them is less time for something to happen. Just check the course up ahead, never try it with a corner approaching.

    Otherwise..unless you're cutting someone up go for it.
    The British Empire never died, it just moved to the Velodrome
  • JGSI wrote:
    The reason people get shouted at is normally because they've just cut across the front wheel

    it is a real ignorant habit that

    I did it once as I misjudged other peoples lines on a corner. Not always ignorance but I'm now very paranoid about corners. :D
    The British Empire never died, it just moved to the Velodrome
  • alan_shermanalan_sherman Posts: 1,153
    Just like driving - do not change your position on the road if you will cause others to take evasive action.
  • Its quite simple and common sense really.

    The safest place to overtake is round the outside. Then you are moving through free space.

    Because riders do not have eyes in the back of their head and should be concentrating infront of them, if you are undertaking between the verge and another rider because there is a space, shouting "inside" will let that rider know you are going through that gap, as he will only see to his side is free space and may want to fill it.

    Remember your front wheel is your repsonsibility and riders will switch across you. If a rider hits your back wheel it is them that falls not you.

    Also its a non contact sport. :D

    Depending on the leve of race you ride will depend how many cowboys are in it. The better the cat of race the better the handling skills will be in general.
    I once rode a crit in Holland with a lot of the top amateurs in Holland in it, future pros etc, and they were switching all over the place, it was shocking, but only one rider fell in the whole race right in the middle of the bunch and the whole bunch missed him.

    You will enjoy it once you get used to it. You are bound to get shouted at a couple of times, just take it and get on with it. A quick sorry or hand gesture to let them know that you know you have cut them up will let them know your new and learning.
  • Tom ButcherTom Butcher Posts: 7,137
    I must be a bit more cautious than some of you but if I'm boxed in then I'd wait for a clear opportunity to move out, if I really wanted to move up that second maybe signal I wanted to move out and see if someone moves over.

    Not sure what "your front wheel is your responsibility" means - if someone just switches across you there isn't always much you can do about it. What the pros do isn't a good comparison - there are tons of crashes in pro races and their bikehandling is a lot better than most people you'll be racing against even if you happen to be pretty good yourself.

    it's a hard life if you don't weaken.
  • tomb8555tomb8555 Posts: 229
    Not sure what "your front wheel is your responsibility" means - if someone just switches across you there isn't always much you can do about it.

    It's your responsibility to make sure you're not half-wheeling anyone. I.e. your front wheel isn't overlapping the rear wheel of the person next to you.
  • Tom ButcherTom Butcher Posts: 7,137
    I take your point that you should be careful overlapping wheels - though in a bunch that's not always possible. Half wheeling is a different thing btw. It's the "riders will switch across you" bit I was questioning - I don't think you can just do that and blame anyone you take out for overlapping wheels in the bunch. Probably not what was meant just the thread in general is a bit more gung ho than I'd advise. Different opinions though.

    it's a hard life if you don't weaken.
  • I take your point that you should be careful overlapping wheels - though in a bunch that's not always possible. Half wheeling is a different thing btw. It's the "riders will switch across you" bit I was questioning - I don't think you can just do that and blame anyone you take out for overlapping wheels in the bunch. Probably not what was meant just the thread in general is a bit more gung ho than I'd advise. Different opinions though.

    If someone had half of their front wheel over my back wheel I'd want to batter their brains out personally. It is their responsibility - how on earth could it be the cyclist in front responsibility?

    The wheel is right in front of the rider and they can see the bike in front and apply the right amount of power, especially if they keep an eye on movement further up the peloton. It's always the rider behind for half-wheeling. No excuses imo. People are going to move about, it wouldn't be much of a race otherwise.

    What I don't understand is drafting so close yet sitting up on the hoods. If the drafting bonus is such a big deal, at least get on the drops.
    The British Empire never died, it just moved to the Velodrome
  • MikeWWMikeWW Posts: 723
    I take your point that you should be careful overlapping wheels - though in a bunch that's not always possible. Half wheeling is a different thing btw. It's the "riders will switch across you" bit I was questioning - I don't think you can just do that and blame anyone you take out for overlapping wheels in the bunch. Probably not what was meant just the thread in general is a bit more gung ho than I'd advise. Different opinions though.

    If someone had half of their front wheel over my back wheel I'd want to batter their brains out personally. It is their responsibility - how on earth could it be the cyclist in front responsibility?

    The wheel is right in front of the rider and they can see the bike in front and apply the right amount of power, especially if they keep an eye on movement further up the peloton. It's always the rider behind for half-wheeling. No excuses imo. People are going to move about, it wouldn't be much of a race otherwise.

    Not sure I'd want to be in a race with you. It is still responsibility to hold your line whether you are in front of a rider or not. Half wheeling at times is inevitable in a race
  • It is simple!

    If you make sure you always keep your front wheel from touching the rear wheels of riders in front of you, you will stay upright. If they move over, you move over and so does everyone else and the whole bunch moves.

    If you are riding races and expecting nobody to move, think again!

    Watch some videos of sprint finishes of pro races from above on youtube or something and watch how riders move - follow one rider and see the path move across the road.
  • Tom ButcherTom Butcher Posts: 7,137
    I take your point that you should be careful overlapping wheels - though in a bunch that's not always possible. Half wheeling is a different thing btw. It's the "riders will switch across you" bit I was questioning - I don't think you can just do that and blame anyone you take out for overlapping wheels in the bunch. Probably not what was meant just the thread in general is a bit more gung ho than I'd advise. Different opinions though.

    If someone had half of their front wheel over my back wheel I'd want to batter their brains out personally. It is their responsibility - how on earth could it be the cyclist in front responsibility?

    The wheel is right in front of the rider and they can see the bike in front and apply the right amount of power, especially if they keep an eye on movement further up the peloton. It's always the rider behind for half-wheeling. No excuses imo. People are going to move about, it wouldn't be much of a race otherwise.

    What I don't understand is drafting so close yet sitting up on the hoods. If the drafting bonus is such a big deal, at least get on the drops.

    Like I say different people have different opinions - mine is some overlapping is inevitable unless everyone is going to ride perfectly 4 abreast and if you get boxed in then it's your responsibility to move across without causing people to take evasive action. If there's a decent gap or if you indicate to others you want out and they leave a gap for you to do it then go for it.

    On the half wheeling thing - I've always thought half wheeling was something totally different to overlapping wheels in a bunch.

    it's a hard life if you don't weaken.
  • Your right Tom.

    Halfwheeling is when there are 2 riders on the front, like you would be on a training ride and one rider keeps going harder to get his wheel half a wheel in front of the other rider to try and force him to go quicker/suffer.
  • oldwelshmanoldwelshman Posts: 4,733
    I take your point that you should be careful overlapping wheels - though in a bunch that's not always possible. Half wheeling is a different thing btw. It's the "riders will switch across you" bit I was questioning - I don't think you can just do that and blame anyone you take out for overlapping wheels in the bunch. Probably not what was meant just the thread in general is a bit more gung ho than I'd advise. Different opinions though.

    If someone had half of their front wheel over my back wheel I'd want to batter their brains out personally. It is their responsibility - how on earth could it be the cyclist in front responsibility?

    The wheel is right in front of the rider and they can see the bike in front and apply the right amount of power, especially if they keep an eye on movement further up the peloton. It's always the rider behind for half-wheeling. No excuses imo. People are going to move about, it wouldn't be much of a race otherwise.

    What I don't understand is drafting so close yet sitting up on the hoods. If the drafting bonus is such a big deal, at least get on the drops.
    Its the drafting that makes it easier and allows you to ride on the hoods. You can still get aero on the hoods anyway.
    Also what do you do on a cross wind, it is common to ride halfwheel in crosswinds.
  • oldwelshmanoldwelshman Posts: 4,733
    Anyway, you can overtake on the inside, in the middle or outside as long as there is room. It is easier during the earlier parts of a race but may be more difficult towards the end where you may need to be more assertive and maybe have wide elbows :D On the track it is even harder to move up as it gets fast it is mostly single file so big efforts needed to get round.
    Bythe way NAp D how did you manage to get dropped in a neutralised start? Or was it a closed circuit where it is just off immediately? May get cuaght out in those if close to the back at start, unless trackstanding :D
  • chaffordredchaffordred Posts: 131
    Lou_m wrote:
    What kind of race is it? Is there not normally a neutralised distance before the actual racing starts?

    It was the cat 4 race at Hog Hill (15 laps/20 miles) and it went a bit like this:

    I Rode to the circuit (20 Miles)
    I managed to get clipped in on the line.
    I stayed in with the bunch on the first lap.
    On the second lap I felt comfortable and went round the outside of everyone as I powered up the hill.
    At the top of the hill I ended up at the front. (bad move)
    Another guy hunted me down, then the main group came round me like a swarm of bees.
    I ended up off the back of the main bunch.
    For the remainder of the race I ended up for a lot of the time at the front of a smaller group behind the main bunch.
    The riders getting dropped from the main bunch were tagging onto the smaller bunch.
    As each lap went by I could see the main bunch getting further away as no one wanted to work together in the smaller bunch to catch the bigger one.
    On the final lap I pulled away and got a bit of distance on the smaller group (another bad move).
    At the bottom of the hill the smaller bunch caught me.
    As we powered up the hill to the line, my right foot unclipped from the pedal and I had trouble getting it back in right on the steepest section! As a result I lost about 5 places.
    I finished approximately 25th out of about 40. Although not too sure yet.

    As it was my first one I learned a lot and can take some positives from it like not getting lapped etc. I can now go away and think how I would do it next time. I learned racing isn't about all out power. Power is a good thing. Conserving and maximising your energy is more important. 'i.e. sitting in the bunch instead of going it alone and blowing up. Also looking at which sections of the track I could use as recovery and resting my legs in the week prior to the race etc.
  • Tom ButcherTom Butcher Posts: 7,137
    At least you had a go - don't let it discourage you from attacking - maybe take the lesson of how to attack, don't necessarily go all out and then blow up save a little bit and see if you can drag a few others with you, if you see some other aggressive riders then maybe have a word and try and go together, if someone else gets a gap don't be one of those idiots who chases everything down - let them get away then try and bridge across to them.

    it's a hard life if you don't weaken.
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