Nowra to Sassafras

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Nowra to Sassafras

Postby michaelten » Tue May 28, 2013 4:07 pm

I am keen to start racing and saw the Nowra to Sassafras on the Cycling NSW calendar and thought I'd like to give it a go.

Has anyone done this before?

It would be my first race, anything special I need to know?
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by BNA » Tue May 28, 2013 4:50 pm

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Re: Nowra to Sassafras

Postby Derny Driver » Tue May 28, 2013 4:50 pm

Yes ... i went last year with my clubmates and son. I dont ride any more, just support person these days. Last year it rained and several guys got severe hypothermia. Bring warm clothes to change after race. It took about an hour for my son to stop shaking .. that was it the van with heater on and dry clothes, beanie etc. Weather aside its a tough race. All uphill first half battling away doing turns with your group. Super fast returnleg down hill with the faster riders who have caught you. Probably not tbe easiest first race but dont be put off. Emo runs a great show very organised. Coffee van hot food and lots of like minded people to meet. We will be there again.
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Re: Nowra to Sassafras

Postby michaelten » Tue May 28, 2013 4:59 pm

Thanks, it looks like I better get a training program together!

I would do the 70km race. The start point is Nowra Airport, is it just 35km up Braidwood Rd and then turn around and head back?
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Re: Nowra to Sassafras

Postby Derny Driver » Tue May 28, 2013 7:26 pm

Yes mate, that's correct. It pays decent money so you usually get a strong scratch bunch turn up. The tough uphill means that the scratchmen usually get up for the win. Practise riding on some long gradual uphill drags. Its a strong rider's course. Maybe see you there ...
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Re: Nowra to Sassafras

Postby nickobec » Tue May 28, 2013 7:59 pm

I race in WA not NSW so I know nothing about this race or the racing scene in NSW.

However, based on my experience I would suggest that this race would not be a the best introduction to racing for you, as it in a open handicap with prize money.

Open events in my experience attract a higher level of competition than a club race.

You will be handicapped based on previous race performances. With no past performances or grading to go on, the handicapper will err on the side of caution and handicap you on a worse case scenario. ie you are a very very good rider, particularly as there is prize money involved.

I would not surprise me if you last maybe 5kms and was out the back of the group you started with. While the group you are capable of riding with started 10 or 15 minutes ahead of you.

Personally I would recommend you start racing at club level in grade scratch races.

So find out where you local club is, find out when they race and go race with them, get a couple of club races under your belt, before you step up to an open.

If you go join a club now, you should get a race or two in before Nowra to Sassafras and hopefully you will have a couple of clubmates to race with.
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Re: Nowra to Sassafras

Postby Derny Driver » Tue May 28, 2013 8:42 pm

Excellent points Nicko.
Michael Im not sure where you live but Nowra Velo Club has great racing as does Illawarra (my club). We have a nice little 44km handicap this Saturday arvo.
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Re: Nowra to Sassafras

Postby michaelten » Wed May 29, 2013 7:15 am

Thanks for your reply Nickobec.

I was under the impression that I would get dropped anyway until I got more racing experience. I'm certainly not expecting to win.

As far as club racing, the only races I have seen are crits which I am not particularly interested in. What's makes me not so I interested is that I race motorbikes around SMSP so riding a push bike around there at 35km/h doesn't exactly excite me! I also have raced drag cars at the drag strip so that's not too exciting for me as well.

I am interested in doing longer distance road races as opposed to sprint type crits. The only place I have seen these type of events is on the Cycling NSW website. Are there club races that are like this race?

I live near Windsor, north west of Sydney. My license will be Masters 1.

If anyone knows of any races to enter let me know.
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Re: Nowra to Sassafras

Postby nickobec » Wed May 29, 2013 9:12 pm

You need to talk to your local clubs (or at least check their websites out and then follow it up with a phone call) about racing. It is road racing season now, most club should be having longer races and fairly regular, weekly or biweekly.

I know in WA most weekends, I have a choice of two races, Saturday with my local club Peel Districts Cycling club and Sunday with West Coast Masters Cycling Council. There are a couple of open races each month on Sundays too. So hopefully in NSW you should have similar opportunities.

My main concern is your 1st race is an open handicap, the handicappers look at you as young, fit bloke and place you in a group of 40kph riders, you last 5km at the speed and then ride the rest by yourself, will not leave you with a great impression of racing.

Where in a club race you might get placed in say slower group, because there are less risks (read no prize money) and fellow racers are more likely to be supportive of a new racer.
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Re: Nowra to Sassafras

Postby stevecassidy » Wed May 29, 2013 10:03 pm

Hi Michaelten,
if you're in Sydney there are a few options for racing that would make a good introduction. Firstly I wouldn't write off the races at Eastern Creek, they are a good introduction to road racing and most of the longer ones run by Waratahs are not really crits if not quite full on road races. They will be good to develop some racing knowledge and I think you'd enjoy them even if they are a lot slower than you're used to. A bike race will be a very different thing to anything motorised and there's a lot to learn about placing yourself in the bunch and how and when to attack etc.

Options for racing near you would be with Parramatta CC ( http://www.parramattacycling.com.au/ ) at Oakville which is a road circuit a bit longer than Eastern Creek but 'real' road (with potholes). Also Penrith CC ( http://www.penrithcyclingclub.com/ ) who race at the Regatta Centre - more crit like races, flat and fast. Other longer road races are West Head (a very hard race run by Manly) and Calga (run by Central Coast CC). LACC sometimes runs road races at Horsley Park but there aren't any on the schedule just yet.

I'd say do some of the local club races (and join their training rides too) to get a bit of race knowledge and then visit some of the longer races further afield. Racing isn't (generally) something you do every now and then, to get the most out of it you need to race often. Luckily it's addictive so that's not been a problem for me.

Steve
Where's your next race? cabici.net lists bike races in Sydney
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Re: Nowra to Sassafras

Postby michaelten » Thu May 30, 2013 8:47 am

Thanks for the reply Steve.

I initially had wanted to do the Parramatta CC races at Oakville was told to steer clear of it as there is a lot of traffic etc and is pretty dangerous. Have I been given a bit of false info there?

I wasnt aware of the racing at West Head, that looks exactly like what i want to do. I will try and get out for a look at that next time its on.

I just got my license so I will go up to Calga on Saturday and see how i go.

Michael
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Re: Nowra to Sassafras

Postby vander » Thu May 30, 2013 1:59 pm

I have done Parra CC a few times, traffic has never even remotely been an issue. The stretch of road up the top is a bit worse for wear but you get that with a lot of RR's adds to the race I feel.

WH RR is a very tough race, probably the toughest regular race in Sydney, closer to open level.
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Re: Nowra to Sassafras

Postby michaelten » Thu May 30, 2013 4:49 pm

I didnt think there would be too much traffic around there. Thats good, I can put that one back on the list to do.

Ok, stupid question time!

Should I be carrying a tube etc? If so, do you just put them in your pocket?
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Re: Nowra to Sassafras

Postby vander » Thu May 30, 2013 5:03 pm

michaelten wrote:I didnt think there would be too much traffic around there. Thats good, I can put that one back on the list to do.

Ok, stupid question time!

Should I be carrying a tube etc? If so, do you just put them in your pocket?


I care less then most that race and just leave my saddle bag on with 2 tubes and 2 CO2 cannisters and a few other bits and pieces. In open races would probably not take anything, if you get a flat hope for a sag wagon (or hope its not far from the start/finish)
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Re: Nowra to Sassafras

Postby michaelten » Thu May 30, 2013 5:10 pm

thanks for the reply vander
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Re: Nowra to Sassafras

Postby nickobec » Thu May 30, 2013 6:54 pm

michaelten wrote:Should I be carrying a tube etc? If so, do you just put them in your pocket?


Don't know the rules in NSW, but according to our Commissaire the rules in WA require you to carry a spare tube and something to inflate it with.

Got a telling off from the Commissaire (he was following the race in his car) after I walked a couple of hundred metres down the road to get a ride from a corner marshal.

Mind you it was not an ordinary flat, broke spoke, pierced tube, blew tire of rim, locked rear wheel, buckled rim and took some chunks out of my rim, but did stay upright. I did have a tube and CO2, but I was already off the back of the group (luckily) and absolutely spent, so I did not want to deal with the wheel in that state.
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Re: Nowra to Sassafras

Postby michaelten » Thu May 30, 2013 8:50 pm

My wife just looked at Central Coast CC Facebook page and this weekend is club members only. Looks like this weekend is a no go, maybe next weekend up there.
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Re: Nowra to Sassafras

Postby michaelten » Fri May 31, 2013 9:34 am

Parra CC has a hill climb on Sunday. Is that open to everyone or club members only? The website says the Oakville races are open to everyone but it doesn't specify for the hill climb
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