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I went down to Smeaton Grange today for my first race. Met Killerheadwind there and we had a nice chat about all things bike related, and some that were not. I've never been one who enjoys warming up, so one quick lap of the circut to suss it out and that was it.
I decided to register in D garde as this was my first race and the first time I'd ridden in a group of anything bigger than 2 or 3 riders (excluding the Gong ride last year, which is more of a rabble than a group).
A and B grades were 40 minutes + 3 laps, C was 30 minutes +3 laps, and D was 25 minutes +3 laps. The course is a dead flat boomerang shape with 2 hairpin corners at either end.
Before D started, they decided to split it into 2 groups. The slower, less experienced riders started first, then about half a lap later, the second half of D took off. I opted for the first group as I had no idea what to do, or how I'd perform.
One of the guys in our group actually owns the lbs and he was giving me some advice as we rolled around the track at a gentle pace. You can see how slow this was from the graph below (downloaded from the Garmin).
At about the 17 minute mark, the rest of D had caught us so I decide to stick with them for the remainder of the race. The pace was considerably faster than I thought it would be. See the other half of the Garmin Graph below.
The hardest part I found with this race was the two hairpin turns at either end of the course. I found it difficult to stick with the riders in front when accelerating away from the corner. Guess I'll have to practise accelerating from 10km/h to get this right. I also noticed that most guys continued pedaling through the curve in the middle of the course. I'm a little hesitant of that as I keep thinking the pedals will strike the ground and down I'll come.
Anyway, I managed to stick with the top guys in D and I think I finished 5th or 6th, so I was pretty happy with that result. Unfortunately I've got other committments for the next three weeks (Spring Cycle, trip to BrisVegas, then the Gong Ride) so it'll be a month before I can do this again. I've got to admit, I did love it though and I'll be back for more.
I've got to give a big "well done" to Killerheadwind. He rode out from Penrith to Smeaton Grange, did the race in C grade, then rode home. All of that after a big ride yesterday (can't remember how far he said he rode, but I was impressed).
Brilliant effort there Kev. Mate I love the graphs from the Garmin!
Had my first race this morning, and I had the same problem with the turnarounds. I need a lot of practice in the turns and I found out this morning that it sure is different trying to get around a witches hat in a race to the training rides!
08 Avanti Quantum Team
Trek 4300 MTB
Well done Kev, good to see you enjoyed yourself. I probably saw both you and killer today, I should have looked out for you two to say hey.
As you said, accelerations and recovering is the key to successful crit racing. That and grabbing the right wheel at the end. D were running reasonably fast this time around and you still stayed with them, so you did really well despite the lack of experience.
The organizers were talking about moving some D's to C and some C's to B (myself included), so it seems that they think the pace of the lower grades is a bit fast. If thats the case then you should have a genuine chance of winning D when you get back.
Yep, the accelerations are the key, that's for sure.
You placed in C grade today didn't you?
I thought that one of the placegetters in C may have been you, but didn't want to look like goose by say "Hi" to someone who may not have known me.
p.s - anyone watch the Goulburn to Citi?
Yeah I got 1st in C today, got an absolute dream leadout from one of the other MCCC riders and pounded it home in the last 200m. My fitness isn't in top shape at the moment but I've always been a natural sprinter. Going to jump in B next week and just try to hang on.
I'll look out for your bike next time your there and say hi.
Just print out the graph on this page
Oh, you meant you wanted a Garmin, not just the graph
I had a good bike ... so I fixed it
I thought that was you who finished first, but of course it's quite difficult to approach someone and say," hey are you Jashy from ...?" without feeling half foolish.
Kev, that's just downright nasty!! So basically it wasn't really 25mins + 3 laps, but more like 1/2 an hour of continuously doing 4 - 500 metre sprints!
Mate I've gotta say that is one hell of an effort. A track like that would absolutely kill me!!!
08 Avanti Quantum Team
Trek 4300 MTB
Hey Kev, it isn't that far from the south west of Sydney to Canberra - come down and try the crits on the 'bone' at Stromlo Forest Park one Tuesday (ACT Vets -over 35) or Wednesday (Canberra Cycling Club - open) night.
It's smooth and fast - albeit a bit dusty after being the transition zone for the Scott 24 Hour.
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Mmm, 4 x 500 meter sprints. Never even thought of looking at it like that, but I guess your right. Might be a good training routine - find a piece of road 500m long and just ride up and back, up and back until I get used to doing all those turnnnsssss...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Mmm, maybe not.
Sounds like a good idea LuckyPierre. I would love to drive down there for the race one night. Not sure how the wife would react though.
Are they on now, or when are they due to start/finish?
That is a rather nice crit track...bit windy at time I think.
PS should just be called Stromlo Park,not Forest Park as there aint no trees there
Thanks Bluerider, I can highly recomend it....even after only one event.
I found that I kept playing the race over in my mind on Sunday night saying to myself "I should have tried a bit harder there" or "I shouldn't have gone to the front there".
My reasons for taking up racing is in an effort to help keep me motivated to continue riding. I have a bad habit of starting a training or fitness regime, then letting it slide after 6 or 12 months, basically due to bordom as I can never find anyone interested in doing it with me. I'm not really into traditional sports like cricket, league, tennis etc, so it's hard sometimes to find a training partner.
I've got a mate up the road who is into cycling a bit, and we often go for rides together, but a lot of his time is taken up with his two sons and their sporting endeavours (both looking like softball or baseball reps at this point in time).
I'm hoping that the racing will provide an incentive for me to keep training through the week, as well as one for getting me up and about on Sundays.
Hi Kev,it wil be in your blood now!.Racing is the best way to keep motivated in my personal view...but you need to warm up a bit first!!!.At least 15 minutes gradually building up the intensity.It will make your life much easier.Also not sure how tight the corners are but if you are struggling to get on after each turn around ride at or near the front,this will also make your life very much easier and you will feel like you can attack instead of chasing every turn around.Being at the back of the rubber band is painful,especially as you might be Ok but the rider in front of you may be struggling and if he drops off you will have to chase all the more...keep it up!!!.
So true. I've kind of been lost since the Gong ride, while I still push myself to get out early, there isnt the motivation I had before. I still want to build up to riding to Mt Vic from Penrith but doing it on my own is kinda boring. I think I'll go down to the Regatta center next Monday and go watch (1st step)
Great start Kevin!
I would agree that racing is a great motivator. I don't race on a regular basis but I do use it as a goal for my training. Even though I enjoy our Sunday club rides, but at the end of the day training is a personal and private affair. You need to part out the time when you train by yourself at a pace that suits you, and that of riding with a combined social component.
Keep it up!
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