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From: (Jobst Brandt)
Newsgroups: rec.bicycles.misc
Subject: Re: Racing Speeds
Date: 1 Feb 2001 00:55:16 GMT

Lon Callis writes:

> Thanks for all the responses.  I didn't mean to sound so whiny,
> although reading my original post again I can understand it.  I love
> biking, I just wanted some numbers to measure myself against the
> pack since I have not raced at all yet.  I didn't want to be
> completely outmatched and embarass myself.  So now I have something
> to strive for....:)

I suggest you don't go to a race fresh out of bed, so to speak.  Ride
with others who have interest in competition, climb hills together,
sprint for city limits and county lines, and get used to the idea of
riding in close company, both elbow rubbing and front to rear wheel
overlap, when sitting-on.  In fact the art of sitting-on, conversely
having someone close on your wheel, is good practice.  Learn to not
stand up "leaving your bike behind" as you rise or you'll dump one of
your buddies sooner or later.  It's bad manners to the max.  By the
time you enter a race, you should already be comfortable with the
whole encounter.  Riding with fast tourists ain't it either.  You need
guys who have a good jump and can handle a bike as freely a slalom ski
racer uses his skis.  Guys who, when you think they are spinning fast,
stand up and really kick pedals to the line... in a big gear.

Do it!  Oh, and I hope you are not over 25.

Jobst Brandt      <>

From: (Jobst Brandt)
Newsgroups: rec.bicycles.misc
Subject: Re: Racing Speeds
Date: 2 Feb 2001 19:10:45 GMT

Dave who? writes:

> However, you can train to ride fast only if you are riding with the
> club or a group of people you know can ride faster than yourself.
> Riding by yourself does not provide the motivation that you get with
> riding in a peloton.  You will get dropped the first few times
> riding with a group, so remember to ride with a club that promotes a
> performance building program.  That ensures cyclists like yourself
> will be motivated to keep trying and still be rewarded and not
> laughed at when they fail.

Oh bushwa!  There are plenty of people who train alone and need no
mass hysteria to inspire them to excel.  Riding together with
experienced racers serves mainly to develop close riding techniques
and how to draft.  Finding riders who have these skills may be harder
than getting them to ride with a beginner, if the beginner is strong
and willing to learn.

> I do know of several elitist racing clubs in my area where club members
> are snobbish fast wannabe racers that like to pounch and redicule on weak
> cyclists like yourself.  They use these weak cyclists as prey as they let
> them loose for 30 min only to be caught by them.

Speak for yourself.

> I don't particularly like these tactics of using weak people for
> someone else's gain.  But horror stories aside, given about 6 months
> of riding with a fast pack, you will start noticing considerable
> improvement in your riding speed.

And what do you think you are accomplishing by focusing on "horror
stories?"  My experience is not yours.  Most proficient bikies take
pleasure in riding with a new, enthusiastic, and strong rider.  From
your presentation, I take it you want to dissuade such people.

Jobst Brandt      <>

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