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ds3509
06-05-2007, 03:42 AM
I have a quick question about the Monday night races. I know there is the novice category for those that have never raced a bike before. I definitely fit in that category. I've done one group ride through a bike shop and didn't enjoy that much. I've always enjoyed biking alone, I don't enjoy biking with a group, even a small group of close friends. With that said, I know there is no way to predict whether I'll like riding around PIR until I try it. I also think it would be fun to try, even if I didn't like the racing part so I could ride around PIR.

My question, does anyone know what the average speed and race distance is for the novice races? Being new to the idea of a race, I'm of course worried about causing a wreck, but not too worried, from what I've read there experienced riders there to help. The other concern is completely pride-related, I don't want to be the last person in that everyone gives a courtesy applause because I survived and didn't die out on the track. (Traumatic swim team experience as a kid, no amount of therapy seems to help. :) ) I do have a new bike, and before I would go out, I want to get more experience on the bike. I want to know how it handles in various situations before I put myself in any position where I'm close to other riders.

Thank you for any tips/advice.

brock
06-05-2007, 06:18 AM
I'd consider getting some more group ride time, only to become more comfortable with riding in very close quarters. You need to be able to hold your line, avoid wheel overlap, and maintain the pack speed without grabbing the brakes. Personally, I'd try a few more group rides and learn some handling skills and how to draft efficiently and safely. They really can be a ton of fun once you get used to it. I know I would have freaked out in my first few races if I hadn't put in hundreds of miles of group riding.

That said, PIR is one of the best places to practice since there's no vehicle traffic and the roads are wide. If you've never been up there for a race, show up early when they open the track, take a few practice laps, then watch the action and see how it feels to you.

The speeds in the novice race tend to be fairly managable for the bulk of the race, with a big acceleration on the last lap. Average speeds fluctuate, at PIR it's all about the wind. Don't stress if you get dropped, you won't be the first and you won't be the only one.

fetishridr
06-05-2007, 08:15 AM
these dont really exist in amatuer bike racing, unless your mom is present. no one is out there besides racers, and they are all spent from their sprints. if you finish off the back everyone else will have started their cooldowns. i didnt see if you are a woman, but i know that the women's races have mentors to help you race. i would show up and race. the cat 5/novice race is for learning. when you get more comfortable you can upgrade. you have to learn somewhere, and racing is far better then tagging along on a dopey group ride (and safer from traffic). come out and race. its fun.

jim-anderson
06-05-2007, 08:40 AM
PIR is a great place to learn the sport and to have a chance to see what racing is all about.

The novice race is 7 laps. Average turnout is 15-20 racers+. Its always a good group with mostly everyone new to racing. Average speed is about 17-20mph. Course is flat 2.0 miles around.

We have mentors that ride along with the novice racers (women and masters 30+). They answer questions that the officials at the start dont get to.
Usually there are 2-3 per group. They are seasoned racers from mostly the Lakeside Bicycles - Fred Meyer racing team.

Need more info:
www.racemondaynight.com

Its the place to learn about racing. So check it out

Thanks, Jim Anderson
race organizer - Lakeside Bicycles Monday Night Masters and Women series

ds3509
06-05-2007, 09:07 AM
Thanks for the replies everyone. I'm male, above 30, and ride regularly, but like I said, always on my own. I have a regular 15-mile evening ride I do that takes me an hour. It's a mixed route of hills and flat. So, I shouldn't be too far off from the pace if I'm riding with a group. I'm not worried about being dropped, that's just motivation in my mind to improve, my primary concern is about being a hazard to other riders.

TiAx
06-09-2007, 12:33 PM
I agree with the idea of going out there early and riding a bunch of practice laps close to other riders. You can do the same thing at the Mt. Tabor races too, but PIR is the perfect place to get into racing, it's almost like a practice race (but the speed is the same and it's just as competetive as any other race!)

When you get to racing with the Novices, take these bits of advice:

1. Before racing, go out and ride intervals a few days, it will help you keep up with splits in the pack, or any "accordian effect".

2. When racing, stay in about 2-4th place as much as you can. It will keep you from being dropped, and keep you out of the way of most other riders. You'll see riders pull up next to you, to pass you, and they'll likely be followed by someone, so don't veer directly behind them, do so subtly.

3. If you do get completely dropped, don't worry about it. It happens to everyone at some point. Just come back next week and try again.

Simple Nature
06-09-2007, 01:48 PM
I have a question for you, Jim. I noticed that for the Monday night racing, you need a road bike but are there times or events that would include using PIR with recumbent bikes and trikes? I'd love to get some laps in at PIR just to get a feel for it. Ever consider adding a recumbent event to your Monday night racing series?

PIR is a great place to learn the sport and to have a chance to see what racing is all about.

The novice race is 7 laps. Average turnout is 15-20 racers+. Its always a good group with mostly everyone new to racing. Average speed is about 17-20mph. Course is flat 2.0 miles around.

We have mentors that ride along with the novice racers (women and masters 30+). They answer questions that the officials at the start dont get to.
Usually there are 2-3 per group. They are seasoned racers from mostly the Lakeside Bicycles - Fred Meyer racing team.

Need more info:
www.racemondaynight.com

Its the place to learn about racing. So check it out

Thanks, Jim Anderson
race organizer - Lakeside Bicycles Monday Night Masters and Women series

Jeff Wills
06-09-2007, 07:18 PM
I have a question for you, Jim. I noticed that for the Monday night racing, you need a road bike but are there times or events that would include using PIR with recumbent bikes and trikes? I'd love to get some laps in at PIR just to get a feel for it. Ever consider adding a recumbent event to your Monday night racing series?

Hello Mr./Ms. Nature!

The Monday/Tuesday night races are pretty major affairs, and *I* wouldn't want to mix it up with the roadies, just to avoid being a rolling road hazard. I've ridden laps at PIR while the other riders are warming up, just to get a feel for things.

You've just missed the big recumbent/HPV races at PIR, which happen over the Memorial Day weekend. Here's me:
http://chrisleckphotographystore.smugmug.com/gallery/2929204#157988439-M-LB
and here's more action:
http://chrisleckphotographystore.smugmug.com/gallery/2927606#157884036-M-LB

Jeff

Jeff Wills
06-09-2007, 07:21 PM
Thanks for the replies everyone. I'm male, above 30, and ride regularly, but like I said, always on my own. I have a regular 15-mile evening ride I do that takes me an hour. It's a mixed route of hills and flat. So, I shouldn't be too far off from the pace if I'm riding with a group. I'm not worried about being dropped, that's just motivation in my mind to improve, my primary concern is about being a hazard to other riders.

If your only purpose is to test yourself against other riders, consider coming out to the Vancouver Lake Time Trial, held every Thursday evening in (surprise!) Vancouver. read all about it: http://www.vbc-usa.com/trials.html . At you pace, you'll be close to the middle of the pack.

Jeff