Road Racing Doesn't Suck - Continued
sight is often out of mind, otherwise breaks should be utilized to attain primes or MAR standings. Though heroic, a break is a surefire way to waste yourself.
Crit racing is all practice. Here’s what you need:
License (www.usacycling.org) - $60 gets you a sticker, some deals on car rentals, cheap accident insurance and a year’s worth of racing. You will begin in category CAT 5, 4 for women, and can upgrade based on a set number of race starts. After that its all points going up the line from 3, 2, to 1 which is essentially pro material. $10 day licenses add up quick for all but the most casual racer.
Bike - Though you don’t see many bikes advertised as crit bikes these days, a road bike with a short wheelbase and steep angles will serve you best in corners and sprints. Avoid triples and overly upright bikes. Drop bars only, no flat bars or aero equipment for safety reasons (imagine the running of the bulls). Carbon rigs are all the rage but a weekly crit race will be doing that bike no favors.
Gear - There are some dress code rules regarding races so please leave your speedo and tri singlet at home, your Cutters gear may be ok, but a nice kit is faster and more comfortable. Helmets go without saying - the days where officials let you split your head open during races are long gone. Clipless shoes and pedals are a necessity. You needn’t go broke buying the latest gimmicky bullshit, you can get a great deal at local bike swaps on lightly used parts.
‘Tude - Its most important to bring a positive, friendly, confident but not cocky attitude to the loop. Remember its just a weeknight amateur race, its about earning your beer calories and breaking a sweat. Have fun, don’t crash!