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Track 101 at Lexus

Old 11-29-19, 04:33 PM
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gravelschlub
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Track 101 at Lexus

...oh, man, this is going to be stupid... as in actually stupid, not "cool" stupid.

I've gone and done it. I roped my riding buddy into doing Track 101 with me at Lexus next weekend. We're looking for a chance to ride over the winter that isn't zwift or freezing our keisters off. We're middle aged and about 40 lbs away from a decent riding weight, and so have low expectations for being competitive, but we do both have some crit riding experience so we're not uncomfortable in a pack.

Hints? Tips? Last rites appreciated.

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Old 11-29-19, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by gravelschlub View Post
...oh, man, this is going to be stupid... as in actually stupid, not "cool" stupid.

I've gone and done it. I roped my riding buddy into doing Track 101 with me at Lexus next weekend. We're looking for a chance to ride over the winter that isn't zwift or freezing our keisters off. We're middle aged and about 40 lbs away from a decent riding weight, and so have low expectations for being competitive, but we do both have some crit riding experience so we're not uncomfortable in a pack.

Hints? Tips? Last rites appreciated.
Welcome to the forum and to the sport!

99% of your newbie question will be covered in this thread: https://www.bikeforums.net/track-cyc...ack-racer.html

You'll fine that the track scene is a lot more friendly and welcoming than typical crit scenes. Also, there are generally fewer wrecks with less severe consequences on the track. Most incidents simply result in people sliding down. Not like people over-cooking a corner in a CAT5 crit and taking out a few others.

There are no stupid questions. I'd rather a new racer ask a "stupid question" than assume the wrong thing and cause a mess.

My advice: Forget everything you know about racing from your crit experience. It's similar, but significantly different. You can't (and shouldn't) get away with things on the track that you can get away with in a crit. These things are what make track racing safer than crits.

And last, and most importantly: When in doubt...hold your line. And never look back and see people approaching with speed and attempt to get out of their way. They are already planning on how to go over you. You'll simply just steer into them. I've seen that happen by new racers a lot.
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Old 11-29-19, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by carleton View Post
And last, and most importantly: When in doubt...hold your line. And never look back and see people approaching with speed and attempt to get out of their way. They are already planning on how to go over you. You'll simply just steer into them. I've seen that happen by new racers a lot.
+1000 for this right here. When in doubt, just hold your line.
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Old 11-30-19, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by carleton View Post
Welcome to the forum and to the sport!

99% of your newbie question will be covered in this thread: <newbie thread>
Yup, I've inhaled that thread.

Originally Posted by carleton View Post
And last, and most importantly: When in doubt...hold your line. And never look back and see people approaching with speed and attempt to get out of their way. They are already planning on how to go over you. You'll simply just steer into them. I've seen that happen by new racers a lot.
When nothing needs to be done I'm definitely the man for the job. Sounds a lot like being on the road and hearing traffic approaching with no shoulder to dive on to.
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Old 12-02-19, 02:49 AM
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This is probably mentioned in the thread: (Not sure what your schedule is like, but)
- Frequent the track as often as possible. Even if you aren't training or racing. You'll learn a lot by watching others train and race.
- Volunteer: Most tracks can't function without volunteers. You'll learn a lot and ingratiate yourself with others. Even if all you are doing is raking leaves on a work day or ringing the bell on a race night. Keep an eye out for calls for volunteers however the track staff communicates (email lists, twitter, FB, etc...).
- Ride as much as possible (during training periods), even if you aren't doing structured training. You can do the most basic things like 30 laps at a time or intervals (1 lap at speed, 2 laps cool down, repeat). This helps you learn the curves of the track and you become comfortable at speed.
- Every track has its own culture. What we say here might be slightly (or very) different at your track. That's why it helps to go a lot and meet people.

Oh, and a random thing that I've only seen from the crit guys/ladies: Take stuff out of your jersey pockets. I've seen keys, wallets, water bottles, cell phones, etc in jersey pockets...all hop out and on to the track..

Your bag is only a few feet away in the infield. Just stow it all there
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Old 12-07-19, 05:41 PM
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So I did Track 101 at Lexus in Detroit today. That was AWESOME. Much thanks for Joaquin, who ran the class. With such a short track the first turn feels like approaching a wall, then all of a sudden you pop out the other side. I'm signed up for Track 201 next weekend so I can start riding open track sessions. At the very least, it is some much needed variety for winter training, but I think I'm going to want to compete, too.

Why didn't I start riding track two years ago?
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Old 12-08-19, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by gravelschlub View Post
So I did Track 101 at Lexus in Detroit today. That was AWESOME. Much thanks for Joaquin, who ran the class. With such a short track the first turn feels like approaching a wall, then all of a sudden you pop out the other side. I'm signed up for Track 201 next weekend so I can start riding open track sessions. At the very least, it is some much needed variety for winter training, but I think I'm going to want to compete, too.

Why didn't I start riding track two years ago?
Nice!

When you finish your certs, maybe make plans to visit other tracks and you'll see how different they can be. Coming from such a steep track, being allowed to train or race elsewhere shouldn't be an issue.

Always exercise caution when visiting another track and give yourself at least one lengthy training session before you start racing there. Maybe the day before. You'll have to get used to how the new track launches you (or not) out of the turns. You don't want to learn that in a race when elbow to elbow.

Also, I knew of several highly competitive (pro) crit racers who would use track racing to hone their skills, legspeed, and fitness. Basically, on a good competitive race night, it's a great workout sparring with other P/1/2s on the track.

When Phinney went pro, he would mention that some of his track skills were part of his competitive advantage. (I'm sure that him winning the genetic lottery had something to do with that, too, hahahaha). Cav is also a top level trackie.
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Old 12-09-19, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by gravelschlub View Post
So I did Track 101 at Lexus in Detroit today. That was AWESOME. Much thanks for Joaquin, who ran the class. With such a short track the first turn feels like approaching a wall, then all of a sudden you pop out the other side. I'm signed up for Track 201 next weekend so I can start riding open track sessions. At the very least, it is some much needed variety for winter training, but I think I'm going to want to compete, too.

Why didn't I start riding track two years ago?
That is awesome. Lexus is a great way to spend the winter riding - although every fall I have to get my neck muscles adapted to the G-forces in those turns. Wednesday is a good evening to get used to what training is like on the track. Tuesdays and Thursdays are pretty darn fast (roll-ups may be doing 26mph for 100 laps, most workouts have sprints ~30mph for the slow group (upper 30's for the fast group).
For now, be careful and be safe. Steady riding and being predictable for other riders are the name of the game at this point.

But if you do it through the winter, you are going to rock in the early spring gravel rides!
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Old 12-09-19, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by chas58 View Post
That is awesome. Lexus is a great way to spend the winter riding - although every fall I have to get my neck muscles adapted to the G-forces in those turns. Wednesday is a good evening to get used to what training is like on the track. Tuesdays and Thursdays are pretty darn fast (roll-ups may be doing 26mph for 100 laps, most workouts have sprints ~30mph for the slow group (upper 30's for the fast group).
For now, be careful and be safe. Steady riding and being predictable for other riders are the name of the game at this point.

But if you do it through the winter, you are going to rock in the early spring gravel rides!
Yeah, I'm a loooong way away from worrying about speed. Just being on the track is thrilling enough. The group doing the Saturday morning structured training session was pretty friendly - how fast are they?

I should be doing Track 201 this Saturday. I assumed there would be a signup on the Lexus website like for 101, but the links seem broken. Is this a case of just show up and it'll be fine?
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Old 12-09-19, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by gravelschlub View Post
Yeah, I'm a loooong way away from worrying about speed. Just being on the track is thrilling enough. The group doing the Saturday morning structured training session was pretty friendly - how fast are they?

I should be doing Track 201 this Saturday. I assumed there would be a signup on the Lexus website like for 101, but the links seem broken. Is this a case of just show up and it'll be fine?
the fast groups are tue/thur. Other than that you should be fine.

I wouldn't worry about signup for 201 (assuming its not cancelled).
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Old 12-14-19, 03:08 PM
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I did a nearly private Track 201 lesson today with Dale Hughes. Leaning the bike over, pace lining, my first flying lap - so much fun. Definitely need to find time to do some open track time over the holidays.
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Old 12-17-19, 02:28 PM
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Ugh, crashes hurt (John Croom - Tristan Manderfield Madison)


Madisons are tricky. there is so much going on so fast - it takes a lot of practice to get this ingrained. Ya can't go up until the track is clear. I was there, missed the crash, but was wondering why all the sudden there was no one on relief for the Red team half way through the race.

Last edited by chas58; 12-17-19 at 02:36 PM.
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Old 12-17-19, 02:41 PM
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What do you mean by relief? Like a third rider joining in to replace Croom?
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Old 12-17-19, 03:36 PM
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Wow - that looked like no big deal when he went down.
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Old 12-17-19, 03:37 PM
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I didn't realize that Croom went down, just saw that half way through the race there was only one red rider on the track - and that doesn't work well in a Madison.

The rider who is not in the race (i.e. after the hand-off) is referred to as on relief until he drops back down into the race.

Basic tenants of Madison: Never go between two riders on the same team - always go above them (so they can hand off). After the hand-off, make sure the track is clear before heading up-track. (it sounds simple in concept, but gets harder with lack of Oxygen when going far above my lactate threshold).
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Old 12-17-19, 08:54 PM
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Damn. That sucks. You can see the incident at the 7:12 mark in the video above.

Basically, Croom had completed his exchange and was heading up above the stayer's line, but he failed to check to see if anyone was up there already moving faster than him and rode right into the path of a relief rider who was properly riding above the blue line. That brush took out Croom's bars and he wend down instantly. The other rider stayed up. Seemed like a slight lapse of concentration. I recall something similar happened at DLV a couple of years ago during a race where Croom went up track and took someone with him. That person wrecked and broke a collar bone.
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Old 12-18-19, 02:11 AM
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Originally Posted by carleton View Post
Damn. That sucks. You can see the incident at the 7:12 mark in the video above.

Basically, Croom had completed his exchange and was heading up above the stayer's line, but he failed to check to see if anyone was up there already moving faster than him and rode right into the path of a relief rider who was properly riding above the blue line. That brush took out Croom's bars and he wend down instantly. The other rider stayed up. Seemed like a slight lapse of concentration. I recall something similar happened at DLV a couple of years ago during a race where Croom went up track and took someone with him. That person wrecked and broke a collar bone.
This may be unfair on this guy and if so I apologise, but other people who I have seen make these kind of mistakes tend to repeat them and never learn.
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Old 12-18-19, 04:34 AM
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Originally Posted by ruudlaff View Post
This may be unfair on this guy and if so I apologise, but other people who I have seen make these kind of mistakes tend to repeat them and never learn.
Yeah, I agree. I'm reminded of a guy who was big, strong, and had an engine and was involved in more incidents than any other single person I knew. I would say he was like a big puppy who wasn't aware of his body dimensions yet, bumping into stuff all of the time.
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