Your First Crit – How to not waste your money

I have been getting a lot of questions about doing a crit for the first time.  Here has been my answer:

Criterium racing can be expensive but it can also be very hard on your ego!  First you tell all of your friends and family that you are “bike” racer or that you are going to do your first race.  You spent 1,000+ for your bike (obviously most racers spent a lot more than this just for a pair of wheels), got your Lycra, helmet, shoes, and your newly minted USAC license.  Then you ride your bike a lot, and even shave your legs!  You think you are fast because you can hang with the local club rides.  You hear about some race next Sunday, so you plan doing the race (another $25+).  Now you have put your money and time on the line.  Your girl/wife is going to be there to take pictures and to see why you have been “wasting” all of your time with this new girl friend of yours.  What should you do? 

To begin with, your first crit might be a serious eye opener and help you rest your understanding of abilities.  Most people barely finish their first crit and many people are shelled in first few laps.  Crit racing is challenging.  You need to understand that getting good a criterium racing will take sometime.  

For your first crit, Your goal needs to be to FINISH.  If you get shelled in your first crit, your ego will be hurt greatly!  

Assuming that your first criterium is next Sunday week, you can’t do much more training that will help you in the race, but you can do too much training which can serious undermine your ability to finish.  During the week, you should do some sprinting to help you tune up your sprinting (but only on two days).  You will be sprinting out of few corners to stay on the wheels. This should a light volume week so don’t hammer the miles this week.  You should skip the group rides if they are just a hammer fest.   Don’t go for a long ride on Friday or Saturday, but get out for some short intervals to keep the body working and loose.     

 Now you need to read a few my previous post: 

Remember:  Finish