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Niwot Criterium

2008-07-07 01:33:35.291839+00 by ebradway 9 comments

Dawn at Niwot Cycles, who hosts my favorite group ride on Sundays (followed by beer and brats), was the official sponsor for this years' Niwot Criterium. A different brand of road racing than I've seen before. I got to spend the better part of the day enjoying the community (and closed streets) in downtown Niwot. Every race was exceptional in it's own way - capped by the 1/2/Pro race with several big names riding (of course, the biggest names associated with that Chipotle-Garmin kit were busy with another little race). The 1/2/Pro was swept by Toyota-United with Ben Day taking top honors.

Maybe next year I'll be in shape for the Masters 35+/4!

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comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2008-07-07 11:53:50.212197+00 by: warkitty

Crits are MAJOR fun. I've learned over the past two years that I'm not over-fond of road races, but every crit I've entered I've enjoyed thoroughly regardless my final standings. Its high intensity pack riding at its finest where strength, power, and bike handling are determining factors. OH do I love a good criterium!

#Comment Re: made: 2008-07-07 12:11:38.64121+00 by: ebradway

Yeah - and if I rode the last ride, the 1/2/Pro, I could have jumped out in front and claimed to be leading several world champions and ex-Tour riders!

#Comment Re: made: 2008-07-07 13:49:43.959319+00 by: Dan Lyke [edit history]

I think I mentioned that last year Charlene and I signed up for a shift at the Carrera de San Rafael, stayed for our shift, and were enjoying it so much we stayed for the rest. And we are totally non-spectator sport people.

I'm not going to get into riding 'em 'cause I don't want to risk my bike in that tight with other riders, but as a spectator sport crits are awesome, especially the team interplay that happens at the higher levels.

And: Nice pictures!

#Comment Re: made: 2008-07-08 03:50:11.63261+00 by: ebradway

I drove SAG for the Sunrise Century last month. I figure, since I'm not quite up to the ride, I could at least help out. It was interesting in it's own way but the Crit was much more fun to watch. I'll ride in the Buffalo Bicycle Classic again this year. I'm shooting for the 65 mile course. I'm still on a modified mountain bike - but as long as I'm carting around an extra 40 pounds on my frame, the bike isn't going to make that much of a different.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-07-08 15:50:37.594274+00 by: ebradway

Crits really require a different frame geometry than road bikes - shorter wheelbase, higher bottom bracket, shorter crank arms. So it's yet another bike to keep around!

I didn't see a single wreck that was due to poor practice in the peloton - rain was the worst part. I think it just looks scarier than it really is!

#Comment Re: made: 2008-07-08 16:20:46.01866+00 by: warkitty

As long as the folk around you know what they're doing, it really isn't bad at all. I use the same bike for crits as for road races right now, but if/when I buy another race bike I'll get a slightly smaller frame so I have that shorter wheel base. I test rode one in a crit that's 2cm smaller than my usual frame and could definitely tell a difference in handling the turns on that shorter base.

The difference between riding something like the Sunrise Century and riding a road race and then a crit is pretty notable. To folk that haven't done it, maybe the century and the road race look similar but having done them its very, very different. In a century ride, you don't have the pressure to perform. There's more cameraderie, there's support (as you provided) and while you might want to finish in your best time its like the difference between going hiking with some friends and entering a 5K road race.

The crit... is like a road race on crack.

I love racing crits. I love doing century rides. That mid-range of road races just doesn't do it for me.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-07-08 16:21:40.374502+00 by: Dan Lyke

I've seen a big wreck (a race in Iowa City back in the early '90s), and last year in San Rafael someone lost traction on the downhill corner and took out a several other people. And then there was at least one one person crash. I'm not sure what the statistical significance is, but given how fragile carbon fiber is rumored to be, with hairline fractures becoming catastrophic failures, I'd definitely want something aluminum or steel that I'd feel comfortable getting back on after I laid it down rather than my composite wonder-bike.

I don't think the courses I've seen need a much higher bottom bracket than I've got, so I'm not too worried about frame geometry.

I love driving SAG, but, yeah, it's a completely different experience than a crit.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-07-09 10:19:05.641302+00 by: John Anderson

Wow. I was *at* that crit in Iowa City in the early 90s Dan. Freaky.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-07-09 15:22:44.04002+00 by: Dan Lyke

Wacky. I don't remember when it was, maybe '92, I was visiting my parents who lived in Coralville at the time.