Anyone interested in racing as a team this year?

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mfarnham
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Anyone interested in racing as a team this year?

Post by mfarnham » Thu Jan 24, 2019 10:30 am

Hi folks,

Each year a bunch of Tripleshotters show up and do VCL races (and some bigger races). The typical Tripleshotter in a race rolls off the start line and races for him/herself. This is fun and totally cool and I highly encourage anyone who feels the competitive itch to give it a try.

For those seeking something a bit different, we have the option of taking it to the next step and trying to race as a group. Most of us experienced in group riding (myself included) have very little idea how to race as a team. It’s totally different from group riding and totally different from racing solo and sometimes it’s counterintuitive but can be really fun, interesting, and rewarding. A few years ago a handful of us said, “Let’s get Ritchie across the line first” at one of the VCL Speedway B group races. I had no idea what I was doing and was useless to the effort. I suspect the rest of the group had not much clue either, but somehow Ritchie was across the line first and—whether or not the “team” had anything to do with his result—it felt awesome for all of us.

There are a number of options in Victoria for people looking to race as a team. Victoria Breakaway, Oak Bay Wheelers, Pro City, and others. I’m suggesting this not so much as competition to these teams, but as a different flavour of racing which might appeal to some Tripleshot members who would not otherwise choose to race on a team. If you want to race with the fastest guys in town, this might not be your cup of tea. But if you want to learn how to race in a more sophisticated way with a bunch of your pals, this could be a fun alternative.

Were it to happen, some basic points that I would like to see in a Tripleshot racing effort are:

1) It should be inclusive. Anyone—female/male, fast/slow, young/old should feel welcome. That wouldn’t mean a C rider could show up and expect the team to work exclusively for them to be the top finisher. But they should be able to be part of whatever effort the group is putting together for that day’s race, if they want to be.

2) There would be no “separate” race team within the club. Any club member could show up and race with Tripleshot on any given race day (unless you’ve committed to another race team in which case there are rules about maintaining loyalty to your declared team). Of course that also means *no separate race kit* (so no snarky comments Mr. Simonson!).

3) It should be fun and Tripleshot-flavoured.

Tripleshot is not primarily a race club, and it never will be. But racing can be an exciting facet of what the club has to offer its members—both for participants and for their non-racing friends cheering from the sidelines. If you’re interested, pipe up with your thoughts and keep an eye on the conversation. With enough interest, we’ll schedule a beer and get together to chat amongst ourselves and with (Club Coach) Lister.

Cheers!
Martin

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John D
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Re: Anyone interested in racing as a team this year?

Post by John D » Thu Jan 24, 2019 10:47 am

Well said Martin! The idea has definitely been floated several times in recent years (John Taylor comes to mind), and so it would be great to see something actually come of it this time around.

>If you want to race with the fastest guys in town, this might not be your cup of tea.

Correction - you can still race with them, you just won't be racing on their team. Instead you'll be racing on the team with the nicest, most inclusive, people in town. :wink:
"Talk - Action = Zero" - Joe Keithley

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Alan
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Re: Anyone interested in racing as a team this year?

Post by Alan » Thu Jan 24, 2019 12:34 pm

Martin, thanks for the post. I just wanted to add that my funnest experience in racing hasn't been the Crit-type stuff that requires huge amounts of testosterone and bravery and scares the shite out of me, but the team time trial racing we did a couple of years back up in Cowichan and Nanaimo. Now that was fun--and easy to do: get 3-4 others about your same strength and work together in a 70k race, where the point system includes handicaps for older dudes (and which means the grey-haired guys who arrive to the race in their personal helicopters --I'm not making that up-- always win).

The most memorable race was where I was on a team with Josh, Gavin, John T and Pete Lawless (I think) and we dropped Peter after about the first 5k (he said he was having mechanical problems but I suspect he was just suffering from a case of Big Wussitude). I think we had the 3rd fastest time in that race but ended up finishing about 7th (due to the way the older dudes 'handicapped' themselves so they won).
If there are any other team time trial-type races this year, then we could field a bunch of Tripleshot groups. Remember lads and lasses when planning your team: you want strong, old people on your team if you want to win!

shawn
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Re: Anyone interested in racing as a team this year?

Post by shawn » Thu Jan 24, 2019 5:03 pm

I think this is a terrific idea, and it builds on the "race games" that took place during regular club rides last year.

Alan, a few of us (Heather S. Amy E., Ann .P and myself) went up and raced at the Masters TTT at Cowichan last summer and it was a blast. We had sunstroke but other than that, it was a blast :)

rduncan
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Re: Anyone interested in racing as a team this year?

Post by rduncan » Thu Jan 24, 2019 10:13 pm

I’d be into participating in an event like Alan mentioned. Club riding is so fun and it’s rewarding when we put in a group effort do a common goal.
Rob Duncan

mfarnham
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Re: Anyone interested in racing as a team this year?

Post by mfarnham » Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:21 am

Just to clarify for those less familiar with different race disciplines, Team Time Trial racing is very different from road/crit racing. TTT racing is largely about training with the *same* small group of riders figuring out how to optimally burn matches across a course. There's not really a strategic component to TTT racing--that is, there's no responding to what your opponent is doing while you're in the middle of the race (attacks, counterattacks, deciding whether or not to chase a break, etc.--none of that happens in TTT). You might respond to the wind or to the hills profile of an unfamiliar course, but you're not responding to what your opponent is doing in the moment (because they're probably not even on the course with you).

Also, there are only one or two TTT racing opportunities on the island each year. Super fun, super worth doing, but not the primary focus of my post above.

My suggestion here is more about road racing or criterium racing. Races like the VCL Speedway, Caleb Pike, or Windsor Park races. There's a VCL race of this style (which lends itself to a different sort of teamwork than TTT) virtually every weekend from mid-April through much of the summer. If Tripleshot members were racing these as a team, the team on the course would probably be different every week. The "plan" for each race would probably vary depending on who wanted to work together that day, but the "plan" generally gets a bit blown up by the race itself and then it becomes learning how to work as a group on the fly, often without being able to talk to each other (because everyone might be spread out). To me, this is where a lot of fun and opportunity for learning lies. Think of being a band trying to record a song where everyone's spread out in their own separate glass soundproof booth so you can kinda see each other but not really communicate. Can you figure out how to pass the solo around without playing over each other? Can you tell who's got the strong voice that day that you want to highlight in the final verse? Can people switch up the parts as needed without screwing up the song?

Anyway, nothing against TTT racing, and that could be an arrow that we try to put into our quiver. But I'm mostly talking road/crit racing here.

Ciao!
Martin

mfarnham
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Re: Anyone interested in racing as a team this year?

Post by mfarnham » Tue Feb 12, 2019 4:08 pm

I've talked to and emailed some people who I thought might be interested in this. About 17 men and women responded and said they have at least some interest--some are very interested. I think it's reasonable to expect that we'd have a core of at least 4 people in a typical early season VCL race, and maybe several more. So looks like enough to work with. Might call for a beer to discuss at some point next week. Keep an eye on the thread if you're interested

If you want to be on an email list about this and haven't already heard from me, feel free to PM me, or post here.

Ciao!
Martin

mfarnham
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Re: Anyone interested in racing as a team this year?

Post by mfarnham » Fri Mar 08, 2019 10:50 am

Hey folks,

About 20 people wrote to express interest in racing as a group, ranging from "keep me on the list" to "I'm all in!"

Join us on Monday March 11, 7:30pm at the Fernwood Inn to talk about the upcoming road race season. Coach Lister Farrar will join us to talk about general training principles and some ideas for how to approach a race, whether it's your first or nth. The idea will be mostly to chat about what people want to do. There should be room for various levels of commitment and experience.

Showing up doesn't commit you to race or race in any particular way. It's just a way to find out who's interested in what, share some useful information, and have a beer together.

Please RSVP (post here, pm, or email me), so I can make sure we've got enough space reserved. Also, if anyone is driving from Vic West, I could do with a ride.

Everyone is welcome!

Best,
Martin

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myboys
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Re: Anyone interested in racing as a team this year?

Post by myboys » Sat Mar 09, 2019 2:16 pm

I'm in!

Mary

mfarnham
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Re: Anyone interested in racing as a team this year?

Post by mfarnham » Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:00 am

Looks like around 15 people planning to show up. Should be fun!

Martin

mfarnham
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Re: Anyone interested in racing as a team this year?

Post by mfarnham » Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:18 pm

Neil and I will be there at 7. Folks are welcome to turn up early for the evening version of coffee.

Martin

Fozzy
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Re: Anyone interested in racing as a team this year?

Post by Fozzy » Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:17 am

Just wanted to say thanks to all who turned up and a big thanks to Lister for providing some real insight into team tactics.

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