Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Tuesday Night Criterium

"El Do"
Ian and I drove to El Dorado Park in Long Beach last night to watch the Tuesday Night Criterium hosted by California Bicycle Racing.  The weekly races started up for the season a few weeks ago and will run through May.  The race runs an hour long and includes a number of divisions ranging from Pro-Elite Men to Masters 60+.  At the start, divisions are sent out on the course a few minutes apart.  The course itself is a 1.7 mile loop around the perimeter of the park.

I'd never been before so I had no idea where the start/finish line was.  So instead we found a little rise on the grass next to the course, broke out our sandwiches and waited for the first riders.

They must start the race with a neutral lap because when the first group came by us, they where not moving very fast.  Ditto on the next two groups.  But on the second lap, the Pro/Elites came screaming by with a 4 man break away about 20 seconds ahead of the peleton. 

For the next 5 or 6 laps I kept Ian engaged by helping him count the number of riders in each break and then timing the gap between them and the rest of the riders.  Then on the next lap we'd figure out how many more (or less) riders where in the break and then figure out the change in the time difference between the break and the peleton.  Who knew a bike race could be used to practice developing math skills?

The Pro/Elites ran a pretty tight race by pulling all the breaks back - they were rarely the same lap to lap, and I'm sure they finished with a field sprint.  The other divisions were riding fast, but I certainly saw a lot of suffering out there on the final laps.

I shot some video on my phone to upload with this post, but when I got home I managed to press a few wrong keys on my computer and iTunes reset my phone.  So I lost it all.

But not to worry.  I'll be going back and will get some more video.  TRI714 will be racing one of these weeks and I plan on going down and cheering him on.  Ian will bring the cowbell.  And who knows, maybe I'll give it a try myself before May.  An hour's worth of high intensity riding will make for a good session even if (or rather when) I get dropped.

11 comments:

Kovas said...

Sounds like a good time on many levels. Would be a cool thing to try at least once.

Jason said...

That sounds like a ton of fun. And how awesome to get to spend that time with Ian developing math skills, dad-son time and seeing how fun exercise is.

Get out there and try it.

Good luck to Craig as well.

Jennifer said...

I have never see a live bike race, at least not one that isn't connected to a local Podunk triathlon. It would be very exciting to see the real thing. Good for you taking the boy along!

JenniferLeah said...

it's scary sic to watch 'em fly huh? sounds like a great night though I am really doubting if you were REALLY there.
Hmmmm...sounds suspect to me. Deleted the video. riiiiiiight.
LOL

:)

Christi said...

That sounds very exciting and you are right a great teaching moment!

Tri4Success said...

I've taken my kids to watch our local crit series in the past as well. With my oldest I discuss the race strategy and my youngest gets to ring the cowbell. An enjoyable and unique activity for getting out of the house ..... and they always want to go for a bike ride the next day!

TRI714 said...

cool right up. First lap is nuetral for group set up and pace. The true start finish is all the way on the other side of where the parking lot is. Hence, where the primes get won and lost and sprints take place. Yes there is some true suffering at all levels and each division. I hope to be back out there next week. That being said, Im am racing this Sunday on a much larger scale :-).

Luke said...

crit= fast+balls of steel. You would do fine!

Jeff - DangleTheCarrot said...

The crit races are so cool. The have them here down at Memorial Park. I plan on making it down to watch a few this summer. Cool you did this with the boy!

Chris K said...

What's a criterium?

valen said...

that looks like fun!,

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