From Wayne Whitesides of ETHIC Inc.
– Board Member, Official, Race Promoter and Rider
Hi everyone…. It’s another great year at the DLV, the twelfth for me. There are a couple of things I want to go over on Track Etiquette and Newbie riders, since week after week riders come up to me to express their concern for such and such. So here goes my attempt at a recap of past issues. This is light hearted and meant to be, so don’t take any offense as it’s not directed at anyone individual. It’s just food for thought and is mainly all common sense, but sometimes we all need a friendly reminder.
1. I’m the Best: We all want to be considered the best, I know I do. It took a lot for me to move down a category, but I’m man enough to do it and now much happier. Please look at your ability and race in your category. We worked long and hard to re-categorize and are doing it for the overall good of the track. Give that category a chance. I know there will be riders you feel don’t meet your high handling standards, but did you think maybe someone’s not too keen on yours? Trust me, the Expert group has plenty of riders who do silly things as well as the Elites. You’ll see, you’ll have more fun once you move to where you truly should be, whether it be the Elite, Expert, Competitive or Beginners category. And if someone does a boner move, then see rule #2 on how to handle it.
2. The Boner Race Move: We’ve all done less than stellar race moves— So when it happens please get irritated and do whatever you do, but then pull it together and calmly let that rider know what they did wrong. How else will they learn. You are the more experienced rider, teach them, just like someone taught you. Everyone will benefit…including my complaint induced ulcer.
3. The Duncan: The YoYo happens when YoYo’s are not really paying attention in a pace line, which causes a lot of the problems from Etiquette Rule 1 and 2. (Most riders judge you based on how well you can ride in a pace line and have already made up their mind on your ability before the race even begins.) First, when you start to pull off after your pull, remember to continue to pedal hard until you are up and out of the way. A lot of riders, even the experienced slow just before they pull off. This causes the rider behind you ride up your backside and the rider behind them up their backside and so on. Second, pay attention to the speed of the person in front of you and go that speed yourself. Either get a computer or count pedal strokes to get a rhythm. Oh… And don’t look at wheels. Look at butts, this keeps you at a more constant space.
4. Psychic Powers: Be aware of your surroundings. There are a lot of other riders racing, you need to know who’s around you at all times and anticipate Rule #2 before it happens. Watch overlapping wheels and hold your line in sprints.
5: What Red Line?: The sprinters lane is just that, the sprinters lane. Once the sprint has started and you’re in it, stay in it. Of course if you’re behind someone you can come out of the lane, but if you’re in the lead you’re stuck there until passed. Everyone else hold your line and remember rule #4.
6. Buns of Steel: I mean nerves of steel. Stay relaxed. The more relaxed everyone is the safer the racing. Pay attention to how tense you are, how stiff are your arms? Do your shoulders hurt after racing? You can race better if you are not so nervous and trust the riders around you. We are a small knit family and the more we race together the more you’ll be able to anticipate rider “X” breaking rule # 2 before it happens because rider “X” always does it… But then if you truly followed rule #2 he/she probably wouldn’t do it again…right.
[added May 16th]
8. Don’t swing up from second wheel: One thing that we teach all of our beginners is to look over your shoulder before you swing off the front of the group. While our first riders in each group have been doing that, if the second rider blindly follows the first rider up the banking, have they then not made sure that it’s clear from them to move up the track? At the very least the second rider should pass the first rider underneath and then move up the track once they’ve done their shoulder check to make sure all is clear. This will help our groups have a smoother flow, especially for riders that may be catching onto the back of a group that had a small gap.