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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a question about racing. I've started in mass starts where they run different ages together so I can have alot of people in front of me. There can be a bottle neck shortly after the start. Almost everyone waits their turn in back of the person in front of them.
One time I swung out of the group and rode out side of them up to the turn where they had slowed down. I passed alot of riders that way and placed second. Is that legal as long as I don't go outside of some tape or barracades? It seems like alot of the race I'm waiting for someone in front of me.
I noticed that when I got passed alot of the time it was a group of fast riders. It would be easier to pass as a group because the first guy through would move riders over and the rest would just follow.
Is it a good stradegy to hook up with fast riders and follow them through. Maybe form an age group younger than yours. Do you kind of know who's who after racing for a while? Who's wheel to follow? Since I came in second I sure would have liked to have known the guy who came in first. I would have been right on his wheel. Thanks!:)
 

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As long as it is within the marked areas, then technically it's fair game...although, if it's singletrack, going off the trail is typically a no-no.
 

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NORBA rules state that one is not allowed to go outside of the trail to advance position
Rule 1K9 (page 20-21 i think). So i suppose it depends on the course and whether or not you actually left the trail to make the pass.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The race that I did this started on a dirt road and then turned off the road. Where it turned off the road it narrowed and that is where the bottle neck was. I just went to the outside of the road and passed them. At the bottle neck I waited for an opening to get up the hill.
This race was a while ago. The reason I ask is that I'm getting back into racing and would like to know. It wasn't shorter. I didn't cut accross. They were all just waiting behind the next guy.
It would help if I started with my age and ability group. Then I would know where I stand. But in a large mixed group I have no idea who I'm competing against. Is the top guy in my catagory going on the outside? If he is then I need to also. But I can't tell with all the younger guys in front of me.
 

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it's definately ok but it's NOT ok for these promoters to stage riders this way. it's unfair to the faster older riders. they should stage by ages then have the mass start. I still don't like it but I'll accept this way.
 

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don't you love it when they give you no notice of this start procedure and your competition is in front of all the slower younger guys. sorry but I forwarned you that I'm not gonna pass nicely, but within the rules.
 

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The main concern is getting out front as fast as possible. That way the bottle neck is behind you and hopefully your competition is caught in it. I go pretty hard off the line to avoid situations like that. If it means hitting a hole in the pack to advance in tight quarters I'll do it but most often ride up the outer edges to get past as many as you can. If you get behind someone fast, then just stay on their wheel and let him clear a path for you. Also if you are a little ballsy and can pass in awkward places it'll pay off. I took quite a few spots away from people this way. And most of all, learn to climb well. People like to fall into a rhythm and relax a little on the climbs, learn to hammer up them(and most importantly recover afterwards) and you'll be able to pass a lot of people.

Ryan H.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'll remember those tactics. When I race I want to have fun and be around the mtb scene.
But I also want to place well. It is racing after all. It seems like alot of people aren't really trying to place well. Or they haven't trained much. This is in the lower categories.
that's what I meant when I said they were all just waiting their turn. They didn't seem to care. I like placing well. Maybe if I get into it for a while I'll back off a bit. Who knows.
I can't wait to go!
 
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