Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mountain Bike Racing, Time Trailing and Fun

Just a quick note about mountain bike racing.  And time trailing.  These races are completely 100% different than road racing.

In road racing, you usually ride along with a group and the first one across the line wins.  Sometimes the group goes fast and other times not, and none of that matters except when the finish line comes and the first one across wins.

In mountain bike racing, it is also true that the first one across the finish line wins, except that there is not usually a group.  It shares this characteristic with cyclo-cross racing.  The strongest on the particular day, or sometimes the strongest group, tends to separate from the less strong, so that there is a strung-out line from the fastest to the slowest.  It really is an threshold aerobic suffer-fest that tests each person's limits, but with little in the way of drafting or team tactics.

Time trailing is similar, except that instead of being able see who is ahead of you and who is not, you have no gauge on that (particularly in amateur racing; in the pros the riders can get times or splits on those with start times ahead of their), so your only choice is to go at your limit and hope that your limit is higher than the other guys'.

This makes these types of racing all very different than a road race.  In the last blog there was a discussion of whether road racing was fun and there wasn't a clear answer to this question. 

So are these other types of racing fun?  I think the same answer applies.

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