B1 Intermediate UK 980 Folder Collection
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Hi, I'm Daniel Oakman, senior curator at the National Museum of Australia
and welcome to my cycling adventures.
Today I'll be riding this carbon fibre road bike
in a race with the Canberra Veterans Cycling Club.
That's me in the red and white jersey.
The kind of racing I'm riding in here is called the criterium.
We race for a certain amount of time - in this case 20 minutes -
then a bell is rung and riders know
they have two laps to race before the finish line.
We're moving off steadily here with each rider finding a comfortable position.
The key to this kind of racing is conserving energy by drafting behind your competitors.
By staying out of the wind a rider can move easier
than if they are on the front facing into the wind.
Typically, riders will try to stay together,
but sometimes a rider may surge forward in what is known as an attack
and try to move away from the group.
Riders however who attack too early might run out of steam
and be forced back into the bunch.
I have drifted a bit far back
and I am now attempting to move towards the front of the race.
This bike is perfectly designed for this kind of racing.
It's light, durable and responsive, ideal for weaving in close to other riders.
Sitting in an upright position however
does mean that you're not in a particularly aerodynamic position,
hence the need to draft behind others becomes even more important in a race situation.
Today is pretty windy so I'm looking to gain as much shelter
riding behind my competitors,
that way I'll hopefully be able to save enough energy to finish.
Now the pace is really increasing here
and you can see the riders strung out into a long line.
I'm being forced to ride a lot harder
as the wind cuts across the group and big gaps are formed.
I'm struggling to hold the wheel of the rider in front of me
especially around these corners.
The smaller group off the front have stayed together
and they will do so until the finish.
I'm just hopping from group to group until the end racing for the minor placings.
This kind of competition was really the first style of cycle racing
that captivated Australian sports lovers.
As popular as football and cricket
thousands attended venues to watch short criterium races like this one
and longer endurance rides, some going up to six days.
It's been great to come here today to get a feel for what it's like to compete
and get a sense of the many factors that decide the criterium race -
the bike, the fitness, race tactics, the weather, and of course the decisions and strengths of other riders.
I can really see why many cyclists get hooked by this kind of racing.
Thanks for watching and I'll see you on my next cycling adventure.
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Cycling adventures: road racing bike

980 Folder Collection
Growth Keith published on February 2, 2016
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