Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Practice Crit Rolled On

I think quite a few people decided the weather looked a bit iffy tonight and skipped the crit as we only had about 35 people tonight. We did race under cloudy and cooler temperatures as well as a few sprinkles, but the road stayed dry and we had some spirited racing!

Just a reminder, next week (June 17) is the final practice crit of 2014.

Thanks to everyone for participating this year, and to those of you who volunteered!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Only Two Crits Left!

Good turn out again last night - 60+ racers.

Hard to believe but only two more practice crits are left for this year (ToAD starts up the week following the last crit - the start of Superweek / ToAD has been the traditional ending date for the practice crits).

Expect some primo swag for the final two races!

We had a bit more difficulty this week getting all the corners / driveways covered, so again, do your part and volunteer to corner guard. There are several A racers who have not yet volunteered to corner guard (and typically show up right before registration closes), so please make it a point to get here earlier next week to volunteer and so that we are not scrambling to get everything covered.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Tonight's Crit CANCELED

The weather looks too iffy for tonight, so the crit is canceled for tonight. Around 7 pm the forecast has been ranging from 40%-70% chance of rain, so the likelihood is a bit too high.

As much as I know many of you don't mind racing in the rain, getting people to corner guard in the rain is another matter. Plus I would rather err on the side of safety as we don't want to see any crashes as a result of a wet course.

Sorry to cancel - see everyone next week.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Learning to Race Criteriums

A reminder to any aspiring crit racers that during the B race (starts ~6:30 pm), experienced racers are available to provide on-the-bike instruction, so be sure to ask about it at registration if you are interested.

And invite anyone who might be interested in learning to race to the practice crits, whether to watch or to participate (including Amy Ellis).

Warmer Weather Brings out the Masses!

Three weeks into the practice crit series and the hot Tuesday evening brought out the largest number of racers yet (62 racers).  And we even had to turn away a few corner guard volunteers - thanks to everyone for stepping up!

Also, thanks to a few practice crit sponsors (and David Blomme from Trek), we also had some worthy prizes for the top finishers in each race!  And we want to thank again our vehicle sponsor, Smart Motors, for providing a truck each week used to transport the road closure barricades (it was a sweet truck this week - too bad the guys in the picture take away from its beauty!).

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Racing Reminder

Just a friendly reminder, if you do the A race, you are not allowed to do the B race.  In other words, the B race is only for B racers. The only exception is by prior arrangement in which an A racer shadows a B racer or small group of B racers to provide instruction.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Week 2 Notes

We are still in need of more volunteers to corner guard, for both the B race and the A race.

  • A racers come early and B racers stay a little later so that you can help corner guard; the safety of the other racers is more important than a warm up or cool down for a practice crit. 
  • In another week or two, "hard ass" rules will begin in which those who race each week and never volunteer to help will be called out.
  • If you are assigned a corner guard location and notice a busy corner/driveway unattended, please say something over the walkie-talkie. A car entered the course from corner 2 this past week and started driving the wrong way on the course. Thankfully nothing serious happened given the person assigned that corner left it unattended.
Warmer weather is on the way, I just know it!

See you next week.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Successful First Crit

Glad the rain held off tonight, but let's hope for less wind and warmer temps for next time!

A couple "lessons" learned about coordinating the practice crits from the first crit of the season:

- In order to start on time, it would be helpful to have several people show up around 5:30 pm to help load and set up the road barricades. We had to wait a bit for helpers to show up tonight, which then means the races start a little late.

- After the last race, it would really be helpful if some of the A racers would break down the barricades at each of the corners and place them in the grass so that we can get them loaded and put away more efficiently.

- We could also use some help loading the barricades into the truck and then unloading them; 2-3 volunteers would be great, and it gets down quickly.

- B racers, please make it a point to stay and corner guard for the A race. We were a little short tonight (meaning a couple driveways were left unmanned). It is also worth mentioning that corner guarding the A race is also a good learning opportunity (watching how A racers corner, how they draft, when they attack, etc.). Plus you race the B race for free if you corner guard the A race.

Thanks to all of you who did help tonight!

See you next week.

All Set to Go!

Looks like we are ready to start the 2014 Practice Crits tonight - slight chance of rain, but it is likely to hold off until after the race.

We will begin closing the course to traffic starting about 5:45 pm, and a few volunteers would be appreciated to help set up the road barricades. Meet at the registration area (Rosa Rd and Research Park Blvd intersection).

Please be sure to thank all the new volunteers as this year we have new officials (Jason Austin & John Tedesco) and new registration and corner guard coordinators (Ben Grabow, David Davis, Shawn Bass, & Kenny Kemp) - without their stepping up the crits would not be happening! Also, please be patient too as this is the first time in these roles for everyone.

Also, a license update for UW racers (or other collegiate racers).  According to USA Cycling: If the collegiate license is purchased first and another license is added later, the rider will only need to pay the price difference of the two. Collegiate licenses are only valid for use in collegiate events. In other words, you are required to have an annual USA Cycling license (or a 1-day license) in order to race, the collegiate license is only valid for collegiate events.  The annual license would then cost $35 if you already have the collegiate license.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Latest Updates

Just a few more days until the first practice crit of 2014, and looks like the weather (at least as of today's forecast) may actually cooperate as well!

I spoke with someone at USA Cycling and, as it turns out, there is a release form that will apply to the entire 7 race series, so you do not need to complete a release form each and every week (think of all the trees we are saving!).

The form will be available on-site, but I encourage those of you reading this blog to download the form in advance, fill it out, and bring it to the crit as that will help streamline registration.

USA Cycling Series Release Form

Final Reminders
- bring exact change ($5 entry)

- you must bring your USA Cycling license the first time you register (if you do not have a license, then purchase one in advance, a 1-day or annual, on-line rather than on-site)

- remember to save your race number and bring it with you each time

- check this site for weather cancellations (will try to post by 4:30 pm)

- volunteer to corner guard!

See everyone Tuesday!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Thanks to Smart Motors

Smart Motors is providing a vehicle to transport the road barricades for the practice crits - thanks Smart Motors!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Let the Racing Begin!

Looks like we are all set to officially start the practice crits in less than 2 weeks!

Our two volunteers to become USA Cycling officials are now official officials, and we have the registration and corner guard coordinator positions filled too!

Final Reminders:
We can always use some help setting up the road closure barricades - to help, arrive around 5:45 pm.

Everyone will be expected to corner guard at some point during the 7 weeks of racing (or bring a non-racer friend to serve in your place).

Help streamline the registration process:
- complete and print the USAC release form at home and bring it to the practice crit (release form is available here: http://wp.wicycling.org/resources/race_directors/#forms)

- if you do not have a USAC license, apply for an annual license or 1-day license on-line rather than at the practice crit (available here: http://www.usacycling.org/news/user/story.php?id=579)

- bring exact change to register ($5 entry fee); checks and credit cards will not be accepted

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Only 2 weeks until the first crit, but ...

The Madison Practice crits are now only 2 weeks away, however,  we still need volunteers for two key positions: registration and corner guard czars.

Again, the registration czar will check racers in, have them complete the release form, assign race numbers, collect entry fees, and have them complete USAC license applications (if needed). The corner guard czar will assign volunteers to corner guard positions for both the B and A races, and give a quick tutorial on corner guard duties.

Both jobs are pretty easy, take place between 6 - 7 pm, and will still allow the volunteer to do the A race. If you know of a non-racer (e.g., spouse, significant other, neighbor) who wants to help out and also enjoy watching the races, ask them to volunteer.

Ideally I'd like to have one person in each position for the entire series of 7 crits, however, the positions can also be shared with each person taking particular weeks. So if you are willing to volunteer for either position for a night or two (or three) let me know. 

Without these positions being filled, we will likely not be able to hold the races.

Sunday, April 20, 2014


License Reminder
Remember that you must have a USA Cycling license in order to race (and you must present your license each week at registration).

If you do not have a USAC license, you have two options:

- Buy an annual license (cost is $70), and although we will have annual license forms available on site, please join on-line as it will make things much easier than trying to do it on site. Note that this license will allow you to race the entire series (plus any other USAC races).

- Buy a 1-day license (cost is $15), and although we will have 1-day license forms available on site, please complete the form online and bring a copy of the form/receipt to the practice crit. Note that this license will only allow you to race for the one day.

For both licenses, see https://www.usacycling.org/buy-a-license.htm for details about getting your license on-line.

Release Form Reminder
Everyone has to complete a USA Cycling release form for each crit, so save some time and complete the form on-line, print it out, and bring it with you. The form is available at https://www.usacycling.org/forms/waiver.php?url=rider_waiver.

Registration Reminder
The entry fee to race is $5, and you must bring exact change - no checks or credit cards will be accepted.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Volunteers Needed

I am looking for two (or more) volunteers for key practice crit positions:

- registration czar
- corner guard czar

The registration czar will check racers in, have them complete the release form, assign race numbers, collect entry fees, and have them complete USAC license applications (if needed).

The corner guard czar will assign volunteers to corner guard positions for both the B and A races, and give a quick tutorial on corner guard duties.

Both jobs take place between 6 - 7 pm, and will still allow the volunteer to do the A race. If you know of a non-racer (e.g., spouse, significant other, neighbor) who wants to help out and also enjoy watching the races, ask them to volunteer. If several people volunteer, the positions can be "shared" and each person can take particular weeks.

Without these positions being filled, we will likely not be able to hold the races.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Madison Practice Crits Update

As I am sure everyone knows by now, Craig Heywod will not be available to officiate this year due to some health issues, and an email solicitation was sent out the the local ride list serve seeking volunteers to become USA Cycling officials so that we would be able to hold the practice crits this year.

Everyone be sure to thank the two individuals, Jason Austin and John Tedesco, who stepped up to become official USA Cycling officials and will serve as the officials for the practice crits in Craig Heywood's absence. Without their help, we would not be having the practice crits this year - so thanks guys!

At this point, things appear to be progressing on time and they should both have their official's licenses by the start of the practice crits. If things change, be sure to check this site for updates.

Practice Crit Essentials

2014 Madison Practice Criteriums schedule:

Practice criteriums will take place on Tuesday evenings in May and June. The crits are a great opportunity for new racers to learn crit racing skills and for experienced racers to work on their skills.

- May 6
- May 13
- May 20
- May 27
- June 3
- June 10
- June 17

The B race (typically Cat 4/5, women, juniors, beginners) starts at 6:30 pm for about 30 minutes, and the A race (typically Cat 1/2/3) starts at 7:10 pm for about 50 minutes.

Note: During the B race, experienced racers will be available to "shadow" B race riders (for those who are interested) and provide in-race "instruction."

The course is located at the UW Research Park on Madison's west side, and is approximately a 0.9 mile loop consisting of S Rosa Rd - Charmany Dr - Research Park Blvd.

Registration is located near the intersection of S Rosa Rd and Research Park Blvd, and opens at 6 pm and closes at 7 pm. Each week, all riders must fill out a USA Cycling release form (available on-site or here, http://wp.wicycling.org/resources/race_directors/#forms), bring their USA Cycling license (annual and 1-day licenses are available on-site), and pay the $5 entry fee (bring exact change - no checks or credit cards accepted).

Note: The entry fee is waived for those riders doing the B race if you corner guard for the A race.

- helping set up the barricades (arrive around 6 pm)
- corner guards for B race
- corner guards for A race
- breaking down the course after the A race

In past years, it has been a struggle to get all racers to serve as corner guards, so this year we are going to try a different approach and hold everyone accountable for volunteering by maintaining a record of who has and who has not volunteered (among everyone who signs up to race). If you have not served as a corner guard by the June 3 race, you will not be allowed to race until you do. Might sound harsh, but without the corner guards we cannot hold the races, and everyone who races should do their part!

Note: Bring a friend to corner guard and it can "count" for you.


  1. All riders must wear a USA Cycling legal/approved bicycle helmet.
  2. Wear your assigned bib number (received when you register for the first time); same number will be used for the entire series, so don't lose it.
  3. Course is open to traffic, so be aware while riding.
  4. No clip-on or other triathlon/time trial bars. USA Cycling legal road bikes only.
  5. You may drop out and re-enter the race at any time except during the final two laps. Re-enter the race safely and on the straight sections of the course only.
  6. Use the port-potties located behind the building near the corner of Charmany Dr and Research Park Blvd.
  7. Dangerous riders will be pulled at the official's discretion.
  8. Check the Madison Practice Crits web site (you are on it now!) for cancellations due to inclement weather. Will try to update the page by 4:30 pm on race days.
  9. All USA Cycling rules are in effect (with the exception of the free lap rule, see #5).
  10. Be on your best behavior - we are guests and want to be able to continue to use the area for the practice crits in the future.
  11. Volunteer to corner guard and help out with course set-up and take-down. The races do not happen without the help of everyone.