Thursday, July 9, 2015

2015 Practice Crits are Over

After giving the extension of the practice crits in July and August more thought, and talking it over with a number of other racers, we have decided NOT to continue the remaining practice crits as the interest this year seems to be at an all time low, and given the challenge and frustration of getting enough volunteers to corner guard each race, it just does not seem worth the effort to continue at this point.

We are thinking about changes for next year to make the practice crits a bigger and better event, including the likelihood of switching to Wednesday night, maybe a new location (with fewer corners to guard), the possibility of having a food cart and maybe even a beer cart on site for each race, better prizes, and making it a series (e.g., keep track of points, use Strava for lap times). I may also elicit further input on the practice crit blog (so visit the site occasionally for updates or to provide input).

Thanks to all of you who did make it out this year, and especially to those of you who volunteered!

See you next season!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

July & August Practice Crits

Thanks to those of you who took the time to respond to the practice crit survey. Many of the ideas suggested were good ones (e.g., better promotion, food truck, Strava, better prizes), and I think we will try to incorporate them into next season's crits as there is not enough time or manpower to do so for this year.

However, the response for continuing the crits into July and August was overwhelmingly positive, and we will run two crits each month, so the following dates are planned for now (adjustments may be made if particular dates are preferred):

July 14
July 28
August 4
August 18

With the WCA racing schedule extending into August this year, the Brazen Dropouts road race (August 2) and the LAPT stage race (August 7-9), it seems like a July 28 crit and an August 4 crit could be good preparation days.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Some Action Pics!

A couple pics from Tuesday's racing, 3-man break with the pack chasing (but never catching!).

Practice Crit Survey

Please take a few minutes to complete the four question survey about the practice crits. Your responses will help us in deciding whether to continue the crits into July and August, as well as in making plans for next season.

Select the link below to access the survey, and complete it by Tuesday, June 23:

Practice Crit Survey

Also, just a reminder, no crit next week (June 23), and the next one will be June 30.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Practice Crit Reminder

We will not be holding a practice crit next week, June 23, as ToAD will be in full swing, and the last practice crit for this year will likely be June 30.

Initially we thought about trying something new this year and running the crits all summer, but we just have not had the turn-out this year compared to past years, and so it looks doubtful that we will go beyond June. We may think about it for next year, and maybe move the crits to Wednesday night as I think we are losing a number of riders to the Capital Brewery ride on Tuesdays.

Thoughts are welcome if you have any suggestions for getting more riders out for the crits.

Great Swag for Tomorrow's Crit!

We will have some great swag for tomorrow's crit: Mad City Velo is providing free entries to the upcoming Blue Mounds Classic Road Race (see

Two free entries in the B race and 1 free entry in the A race will be awarded as primes.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Looks like Another Great Forecast

Weather looks to be warm and sunny for Tuesday's practice crit. Hopefully we have a better turn out this week as last week had surprisingly small fields given the nice weather, and as a result of the small fields it was a struggle to get the corners and driveways covered.

So be sure to come out this week and enjoy the racing (and volunteer to corner guard too!).

Monday, June 1, 2015

Can it Be?? A Warm and Sunny Forecast for Tuesday!

Well I expect tomorrow's practice crit to be well attended given this will be the first warm, sunny, and not too windy night of racing!

A couple important announcements:

- Please do not park or warm up in the Affiliated Engineers Inc parking lot (the lot close to registration/corner 3 on the inside of the course).

- Look for a survey to be posted here in the next week or so with questions regarding interest in continuing the practice crits in July and August (as many of you know, traditionally we stop in June).

Finally, please make it a point to volunteer to corner guard (and thanks to those who have and continue to do so each week). There are quite a few racers who show up to race, but have not yet volunteered - it is not fair to those who take the time to volunteer if others are not doing their part, and without adequate volunteers we cannot hold the races.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Weather Gods must like Racing

Well, the forecast has changed quite significantly and it appears that the weather should be dry the rest of the day, so unless it changes again, we are on for tonight. And it should be much warmer than the past 2 weeks too!

Not Looking so Good for Tonight

Forecast looks a bit rainy for tonight, but I will post to the site by 430 pm whether the crit is a go or not.

Two Good Weeks of Racing

Although the temps were a little cool the past two weeks, we had a good turn-out for both the A and B races, with about 30-35 riders in the A race each week and about 15-20 riders in the B race each week. Hopefully warmer (and dry) days are ahead and we will have even bigger fields.

Thanks to those that have been stepping up to corner guard - and for those of you who have not yet volunteered, please make sure you get there early to help out next time!

Will post some action photos soon! :)

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Ellis may also Race Tonight.

Not relevant for most of you, but A. Ellis may be a guest rider tonight.

First Practice Crit will be Tonight!

Although it is not 70 and sunny, there is no rain in the forecast for tonight, so it looks like we are all set for the first practice crit of the season tonight.

Read the reminders and crit guidelines/rules in several of the earlier posts so things go smoothly.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Crit Cancelled

It is still sprinkling on the west side, the roads are really wet, and I am worried the iffy weather means fewer volunteers and, as a result, the crit is cancelled for tonight! Bummer to cancel the first one!

Capital Brewery ride may still be going (at 5:30 pm) so that may be an option for those of you itching to get out.

Hopefully see you next week!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Final Reminders

A few final reminders as the first practice crit is scheduled to start tomorrow (May 5).

- check this site for weather cancellations (will try to post by 4:30 pm), especially since tomorrow looks like it may rain at this point

- 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

- volunteer to corner guard (A racers show up by 6:15 pm at the latest)!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Practice Crit Reminders

First practice crit is a little over a week away, Tuesday, May 5 - keep your fingers crossed for good weather!

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

Everyone is expected to corner guard at some point (or bring a non-racer friend to serve in your place); we will be keeping track!

Help streamline the registration process:
  •  complete and print the USAC release form at home and bring it to the practice crit (see the April 20 posts for the release form)
  •  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:
  •  bring exact change to register ($5 entry fee); checks and credit cards will not be accepted

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Smart Motors stepping up again this Season!

We have Smart Motors to thank again this season for loaning us a truck for use in setting up and breaking down the crit course.

Need a new car - stop by Smart Motors! :)

Monday, April 20, 2015

USA Cycling Release Form

The release form below only needs to be completed once for the series. Please download and bring with you to your first practice crit.

2015 Practice Crits Details & Rules

Practice criteriums will take place on Tuesday evenings in May and June, and may be extended this season into July and August (more details to come). The crits are a great opportunity for new racers to learn crit racing skills and for experienced racers to work on their skills.

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. All riders must fill out a USA Cycling release form (available here Release Form) the first time (only need to complete the form once), 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 5:45 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 again this year we are going to 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 2 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.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

2015 Flyer is Posted!

All the permits are in and we are ready to kick off the annual practice crits starting on May 5. We are tentatively planning to hold races even longer this year - into July and August - and are discussing an interesting mix of practice races for the final two months (stay tuned, more to follow!).

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

2015 Practice Crits are Coming!

Just a heads up that the Madison Practice crits will be starting up again for the season on Tuesday, May 5.

A flyer will be posted to this site soon.