Monday, April 17, 2017

Two Weeks until the Fun Begins!

First practice crit of 2017 is Wednesday, May 3.
The Practice criteriums are a Madison cycling community tradition, and have been taking place for 20+ years! They will again will take place on Wednesday evenings in May and June, and may be extended into July and August if there is interest and participation.

The crits are a great opportunity for new racers to learn crit racing skills and for experienced racers to work on their skills, and they are an excellent mid-week work out. Plus, what is more fun than hanging out with your cycling friends!

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

A few reminders:
- In contrast to past years, the entry fee is $5 for everyone (whether you are doing the A race or B race, and whether you volunteer to corner guard or not) as we have to cover the increasing expenses associated with putting on the crits (e.g. street permit fee, USA Cycling fee, port-potty rental).

- you must bring your USA Cycling license the first time you register; if you do not have a license, purchase an annual or 1-day license in advance (you can also do it on-site)

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

- help streamline the registration process:
  • bring exact change to register ($5 entry fee); checks and credit cards will not be accepted
- everyone is expected to volunteer to corner guard; we are experimenting with an on-line system this year, so sign up in advance if possible (you can still sign up on-site too)


1.  All riders must wear a USA Cycling legal/approved bicycle helmet.
2.  Course is open to traffic, so be aware while riding.
3.  No clip-on or other triathlon/time trial bars. USA Cycling legal road bikes only.
4.  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.
5.  Use the port-potties located behind the building near the corner of Charmany Dr and Research Park Blvd.
6.  Dangerous riders will be pulled at the official’s discretion.
7.  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.
8.  All USA Cycling rules are in effect (with the exception of the free lap rule, see #4).
9.  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.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Practice Crit Survey

As we look to make improvements and increase participation in the practice crits, please help out and take a few minutes to respond to the Practice Crit survey:

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The 2017 Practice Season is Almost Here!

It will not be long before the first practice crit of 2017 is here (although it may not look like it with all that white stuff out there!).

The Practice Crit flyer will be ready soon, so look for it posted here and around town!

Some relatively significant changes are in store for this coming season:

- The Brazen Dropouts will be taking over the reigns from the Trek Midwest Team (be sure to thank Trek Midwest Team members for their hard work the past three years).

- We will keep a leaderboard for both the A and B races, updating and posting it each week, with the podium finishers at the end of the season winning some awesome prizes!

- We are also hoping to link up with Strava so that we can keep track of fastest laps, fastest average lap time, etc. and post weekly and season-long results.

- We will hopefully include some clinics for those looking to further their crit racing skills.

- We plan to make available an on-line sign-up for corner guard volunteering.

A few reminders:

- The crits will again be held on Wednesday evenings, with the B race starting about 6:30 pm, and the A race starting about 7:10 pm.

- The first crit of the season will be held on May 2.

- The practice crits can be used to upgrade from Cat 5 to Cat 4.

- Review past posts for more detail about the location, races, etc.

- The blog will be updated more regularly once the season gets a bit closer (and that white stuff is a distant memory).

Finally, the Practice Crit Committee is considering raising the entry fee from $5 to $10 (it has been $5 for almost 20 years!). The are several reasons for the potential increase:

- the cost of the porta-potties (which we have to have) is about $1500

- City of Madison street permit is about $300

- USA Cycling race permit (that includes the insurance we need to hold the race at the UW Research Park) is about $175

USA Cycling surcharges ($2.50 per rider per race day)

- there are also miscellaneous supplies that need to be purchased each year (e.g., radio batteries, safety pins for the numbers)

The local areas teams - Trek Midwest, Brazen Dropouts, GDVC, MadCity Velo, Neff Cycling, and 801 W Madison - are all doing their share to provide some financial assistance, however, as you can see from the list, there are quite a few expenses that we need to cover, and the $5 entry fee, along with the lower number of racers we have had the past few years, makes it difficult to cover everything. Nothing is definite yet, this is just a "heads up" for now.