Would you go on a drop ride the day before your first crit race?

My first race ever is this coming Sunday and I normally attend a drop ride on Saturday. Going on this group ride will put me at an all-time high TSS of 760, my next highest TSS is 660…and this is before the race itself.

Fatigue-wise I’m actually feeling pretty good. I’m not sure if it’s adrenaline about going on my first race, but I’ve been feeling stronger on the bike than I’ve felt for a year. And honestly, I’m worried about being a wuss and not hardening up and doing the group ride.

Talk some sense into me, bad idea right? What should I do instead, a short ride at zone 1?

Do openers like Scott Peak or one of the -X variants

Doing a drop ride before your first race is a sure fire way to have a bad first race. You want to go into it feeling fresh, both physically and mentally. Your first race, especially a crit, can be very mentally taxing.


For a minute I thought you meant the one group ride was gonna be 760tss. Like…what the hell kind of crazy ass masochistic group ride is that? Do you all do an everest together? Then my brain figured out you were talking about the weekly tss.

I wouldn’t do the group ride. Do some openers and be fresh for the race.


If you crave some social interaction, One option is to just do part of the ride eg do 45 min with the group the turn around and ride home solo.

This also gives you the opportunity to announce to everyone during the ride and when you drop off that you’re racing tomorrow :grin:


I’d recommend against it. But If you do the drop ride, plan to get dropped. Don’t pull, stay deep in the pace line and don’t work too hard. If you don’t get dropped, when you feel like you’re really into it and ready to rip off everyone’s legs, punch out and go home. Save it for the race.

As a first race, a crit is about as mentally demanding as you can get. You want your brain fully engaged for as long as possible, and if you start the race tired, your brain will fade early, and even if you don’t crack physically, you won’t learn as much as you would fresh.

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What I have done is to meet the group and do the neutral rollout portion with the group. As soon as it gets to go time, I drift to the back, drop myself, and go do some openers.


IME, probably won’t make much of a difference either way.

The goal for a first crit is/should be to hang in the pack and learn, and you either have the fitness or you don’t. Some fatigue isn’t going to change that.


Theoretically, bad idea.

Real world, heck yeah, go ride.

Don’t do it out of shame/guilt or “needing to harden up.” Do it because it’s fun. If not, sleep in and ride z1 or don’t ride at all.

Be invisible in the crit.

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Easy answer…no.

Ride easy, or not at all. Be fresh for the race. Drink tons of water in the 3 - 4 days leading up to the race.


Meh. Do both. It’s not like the first Crit is your A race


Well, went to the race and didn’t get dropped/crashed out. I’ll call that a win! I’ve competed in kickboxing and wrestling, but I’ve ever had such a big adrenaline dump in my entire life. Something about flying through corners at 25+mph with less than a foot of clearance all around you, I guess :stuck_out_tongue: .

I pulled a rookie move and forgot to listen for the bell, ended up smack in the middle at the end. All in all a great experience and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. :slight_smile: In the end, it was a good thing I didn’t go on the drop ride as my legs were not feeling good before the race.


Legs may have felt better if you did do the drop ride :grin: something you will need to work out for yourself from experience

The crits where I’ve felt the best are where I’ve done our weekly drop ride on a Friday morning, then raced the Friday night crit. Less expectation, legs clear, ready to roll