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I know this sounds like a "duh" type of question but I'll ask anyway. When racing the GP's I cant seem to hold my pace when riding alone. When I am near someone (either faster or slower) either passing or being passed I seem to wick up the pace. Looking at laptimes and such I am noticably slower when not in a battle of some sort or another. I know some of this is just nature of racing but I know for me it seems like I kind find myself in a lull and mentally just not pushing until I start catching a rider in front of me or someone comes up behind me. Any tips or tricks on keeping the pace up when you dont have anyone around to judge speed off of?

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I'm like that too, I bet alot of people are. What happens is you slow down to a "comfort level". That's whay it never pays to sandbag. If you ride with faster riders you will become a faster rider.

You may want to look into a computer/speedometer or something. Find your average speed when around faster riders and try to maintain that when solo.

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With enough practice, you will figure out your "safe/race" pace, and the pace at which you are taking too many risks. When you run your "safe" pace, or push it a little, things will flow smooth, you'll ride confident, and things will just happen with minimal mistakes. When you start pushing too hard, you'll start blowing corners, washing the front end, bouncing off of everything, and just generally you'll be making too many mistakes. If you are not making any mistakes, step up the pace a bit and see what happens. Keep testing the limits until you start making too many mistakes, then back it down a notch. Too many mistakes, and you'll actually be going slower over-all than if you back it down around your "safe" pace.

You'll figure it out with seat time.

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  • 5 weeks later...
With enough practice, you will figure out your "safe/race" pace, and the pace at which you are taking too many risks. When you run your "safe" pace, or push it a little, things will flow smooth, you'll ride confident, and things will just happen with minimal mistakes. When you start pushing too hard, you'll start blowing corners, washing the front end, bouncing off of everything, and just generally you'll be making too many mistakes. If you are not making any mistakes, step up the pace a bit and see what happens. Keep testing the limits until you start making too many mistakes, then back it down a notch. Too many mistakes, and you'll actually be going slower over-all than if you back it down around your "safe" pace.

You'll figure it out with seat time.

really good advice here.

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  • 3 weeks later...

That's a GREAT question especially for races where the riders tend to spread out over a loop and you could be by yourself for extended times. It happens to me almost every race! I tell myself if I see dust I can pass it. That helps me hunt riders ahead of me down and get by them eventually. Positive self talk works even if you think of crazy things like aliens are going to catch you, or whatever, unless you speed it up a little.

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