‘If you want to keep safe out there, you must use your peripheral vision.’ So said the mentor in the orange vest. I was in a crowd of about 100 cyclists who were about to embark on their first criterium bicycle race. Criteriums are circuit races that are held on short road circuits. In this case we were about to ride multiple times around a 1.25 mile circuit in an industrial park in Fremont. Criterium racing is fast and cyclists ride very close together in a pack. Crashes usually happen when a rider does not adequately keep track of the other riders around him. So to keep safe it is important to spread your attention across the visual field. I felt confident that my BrainHQ visual exercises would come in handy.
The race was exhilarating. I kept up towards the front of the pack to keep out of trouble. Although I had been very nervous before the start I felt surprisingly confident once we started. I was able to look ahead to keep track of where we were going and yet also keep track of all the other riders around me. The pace picked up dramatically in the last few laps but I was able to hold on to the pack until the end. I was very happy with my first race.