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Begining Racing Questions(3 posts)

Begining Racing Questionsmichael
Apr 16, 2001 8:59 AM
I have cross posted this in the racing section, but thought that this group may also provide some insight.

After Mountain Biking for over 13 years (haven't raced in at least 5-6) I just purchased a road bike a few weeks ago. I am interested in both rode racing and touring and have set two goals for myself so far thisyear - to complete a century ride in LaFayette, GA this fall put on by the Chattanooga Bike Club (I have a vacation home in Lafayette) and to ride in, and improve my performance in, at least 3 races this summer.
Presently, I put in most of my time commuting to work in DC from McLean, VA - about 13 miles each way.
1. Are there any clubs in the DC area that could help me train to race and complete a century?
2. Should I focus on one goal or another?
3. What types of races should I look to enter as a novice? A stage race? A crit? A TT? Is there soemthing else I may not be aware of?
4. Is there a good web site that has information for beginners?
5. Are there techniques I can use in my daily commutes to improve my training?
6. I just ordered the Friel book (Cyclist Bible) from Amazon.com Are there other books I should read before hand?

Thanks alot.
re: Begining Racing QuestionsJBergland
Apr 16, 2001 9:39 AM
1. Are there any clubs in the DC area that could help me train to race and complete a century?

I would start with your local bike shop. Ask about clubs in your area. I would also check with the Cycling Federation in your state... they should have a couple resources for you.

2. Should I focus on one goal or another?

I believe both goals can work well together. Training for some racing will get you in great shape for a century. I don't see why you would have to pick one or the other.

3. What types of races should I look to enter as a novice? A stage race? A crit? A TT? Is there soemthing else I may not be aware of?

I would suggest looking into Road Races and Time Trials first. Might want to hold off on the crits. until you get a few thousand miles on the road. Again, check with some local clubs... some might offer a Racing Program... http://www.spbrc.org/develop.html

4. Is there a good web site that has information for beginners?
You are already here!!:) There are others... look around. Doing a 'search' on this site should turn up more than a couple hits.

5. Are there techniques I can use in my daily commutes to improve my training? The 'Bible' you have coming will talk about this more. One word... INTERVALS!!

6. I just ordered the Friel book (Cyclist Bible) from Amazon.com Are there other books I should read before hand?

That is a great book to start with!! It can be over some people's heads in some areas... try out what you understand, learn more about the rest.

Good Luck!!
re: Begining Racing Questionslunden
Apr 16, 2001 10:31 AM
While books don't hurt...they will never, ever be as effective as training to race and actually racing. You will learn more in one 'lap' than reading any book. Your strengths and weaknesses will become apparent right away. 3 races and a century are certainly achievable - many roadies do that weekly! As far as what races: stage races generally have all races you listed - a TT, crit and a road event (and mutiples of), TT's are super hard (at least if you go hard...) but place little challenge as far as bike handling, cornering, and group riding....crits are generally super fast and you can't be afraid of bumping elbows. They place a premium on handling skills, drafting, cornering, and (to me anyway) the fun/challenge of reading the race. After a bit, you see the same people week to week and know who to follow, who's strong, who's not....and who to keep away from (read: squirrel). While commuting is an underappreciated way of keeping in shape, it hardly prepares you for the lung searing start of a crit, or the 'I'm going to burst a lung' feeling halfway thru a TT. Get your book, set up a training schedule, get to know your thresholds...aerobic & anaerobic, etc., etc. Or do like me, throw away your heart rate monitor and suffer thru the first couple of races till you get in race shape. I don't like structure in my training......