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How many of you actually race?(38 posts)

How many of you actually race?Jefferson
Mar 5, 2002 6:24 AM
Just wondering how many people that use this site actually race? How many choose to do centuries or other non-competitive events?
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far awayElefantino
Mar 5, 2002 6:41 AM
I raced crits in Sonoma Co., Calif. Summer nights every week. But that was a dozen years ago.

If I remember correctly (it's been so long), I now ride only centuries (or the metric equivalent) when I ride organized events.

Longer, furtherdjg
Mar 5, 2002 6:59 AM
Spent the better part of my twenties as a mediocre Cat 3 (hard to say whether that made me a competitive cyclist or not). Hung it up at 28. Now I'm 41. That's 13 years without a license, if I can do the basic computation. (I'm not confident of my ability to do anything, being sleep deprived by a brand new pair of twins.) There's no racing on my horizon. Hoping to do a couple of centuries this summer, and I think I've negotiated a 4 day pass to do the DC AIDS ride.
Longer, further stillStraightblock
Mar 5, 2002 10:00 AM
I was a pretty good cat 3 in the late '70s & managed to work my way up to cat 1 for a few years, where I was mostly pack filler. I raced for 5 or 6 years into the mid '80s, averaging 30 to 40 races a year. I retired at around age 25 when I got a "real" job and the 50-60 hour work weeks started catching up with me.

I kept riding recreationally, doing club rides, occasional centuries, biathlons & running 10K's. At age 35 I entered a couple of Masters road races and did OK, but realized many of those guys were the same guys I raced against 10 years earlier and they had never stopped racing or slowed down. With my first son on the way, I knew I wasn't willing to commit enough time to be competitive.

Now at 46, I still ride often with a few of my old teammates, and enjoy making their legs burn when I can. I do an occasional century to have a training goal. Our oldest son is 11 now, and big enough to ride our tandem with me this spring.

I still feel the competitive fire, and sometimes think about a racing comeback. Right now I have other priorities, though. Hmmm...maybe Masters 55+...
And slightly further backboneman
Mar 5, 2002 3:03 PM
Same deal, Cat 3 in the mid 70's moving to Cat 2 and then just following wheels. Got a real job shortly thereafter and haven't raced since except for the occasional TT. Still getting in 3-5k a year just to stay in shape and because I enjoy riding. Turning 50 next month but no urge to do anything more than a club ride now and then, and finding new routes.

Found the most beautiful ride this weekend in Cornwall, England. From St. Ives to Lands End. Only about 18 miles but along the coast on very narrow roads which go up and down with a bit of a breeze. Saw a guy on his Pinarello on the route and wished I had brought my bike out for the weekend. Maybe next year.
Having a '70s flashbackStraightblock
Mar 5, 2002 4:33 PM
Cloth handlebar tape

Leather hairnet with a team cap over the top

Nailing cleats on my shoes

Binda Extra toe straps cinched down until my toes get numb

Wool shorts & a wool jersey with a banana in the pocket

Chrome steel TA bottle cages

$5 entry fees

42 tooth small chainrings

5 speed freewheels

Upgrading to 6 speed

A training bike with a Heinz 57 group & everything was compatible

Back to earth...back to work...
Good questionPaulCL
Mar 5, 2002 6:54 AM
I've raced about a half dozen times over the last three years or so. Just for fun and the humiliation. I'd like to do more, but I have to wait until my kids are a few years older. All of the local races are Sunday AM. My wife takes my older girls to church, while I stay home with my three year old son. When he's old enough to go to church (in about a year), I might start racing again. See, there are advantages to being the in-house-heathen and not going to church.

Most of my time on the bike is on solo rides. I am doing TOSRV (tour of the scioto river valley) and the Mountains of Misery tour in Virginia this year.
You'll enjoy the...AllUpHill
Mar 5, 2002 8:50 AM
Mountains of Misery if you've never done it before. I live with the route in my backyard so it's kind of "old hat," but it really impressed other riders I talked to last year; they were either returning for the 2nd or 3rd time, or vowing to return for the next edition. I'll probably ride it again if I'm in town and the weather looks nice...
Is it as painful as it sounds?PaulCL
Mar 5, 2002 12:27 PM
Mountains of Misery...10,000 feet of climbing on day 2? There is no way that I can train for that. The most climbing I've ever done is about 5000 feet on a 60 mile ride in Colorado last summer. Two mountains. Lotsa pain.
Is it as painful as it sounds?AllUpHill
Mar 5, 2002 2:17 PM
The MoM is actually just one day, Sunday. On Saturday are the so-called Wilderness Road Rides, either 20,35,50,70 mi. and you ride either or both days as you wish. Personally, I recommend just doing the big one on Sunday, not that the smaller routes aren't nice, but the scenery pales in comparison.

As for how hard you'll find it ... it's probably easier than you're imagining. I can't really tell you since I've lived in the hills all my life and I'm a climber by nature. An 85 mile ride here which I did the other day had close to 12,000 ft. of climbing, so...

Give it a try even if it sounds over your head -- you'll do fine. If you want any more details lemme know.
Nah, recreational.Ray
Mar 5, 2002 6:55 AM
I've done a couple of mtb races and may try a "C" level cyclocross race next fall, but never on the road. I don't like falling on pavement :) In general, racing is too painful for my blood. I like to push myself, but I also like to take it easy. Racing is high-intensity too much of the time. Personal preference, nothing but respect for those that choose to do it.

Lots of solo rides, club rides, a couple of organized centuries each year and usually one or two solo centuries, zillions of metrics, and a week-long tour each summer.

re: How many of you actually race?netso
Mar 5, 2002 6:57 AM
I raced until I was 40 yo. Now at 58 plus I am content with non-competitive events, centuries etc.
re: How many of you actually race?Galibier
Mar 5, 2002 7:19 AM
I race Masters, although given my job and chldren it is essentially impossible to train more than three days per week. This seems to be enough to keep me competitive but certainly not dominant.
yes, but less nowRayBan
Mar 5, 2002 7:49 AM
I have done a fair share of racing over the last 10 years but since I have 2 small kids now, each year I race less often. I will still compete this season but it's not fair to spend every weekend out at the races. Believe it or not kids sometimes would rather do other things instead of seeing dad put the hammer down. But thats OK because I have had a very fulfilling race history, so now I can put a bit of balance back in my life and try to win the parenting competition! :)
Just a few short years ago...brider
Mar 5, 2002 8:04 AM
racing was my life. Tuesday Night training race, Wednesday night TT or track, Thursday night crit, weekend road races, crits, or stage races. Did pretty well. Until 4 years ago (has it REALLY been that long?) when I hung it up for a while to devote the time to a business venture. Now I have a daughter at 14 months. I'm now 38, and will get back to racing some time in the near future (next couple of years), and may even give triathlon another go (I got to near pro level in my late 20s). I still keep in touch with my team, and until this year had kept my USCF license up to date. Looks like I'll be back with the Cat 4s when I start up again. Probably just as well.
re: How many of you actually race?hrv
Mar 5, 2002 8:05 AM
I'm 46, started cycling 6 months ago, and plan to give racing a try this season, just to see if I can do it. Sort of been training a little too hard lately, so have to back off and recover for awhile, but that's part of the learning process.

No kids, but don't want training to take my time away from other recreation, esp. time with wife! So always looking at how to train less but smarter.
I prefer Metrics/Centuries now, but somehow....gregg
Mar 5, 2002 8:40 AM
...I got signed up for the Cat 5 road race at Otter?!? Who did this? How did this happen?? ;-)
Sadly, I am not in very good race shape right now, and an unplanned vacation change means about 6 days less training for me (with just 2 and a half weeks to go, definitely NOT an ideal training schedule).

Like Elefantino, racing is really something I used to do (mostly XC mtn. bike, with a road crit here and one 'cross race).

I am signed up for a local metric (Tierra Bella) and a local century (Primavera) next month.

Has anyone done the Ride Across America? Or the more challenging RAAM?Slipstream
Mar 5, 2002 8:47 AM
My goal is to do the Ride Across America but I don't think there is one this year.

Has anyone done this, or is into ultracycling such as the Race Across AMerica (RAAM)?
this would be funcyclopathic
Mar 5, 2002 9:57 AM
no doubt! One of my friends rode it. If you decide to ride accross Am you can buy RAAM cue sheets from UMCA ~$25(?). I'd reccomend to get from 1986/87 when race started in Portland and ended in DC. It includes Blue Ridge pkwy

Problem with doing RAAM is that it is very very $$$$. Even if the enry fee is lower this year only 1,000, you need to get 2 support vehicles, dedicated team of at least 4, food (liquid diet will cost good 50$/day) etc etc etc To get official finisher status you're looking at riding triple century 10 days in a row, can you endure it?
Ride Across America-Yes; Race Across AMerica-Ouch!Slipstream
Mar 5, 2002 10:56 AM
I intend on doing the Ride if it ever returns; as far a RAAM--arguably "the toughest race in the world"--I couldn't even qualify in my dreams. But I admire anyone who can qualify. I had a friend who did a 24 hour qualifier several years ago--that was grueling.

The Ride is done over 48 days from Seattle to Wash D.C.

The RAAM is from Portland to Tampa in less than 2 weeks.
Mar 5, 2002 12:35 PM
to Pensacola, and last year winner did it in 9 days 4hr(?)
thanks God they laxed rules this year so to earn the "offical finisher" you need to finish within 12days (not in 48hr after first finisher).

THere's another race on this planet which is even harder then RAAM Race Around Australia. It is self-supported (randonneur style).

If you're interested in doing long distance, have you tried brevets?
re: How many of you actually race?Jekyll
Mar 5, 2002 9:19 AM
Anymore, rarely and badly. Raced quite a bit as a junior and through college.
Hung up riding for almost a decade after college and rediscovered the joy of it about 3 years ago at 30. I've raced a few times a year since then. I hate crits and a good road race is hard to find. I'd like to get into TT's but that would mean trying to explain yet another bike..
Actually have raced MTB more than road in the last few years.
Mostly solo rides during the season - kind of my medicine for getting away from my business, girlfriend, etc. I do a couple of solo centuries a month and ride in organized events as well.
Like Slipstream, I'd love to do the ride across America or the RAAM. Speaking of that - what ever happened to Dog (Doug)?
I have no UCI points... But I do race; rd, mtb. (nm)DisguyTempete
Mar 5, 2002 9:31 AM
re: How many of you actually race?Js Haiku Shop
Mar 5, 2002 11:11 AM
though no race so far
second serious ride year
so maybe next year

last year first metric
first hundred, one twenty four
this year first double

continue weeknights
the club ride is frisky still
perhaps more this year

another night group
with semi pro racer types
will challenge my legs

and maybe next year
racing rears its ugly head
only one problem...

to find a road race
first i must drive out of town
stay gone overnight

as a full-time dad
and as a part time rider
coupons limited

perhaps i'll settle
for fast club rides with hammerheads
and forget racing

in all honesty,
last twenty past one hundred
is a race anyway
getting back into itTig
Mar 5, 2002 11:18 AM
After taking 10 years off to raise kids and follow other interests, I'm getting back into racing this year. I don't expect to knock 'em dead since my fitness still isn't where I need it to be. I love to race and miss it. It gives me motivation to ride more and work on my fitness level. Getting in shape sure is tougher at 38 than it was in my mid 20's!

Having a few weeks off (hopefully not more!) after getting layed off, I can finaly get in the much needed hours of quality solo riding.

I'll also do a few centuries later in the year.
First time on roadJefferson
Mar 5, 2002 12:22 PM
Thanks for all the replies. I have spent most of my life racing. I raced motocross and supercross for 12 years until the birth of my first child in 1992. When I hung it up I was riding pro class at the local level. I picked up cross country mtb racing and did it on and off in the sport class for a couple years. I converted over to a "almost" full time roadie 3 years ago. I have been doing local centuries and The Triple Bypass the last 2 years in Colorado. I am 34 and have the itch to race again and I have never raced the road bike. I am thinking about making the Carter Lake Road race my first one on April 20. Any advice for a new cat 4 racer?
First time on roadLC
Mar 5, 2002 1:56 PM
I am about the same age and just started road racing too, but I found out it is much different than just sustained hard effort like I was used to on those century type rides. I tried a 48 mile Master A/B race to start. For the first lap I had ache in my side from gasping for breath that I had not felt since I was just starting out over 4 years ago. By the 2nd lap I just wanted to quit. The 3rd lap I felt much better as my nerves calmed down and felt good enough to moved up to the least till I got my nose in the wind and quickly figured out that I was starting to blow up. The last lap; the acceleration out of the corners was max effort and was where some of some people that had not put in the training started to drop. If you get more than 15 feet off the pack you can just call it a day. I hung on and got myself at least into the middle of the field sprint and found out what the 53x12 was for as I gave it everything I had and just about spun out that gear. The bumping and speed was increadable and after it was done I was thinking "that was really dangerous... while saying I can't wait for next week!"
Yep, Masters races are usually faster than most Seniors! -NMTig
Mar 5, 2002 3:22 PM
Mar 5, 2002 12:31 PM
The only bicycle racing I do is the bike leg of Triathlons. Been doing them since 1991. I mostly ride solo to train and Centuries on the weekends with my wife. I know it's not what you were asking about, but I do running races! 10ks and Marathons.
I do about 25 races a year.Pack Meat
Mar 5, 2002 2:56 PM
Mostly crits, but I prefer the road and cross races. I'm a solid Cat 3 as the handle Pack Meat implies. I'm going to try to diversify this year and do more TTs, track and mtb races.

You are correct, I have no kids, and just started dating a fiercly independent girly and I work for the government. If I had a life I couldn't race this much.

Share the Road and pass the buffalo burgers.
no road, just track (nascar on a bike) and MTB C/C and 24hr...nmGeof
Mar 5, 2002 3:10 PM
re: How many of you actually race?Woof the dog
Mar 5, 2002 3:26 PM
i started into racing pretty much last year. If everything goes right and no more patello-femoral stuff, i will upgrade to a 3 end of this summer (provided I will get to different races, not just riding :0).

Now, do ITTs count for points for an upgrade?


Woof the dog.
i guess you'd call it racinggrandemamou
Mar 5, 2002 3:49 PM
I race cat 4 masters. I absolutely hate crits but do them because as someone mentioned road races are few and far between. I'm expecting a son any day now so I plan on cutting way back. I have my eye on one hilly road race and a stage race this year and thats about it.
Race bicycles?TJeanloz
Mar 5, 2002 4:21 PM
No. That's hard work.

I am quite competitive in races we have here in the office though- usually involving drinking, hot dog eating, and the occasional chair race around the cubicles...
Race bicycles?Woof the dog
Mar 6, 2002 12:52 AM
heh, so much for being a cat 2? Come on dude!!!!!!!
Race bicycles?TJeanloz
Mar 6, 2002 5:20 AM
Um, if you keep renewing your license, they don't demote you. My old boss was a Cat 2 and hadn't ridden a bike in 15 years. I just happen to be 14 years away from that point.
Nah, I don't like getting beat ...Humma Hah
Mar 5, 2002 8:34 PM
... racers take their training seriously, and whup me badly. I stick to "chasing rabbits" (most other riders I see are NOT racers, and I enjoy chasing them down when I can).

I have a sprinter's legs and distance rider's lungs. I can accelerate like crazy, but can't hold speed for any distance.
re: How many of you actually race?Starliner
Mar 5, 2002 9:22 PM
I decided this year at 48 yrs old to train to race. Two years ago was my first and only road race and this year did my first crit. That was quite an experience; I arrived early to enter the Cat 5 race at 830AM but the 50 rider field had just filled up. So risking embarassment, I entered the masters 45+ later that morning hoping to stay with the pack. It turned out better than I thought, for I ended up fighting for a high placing when with two laps to go I threw my chain on a hill when shifting and fell out of the running. I had them where I wanted them but it just wasn't to be.

I really caught the racing bug that day, but my work has kept me too busy to think about the next race until after my present project is completed mid-March. I plan to do some road races as well as continue with the crits which I think might suit the sprinter type of rider I seem to be. Although for a big guy I can climb hills pretty well so I'm looking forward to some road races too. Sea Otter next year - too busy to consider it this year.