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Newbie racing question......(9 posts)

Newbie racing question......cush
Apr 10, 2002 11:27 AM
Hey gang,

I bought a UCI license (CAT5) and was thinking about racing in Bethel, CT Sunday morning. I have a some questions...

1. Will I be laughed off the course for wearing a camelbak?

2. How long is the race? It gives a distance of 35min + 5 laps. How does that work?

3. Do I even carry a tube and pump or am I out if I flat?

4. Is CAT5 full of sandbaggers like beginner mountain bike races or will I be with other true beginners?

Thanks!!
re: Newbie racing question......eschelon
Apr 10, 2002 11:45 AM
1. No. Why: Everyone will be hurting too damn much to care about your drinking preferences.

2. Assuming the cat 5 race will average around ~22mph, you can calculate how far you will be riding in 35 minutes.

3. No. If you have a spare wheel set...you are better off.

4. Yes. There are "spring training races" in my area where the cat 2,3,4's all ride the C races...a damn race for beginners or cat 5.
re: Newbie racing question......JS
Apr 10, 2002 12:03 PM
1. No, but why wear one? Your race is only gonna be about 45 min. long, why carry that big heavy cumbersome thing when you can get by with one bottle.

2. Again, probably around 45 min.

3. It sounds like a crit so you probably get a free lap for a wheel change, but at this level if you flat i'd just call it a day.

4. Hummmm....I hate to tell you this but Cat 5 is worse than Beg. MTB because there are some really strong guys who would like to move up but don't have the required number of starts. When I first started on the road I lined up in a Cat 5 race with 4 semi-pro MTB'rs. They had to be there because they didn't race the road often enough.
on point 4, yes, that happens butclimbo
Apr 10, 2002 12:37 PM
There will also be guys who are not awesome and are real beginners so don't get put off. Try it out, once you get hooked, you're hooked. I'm in Cat. 3 this year and still learning so don't worry about winning/losing, just have fun.
re: Newbie racing question......DMoore
Apr 10, 2002 1:21 PM
1. Don't bother. In a race this short (and I doubt if the weather will be real warm) you probably won't drink at all.

2. Obviously a short crit course - you just go around and around for 35 minutes - and then go for 5 more laps.

3. At many crits, you'll get yelled at if you have a pump or anything else that might fall off and cause an accident. The race is so short, you'd never have time to fix a flat anyway. If there's a wheel pit, and if you have a spare set of wheels, there's the answer.

4. Early season cat 5 will probably have some sandbaggers, and also other "real" cat 5 racers. You're not out there to win, you're there to gain experience. Think of it as a fast training ride.
Thanks for the info! (nm)cush
Apr 10, 2002 2:40 PM
I found Cat 5 to be more fun ...Elefantino
Apr 10, 2002 3:24 PM
In the NorCal district way back when, Cat 5 races were almost "two-pack" races: The first pack was full of those, as others have said, who should probably have moved up but who didn't race enough, either because they were too busy or because (ahem) they didn't want to move up ... that was the fast pack. Then there was the "we suck today" pack that consisted mainly of those who just didn't feel like busting backside on that particular day.

Have fun, forget the Camelbak and invest in a pair of cheap backup wheels.

FWIW,
Mike
re: Newbie racing question......Troyboy
Apr 11, 2002 6:47 AM
As is pretty much the consensus here:

No reason for a Camelback. I sometimes don't even take a sip at some of the short time crits (under 50 mins.). No need to take a tube and a pump. If you're on a course of .7 or so miles, the lap times will likely be less than two minutes. I don't know what you're runnin' however, I can't change a tire and tube in that time, especially on Nucleons w/Axial Pros. Some of my other wheelsets are easier, yet no two minutes. Most crits I have done had neutral support. Wheels in, wheels out.

Yes, plenty of baggers. Around here we often have collegiate A's who are runnin' cat 4 and 5. Serious triathletes who use them for training, etc.

In my experience in the 5s, we used to run average speeds of 25. Same speeds as the 4 races, only the 4s were longer. I was never in even a cat 5 race as slow as 22.
re: Newbie racing question......brider
Apr 11, 2002 10:15 AM
1. Will I be laughed off the course for wearing a camelbak? No, but as others have pointed out, most people won't even drink during the race.

2. How long is the race? It gives a distance of 35min + 5 laps. How does that work? You will have a lap board near the start/finish that will be counting down the time left in the race (though going +5 laps is unusual in my experience, usually it's 1 or two laps). After that time, it'll be counting down laps. They may not actually count down the time, so keep an eye on that board as you pass that area. They will tell you at the start what they're counting, and if they don't, ask.

3. Do I even carry a tube and pump or am I out if I flat? DO NOT CARRY TOOLS OR PUMPS. There will be a wheel pit (maybe two if it's a long course). If you flat, you ride or run to that area, get a wheel, then go to the official for your restart (they'll let you back in the pack with no penalty). Contrary to what Troyboy said, neutral support and wheelsin/wheels out are NOT the same thing. Neutral support means you get a wheel even if you didn't put one in. Wheels in/wheels out means you only get a wheel if you put wheels into the pit (YOUR wheels to be specific). Usually, if there's enough wheels in the pit, it will be declared neutral. It's rare for local level racing to have professional race support, so people always bring their spares. And don't take your time getting a neutral wheel back to the pits after the race.

4. Is CAT5 full of sandbaggers like beginner mountain bike races or will I be with other true beginners? As has been said before, you'll get the full spectrum. And to Elefantino: there was no Cat 5 "back in the day."