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Does everyone Race here?(26 posts)

Does everyone Race here?grettm
Dec 30, 2002 11:29 AM
I am just an average joe rider. I like to do centuries and I like to make my self hurt. If I hurt just five miles before the end of a ride, I feel good about myself that day. I love the experience I feel after a ride. The feeling that I did something that day and I did something to enjoy the outdoors. I can then appreciate goofing off at the mall, playing video games or drinking beer.

I am also scared of falling off the bike and hurting myself. However, everyone here seems to race and talk about wrecks often. Do more people than not race on this board? I would hope there others out there like me that just love this sport for the workout it gives you and the exposure to the outdoors. I also love the gadgets, toys and etc that comes with it. Don't get me wrong, I love watching races. I watch the TdF every year. Go OLN.

By the way.... what does (nm) mean?
re: Does everyone Race here?netso
Dec 30, 2002 11:42 AM
Nope -Do not race - Too old, too slow, too fat!
re: Never been in a bike race.dzrider
Dec 30, 2002 11:45 AM
I've raced friends to city limit signs or back to the shop, but never a crit, road race or time trial. I did one triathlon and one duathlon, they didn't feel much like bike racing since there was no drafting and I ride much faster than I run and never caught up to people who rode at my pace.

nm stands for 'no message' or something like that and saves fellow posters the trouble of opening your message only to find nothing there.
re: Does everyone Race here?JimP
Dec 30, 2002 11:50 AM
No, not all of us race. I suspect that some of the posts about racing are more wishful thinking than actuality. I would like to be a lot younger so that I could race again, but... As my sister pointed out to me, consider the alternatives to my next birthday.

re: Does everyone Race here?xxl
Dec 30, 2002 11:52 AM
Not everyone races here, though many do/did. According to industry figures, something like 2% of bike riders (in the US, anyhow) are racers. Obviously, this board isn't reflective of the general population.

This is when I start on a rant about how the bike industry isn't doing the other 98% of us any good by selling us "racing" gear (i.e., superlight-but-fragile stuff, crit frame geometries, STI, etc.), any more than if the auto industry suddenly decided to get everyone behind the wheel of funny cars instead of sedans. Let's be honest, the vast majority of riders would be better served by bicycles that are designed with durability and serviceability in mind, vs. speed and lightness. When I see someone cruising by on a 5900, for example, I think about this.

However, lest anyone think I'm anti-racer (I'm not), or anti-free market (I'm not that, either), I usually rein in those thoughts, figuring if somebody's well-heeled enough to spend several thousands more on a bike, it's their money. I also have to confess to a serious and chronic case of bike envy (a disease that can be cured, but it costs several thousand to do so). I don't really buy into the notion that racing technology "trickles down" to the rest of the market, because racers' needs are so very different than the rest of us.
re: Does everyone Race here?grettm
Dec 30, 2002 12:01 PM
I agree with your points about selling racing gear. I do like the lightness of today's bikes and the smooth riding. I have a C'Dale and other than the alum frame shaking my fillings on rough roads, it is still a smooth working machine. I grew up on on K-Mart bought bikes and hating cycling. Only when I got older and could afford the better bike did I truly get into it.

I laugh at the guys who ride the 5900 type bikes and I am passing them with ease. I think at a certain point your skills need to justify the bike. It is the engine that is most important is it not? Doesn't it make more sense to lose 10 lbs of body fat compared to 10 grams of weight on your pedals?

This is getting way of topic...

sorry :)
re: Does everyone Race here?James OCLV
Dec 30, 2002 1:27 PM
Just curious... why do you laugh at them? What's funny about a 5900-type bike?
Dec 31, 2002 7:24 AM
I ride a Waterford, does that make me a poser? Wanna race?
Racing is for people like me that don't mind signing up for something. You have to plan ahead, pay your fee, be consistant. That is not for everyone.
there are quite a few normal cyclists (is that an oxymoron?)lonefrontranger
Dec 30, 2002 11:58 AM
on the board. Well, non-racers anyway. (nm) means no message, or no more. Essentially it means "don't bother opening the reply, there's nothing to see".

I think the racers (speaking as one myself) are naturally more prolific posters, or at least more obnoxious posters, and we enjoy telling blood-and-guts hair-raising stories. I think it may be that we believe (legitimately or no) that we have a lot to contribute, as a high percentage of riders who've been in the sport for a long time (read: experienced, i.e. the ones who post a lot) have at least dabbled in racing. Don't let the gore stories and testosterone-fests turn you off or scare you away from the sport.

The actual frequency of crashing is quite low. I crash my road bike an average of about once every 18 months, and I do 50-60 races per year. In ten years of racing, and despite packing it in several times at high speed, the only time I've been seriously hurt was when I broke my collarbone last July. I was back to racing in four weeks. I've even been hit by cars (twice) and luckily not hurt at all either time.

As far as fear of crashing: all fear of crashing does is gets you crashed quicker and more often. Take this as gospel from someone who's coached a lot and used to be terrified of both racing and crashing. The best thing you can do for this is find someone who's a decent bike handler and have them work on handling skills with you, in soft grass to start out with, working up to some cornering drills and balance work. The next best thing you can do is borrow a mountain bike and spend the day falling over at zero miles an hour on soft mud or leaves. You'll soon figure out it's no big deal.

Almost any riding or racing club will have someone on it who's eager to mentor new riders. Trust me, you don't have to be a racer to benefit from decent skills. A lot of the senseless crashes I've seen in centuries could have easily been avoided with a 2-hour "Basics 101" clinic.
Ditto what LFR said, but I'd add.....eyebob
Dec 30, 2002 12:08 PM
Many of us are recreational racers which means that we ride a lot, and race around 5-10 times per year. If you've never raced you should, at least once. Lot's of fun and commradery (sp?). A good foray into racing is something like a time-trial (preferably uphill!) because there's almost no way to fall. I personally think that organized (huge) century rides are more dangerous than races due to the abundance of riders in a group with little or no knowledge of pace-line riding.

If you're anxious about falling it probably means that you've got a reason to be (other than it'll hurt). It probably means that your handling skills could use some work. If so, I'd do what LFR recommends.

No. not everyone is a racer.Len J
Dec 23, 2002 7:13 PM
I had around 8,000 miles this year before my accident in Sept & I don't race. I just love to ride, and push my body (as you say).

If you ride, you will fall, most of the time you just end up with some road rash, occasionally it is worse. I second (or third) what LFR [posted above about bike handling skills but would add two other things: 1.) Bike defensivly, always expecting the other riders or cars to do something stupid, give yourself an out & 2.) Pay attention! It is easy to get a little brain dead when you have been riding for awile. Inattention causes as many accidents IMO as any thing else.

'Normal' cyclist rides with a racer for a few miles at least.RoyGBiv
Dec 30, 2002 12:37 PM
I've been a serious recreational cyclist for just a couple of years and I'm getting on in years. My riding buddy is 20 years younger and is licenced to race. It's like men against boys. I don't stand a chance. Many times, I've had to ride home alone cause he let his pent-up energy get the best of him, he got a mile or two ahead of me and we lost each other out in the country.
No matter, it doesn't deter me, we joke about later in the pub. I'm adicted to ride.
I do.katie1
Dec 30, 2002 1:39 PM
I race, but I also enjoy centuries and recreational rides for a change of pace and attitude. I ride because I love it. Unfortunately or fortunately, I have a competitive streak so I enjoy competition. You don't have to race to be an avid cyclist.
Define "race".Spoke Wrench
Dec 30, 2002 2:08 PM
My wife is usually one of the least competitive individuals that I know. She frequently makes disparaging remarks about super competitive people. For the most part, her idea of bicycling is just cruising along at about 12 to 15 mph, usually with me on our tandem. BUT - Let her get a glimpse of somebody ahead of her who she thinks she can beat and the RACE MONSTER siezes control of her body and I am unable to hold her back. It doesn't happen often, but it sure is fun when it does!
Race Mtn Bike & Tri'shallcd7
Dec 30, 2002 2:16 PM
Otherwise recreational/club rides
Dec 30, 2002 2:17 PM
They don't have a catagory for "old guys who go slow". =)
NM means "no message".
re: Does everyone Race here?wasabekid
Dec 30, 2002 3:47 PM
Dabbled with it (20yrs and 40lbs ago).

My life story:
Die hard wannabe ->washed up wannabe ->active recreational ->couch potato ->active club rider(4 yrs ago, 39yr old bro. in law had a heart attack that woke me up) ->competitive washed up wannabe (reminishing the good 'ol days, w/ a 5200) that enjoys the tech. advances of the sport. Did I mention competitive? In my book I think that includes cheating ;-)) .

Just a word of caution:
Judge not that the 5900 rider is incapable without knowing for sure at what stage of training was he when you passed him.

Leaving my ego in the garage is usually the hardest thing I have to do before any club ride, lest I wanna spoil my training schedule.

So what kind of rider am I?
I race tri'sempacher6seat
Dec 30, 2002 4:18 PM
but I still enjoy recreational rides, or just getting on the MTB and putting around some trails now and then!
re: Does everyone Race here?MR_GRUMPY
Dec 30, 2002 5:29 PM
I'm mid 50's and race 25-30 times a year. I guess the kindest way to describe my riding, is to say that I'm a mid pack rider. One of my favorite lines is to tell other riders that I'm the kind of guy who will throw their bike for 15th place.
I must be getting old, I haven't crashed in two years. I guess that I just don't take the chances that I used to. When I do crash, I bounce pretty good. That means that I don't get hurt very much, unless I land on a bike.
re: Does everyone Race here?BikeViking
Dec 31, 2002 6:39 AM
Never raced before, but I plan on riding in some of the over-40 crits here in Virginia...I am sure it will be an experience!
Nope. Used to. Hung it up more than 10 years ago.djg
Dec 31, 2002 6:50 AM
Raced throughout my twenties but not since then. Family, career, etc., etc. Just an ordinary cyclist now. Frankly, I feel that I was an ordinary cyclist when I raced too (Cat 3 pack fodder--wasn't exactly riding for the annals of the sport).
never road race, do a few MTB racesjimmyihatetoregister
Dec 31, 2002 7:33 AM
I'd never road race. Does not seem fun, you're always racing against teams and if its a Crit its dangerous. Plus there is the whole Cat. I, II, III, etc. complication. But, MTB races are fun and easy to drop into as a beginner or sport level. They are much more user friendly.
never road race, do a few MTB racesThorman
Dec 31, 2002 7:45 AM
I agree with jimmy that MTB races are easier for a novice to get into since you spend most of the time riding on your own. The only downside in my opinion is that they are not as exciting as road races simply because you don't have other racers right next to you fighting it out in the end.

BTW-I just started road racing last year and have raced MTB for several years.

the main difference is "pain"DougSloan
Dec 31, 2002 8:49 AM
To race, you gotta enjoy pain. In my experience, that's the main difference between racing and enthusiastic recreational riding.

Almost by definition, unless you are sandbagging, racing requires pain. It hurts to go as fast as you can. If it didn't hurt, someone else would beat you because they did hurt. Of course, too, to be fit to tolerate the pain in races you must do it in training, too.

For recreational riding, there is no need for this. You can enjoy riding 500 miles a week and never cross the pain threshold, unless your butt hurts or something like that. You can ride a 10 hour double century and not hurt, if it's not too hilly.

The worst pain I've ever voluntarily sujected myself to is in hilly road races. I almost pray to get hit by a car or something to get out of it. The only thing that gets me through it is knowing that everyone else is hurting, too (aren't they?).

There are lots of types of races, too. Crits are short. Timetrials are short. Road races are longer, but the efforts are mixed, with hard parts here and there. There is ultra racing, too. Some double centuries are races, like the California Triple Crown race, which is a stage race with three hilly doubles. Generally, on these you must obey all road laws, though, and there certainly is no road closure. For true ultra racing, there is no drafting, which makes them really long time trials. These go from 12 hour races all the way to RAAM (3000 miles).

I've done every kind of road race there is. They all can be fun, or at least rewarding. My racing days are limited, though, with a new baby here.

re: Does everyone Race here?Sadlebred
Dec 31, 2002 2:32 PM
I admit to racing--I'm a bit addicted...mountain bike, cyclocross, road, track. You name it, I've done it. This year I hope to refocus a little bit on the mountain bike and cyclocross. I got carried away in 2002 wanting to get my upgrade to 3 on the road and did more road races that I normally do. I will do a few in 2003 but not as many. I'll probably hit the track a few times, too.
tri's only. nm (no message); nt (no text); np (no post); etc..fbg111
Jan 1, 2003 4:26 PM