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been riding 1 month--want to do a race(18 posts)

been riding 1 month--want to do a racefilly
Feb 5, 2003 10:17 PM
i just got into road biking this year. in fact, i bought my bike ('02 lemond buenos aires) a month ago. in case you're wondering how a newbie came to the decision on what bike to get, it was actually heavily determined by price. since it was january '03 when i went shopping, i was able to pick up the '02 bike for $500 of its regular price. it turned out well as it fits great and it rides well.

anyhow, here's my question. i live in san diego right now, and the camp pendleton race is going down on march 8th. it's 27 miles through rolling terrain. i checked last years results online, and it looks like 400 or so people entered, with the top finisher coming in around 1 hour, 5 minutes. well, i timed myself yesterday on a 27-mile ride through similar terrain and rang up 1 hour, 16 minutes.

if i hit the road hard at least every other day this month, is it possible for me to shave 10 minutes off my time? i'm not looking to come out 1st place (it would be nice...right), but i also don't want to enter if i'm going to finish last. i mean, based on last year, if i can take off 10 minutes by race day, then i'm looking to finish near the top.

i just simply haven't been riding long enough to know how much one can improve from month to month. let me know if my goal is futile with the 33 days remaining till the race. thanks in advance for the info.
re: been riding 1 month--want to do a raceyeah right
Feb 5, 2003 10:39 PM
First of all, you're not going to take that much time off your pr in a month, solo (that's almost 25mph average). In a pack it might be different, and compairing courses and conditions is apples and oranges, so don't think that you'll do the same on one as another.

Here's the rub:

Do you want to do a race in a pack with a lot of riders? Are your bike handling and pack riding skills good enough?
Are you okay with hanging on to finish mid pack at very best, even in the lowest class?

Lot's of people who aren't "racers" do a race or two, and you can have fun with it. Get a one day liscense go out and have fun, if you can be safe and don't endanger anyone, yourself included.
re: been riding 1 month--want to do a racerogue_CT1
Feb 5, 2003 10:46 PM
Is this a time trial or a road race? Either way, nothing is futile. I don't know enough about you to determine if you can take 10 minutes off your time. One thing you can't be afraid of is to finish last in a race. You need experience and you aren't going to get it if you don't enter because you are worried you may not finish high enough. Everyone, and I mean everyone, that has raced a bike has experienced dismal failures. That is part of what helps you to push on and get better. So, by all means, enter the race and give it your best shot. Then, train all year long and look towards beating your performance in the same race next year. Good luck.
I would not recommend itI Love Shimano
Feb 5, 2003 11:01 PM
Riding in a pack takes experience..if you join a race and take down 10 riders because you do not know how to ride in a pack, then you will regret entering the race.

do some group rides first.

RE: I would not recommend itSpunout
Feb 6, 2003 5:22 AM
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Agreed, get some group experience first...joekm
Feb 6, 2003 5:29 AM
Think of it as part of your race training. Not only that, but by hanging out with more experienced riders you'll pick up some techniques that will help you improve that much faster.

You might consider investing in a set of rollers as well, I've found that they have really improved my bike handling skills and confidence.

I've ridden for years before joining a bike club and doing group rides. Spending time with more experienced riders and getting some group experience has really helped me a lot.

Oh, and when you do race, make sure you have fun. If you do wind up bringing up the rear, so what, it's your first race.
Feb 6, 2003 6:52 AM
Been road riding one month and you can average over 21 miles per hour?

You might want to consider a career in professional cycling.
A true newbie prodigy--21 mph solo through rolling hills nmContinental
Feb 6, 2003 7:18 AM
actually, it's more like 22 mph -- solo. Truly, truly, massivebill
Feb 6, 2003 7:19 AM
massively impressive.
What do you think his/her name means? "filly."
Oh well, need to crank up the gain on the BS meter I guess..(nm)joekm
Feb 6, 2003 7:34 AM
Just some goals to set for yourself....niteschaos
Feb 6, 2003 7:38 AM
I've had a lot of friends come over from other sports and have thoroughly enjoyed cycling, but they get offended when I tell them a few things before they should race. I tell them these objectives cause I want to make sure that when they do race, they are not a great danger (there is always danger in a race, or even a group ride, you just try to minimize it.) I've only been riding since July, but I've done 3 races and I'm glad I waited until only after 1000 miles on the bike before I attempted.

You should be able to:
1. Hold a line without having to stare down to keep it.
2. Be able to bump or rub shoulder with a guy next to you without twitching or falling or causing someone else to go flying without the proper airline paperwork.
3. Ride hands off while both coasting and pedaling and be able to take smooth turns with your hands off the bar. (I know that sounds like an "extraneous trick," but if you can do that than you have the balance to aviod other potential problems, like encountering a pothole in a group going 30mph that you didn't see cause you were packed tight and you had one hand on a water bottle.)
4. Read
you'll never know unless you tryDougSloan
Feb 6, 2003 7:40 AM
As long as you can safely ride in close quarters, go for it. Honestly, though, you'll probably suffer really bad and be humbled beyond comprehension. But, who knows? You might have some rare genes that make it easy for you. You'll never know unless you try.

Do a lot of group riding before the race.

i know some would say to waitColnagoFE
Feb 6, 2003 7:50 AM
but what the heck. enter citizens or the lowest cat. get a day lic and give it a shot. see if you can get in some training rides with a group first, but the only way to learn is to do it. hold your line and try to hang in there.
Go for itjaybird
Feb 6, 2003 8:37 AM
You have to start somewhere... It's not like you are entering the Tour and going to be racing with a bunch of pros. You won't be the only first timer there. I think that learing "under fire" is one of the best ways to learn.

In my experiences, no group ride is going to come close to duplicating the chaos of a citizens or cat5 field. A rugby scrum is a closer comparison...
thats what cat 5 is for!the bull
Feb 6, 2003 9:28 AM
Times a not going to be accurate do to drafting
you should have more group rides under your belt.
the worst thing that could happen is you could wreck.
Alot of people might be pissed but it sounds as if you a pretty strong rider if you moving through the course that fast.
Go for it!
Why not?hrv
Feb 6, 2003 10:12 AM
Just looked at the race flyer and looks like you will be racing in an age group category, not a typical USCF race.
Just one big citizens race.

You have some good speed for someone just starting to ride (unless you were a strong mtb'er previously), esp. if the hills are tough. Just keep riding hard and reduce your riding by about 1/2 the week before the race, and you'll be good to go.

This assumes you know how to ride in a group and feel relaxed doing it. If not, go on a bunch of group rides before the race.

Last year I entered my first race after biking for 6 months,
and now I'm addicted. Hope you get the same feeling.

Good Luck!,
re: been riding 1 month--want to do a racefilly
Feb 6, 2003 2:43 PM
hey, thanks for your guys' info. by the way, i am a 26-yr- old male (i know somebody was asking that). have i ever ridden with a group--no. unfortunately, i have not, but i'm not looking so much to do the drafting thing this time out. besides, aren't you limited by the speed of the dude in front of you? i think i will still enter the race, but i won't mind if it's just me hanging off to the side by myself. i don't need to get in the middle of some big pack and then take the whole crew down...uncool. i'll just be a loner for this race.

anybody from san diego? i guess i need to get in on some group rides if i can find some. again, thanks for some of those really thought out responses.

i like this site--i'll be back a lot. real name is felipe. later.
..get some experience. You WILL need to draft.Spunout
Feb 7, 2003 6:06 AM
aren't you limited by the speed of the dude in front of you?

LOL! I suggest then that you go directly to the front, tow the whole peleton throughout the race.