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Calling all racers out there.(17 posts)

Calling all racers out there.look271
Mar 22, 2003 8:01 AM
I have had the bug for the past 2 yrs to start road-racing. What do I need to do to get started? The past 2 yrs I've had decent mileage (4200 miles last year-have similar mileage now as last season and am stronger, for sure) and can keep up with the cat 1/2 riders on fast club rides without being jettisoned off the back like an ugly baby. It's TIME. FWIW-I'm 44 yrs old and would likely race in the "old farts" division. (30+?) Thanks for any advice!
ask on the Racing forum. nmclimbo
Mar 22, 2003 8:21 AM
Expect to get a lot of pain. Hanging on a club ride is nothing like a race.
just do it, and a warninglonefrontranger
Mar 22, 2003 8:22 AM
For your first few races, you WILL get spit off the back and generally treated like a red-headed stepchild. The intensity of racing has nothing else to match it; no training ride even comes close.

I'd look for a Cat 4/5 Masters or 35+ Cat 4 field myself. The "old farts" open division will include many former and even current Cat I and pro guys. 35+ is only slightly slower than the Pro/1/2 races here in Boulder.

Come on over to the Racing board for more advice from the real experts. There are a lot of good ones who hang out over there and don't post much on General.

Good Luck!
"red-headed stepchild"PaulCL
Mar 22, 2003 8:33 AM a redhead, I take offense to that statement. But it does explain the reason I got spit out the back in the few races I've tried. And I thought it was becuase I was slow and out of shape??? And to think, it was just my hair color all the time........ :)
Thanks lfr. nmlook271
Mar 22, 2003 9:00 AM
And the reason this is not on the RACING board would be? (nm)Kerry
Mar 22, 2003 8:49 AM
Because I "know" you people heree and trust *most* of you.look271
Mar 22, 2003 8:59 AM
I don't expect any smart a#$ comments here. Guess I thought wrong.
people who think they know everything ......the bull
Mar 22, 2003 10:17 AM
really annoy those of us who do!

Just do it though! Start in the 5's and work your way up.
If you in shaped you wont get dropped!What kind of crap is that?If your hanngin w 1/2 riders you wont have any problems.
Thanks bull! (nm)look271
Mar 22, 2003 10:29 AM
Not looking for smart-@$$ comments???Alexx
Mar 22, 2003 10:53 AM
Boy, did YOU come to the wrong board!!!!
Not looking for smart-@$$ comments???stratslingr77
Mar 22, 2003 11:03 AM
I agree with the above posters: JUST GET OUT THERE AND DO IT!!! I had my first race last weekend. The bike I ordered this winter is still en route from Italy so I had to race on a 25 year old Peugeot with fenders ((my rain bike). I got spit out the back in pretty short order, but still had a good time. The only thing that separates a bicycle racer from a bicycle rider is the racer shows up to the race and pins a number to his/her jersey.
pins and numbers?cipolini2b
Mar 22, 2003 1:34 PM
I would think that bike racers and bike riders differ a little bit more than you think. A crappy bike racer and a bike rider, yea, the pins and number are the only difference. I say the guy who doesn't race, wins, because he saves $20. I wouldn't have raced with that bike, especially if it were my first race ever, could be dangerous man (hope you took the fenders off!). At least the new bike will feel that much better once you get it.

watch out for the smart -alexx (not to mention the bulls#it)nmthe bull
Mar 22, 2003 4:06 PM
re: Calling all racers out there.Ian
Mar 22, 2003 11:53 AM
I will agree with the others, stick with Cat 5, or a Cat 4/5 race. The 30+, and to some extent, the 40+ divsion, is really fast. I have buddies who are Cat 4, and strong in that division, who struggle in the 40+.

And also, be ready for an eye opening experience. I also ride with large groups, many 1/2's and can hang for quite a while. But the first time I did a 4/5 race, whoa, it was a bit different. For one thing, it was faster. For another, everyone got real serious and somewhat rude. I guess I should have expected that, but it caught me off guard.

Anyway, good luck and have fun.

re: Calling all racers out there.russw19
Mar 22, 2003 7:37 PM
I also agree with Ian... and anyone else who said it. The Master's Races are typically as fast as a good Cat 3 race. Stick with learning you strategy and skills in the Cat 4 and 5 races. The learning curve will be pretty steep as the most important things you will need to look out for, you will see in your first few Cat 5 races. You will learn what to look for regarding squirrelly riders, the strong guys to follow, and the ones to avoid. Practice your sprint and jump tactics, and if you aren't good at that sort of thing, learn to watch for when the field relaxes and make that your point to make a move. But my advice is to cut your teeth in a 4 or 5 race, as the Master's field is usually a bunch of guys who are a lot faster than you would think.
That's what I've heard.look271
Mar 23, 2003 8:29 AM
I guess I'll do the cat5 thing and see where I am. I am not an especially fast sprinter nor am I a great climber, but I don't suck at anything (I think). I'll check out the waters and see what happens! Thanks for all of the advice, everyone.
Mar 23, 2003 11:13 AM
When I returned to road racing 5 years ago, I entered 35+. I got dropped within sight of the start line (up a big hill). It was pure humiliating hell.

Entered some Sr 4/5 and Masters 4/5 races and did ok, then. Huge difference.

Have fun, but know that racing is hard. If not, it wouldn't be racing...