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Poll: How many of you ride for teams(17 posts)

Poll: How many of you ride for teamsmanicoti
Jun 11, 2003 4:23 AM
I am riding competitively for the first time this year and am looking to join a team next year. I have a local coach who gives me great workouts and I have seen loads of improvement. I will probably have to give him up if I join a team next and am wondering what are the benefits and drawbacks of training with a team? I know how it can be good racing with a team, and I go on a couple of group rides with other racers once or twice a week and see how they get along, train, and work on tactics. I plan on joining a team next year and also wonder if there is anything I should be on the look out for or something that should really stand out that all good teams do. I want to be better and I need to ride with better riders to do so, and I am willing to be a team rider. I will help others if I know that I can and that they have a real chance to win. Do I need to be on a team to be the best I can?
w/ all due respect....philippec
Jun 11, 2003 5:00 AM
my advice to you: stop asking questions and join a team now! You will learn a lot, you will have racing/training partners, and unless you plan on getting paid to race, you will likely be able to consult who you damn well please for training advice (including your present coach). You may even learn that you don't want to race w/ that team (but you will also have learned perhaps which team you will want to race for next year). Just make a decision and do it! You have nothing to lose.

Drawbacks? teamates calling at 10:30 pm asking if you want to go on a 6:30 am training ride the next morning.... seriously, if you want to train alone for most of the time, that's ok, if you want to train w/ the team most of the time, that's ok too... it's all up to you except training racing w/ a team expands your horizons and widens your pool of potential trtaining partners. Plus team racing is much more fun than just schlepping around the pack on your own.

What to look for? Teams w/ some sort of rider development program. You'll learn faster.

A+

Philippe
oh, and...philippec
Jun 11, 2003 5:01 AM
another thing to look for: teams that provide you w/ free kit.
w/ all due respect....manicoti
Jun 11, 2003 6:28 AM
Do many teams take guys who want to join in the middle of the year? I was planning on just getting experience and meeting other racers this year. I was going to go to some teams after this season to see if anyone wanted me to race with them next year after how I did this year and any group ride experience they had with me. I know plenty of local racers for about 3-4 teams. I should be able to hook up with one of them next year, but do you really think I should try to do it this year? I am very happy with my progress and am afraid that they will want me to ride with them more often and that may burn me out. I have just been riding in an organized fashion since early November and am still working on a good base. I am racing and training well, but it may be a couple of years till I am really good. I don't want others to pressure me into more or harder rides than I think I am ready for, but I do want to race with others.
w/ all due respect....philippec
Jun 11, 2003 6:54 AM
many teams let riders come on mid-year, some do not... just ask around. Most teams are ok w/ you following your own training regimen (in fact, that is the norm), if you feel like skipping out on some organised rides, just doný show up -- maybe there are other team members who may want to train differently too and you can ride w/ them. It's all pretty loose for most teams. If you feel like skipping out on some of the organised rides, that's typically ok. The USCF category rating system will ensure that you race w/ other riders of like abilities.

A+

Philippe

Philippe
man, relax. Most teams are loose groups that have a corebill
Jun 11, 2003 7:00 AM
of committed teamsters (forgive me, Jimmy) and a progressively less involved fringe who pay dues and wear the kit sometimes and that's about it. These teams will take you for sure. Anytime. Most any team has a weekly ride that is considered the "club ride." Go do it; see if you have fun. If you have fun, ask how you join. I don't think that your actual ability matters nearly as much as your willingness to pay the dues. So, relax. Keep your coach. In most clubs, the whole club never really gets together other than on the club ride -- smaller groups gather for training sessions based on ability, timing, who has kids and who doesn't, etc. It's loose. The only way you'll figure out whether the team meets your needs is to talk to the folks and find out what they're doing. But you have to find your own way through a lot of this.
There are other teams to which you must be invited to join. These are more formal affairs (but even they don't expect you to train with them all the time -- for example, the premier regional invitational team around here is spread out over the entire area, and there is no way that they train together). The only way you'll get invited to one of these teams is to start showing your face at events where the team is (and showing real ability). The only way you'll be identified as a racer is by wearing somebody's team kit. If they want you, they'll tag you.
I realize that things may be different in different locales.
Being on a team, doesn't mean that you have to train with them.MR_GRUMPY
Jun 11, 2003 5:02 AM
It doesn't mean that you have to give up your coach either. Pick a team carefully. Pick one that has some people that you know, so that you can find out what they are like. Many teams don't take on "walk ons". You have to know them, and they have to know you, before you can join.
The major benefits of being on a team are, reduced entry fees, and riders who you can work with durning the race.
If you are smart, and you are talented, you can get by without a team.
do you have to know the secret handshake too?ColnagoFE
Jun 11, 2003 6:24 AM
Is it really that involved to get onto a good team where you are located?
Some teams will take anybody who walks in the door.MR_GRUMPY
Jun 11, 2003 7:02 AM
Others won't.
If you know the handshake, it helps.
One team, who I won't name, votes on new members. One no vote means.. ..Get lost.
...buy a jersey and you're on the team...JS Haiku Shop
Jun 11, 2003 7:19 AM
4 out of 7 of our local "teams" are folks who've bought shop jerseys, period. there's little cooperation or tactics in events from those folks, and they don't train together. some don't even know others on the "team". sure is a good way to get "sponsor" exposure, though.

FWIW.
...buy a jersey and you're on the team...El Guapo
Jun 11, 2003 11:29 AM
I ride for US Postal Service Presented By Berry Floor... I mean, they don't know that. I haven't been invited to any of their European campaigns nor any of their domestic campaigns. In fact, now that I think about it, none of my supposed "teammates" have ever called me up about doing any training rides. God I hate them. Their soooooo elitist. Anywho, at least I get discounts on domestic standard mail. They only charge me .37 Cents! Booyah! Riding for a team DOES have its priviledges.
re: Poll: How many of you ride for teamsTime Trial dot org
Jun 11, 2003 5:16 AM
no, it depends on your type of racing really, for TT you should do mostly solo efforts to simulate your solo TT
re: Poll: How many of you ride for teamsNo_sprint
Jun 11, 2003 7:58 AM
I don't know why anyone at all rides *unattached*. Even if it's for the 20% local shop discounts alone. Around here anyone can join one of many recreational clubs for a measly $15 and receive nice discounts at tons of stores. Then you move into clubs/teams that are USCF clubs and thus allow you to race unattached. These clubs offer local shop discounts in addition to pro deals that available to riders, not only racers. They also take anyone who walks in the door. Above that, it's invite only around here. Join today. Our newest 5s are tactically knowledgeable and good and seasoned fast pack, safe, experienced race type riders by the time they hit their first starting line.
re: Poll: How many of you ride for teamsmanicoti
Jun 11, 2003 8:56 AM
I have joined a local club and can race for them if I buy their jersey. I do get a discount at a local shop, but I am looking to race for a team with focus and commitment. I am not interested in riding with a bunch of guys in the same jersey but no tactics. I am willing to subjugate myself for another and be a role player to a good rider, but I want to join a team that has a genuine interest in winning. I love to ride, but I love to win more.
"team" versus teamnoveread
Jun 11, 2003 1:30 PM
I'm in my first year of racing, though been riding for years. I am a part of a club but they are not a USCF club, so I am racing unattached. There is a big team here in town that I could race with if I wanted to but they are huge and while some members do use tactics, it's a click within the team.

When or if I find a team that I want to join, like manicoti said, I want it to be a team that uses tactics to try and win. But I also want to be a part of a team where the more experienced riders will teach a new rider.

I have not found that yet in Madison. When I do, I want to be a part of that team. Until then, I'll ride unattached because it's no different than if I availed myself of my current options.

Hopefully someday I'll get to be a part of a team here in Madison. But that day is not today apparently!

Noveread
Good luck on finding your *teams*No_sprint
Jun 12, 2003 7:00 AM
In my area, SoCal, they're a dime a dozen. There are more serious teams that'll take anyone (within reason and an interview, several ride tests, etc.) than you can shake a stick at.
Racing is more than physical effortLC
Jun 11, 2003 9:05 AM
The mental side is just as important and this is where having teammates around helps alot. You will find extra strength when your suffering just seeing a familar jersey nearby. Not sure exactly what is going on, but probally knowing that your not going to let down your teammate is more motivation than just racing for yourself.

It also makes it more fun to talk with your teammates before and after the race to get some last min tips. The main thing to look for in a team is the people on it, cause it won't work if they are not going to be friends.

The few times I tried racing without teammates was not as much fun. In fact, most guys on my team won't even go to a race unless they know that they will have at least one teammate around.