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new to racing...(5 posts)

new to racing...dbko
May 26, 2001 5:54 PM
I'm fairly new to cycling and am looking for some basic info on racing. I actually have no idea if I have any business racing yet. I can keep an average of 19 for over half an hour on a moderatly hilly route without too much difficulty - what sort of averages are seen on the local level for cat 4/5? How much does it increase as the levels increase? Is it necessary to be affiliated with a club, and if it is, how would I go about this? Any sort of info would be greatly appreciated - I'm eager but feel like I'm riding in the dark...
re: new to racing...Duane Gran
May 26, 2001 6:53 PM
Fitness is rarely a problem when racing if you use your head and sit in if the pace is uncomfortable. I have been in 4/5 races which averaged 25mph on flat terrain. The slowest race I have ever done was a little over 22mph, but that was on very hilly terrain and everyone was suffering big time.

That said, your average speed on a solo ride isn't a good comparison because you are much faster in a group. As for groups, I would really recommend hooking up with a team/club before getting into a race. It costs $5 additional per race to be unnatached, but beyond this the experience of riding in a group is vital. I have seen very fit cyclists do poorly in races because they aren't familiar with how to ride in a group. As for finding a club, you might post here asking about clubs in your area.

Regarding fitness, if there is any place where your fitness can challenge you it is on hills and corners. Expect the more fit riders to accelerate the pace on hills and to accelerate when coming out of corners. This is all in an effort to punish the less fit riders and those who may be hanging on the back of the pack. That said, in your practice workouts get used to going hard on hills (all the way through the top) and mentally get used to turning on the heat when you come out of a corner. This latter one can surprise and confuse new racers, and before you know it you could be detached from the pack, which is the whole intent of the ornery guys up front.
start group riding...biknben
May 27, 2001 7:51 AM
I would recommend get involved in some group rides. Find a local club or ask around at the LBS and see what's going on. After doing a few road races with no success I started got involved in a weekly "Training Race Series". I have found this series to be a great opportunity to learn and get results.

For just about any race you will need a USCF license. You can fill out the application and pay for it at the first race or you can get one in advance at http://www.usacycling.org . I find the cat 4/5 to average betwen 23 and 25 MPH. I am not affiliated with a road club or team and contrary to what was said above, I don't pay any additianal fees.

Good Luck
Agree with biknben...Marlon
May 27, 2001 11:34 AM
Between 22 and 25mph sounds about right - or, if you will, between 35 and 40km/h.

Group rides are essential. Solo efforts are great, but riding in a pack will bring a lot of experience in a hurry.

Falling off the back of a pack is something to be experienced at least once. Falling off and re-catching the pack is something else entirely.

Luck.
Agree with biknben...dbko
May 31, 2001 8:29 AM
thanks for the posts... I've gotten in touch with a club in the area.