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What are my chances of being a successful road racer?(4 posts)

What are my chances of being a successful road racer?TheRepublican
Jul 28, 2001 8:35 PM
I'm a mountain biker, but have recently found myself riding on the rode a bit more. Before any sort of training i can maintain 17 to 19 mph over a 2+ hour ride. I ride a hardtail mtb with 1.95" knobbies. Would there be any potential for me if I got a road bike and started training?
Too soon to tellKerry Irons
Jul 29, 2001 4:05 PM
18 mph on flat roads with knobbies is respectable. In hilly riding, it's pretty impressive. But, it's way too soon to draw a conclusion about your road racing potential, which has to include riding skills (drafting, pack riding, cornering), sprinting, bike position, bridging to breakaways, etc. You can't predict success from your average speed for two hours. Plenty of strong solo riders get hammered in criteriums because they can't hack the constant accelerations, because they can't corner well, because they are afraid to ride in a tight pack, because they can't read the race, etc. Most would tell you that it takes 2-3 years of road racing to fully get the hang of things - you don't usually just jump in and do well or feel comfortable. You'll just have to try it and see what comes.
Really bad!Lazy
Jul 30, 2001 6:54 AM
Studies have shown that Republicans make terrible road racers. Here's why:

Too conservative to try to break away from the peloton.

You can't use oil to fuel a bike, it takes an "alternative energy source".

Big corporations don't support cycling so neither do Republicans.

With increased defense budget, the defense contractors are buying up all the titanium and aluminium leaving none for manufacturing bikes.

So, looks pretty grim for you!

Disclaimer: this is all meant as a joke, except for the part about big corporations. ;-)
I'm with Kerry herejw25
Jul 30, 2001 7:10 AM
No matter what your fitness, it takes a lot of experience to be a decent road racer. I've just upgraded to Expert, and recently did a 101 mile off-road race in 9:19 (Wilderness 101, beautiful course), but as a Cat. 5 racer, I'm pretty bad.
Before jumping into road racing, I'd recommend picking up a decent road bike. You don't need the latest and greatest; in fact strong and cheap should be your guidlelines. Road bikes are great for training, and as a Cat. 5 racer, plan to crash a few times. Once you decide to keep racing, then spend some dough on a good bike.
And here's the important part: find a group to ride with. Head to the shops, look for local clubs, whatever. Let them know you're a total newbie, and most will be only too happy to explain riding tactics like pacelines, drafting, holding a line, etc.
Once you can paceline well, try doing some fast race-training rides with the local hotshots, as this is the kind of thing you need. Not everyone in the peloton will be friendly, and often you need to fight for your position. No contact if you can help it, but some aggressiveness is very useful.
Next, go racing. Don't expect to do well, but do try to stay 5-10 positions from the front, and watch what the people up there do. This is where you'll learn tactics and strategy. After maybe 10 races (oddly enough, this is how many you need to do to upgrade to Cat. 4), you should have a decent idea of what to do, and how not to be dangerous in a pack. After that, it's all up to you, and how much work you put in.
Have fun.