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30 yr old, new to cycling(14 posts)

30 yr old, new to cyclingjukosho
Jun 5, 2002 10:44 AM
I have just really started riding serious this year.... I put in 120-150 miles per week and I plan on racing cat 5s next year. My question is starting this late in life, what is the maximum I could succeed in the next 5-10 years, if I devote this many miles and racing? Like, is there a chance that I could still turn pro or semi pro around 40? Or is that only for the 20-30 year olds. I know I could at least get to the state level, just wondering what could await me outside of that in the years to come.
you need a cat 5 to put yourself in perspectiveishmael
Jun 5, 2002 11:25 AM
Yes there are a lot of older pros, I forget who and what age but I was pleasantly suprised when I looked into it. I think we are all rooting for the older racers, they show us we arent over the hill yet. In the uscf rule book there is a listing of all the timetrial records by age group and people are damn fast even in their late 50's. My advice is take it easy at first, increase your mileage slowly (or you could hurt yourself)and find good groups to ride with. You sound very competative spririted and if you find some fast groups to ride with you can have a lot of fun without going pro or even doing the cat 5s. If you go to a race you'll see that most of the fast racers are over 30 and the over 30 race is very competative.
Me too!!SGrouts
Jun 5, 2002 11:28 AM
I dont have an answer for you but i have the same question.
I am 31 and i started 6 months ago riding seriously.
One month ago i started a training program based on Joe Friel's "Training Bible". I am doing about 130 miles per week now (Base 1 stage).
So i have the same question, are we too late to enjoy some race wins?
Not too lateRockyMountainRacer
Jun 5, 2002 11:40 AM
Nah, you guys shouldn't be too late. My dad is 55 and wins cat 4 races on a pretty regular basis. He started racing about 5 years ago--this is in the upstate New York locale (keep in mind some locations are a lot more competitive than others and can therefore take you longer to get good). He wasn't in bad shape when he started riding all the time, but he had never done an aerobic sport before either. It took him till this year to start winning. I think if you stick with it you should be able to have plenty of success. You have to be patient and expect a lot of pain from the people your age who have already been riding for years. Remember as you get older you can also race in the masters classes against people your age as well. However, my old man says that the old guy fields are usually faster than the senior cat 4 fields where he races, and he seems to enjoy beating the younger racers a lot. I can still kick his ass though! :)
Me too!!flyinbowlofmilk
Jun 5, 2002 4:11 PM
No! I am 31 now and will be 32 next month. Give racing a try whenever you decide to. You will find out that you will improve over the next 5 to 10 years and may even win a lot of races. I just started racing this year and I am a Cat5 racer now(officially). good Luck .

No offense but.....JS
Jun 5, 2002 2:51 PM
Your gonna need a few things first:
1. Genetics. It doesn't matter how much you want it, if you don't have a decent engine it ain't gonna happen.
2. Time, lot's of it.
3. The ability to suffer. I've seen plenty of guys who can do the training but when it comes down to it they just don't have the head or heart to really suffer on the bike in a race.

Before you decide you want to be a pro you should probably try a race first.
No offense but.....climbo
Jun 6, 2002 4:57 AM
have to agree there JS. I thought I wanted to be a pro at one point also, but now I'm 32 and racing Expert/Cat 3 after 5 years racing, I just figure I'm happy as a clam there. Anything else is too much suffering. Of course, if you had no life and no other interests, you could be a pro in 5-10 years if you have the other "right stuff".
No offense but.....mtber
Jun 6, 2002 7:59 AM
"Of course, if you had no life and no other interests, you could be a pro in 5-10 years"

No offense, but who are you to judge what "a life" is? Id say Lance has a pretty good life. Everybody's interests and priorities are different. For some the satisfaction of setting and achieving higher and higher goals and eventually turing pro is worth giving up nights at the bar watching football and chugging beers or mowing grass and washing the Lexus. Sounds like a bit of jealousy 'cuz you didn't have what it takes.
Chill, man.brider
Jun 6, 2002 8:32 AM
You're talking to a bunch of people that already have careers that are supplying their lifestyle. The saying usually refers to some one giving up their income (and the life that goes with it) for the iffy prospect of making the pros, and an income that probably won't match what they gave up (unless they can become a superstar). I had to make that decision years ago in triathlon. I totally understand where they're coming from.
some quotes for guidanceDougSloan
Jun 6, 2002 2:26 PM
"If at first you don't succeed, try, try, and try again. Then give up. There's no use being a damned fool about it."
W.C. Fields

"Decide what you want, decide what you are willing to exchange for it. Establish your priorities and go to work."
H. L. Hunt

"I was taught that everything is attainable if you are prepared to give up, to sacrifice, to get it. Whatever you want to do, you can do it, if you want it badly enough, and I do believe that. I believe that if I wanted to run a mile is four minutes I could do it. I would have to give up everything else in my life, but I could run a mile in four minutes. I believe that if a man wanted to walk on water and was prepared to give up everything else in life, he could do that." Stirling Moss

"Everyone values things differently. In other words, they place their own value on everything that affects their lives. Also from moment to moment they may even change their values. Such as a person, who values diamonds above all else, might be willing to trade a gallon of diamonds for a drink of water to save his life in a desert. What this means is value is a relative thing depending on a need or a perceived need. Yet, how many people will argue and even violently fight over the perceived value of something or some idea only later have an entirely different view point or value." Sidney Madwed
and some moreDougSloan
Jun 6, 2002 2:31 PM
"The first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: Decide what you want." Ben Stein

"If you can't do what you want, do what you can." Lois McMaster Bujold

"Envy can be a positive motivator. Let it inspire you to work harder for what you want." Robert Bringle

"When you determined what you want, you have made the most important decision of your life. You have to know what you want in order to attain it." Douglas Lurtan

"Some prices are just too high, no matter how much you may want the prize. The one thing you can't trade for your heart's desire is your heart." Lois McMaster Bujold
and some morerwbadley
Jun 9, 2002 1:20 PM
And another...

I hope I get what I want, before I stop wanting it!


It's All About Fitness!BigLeadOutGuy
Jun 6, 2002 5:49 AM
What kind of sports have you done previously to cycling? If you competed in endurance sports before starting cycling you have a better chance to get to the top quicker. Cycling like all endurance sports is about being fitter and being able to suffer longer than the guy next to you. If you already have a good engine than you will be able to cruise through the categories quicker than most people who dont have an effiencient cardiovascular system. You also have to be mentally tough to withstand the suffering...I think this is alot more important than just having a good engine. You can have the vo2max of indurain but if you whimper at the first sensation of the mucleburn...your not going to last. I dont buy into the too old to go pro theory...look at dave scott...came out of retirment at age 45 or something and won the ironman....the toughest endurance competition going.
Don't wait till next year...biknben
Jun 6, 2002 12:07 PM
Find some training races to test yourself against others. There are mid-week training races in many areas. They are often smaller and cheaper than a weekend race.

you're gettign a late start. No reason to wait any longer.