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Races for non races(12 posts)

Races for non racesAndante
Aug 13, 2002 7:45 AM
I did my first race last month, a crit. I entered the cat 4/5, as I have never raced before. There were 60 starters, and I was one of only two racers without a team kit. I was off the back in two miles, and bailed out and went home (someone else could battle it out for last place finisher- I did not want to cause an accident (be an obstruction) when people started lapping).
Are there races out there for people who just want to show up and have a good time? Races where people still run downtube shifters and steel bikes? Some of us want the fun of an organized race, without joining a team and training constantly.
Any suggestions?
re: Races for non racesbob_vanderhaus
Aug 13, 2002 9:09 AM
If you want to show up and have a good time without training constantly, I would join your local "fun" bike club. You will have a great time, most rides even start with donuts and end with pizza! If you want to race, you have to train hard to be competitive, if you don't want to train, then don't race. You don't have to have the newest equipment to kick ass, we had a guy around here that went from cat 5-2 last year on an old steel bike with downtube shifters. In fact, my buddy is consistantly top 5 in stage races and he refuses to use STI shifters or trading in his old steel ride from the seventies.
Try a citizen only race...greg n
Aug 13, 2002 1:22 PM
without cat 5s thrown in. I think then you'll find a more diverse fitness level that you'll feel comfortable in. It seems to me that there are about 3 types of people in citizen races. You have unliscensed/ex-racers who still maintain a certain level of fitness to preserve their "competitive edge". Then there are the first time racers/regular training shcedule types who might elect to try and chase the ex-racers or just ride their pace and hang with people of a like fitness level. And then there are the newbies. New to riding and new to racing who are there to see what it's really about.

So give that a shot. Hopefully you'll fit in.
I second the citizen only race....TFerguson
Aug 13, 2002 5:56 PM
It's a real race and it's fun. Unfortunately, they aren't easy to find. Most include the Cat 5s. This past Sunday the Winfield III crit (near Chicago) had two citizen only classes. One for up to 39 yrs. and one for 40+. I'm 51 and this is my first summer racing. Finished 7 out of 16 and had FUN.
re: Races for non racesJohn445
Aug 13, 2002 1:22 PM
Check out local charity rides. MS tours, Muscular Distraphy, Cancer, Aids and the list goes on. We have a team that trains year round and rides only charity rides. We have lots of fun and, of course, we think we're just as fast as many cat 4/5 racers. Mooooove over Postal here comes The Bovine Paceline.

re: Races for non racescking17
Aug 13, 2002 3:36 PM
Try a time trial. You still have to train but it is you vs. the clock. If you don't mind coming in low on the results sheet, it can be a great way to work yourself into racing. You'll get passed but it is far less dangerous that doing a crit as a beginner. Enter as a CAT 5... and yes, join your local club ride. You'll get a lot of good advice.
re: Races for non racesJSchneb
Aug 14, 2002 6:53 AM
I had the same experience the first time that I raced last year. I had been riding for about 6 years or so, strictly "fast recreational". I was one of the faster guys that I rode with regularly, so I figured that I would be okay in the "Cat 5/beginner" race. I was off the back within 2 laps... I was really surprised at the difference in ability between "riders" and "racers". To my surprise, even beginner "racers" are really, really fast! After the race, I felt exactly the same as you.

After that, I joined my local "fun club" and progressed thru there. I started riding more and following a disciplined schedule this year. I entered the same race this year, and placed top 10 in the Cat 5 race. Once I got strong enough to "hang", racing became really fun! Now, after the race I hear guys that get dropped say "gee, I thought this was suposed to be a "beginner" race... I'm a beginner and I'm not even close to these guys". My reply to them is "it is a beginner race - you're just not a beginner "racer" - you're a "rider"... I don't mean this as an insult to them, it's meaning is more like "If you want to "race", you've got to train to race. You can't expect to just ride alot, show up at a "race" and be competitive."

I guess that if your not at the level to be competitive, than racing is never "fun". I think that where most people make mistakes is assessing the "level" of a beginner "race", and not realizing that "racing" is alot different that "riding". If you want to "race", you've got to train for it. Just riding alot will not get you fit enough to race.
Mtb or cross are great ways to get your feet wet.Alex-in-Evanston
Aug 14, 2002 7:21 AM
The atmosphere is more relaxed and you will find more "weekend warriors" who come out for a go. Cross season is just around the corner.

Definately - Mtb or cross are great ways to get your feet wet.JSchneb
Aug 14, 2002 9:40 AM
MTB races are a blast; even when you're sucking wind everybody is still cheering for you! The atmosphere is much friendlier (sorry, but a lot of roadies are "elitist").
Definately - Mtb or cross are great ways to get your feet wet.bob_vanderhaus
Aug 14, 2002 10:01 AM
MTB races are fun for elitist roadies as well. Start near the front, pass a few people and you will not even see anyone else for the remainder of the race. Make sure you wear a cycling cap under your helmet making it clear that you are a roadie. Do a course with a short loop, so when you start lapping people you can scream at them to get the hell out of your way. Also make sure that when you are on the beginner podium, that you tell everyone how well you did in the cat 3 state championships. You will make a lot of friends this way.
Definately - Mtb or cross are great ways to get your feet wet.JSchneb
Aug 15, 2002 4:56 AM
You know, what's even more fun is when I lap the "A" field in my local crits wearing my XTR socks and my helmet that has a visor attached...
No, no, the best way to make friends is to...Wayne
Aug 15, 2002 8:28 AM
pass them on the uphills and then get in their way on any downhill or tight, twisty and/or technical sections. This is best done on a rolling course so that the same thing can be experienced by the same riders again and again. Apparently most mtn bikers don't take any pride in being stronger than other riders (some even seem resentful and blame the course for not being a true mountain bike course when roadies beat them) and they apparently really look down at flounders like me who get in their way on the "fun" stuff.