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Best place to live for racing(14 posts)

Best place to live for racingkenyonCycleist
Apr 1, 2003 9:48 PM
gonna graduate college soon--1 yr left--and wanna move some place warm w/ no snow (i hate east coast weather- there like only 4 months of nice weather) that has an abundance of races. Been thinking about california/florida/colorado. Wanna see how far i can go in this racing thing (20 yrs old an cat. 3, racing for about 2.5 seasons). willing to eat scraps so i can afford to race...etc. any suggestions?
Southeast US or SoCal (nm)merckx56
Apr 2, 2003 7:05 AM
Apr 2, 2003 7:10 AM
In California, you can race almost every weekend of the year. Between southern and northern, there is always something going on, including New Years Day itself. The races vary from perfectly flat to huge mountains. There is plenty of competition in all categories.

Now, the Boulder area might well be close, but did you see the photos of 3 feet of snow on the ground 2 weeks ago?

Ideally, I think you would want to live on the north end of the LA area, or in our central valley (Fresno area) or San Jose area. San Jose is good, but traffic is much greater than the central valley (LA is bad, too). But, if it's racing you want, you can have more then enough to burn out by May.

Are you in school at Kenyon?Alex-in-Evanston
Apr 2, 2003 7:40 AM
I only started riding after I graduated from Kenyon in '96. When I came back again for the 5th year reunion it looked like riding paradise. Lots of nice country roads and steep hills.

If you are in Gambier, what's your regular training route?

Just curious,

Are you in school at Kenyon?kenyonCycleist
Apr 2, 2003 8:46 AM
i ride the gap trail for intervals a lot, but otherwise i ride every road around here (229, 36/3, 13, 93, 205, 661, 62) u name it i've probably ridden it a gazillion times. As for favorites I like to ride down by the mohawk dam area (308-36-715-36-308). its a nice 45 mi loop and there is a ~1mi climb u can add in too.
Only one place to go...TJeanloz
Apr 2, 2003 8:30 AM
Belgium. If you really want to know if you can hack it or not, make plans to spend this summer in Belgium. Racing on the U.S. domestic scene, for the non-superstars, takes too long to develop and get noticed. Being a 20 year old cat. 3 isn't bad -- but it's not special. Go to Europe, race, starve, have a miserable time, and at the end of the day, you'll at least know where you stand. Too many cyclists in the U.S. slog their way up to Cat 1 by brute force, and then never get the pro contract that they think they deserve. It takes 5 years to learn the same thing the Euro scene will tell you in 5 months.
Only one place to go...kenyonCycleist
Apr 2, 2003 8:50 AM
how much does a thing like that cost? I think a guy on me team (Guinness) has contacts there. This is me first season as a cat. 3 so i was maybe thinking to wait a year or 2 until i gather some more experience.
It's not expensive,TJeanloz
Apr 2, 2003 8:59 AM
It depends how much luxury you want in your life. Some teams will provide billiting, transports, etc. for you. It's no more expensive than living and racing anywhere else.
re: Best place to live for racingMatt Britter
Apr 2, 2003 9:40 AM
Here are a couple of links, check out the length of seasons in Cal.
re: Best place to live for racingkenyonCycleist
Apr 2, 2003 7:39 PM
i live in West PA/midwest racing scene, but lookie at this:
SoCal. nm.No_sprint
Apr 2, 2003 10:52 AM
re: Best place to live for racingsevenaxiom
Apr 2, 2003 8:04 PM
Now this may sound crazy, but I have to say that New York City is the best place to race. Granted, it may not be like CA, but in addition to the multiple races within driving distance every weekend (and weeknights), you have some top-notch hardcore competition in the Northeast, and the best city in the world to make life exciting when you're not racing.

Yes, Colorado is beautiful, awesome, but I saw so few people out on the road. Not in NY, even when it does get cold, you can hitch a ride in the 30+ rider packs that cruise around Central Park almost nightly. There are probably over a thousand racers in the 5 boroughs, and it's not uncommon to run into a dozen people you know on every ride.

If you wanna go pro it may not be the most ideal place (there aren't 10,000 ft mountains around), but if you want to race 4 times a week, have fun, meet some great racers (from just about everywhere in the world) and learn how to outsprint a taxi on 6th Avenue, it is the place to be!

(and unlike common perception, you don't have to pay a gazillion bucks and live in Manhattan. There are plenty of affordable places to live... and plenty of teams with good support)
Antwerp, Belgiumrussw19
Apr 3, 2003 8:23 PM
Belgium... that's the place to be. It's not cheap, but it's not really expensive either provided you can get a job there. The biggest thing that will kill you is going to be the culture shock. If you don't speak French, and or Flemmish, you will find it tough. There are enough people there who speak English that you won't suffer too bad, but if you need to find a job over there, you will need to speak either of those languages. But whoever also said Belgium said with 100% accuracy that you will learn in 1 solid season there what it takes to be a pro. You will suffer and be miserable, but you will only be hard at that end of the year. If you can survive a full season in Belgium and then come back to the states, you will be much faster, but a whole helluva lot smarter in races. You will learn in a few months there what it takes years for most American based riders to know. It's kinda like playing soccer. If you want to be good, go to Europe and learn to play. They are so much further advanced than us. The average 16 year old cyclist in Belgium has as much racing experience as a US Cat 3 rider. Go there, race and suffer, come here, mop up and win lot's of prize money and primes.

re: Best place to live for racingflying
Apr 6, 2003 7:07 PM

Cycling Center, it is a project set up by Bernard Moerman
and his wife Ann to welcome mostly American riders in Belgium