How to start racing.

A light bike doesn't replace good fitness.

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tete de la course
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Joined: Mon Nov 06, 2006 8:26 pm

by tete de la course

I simply train to improve my averages. Some days i focuse strickly on climbing and other days it's all about flats and high MPH. I only have three events a year that I know about and am looking for more. But with in a group of friends the competition is heating up.


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by RollinOn27s

wogamax wrote:I hope to crit in March '07, for the first time. I've bumped, hooked, been taken down half-wheelin' and been in some close quarters with large groups. I definitely have to practice not being squimish when w/in a foot of others bars on the left and right at speed, where you can't get out of the saddle or even rock the bike w/o hazard.

As to 4.7 watts/kg, I should think simply time trialing ahead would score a win at cat 5, no? I'm a tick below 4 w/kg (including bike) and feel pretty comfy diving into a sub-25mph group. Still, my hope is for safety and I am thinking of just coming around them for short, short, pulls and then, more importantly, gaining confidence as I drift to the back, however tight things are. I expect the culture will be entirely different.

There are plenty of reasons to have a power meter if you aren't going to race. They're really important to the non-racer, IMO. Time trialing and triathlons are becoming a science with them.

Unless you are the second coming of Merckx, very few people will ever time trial off the front of a field in their first race. Sub-25mph will not pull away from anyone except the guys who are just pack fodder in the first place. Also, you never want to drift to the back. It's very hard to move up and you'll more than likely get caught behind or in a crash back there. Everyone and their mother is going to tell you to stay in the top 1/4th of the field, and rightly so. It will be smoother and less dangerous up there. Better, smarter athletes who know how to play the game (relative to the category).

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Tinea Pedis
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Location: Geelong

by Tinea Pedis

What a thread! :lol: bump training sounds good! :lol:

Does mastering the art of eating chips and gravy on the way home from work count any towards bike handling skills?

And some more tips (and amusing stories) would be great!

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by intensdelysolid

:o this has answered so many of the questions i have of racing!!
hopefully i will be able to start soon

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Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2006 5:08 am

by wongmic75

I found that riding in group rides really helped to make me feel comfortable in moving around a pack...learning to be smooth with my braking and accelerations...

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by cmdr199212

drjones96 wrote:@Racers

Do you guys train just for general riding or do you do specific training based on what type of racing you're doing? Say if you know that you're going to do crits most of the time and maybe hit a road race here and there. In that case would you do a lot of short & fast training rides and maybe mix in an extended slower paced ride?

I do mostly crits out here on the east coast. During the summer we do almost exclusivly VO2 Maxes, with an assortment of sprints mixed in. Mostly speed work, like the race. Gr8 to see so many people here giving and taking advice!

Peace out!

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Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 6:15 pm

by Nscott1463

Hi everyone! Been lurking for quite a while but finally trying to join the community. I have another thread posted on a budget bike that you all have helped me with and am hoping to have it built up (with pictures of course) in the coming weeks. My next step is putting together all the info/training/needs for jumping into entry level racing next year. I've only been riding for two years and that has been for tri's so completely different I understand. Need to learn better handling skills and really boost the power, but not sure what the best ways are to go about it. Also, I've tried looking at what it takes to get into racing (license, etc) and I haven't come to a clear answer yet. Any help?! Thanks everyone for your time and really looking forward to being an active ww!

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Location: Santa Cruz, California, USA

by eric

In what counrtry are you located? It makes a difference for licensing.

But for riding, find some local race oriented group rides.
When you're no longer getting dropped and can mix it up in the sprints/climbs, find a faster group ride.
When you're contesting the sprints/climbs there, enter some races.

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Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 6:15 pm

by Nscott1463

Thanks! I'm on the boarder between Iowa/Illinois. Any suggestions of what type workouts I should focus on, aka more intervals, longer sustained power, sprints, etc.?

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by mvacolnago

Race what you have, get a USAC license for $65 bucks a year.... try different types of races before you spend money on a new bike, crits, road races, cyclcross, Also look for a local team/club that will help you along the way....

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by nathanong87

jeffR have u continued racing up to now (7 years on?) =)

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by Ragamuffin

I completely agree with mvacolnago. While it's really tempting to get fancy new bikes and equipment, start racing with what you have and as a new racer - don't race what you can't afford to replace. Starting out in a lower category, crashes are bound to happen at some point (hopefully nothing too serious though!). Long rides and just good overall fitness will get you very far in the lower categories (definitely Cat 4-5 and probably through to mid-range Cat 3).

One necessary training tool is to do group rides. This accomplishes numerous things:
- Increases your level of comfort riding in a pack. It can be pretty unnerving having people in close proximity going at 20+mph during a race so it's good to get used to this.
- Work on pack location. Learning how to draft properly and conserve energy as well as rotating pacelines.
- Working on sprints. A lot of groups rides to "town line" sprints and can simulate real race sprinting situations.

I've known riders stronger than myself that had poor pack riding skills and would get shot out the back and dropped early on in the race while I just sat tight in the pack and eventually stayed with the break till the end.

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