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  1. #1
    CAT 2 wanna be PolishPostal's Avatar
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    Upgrading from CAT 5 to 4 experiences

    I would like to hear the experiences of those that have upgraded from 5's to 4's. Did you satify the 10 mass start requirement or upgrade early? Your CAT 5 results. If you upgraded with less than 10 mass starts or if you tried but got rejected what USCF are you located in?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    El Diablo 2Rodies's Avatar
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    Here in central Texas they are not allowing any early upgrades, even if you dominating the 5s. The thing is if you are that strong you can meet your 10 race requirement here in around 1.5 months, we have a ton of racing going on.

    I've raced in several 4/5 fields with strong 4's and honestly the only difference from a performance angle is the distance. As for safety I think the difference is marginal. You are still going to have your squirrels in the 4's and frankly the 5's have had less crashes than the 3's or the 4's (this is for RR only crits are different matter). For example our 5's race was faster than the 4's race on Sunday and faster than the 35+ 4/5 race.

  3. #3
    starting pistol means war YMCA's Avatar
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    There are always exceptions to the rule.
    An expert mountain biker or a top level triathlete would not have to do 10 mass start races to upgrade.
    There is good reason for the cat5 category here in the USA, but no representative will be that set in stone.

  4. #4
    El Diablo 2Rodies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YMCA
    There are always exceptions to the rule.
    An expert mountain biker or a top level triathlete would not have to do 10 mass start races to upgrade.
    There is good reason for the cat5 category here in the USA, but no representative will be that set in stone.
    They are here. Last year she was a little more lenient but this year she has flat said no upgrades until you've done your 10.

  5. #5
    Member climbo's Avatar
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    triathletes should do 10 mass start races, they usually can't ride in packs properly. MTB'ers on the other hand are usually quite proficient with bike handling on the road.

    I went form 5 to 4 after about 8 races, I was racing Sport MTB and raced B cyclo-cross so the official let me go up a litle early. This was in NJ about 6 years ago.

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    starting pistol means war YMCA's Avatar
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    I actually went up to 4 after my first cat 5 race (I placed 2nd).
    That was 1992 and the first year of cat5's, so the rep had no idea on the rules and said sure when I asked if I could be a cat4 after the race.
    My best bud is the rep here in FL. I'll give him a ring and see what he's doing with 5's.
    He's probably a lot more leniant on the 10 race rule if you show any results.

  7. #7
    starting pistol means war YMCA's Avatar
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    Jsut got off the phone with our Florida rep and he says the 10 race rule is not set in stone. He has upgraded many riders before they get 10 races. Usually they win or place top6 in enough races to score a bunch of points and he has no problem moving them up.

    He has even gotten the word from his boss that 5's need to be upgraded as soon as possible in some areas, as the cat5 fields are filling up.

    So, whoever is looking to get upgraded before their ten races are done, just get some results asap and you can move on to the somewhat safer, but much more competitive 4's.

  8. #8
    El Diablo 2Rodies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YMCA
    Jsut got off the phone with our Florida rep and he says the 10 race rule is not set in stone. He has upgraded many riders before they get 10 races. Usually they win or place top6 in enough races to score a bunch of points and he has no problem moving them up.

    He has even gotten the word from his boss that 5's need to be upgraded as soon as possible in some areas, as the cat5 fields are filling up.

    So, whoever is looking to get upgraded before their ten races are done, just get some results asap and you can move on to the somewhat safer, but much more competitive 4's.
    Different reps have a different takes on the requirment. Ours is steadfastly against letting anyone cat up early. Last year we had a guy that won his first 6 5's races, they would let him cat up early. So he won his next 4 5's races then won 3 straight 4 races, by years end he needed to only get a top 5 in his next 3's race to become a 2. He got that in the first race of the year, and now just finished 3rd in his first P1/2 race.

    Personally I could careless the 5's races are short enough that I can do two in one day or two over one weekend and not kill myself. Our cat 5 race was faster and safer than the 4s race that day. I'll be in the 4s in two months time and with some luck and lot's o' hard work I'll make to the 3's by years end.

  9. #9
    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    I contacted our district rep this morning asking if it would be possible to move up early if I continued to have good results. She said that the ten starts is a requirement and that people don't get moved up early. I guess that she meant that she doesn't move people up early.

    The only reason I asked is because there aren't many road races around here. I have to drive 400 - 500 miles round trip to do most of the races. There are only three or four a year in my state. At this rate it is going to cost me a small fortune and take a pretty long time to upgrade.
    Last edited by LowCel; 02-28-06 at 07:11 PM.
    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

  10. #10
    Senior Member spunky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LowCel
    The only reason I asked is because there aren't many road races around here. I have to drive 400 - 500 miles round trip to do most of the races. There are only three or four a year in my state. At this rate it is going to cost me a small fortune and take a pretty long time to upgrade.
    Time to move. Come to Oregon. Plenty of racing going on. I've got three RR's lined up this month, next month one RR and a 3 day stage race along with a weekly TT.....and that's with opting to leave a few out. All of this is within 100 miles.

  11. #11
    Slow'n'Aero DrWJODonnell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LowCel
    The only reason I asked is because there aren't many road races around here. I have to drive 400 - 500 miles round trip to do most of the races. There are only three or four a year in my state. At this rate it is going to cost me a small fortune and take a pretty long time to upgrade.
    I live in a state (NJ) where there is a LOT of good racing nearby (NY, NJ, PA) and honestly, many races I have to drive 2+ hours to get to. I know that it seems like a lot of milage to ride th ebike for an hour, but such is the world of cycling. And though I agree that a person should cat up ASAP, the races don't get any closer if you are a cat4. You will find very quickly that cycling indeed is NOT a cheap sport.

    If you are willing to travel 400 round trip, there are a lot of races to the west of Philly that you should consider. That will probably be your best bet.

  12. #12
    Veni, Vidi, Vomiti SteveE's Avatar
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    My racing experience is as a Cat 5 / Master 45+/55+ racer. In at least one instance I was able to enter a Master 45+ Cat 4 race even though I was officially Cat 5. I have since completed the obligatory 10 mass start 15 mile plus requirement and officially Cat'ed up. I got a 2nd and a 3rd in two hillclimbs in my age category. In the 45+/55+ open category I did squat in a road race. Earlier this year I entered at 35+ 4/5 road race and snagged a top ten finish. Here in NorCal, a Master 35+ 4/5 race is easier than a 45+/55+ open category. I'll probably get my butt handed to me at the McLane-Pacific RR in the 45+ open category on Sunday,
    "Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ...'holy *****...what a ride!'"

  13. #13
    Sick ... again MacMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveE
    My racing experience is as a Cat 5 / Master 45+/55+ racer. In at least one instance I was able to enter a Master 45+ Cat 4 race even though I was officially Cat 5. I have since completed the obligatory 10 mass start 15 mile plus requirement and officially Cat'ed up. I got a 2nd and a 3rd in two hillclimbs in my age category. In the 45+/55+ open category I did squat in a road race. Earlier this year I entered at 35+ 4/5 road race and snagged a top ten finish. Here in NorCal, a Master 35+ 4/5 race is easier than a 45+/55+ open category. I'll probably get my butt handed to me at the McLane-Pacific RR in the 45+ open category on Sunday,
    Not unusual ... Masters racing in the Open category at any age group is wicked fast.

  14. #14
    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrWJODonnell
    I live in a state (NJ) where there is a LOT of good racing nearby (NY, NJ, PA) and honestly, many races I have to drive 2+ hours to get to. I know that it seems like a lot of milage to ride th ebike for an hour, but such is the world of cycling. And though I agree that a person should cat up ASAP, the races don't get any closer if you are a cat4. You will find very quickly that cycling indeed is NOT a cheap sport.

    If you are willing to travel 400 round trip, there are a lot of races to the west of Philly that you should consider. That will probably be your best bet.
    Philadelphia is a little too far, that is about a 1,000 mile round trip for me. A bit too long to drive for a one day race.

    As far as cycling not being a cheap sport believe me I know, this will be my forth year racing mountain bikes. Mountain bike racing is more expensive than road racing, much more damage is done to the bikes.
    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

  15. #15
    El Diablo 2Rodies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LowCel
    As far as cycling not being a cheap sport believe me I know, this will be my forth year racing mountain bikes. Mountain bike racing is more expensive than road racing, much more damage is done to the bikes.

    I raced cars for almost 25 years...cycling is free in comparason. My race weekends in cars ran about $1700.00 to $2500.00.

  16. #16
    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2Rodies
    I raced cars for almost 25 years...cycling is free in comparason. My race weekends in cars ran about $1700.00 to $2500.00.
    Ouch!!!
    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

  17. #17
    El Diablo 2Rodies's Avatar
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    2003 was my last season in cars, I did part of '04, which was going to be my last, then we moved to Austin so I sold it all. There are so many parallels between racing open wheel race cars and bicycles. The speed and close proximity to your competitor are equal in their adrenaline rush.

  18. #18
    Senior Member joshdcu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LowCel
    Philadelphia is a little too far, that is about a 1,000 mile round trip for me. A bit too long to drive for a one day race.
    Maybe look elsewhere in the Mid-Atlantic. There are a lot of races in the DC area, mostly in Northern Virginia and Maryland. I know that's still pretty far from Charleston, but there's some good racing around here.

    You might also try the Pittsburgh/Western PA area, Kentucky, or Ohio (though maybe you already do...).

  19. #19
    El Diablo 2Rodies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YMCA
    Jsut got off the phone with our Florida rep and he says the 10 race rule is not set in stone. He has upgraded many riders before they get 10 races. Usually they win or place top6 in enough races to score a bunch of points and he has no problem moving them up.

    5's don't score points. USCF rule book page 6 http://www.usacycling.org/forms/USAC_rulebook.pdf

  20. #20
    starting pistol means war YMCA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2Rodies
    5's don't score points. USCF rule book page 6 http://www.usacycling.org/forms/USAC_rulebook.pdf
    You know, you are right. My mistake. The FL rep didn't actually say riders needed points to move up, just some decent results (which normally means top6 in USCF language) and he'd move guys up before the 10 race rule.

  21. #21
    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joshdcu
    Maybe look elsewhere in the Mid-Atlantic. There are a lot of races in the DC area, mostly in Northern Virginia and Maryland. I know that's still pretty far from Charleston, but there's some good racing around here.

    You might also try the Pittsburgh/Western PA area, Kentucky, or Ohio (though maybe you already do...).
    I'm going to pretty much stick with Ohio and Kentucky. DC is still about 750 miles round trip. I only have to worry about it for a couple more months anyway. After that I will be doing the wvmba series.
    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

  22. #22
    Slow'n'Aero DrWJODonnell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LowCel
    Philadelphia is a little too far, that is about a 1,000 mile round trip for me. A bit too long to drive for a one day race.
    Here I thought you lived in WV. According to google earth, Philly could be at most 350 miles from you. I take it you drive the scenic route? Anyhow, most of the races I was talking about would be about 45mins-1 hour west of philly. Not to push those races (I hate to drive that far too...trust me), but it just seemed like you were looking for some racing action.

  23. #23
    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrWJODonnell
    Here I thought you lived in WV. According to google earth, Philly could be at most 350 miles from you. I take it you drive the scenic route? Anyhow, most of the races I was talking about would be about 45mins-1 hour west of philly. Not to push those races (I hate to drive that far too...trust me), but it just seemed like you were looking for some racing action.
    I'm sorry, it is 480.8 miles each way. Here is the yahoo map. Google says the same thing. From zip code 25248 to Philadelphia.
    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

  24. #24
    Slow'n'Aero DrWJODonnell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LowCel
    I'm sorry, it is 480.8 miles each way. Here is the yahoo map. Google says the same thing. From zip code 25248 to Philadelphia.
    Wow, you are WAY out there . Think of the tour de toona then!

  25. #25
    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    Not way out there, just 15 miles from the state capitol. I'm there every day.
    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

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