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  1. #1
    Carpe Diem bdcheung's Avatar
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    How to pick a team/club?

    There are a couple clubs in my area. What are some good criteria to look for? I've gone through the process of choosing a fraternity, of choosing a bank, etc., but I know there are some things in a racing team I should be looking for... ideas?

    Also, if I'm already on my collegiate team, do I really need to join a separate club?
    "When you are chewing the bars at the business end of a 90 mile road race you really dont care what gear you have hanging from your bike so long as it works."
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  2. #2
    . botto's Avatar
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    1 how well you get along with the riders in the club.

    2 what their kit looks like.

  3. #3
    Eternal Cat3 Rookie branman1986's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by botto
    1 how well you get along with the riders in the club.
    +1, a nice kit is a plus too

  4. #4
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdcheung
    Also, if I'm already on my collegiate team, do I really need to join a separate club?
    Does the college team work out year round? Do you want to work out year round? What needs does the college team not meet?

    If the college meets all your needs then you have little need for an outside club, thought you might want to affialiate with one looking to the future. If the college does not meet all your needs then look toward a club that provides what you are not getting from the college team.

  5. #5
    . botto's Avatar
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    i forgot to mention the good news.

    unlike your frat, you don't need to slip a drunk co-ed a Rohypnol to become a member.

  6. #6
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    The kit is the most important thing. You can't ride your best if you feel like a tool and are worried your kit makes you look like a clown.

    I heard the Cow Town Cycling Club out of Greeley is recruiting new riders though. I'm not sure but they may have even gotten a former German pro named Jan.

    Could be worth looking into.

  7. #7
    Carpe Diem bdcheung's Avatar
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    Ok, to answer a couple questions:
    1) There are no "official" workouts year round, but we do have team rides every weekend throughout the year.
    2) I want to work out year round.
    3) I'm not sure what needs my college team fulfills/falls short of, as this is my first (and last) season with them. On that note, since I will be graduating this May, perhaps I should join a local team so I can keep riding post-graduation, especially since I'll be living/working in the area...
    "When you are chewing the bars at the business end of a 90 mile road race you really dont care what gear you have hanging from your bike so long as it works."
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  8. #8
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Also consider the makeup of the team. If your just starting out, do they have other Cat 4/5 riders? Do they have more experienced riders who are willing to help new riders?

    Does their level of commitment match yours? If the team is made up moslty of very serious 1's, and 2's, and you see yourself peaking as a 4, and not devoting every free moment to it, you won't be a good fit.

    On the other hand, if you are very motivated and looking to compete at a high level,and the team is made up of guys that are more socially oriented you won't be a good fit either.

    So I'd consider the age, experience, talent,and commitment mix of the teams you're looking at, and see where you fit best.

  9. #9
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    I've found that some teams are super serious and hard core, while others are more loose with their approach. Some teams are so big and spread out that riders only see each other at the races, and others were so small that same 2 or 3 racers from that team also train together all the time. Some teams are geared towards development of young Cat 5/4 while others are focused on Masters. So look for the teams that fit your situation and goals.

    As a graduating college racer with 1 season, your prob going to be a Cat 4 looking for a good developmental team with a bunch of other 20-somethings. If your really serious, you should look at who the coaches are and what types of training programs they can offer. If your looking to just have fun, find one that fit's your lifestyle better (e.g. like to do charity rides in addition to racing, beer socials, etc.)

    You can also ask the regional forum what teams are around in DC area, though you may want to ask Dr. Pete. He just joined a DC team, so he may have the skinny on the scene.

    Just my 2 cents...

  10. #10
    Carpe Diem bdcheung's Avatar
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    I ride with DrPete and the Route1 guys some, but not enough to really get a feel for them.

    When is a good time to start contacting some of these teams to notify them that I may be interested in joining? I feel that doing a couple rides with the team is a good way to get to know them and the team's general "corporate culture," if we can call it that.
    "When you are chewing the bars at the business end of a 90 mile road race you really dont care what gear you have hanging from your bike so long as it works."
    ΛΧΑ ΔΞ179 - 15% off your first Hammer Nutrition order!

  11. #11
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    I say right now. What a team does off-season is a pretty good indication of how serious they are and who the more active members are (i.e. the real leadership of the team.)

  12. #12
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    ^^^^
    Also, you want to get on board while there's time to get a kit. I missed my new team's order and am going to have to wait for the next run.

  13. #13
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    And this time of year a lot of the attitudes on club rides tend to be a little more relaxed before the seriou training and racing starts later in the year.

  14. #14
    Long-time Curmudgeon DrPete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdcheung
    I ride with DrPete and the Route1 guys some, but not enough to really get a feel for them.

    When is a good time to start contacting some of these teams to notify them that I may be interested in joining? I feel that doing a couple rides with the team is a good way to get to know them and the team's general "corporate culture," if we can call it that.
    You should totally head out for our sunday rides. We're in the midst of our racing skills clinic put on by our 2's/3's. Good stuff, relaxed atmosphere and good training. Much more racing-oriented than the usual sunday ride, but also very relaxed/fun.

    9AM at the shop...
    "Unless he was racing there was no way he could match my speed."

  15. #15
    Carpe Diem bdcheung's Avatar
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    I'll be there tomorrow.
    "When you are chewing the bars at the business end of a 90 mile road race you really dont care what gear you have hanging from your bike so long as it works."
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  16. #16
    Young and unconcerned Treefox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrPete
    9AM at the shop...
    Hey DrPete - I was in DC for Christmas and went out with my girlfriend to prowl around U of MD (as she might apply for a PhD there); I assume your 'shop' is the one right by campus with all the odd old steel frames tied to the ceiling? Quite a shop!
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  17. #17
    Carpe Diem bdcheung's Avatar
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    'the shop' is actually Capitol Hill Bikes in DC, SE from the Capitol a couple blocks.
    "When you are chewing the bars at the business end of a 90 mile road race you really dont care what gear you have hanging from your bike so long as it works."
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  18. #18
    Long-time Curmudgeon DrPete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treefox
    Hey DrPete - I was in DC for Christmas and went out with my girlfriend to prowl around U of MD (as she might apply for a PhD there); I assume your 'shop' is the one right by campus with all the odd old steel frames tied to the ceiling? Quite a shop!
    That shop is Proteus bikes, not the one I race with/for, but an EXCELLENT LBS. Almost bought an Orbea from them, then I decided on the Pinarello.

    What program is your girlfriend applying to? My wife is working on her Ph.D. at U of MD right now.
    "Unless he was racing there was no way he could match my speed."

  19. #19
    Long-time Curmudgeon DrPete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdcheung
    I'll be there tomorrow.
    Tomorrow's a short TT that we'll repeat in a month or so, so make sure you're fueled up.
    "Unless he was racing there was no way he could match my speed."

  20. #20
    Headed to the Library... DC_Emily's Avatar
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    NCVC rides leave from Dean & Delucca on Sunday mornings at 9am. Also, you should head down to Haines Point at noon, weekdays during the spring, summer, and fall. Whole bunch of teams down there for lunchtime laps.

    Sounds like you've got some interest in Route 1. Good luck!

  21. #21
    ONE DOWN, FIVE UP...
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    Excellent thread!!! This has inspired me to join a local club/team. I have been a member of a very large cycling club for the last year but the club/team that I recently joined is more race oriented. I got my race license and stopped by to pick up a couple of the team kits this afternoon, which are very cool looking BTW

    I appreciate the motivation even though I was not the OP!!!
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  22. #22
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    Since you don't know what kind of rider you are and how to train, which team to join does not matter much. A team with an open door policy may be easier to get hooked up. Once you begin to race and train with your team, you will eventually realize what kind of rider you are and what do you want to do. You goal may in conflict with that of the team. In that case, it is time to move on. Racing is still a hobby. If you have transportation to drive to races and be able to get good deals (Ebay) on bike parts, you really don't lose out much. Hopefully you will get good results so that other more serious teams may be interested in you.

    Quote Originally Posted by bdcheung
    There are a couple clubs in my area. What are some good criteria to look for? I've gone through the process of choosing a fraternity, of choosing a bank, etc., but I know there are some things in a racing team I should be looking for... ideas?

    Also, if I'm already on my collegiate team, do I really need to join a separate club?

  23. #23
    Wher'd u Get That Jacket? flythebike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrPete
    That shop is Proteus bikes, not the one I race with/for, but an EXCELLENT LBS. Almost bought an Orbea from them, then I decided on the Pinarello.

    What program is your girlfriend applying to? My wife is working on her Ph.D. at U of MD right now.
    Actually it sounds to me like he is talking about College Park Bikes, on Knox Road. Proteus is down the road a piece from Campus.
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  24. #24
    draw line at carbon forks goodall's Avatar
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    Gotta put the word in for my team, Squadra Coppi, out in Arlington. Team ride is Sunday at the Java Shack on Wilson, leaving at 8:30. We have a strong focus on racing (no touring-only guys allowed), but we're not psycho, and there's no elite team. Plus our kits are the sharpest around, if I may say so. www.squadracoppi.com

    +1 on Hain's Point, especially Thursday nights in the summer. Doing that 1 mile wind-up into a sprint finish, it's better than racing.

  25. #25
    部門ニ/自転車オタク NomadVW's Avatar
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    I'll be in the DC area at the end of '07. I've been looking through teams. I'm curious how a team the size of Squadra Coppi or any other teams that size work out. 49 Cat 4 men is a lot of guys. Even 22 Cat 3 guys seems like a big group of guys. Are there smaller "teams" within the team that typically work together? Or for any other team of that size, how have you found that it works?

    I'm in a "club" of about 10-15 regular riders but only 4-5 of us train to race or race with intent to achieve results.
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