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Old 01-22-07, 08:04 AM   #1
wrote4luck
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What to do about my team?

I want to race on my college's racing team, but they won't let me join this semester. It seems that cycling doesn't have tryouts in college. I rode with them in the local group rides and only a couple of them can even hang with me, so I guess it's a matter of exclusion based on something other than riding ability. No big deal. Anyways, they said I could race the Florida Point series for USF, but I think I may try to join one of the other local teams instead of trying to deal with this. They did get me a good deal on some wheels, but I wouldn't feel like I was on the team if I was excluded from all their races. Collegiate racing was what I wanted to do, but I guess Florida point series will be good enough. What should I do in this situation?
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Old 01-22-07, 08:10 AM   #2
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What reasoning did they give you?
Has anyone else joined/been excluded this semester?
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Old 01-22-07, 08:12 AM   #3
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They said I didn't put in the time with the team last semester, but I didn't even know the team existed then. I would've, and it's not like I haven't trained. I've been working my butt off to race this season. Also, no one else I know of has tried to join.
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Old 01-22-07, 08:12 AM   #4
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Why won't they let you join? Is there some process you didn't follow? Deadlines you didn't meet? I don't know squat about collegiate racing. However most teams are clubs , and as such have to be abide by some rules imposed by the school and student government. I'd look into exactly how the "team" is organized, its status with the school, and what the relevant procedures are.

Other than that, I wouldn't worry about it. The USCF races in the Florida Points Series are going to be better competition than the Collegiate races any way. (Go to the Gainesville Race and compare the College A race to the Pro I-II USCF race).

Go do the USCF races, kick butt, and they'll be begging you to join next year.
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Old 01-22-07, 08:14 AM   #5
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I don't know much about collegiate cycling, but the second sentence in your post raises a flag.

Teams are usually interested in having teammates who work together - teamwork. When you rode with them, did you just drop them and ride away? Doesn't sound like you did it on purpose, but if you want to join a team, you've got to hang with them and offer to contribute something. If you're brand new, they won't expect you to be team leader at first, no matter how fast you ride.

Or, maybe I'm reading too much into what you've written. Good luck!
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Old 01-22-07, 08:16 AM   #6
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I can't race collegiate next year as I'm graduating and commisioning in the fall. I read through the NCCA rulebook and saw nothing about team guidelines which would justify not letting me join. As for dropping them, I didn't mean to, it just sort of happened. I wanted to stay with the main peloton which was the point of the training ride.
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Old 01-22-07, 08:51 AM   #7
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Ask for a copy of their bylaws and read them. They probably have requirements demanding fall semester participation. They may have had abuse of the system previously.
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Old 01-22-07, 09:05 AM   #8
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Some clubs operate on an academic-year calendar, meaning those who wish to ride in the Spring must have ridden in Fall. Possible reasoning for this include base training, "teambuilding" workshops/camps, and other such reasonable requirements that would occur during the fall semester.

Is this totally fair? Nope. Does it exclude people, especially those who may have transferred over the winter holiday? Yep. Is it legitimate? yeah, one could make an argument.

Do some more research, find out why they excluded you, and if they don't have a good reason then you have a decision to make. If you decide to raise the issue with the student government/whoever is in charge, you run the risk of ostracizing yourself from the team. My best advice would be to try to work things out between you and the team in the most diplomatic way possible. Persistance pays.
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Old 01-22-07, 09:35 AM   #9
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+1 to bdcheung

Having raced on and been an officer for a collegiate team, I can see both sides of the issue. Most collegiate teams are moderately to extremely disorganized (bylaws? bywhats?). That doesn't stop them from being a heck of a lot of fun and sponsoring some of the best of college sports (IMHO).

It sounds like your school's team is trying to be a little better organized than most by requiring full-year participation for the race team. That's a legitimate goal. It has some downsides, as you're unfortunately finding out, but it's a valid strategy. If it works for them, they'll probably keep it.

If the bridge isn't already burnt, I'd approach them with a little humility. Say, I understand the purpose of the requirement and agree with it. I only wish I could have been riding with you guys all year. Since this is my last year, is there any chance you could make an exception for me? I promise to work hard and try to catch up with the organizing and teambuilding you guys have been doing. If that works, great, you're on the team and everybody feels good about it. If not, fair enough, they have their rules, look into a different avenue.
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Old 01-22-07, 09:59 AM   #10
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Look at it this way. You could rack your brain trying to get onto the school club team to compete in their races for 4 months or you could go out and find yourself a local team and not only start building what could be a long lasting tenure with the team, but be set for races all year this year. You will probably learn more from the higher Cat riders in a local team than you would from a school club team anyways.
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Old 01-22-07, 10:25 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
Why won't they let you join? Is there some process you didn't follow? Deadlines you didn't meet? I don't know squat about collegiate racing. However most teams are clubs , and as such have to be abide by some rules imposed by the school and student government. I'd look into exactly how the "team" is organized, its status with the school, and what the relevant procedures are.

Other than that, I wouldn't worry about it. The USCF races in the Florida Points Series are going to be better competition than the Collegiate races any way. (Go to the Gainesville Race and compare the College A race to the Pro I-II USCF race).

Go do the USCF races, kick butt, and they'll be begging you to join next year.
Maybe in Florida, but in the Midwest, the Collegiate As ARE the Pro/1/2 guys. You definitely have a better shot at doing well in a smaller USCF race than you would in a College As race most days.
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Old 01-22-07, 10:30 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by LanceFanBoy
Look at it this way. You could rack your brain trying to get onto the school club team to compete in their races for 4 months or you could go out and find yourself a local team and not only start building what could be a long lasting tenure with the team, but be set for races all year this year. You will probably learn more from the higher Cat riders in a local team than you would from a school club team anyways.
Again, I disagree with the statement regarding club teams vs. USCF teams. This spring I'll be racing against legit domestic pro's in college races, as a 3 in the A's. Where else would I get that opportunity every weekend? I'd be willing to bet that his school team has more higher category riders than a good number of local teams as well.
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Old 01-22-07, 10:36 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duke of Kent
Maybe in Florida, but in the Midwest, the Collegiate As ARE the Pro/1/2 guys. You definitely have a better shot at doing well in a smaller USCF race than you would in a College As race most days.
Not what I've observed around here, and frankly it doesn't make a ton of sense. I understand that you can race Collegiate and have a pro license, and that there are some very talented Collegiate racers. However, A Collegiate A race has a smaller talent pool to pull from. A Collegiate race can only get those guys for a 4 year window, (and most bike racers are better at 27 than they are at 19). A USCF Pro I-II race, can get all the current hot shot Collegiate racers, the guys that were the hotshot collegiate racers for the last 10 years, and are even faster now, and, a bunch of guys that race almost full time, and never went to College.

What I've seen is the better A's are at least Cat 2's, but the talent drops off quickly.

If there's a Collegiate race, other than maybe Nationals, that is faster than a good Pro I-II race, particularly one from the NRC Calender, I'd like to see it.
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Old 01-22-07, 10:44 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duke of Kent
I'd be willing to bet that his school team has more higher category riders than a good number of local teams as well.
I'd have to disagree with you there, Duke. The "best" rider on the team is a Cat 3 from what I understand, although I haven't seen him perform yet. The rest of the team got dropped from both local group rides this weekend, with the exception of me and one other fella. To be honest, I like the way our school colors and logo look on the shorts and jersey, which is a selling point for me if they can get me a kit. If the other SECC schools are in as good of shape as you say midwest schools are, then our team is screwed anyways.
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Old 01-22-07, 10:53 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrote4luck
I'd have to disagree with you there, Duke. The "best" rider on the team is a Cat 3 from what I understand, although I haven't seen him perform yet. The rest of the team got dropped from both local group rides this weekend, with the exception of me and one other fella. To be honest, I like the way our school colors and logo look on the shorts and jersey, which is a selling point for me if they can get me a kit. If the other SECC schools are in as good of shape as you say midwest schools are, then our team is screwed anyways.
Wow. Yeah, if that's the case, you might want to just ride USCF then. Our team is by no means large but we have a couple of 2s (one of which has won a Pro/1/2 race and is a couple of points away from being a 1), smattering of 3s, a lot of 4s and some more beginners. Also a female Cat1 who jumps in our crits after her Women's A races for sh!ts and giggles.

Our team does well given what we have, but there are two crazy good schools in our conference, one of which has probably 200-300 people on their team (they had 50+ guys in Cs race), and another that gives scholarships, that have an incredible amount of talent. Multiple Pro/1 guys on each of their teams, and plenty of 2s and 3s. Needless to say they are very good.
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Old 01-22-07, 11:16 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duke of Kent
Again, I disagree with the statement regarding club teams vs. USCF teams. This spring I'll be racing against legit domestic pro's in college races, as a 3 in the A's. Where else would I get that opportunity every weekend? I'd be willing to bet that his school team has more higher category riders than a good number of local teams as well.
Thats all fine and dandy until he graduates and has to find a new team to ride with this summer anyways.
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Old 01-22-07, 11:57 AM   #17
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Thats all fine and dandy until he graduates and has to find a new team to ride with this summer anyways.
I race with the same guys year round, whether it be with the school or with the USCF team. And if he's graduating and moving away, he has to find a new team regardless, so your argument doesn't really make much sense. He might as well race in the time he's at school, no?
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Old 01-22-07, 12:51 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duke of Kent
I race with the same guys year round, whether it be with the school or with the USCF team. And if he's graduating and moving away, he has to find a new team regardless, so your argument doesn't really make much sense. He might as well race in the time he's at school, no?
Perhaps I'm just not familiar with College racing rules, but you can compete after graduation? I understand he can ride with them, but why ride with them when you can ride with a local team that you can actually compete in. Furthermore, he never said he was moving away nor did he say he was staying. I'm basing my opinion on him not mentioning anything about leaving and assuming he is staying because he is interested in local teams.

So no.
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Old 01-22-07, 01:09 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duke of Kent
Again, I disagree with the statement regarding club teams vs. USCF teams. This spring I'll be racing against legit domestic pro's in college races, as a 3 in the A's. Where else would I get that opportunity every weekend? I'd be willing to bet that his school team has more higher category riders than a good number of local teams as well.
Duke,
I think you're making my point. The fact that you can race in the A's as a 3, would indicate that Collegiate A race is not the same level of talent as a Pro I-II race.

It would seem that the top of the Collegiate A's are the real deal, but the field is not uniformaly as deep
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Old 01-22-07, 01:11 PM   #20
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I leave around October, so basically when the race season is over. I want to ride on a team until then. Our school team only has 10 riders, and that's all the team president will allow for some reason. First come, first serve sucks in my opinion. Apparently I've found out they are also doing the USCF races as well as the collegiate ones, so I guess I'll be riding with them in the USCF series. Some are better than none, I guess.
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Old 01-22-07, 01:15 PM   #21
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I would try to find out when and where they train and every day kick their @ss while wearing a college sweatshirt. After a while you will embarass them into letting you join.
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Old 01-22-07, 01:21 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duke of Kent
Maybe in Florida, but in the Midwest, the Collegiate As ARE the Pro/1/2 guys. You definitely have a better shot at doing well in a smaller USCF race than you would in a College As race most days.
I think it's all about region. I just moved from NC to OH, and my sense is that the OH collegiate guys are faster on average than the NC collegiate guys, BUT that the OH non-collegiate racers are slower (again, on average) than the NC non-collegiate guys. So there's sort of a criss-cross in abilities.

The "heart" of bike racing out here seems to be the colleges, whereas in NC the colleges were just a sideshow and USCF was where it was at. I don't know where merlinXL is from, but I think you're probably both right ... for your area.
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Old 01-22-07, 01:25 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrote4luck
Our school team only has 10 riders, and that's all the team president will allow for some reason.
Money. They only get X dollars from the school's club sports administration. If they spread it around 30 riders, it only covers 1/3rd their fees, jerseys, transport, lodging etc. If they spread it around 10, they're covered fully. That's my guess.
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Old 01-22-07, 01:37 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrote4luck
I leave around October, so basically when the race season is over. I want to ride on a team until then. Our school team only has 10 riders, and that's all the team president will allow for some reason. First come, first serve sucks in my opinion. Apparently I've found out they are also doing the USCF races as well as the collegiate ones, so I guess I'll be riding with them in the USCF series. Some are better than none, I guess.
Personally,
I'd find a local USCF team to ride with, and forget these guys. Why not join a team you'll feel good about and wants you on it?

I wouldn't get too upset by the exclusion, presuming that they're applying some rule in a nondiscriminatory fashion. But I'd prefer to ride against them in the USCF races, and would definitely take a little pleasure if I could beat them.

And as someone pointed out, if you find a team with some strong Masters, and Cat 2's, as well as some new folks, you'll probably learn more than you would from most college teams.
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Old 01-24-07, 06:20 AM   #25
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Greetings,
I've been reading the thread with interest. I have to wonder if you are talking about the University of Florida team. If so, you are off base in saying that the best rider is cat 3. I believe that they still have Bobby Sweeting who was cat 2 last year and is most likely cat 1 this year. I know he rode for Nerac last summer. I haven't heard where he is riding this year. I also believe that they have other riders of equal ability. From what I understand, they are one of the better collegiate teams in the south. On the other hand, my son was out for a ride yesterday in Tallahassee and a guy who coaches several of the FSU riders rode with him for a significant part of the ride. The coach suggested that he come to the next club meeting and start riding with the team. So it may be that there are different philosophies at the different schools.

Good luck!

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