I'm a Cat 5 Racer with 2 races under my belt from late season last year. I train regularly during the winter, but that is a point that doesn't fit into the equation really.
I've been debating for the last 2 months whether I should try and join a team or just be really active in my LBS events and Local Club Events and learn from training crits and group rides and books. Plus the only real actively recruiting team here in Buffalo is sponsored by a LBS just outside of Buffalo thats a "competitor" of the LBS that I go to which is 5 minutes away from me. That's on my mind too, the whole "sponsor" loyalty thing. I may just want to wait out until I can join a team thats not binded to shop loyalty.
So my choices are:
Ride with a team (sponsored by the other LBS)
Get myself a neat little blank jersey set and ride solo this year in the 4/5s.
I'm leaning towards riding solo this year so I can buy from where I want, train when I want, and enter the races that I want, but I would appreciate input from people who have been in this situation before. Thanks!