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  1. #1
    cmh
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    How to be a Cat 1 bike racer:

    I am working on a 10 step program to becoming a Cat 1 bike racer and I thought some the collective wisdom of BF.net could help me out. So far I think I have the first 3 steps worked out:

    1. Get a divorce (or dump your boyfriend or girlfriend). You won't have time for them anyway, so you might as well get it over with.
    2. Take out a second mortgage - you'll need the money for power taps, zipp wheels, ceramic bearings, massages and a host of other things. If you don't have a home to refinance, start sending back all the pre-approved credit card offers you get in the mail and build up a good stack of cards to work with.
    3. Quit your job or drop out of school. You should spend all of your time either training or napping. Now that you have all that cash from your second mortgage or advances on your credit cards you don't need the job anyway.

    I am kind of stuck here. What comes next?

  2. #2
    Killing Rabbits
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    Dope

  3. #3
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Pick your parents well. IMHO, getting to Cat 1, is about the point where you've got to have some inate ability.

    I think its possible to be a decent Cat 2, with no special gift, other than a willingness to work very hard, and follow a good plan, on and off the bike.

    I'm not sure you can be a Cat 1, without being born with some talent, no matter how much you work or sacrifice.

  4. #4
    RustyTainte substructure's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
    Pick your parents well. IMHO, getting to Cat 1, is about the point where you've got to have some inate ability.

    I think its possible to be a decent Cat 2, with no special gift, other than a willingness to work very hard, and follow a good plan, on and off the bike.

    I'm not sure you can be a Cat 1, without being born with some talent, no matter how much you work or sacrifice.

    A good friend spoke the same thing. He was an real good cat 2 but swore he could never make the jump to a 1. He couldn't believe the difference. I can only dream.

  5. #5
    everyone has a plan... sleazy's Avatar
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    according to most literature...


    have a LOUSY/FATHERLESS childhood

    most people that are relatively at peace with themselves and those around them are not up for the pain/suffering/solitude of habitual 6-8hr rides.


    ohh... and dope.

    (well, let's not call it "dope".... more, have a team physician that can 'monitor' you and 'keep you at your peak performance level')

  6. #6
    Senior Member The_Convert's Avatar
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    bigger difference between cat 3 and cat 2 in my opinion. I also know plenty of guys who are pretty good 3's and no amount of determination or training will get them to make the jump.

    Anyways, you actually WANT to keep your girlfriend/ wife around... they are crucial for keeping the house in order and having the paying job.

  7. #7
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    Dope

  8. #8
    Theodore Roosevelt's idol TheKillerPenguin's Avatar
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    dope my ass. its called discipline.
    Masochism is a training adaptation.

  9. #9
    RustyTainte substructure's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheKillerPenguin
    dope my ass. its called discipline.

    Total and utter discipline!!

  10. #10
    The Truth Ih8lucky13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheKillerPenguin
    dope my ass. its called discipline.
    is that topical or analgesic.

  11. #11
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Ass-on, apply directly to the ass. Ass-on, apply directly to the ass. Ass-on, apply directly to the as..
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  12. #12
    Theodore Roosevelt's idol TheKillerPenguin's Avatar
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    Ass-on, I hate your commercial, but you've got a great product.
    Masochism is a training adaptation.

  13. #13
    Banned. El Diablo Rojo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheKillerPenguin
    dope my ass. its called discipline.
    How much do you pay for this 'discipline'? Does she wear leather and make you lick her boots?

  14. #14
    Theodore Roosevelt's idol TheKillerPenguin's Avatar
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    your mom's a cheap date, rojo
    Masochism is a training adaptation.

  15. #15
    Banned. El Diablo Rojo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheKillerPenguin
    your mom's a cheap date, rojo
    Since she passed away in '92 your probably right..

  16. #16
    Theodore Roosevelt's idol TheKillerPenguin's Avatar
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    my bad, homie
    Masochism is a training adaptation.

  17. #17
    Banned. El Diablo Rojo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheKillerPenguin
    my bad, homie
    No worries...how would you know?

  18. #18
    Dirt-riding heretic DrPete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheKillerPenguin
    dope my ass.
    Wasn't this in the ad for the new EPO suppositories?
    "Unless he was racing there was no way he could match my speed."

  19. #19
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    Expensive bikes and parts are the single most overated and unimportant part of going fast.

    Genetics are definitely important. So is having the time to train. You have to be at a very high athletic level, which takes years of training.

    But I think experience and brains are also paramount to getting to cat 1 in criteriums. There are a lot of very strong guys in the 2 and 3 categories, guys who could probably beat some 1s in a time trial, but the 1s are the guys who are strong, but also very smart, and the only way to get smart is to race a lot, and to think and alalyze what you are doing and why.
    Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

    1980 3Rensho-- 1975 Raleigh Sprite 3spd
    1990s Raleigh M20 MTB--2007 Windsor Hour (track)
    1988 Ducati 750 F1

  20. #20
    Senior Member roadwarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmh
    I am working on a 10 step program to becoming a Cat 1 bike racer and I thought some the collective wisdom of BF.net could help me out. So far I think I have the first 3 steps worked out:

    1. Get a divorce (or dump your boyfriend or girlfriend). You won't have time for them anyway, so you might as well get it over with.
    2. Take out a second mortgage - you'll need the money for power taps, zipp wheels, ceramic bearings, massages and a host of other things. If you don't have a home to refinance, start sending back all the pre-approved credit card offers you get in the mail and build up a good stack of cards to work with.
    3. Quit your job or drop out of school. You should spend all of your time either training or napping. Now that you have all that cash from your second mortgage or advances on your credit cards you don't need the job anyway.

    I am kind of stuck here. What comes next?
    on #2...if you are good enough someone else will pay the bills. In my case, the majority of my serious racing was done before and soon after I got married but that's because I knew that I was not anywhere good enough to make a living at it. Got a job/career and kept the bike stuff in perspective.

    30-35 year olds and up don't generally suddenly decide to race bikes and rocket to the top. Reason is that they begin to compete with people that have been doing it forever. Similar to guys I talk to that are older and suddenly want to race a bike and think Masters racing is a bunch of old guys that ride bikes on Saturdays.
    Wrong.

    Keep it in perspective.

    Bike racing's like any other sport. If they have not found you by the time you are 18-20 to do leadouts for Zabel, enjoy the sport for what it is.
    Fun.
    "Nothing is so typical of middling minds than to harp on the intellectual deficiencies of the slightly less smart, but considerably more successful."
    Bret Stephens, WSJ

  21. #21
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    Once you get to Cat 1, you don't need money for bike stuff any more, so point number 2 is temporary. Cat 1s all seem to be on local elite squads (or better) and get all the high-end stuff under sponsorship.

  22. #22
    Senior Member roadwarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by San Rensho
    Expensive bikes and parts are the single most overated and unimportant part of going fast.

    Genetics are definitely important. So is having the time to train. You have to be at a very high athletic level, which takes years of training.

    But I think experience and brains are also paramount to getting to cat 1 in criteriums. There are a lot of very strong guys in the 2 and 3 categories, guys who could probably beat some 1s in a time trial, but the 1s are the guys who are strong, but also very smart, and the only way to get smart is to race a lot, and to think and alalyze what you are doing and why.
    1's and 2's many times race together. The biggest difference between the higher and lower cats is not speed, but how long they can maintain that speed and race the bike. Racing 50-60 miles and up is not like 45 minutes plus two laps.

    Also, good riders have people to teach them how to race. With all due respect, they don't come to internet forums for racing advice.
    That's something that's seriously lacking in US bike club racing.

    When I was in Europe, little kids join bike clubs and from day 1 are trained. Like the "typical" sports here.
    Last edited by roadwarrior; 03-29-07 at 01:44 PM.
    "Nothing is so typical of middling minds than to harp on the intellectual deficiencies of the slightly less smart, but considerably more successful."
    Bret Stephens, WSJ

  23. #23
    Realist Greg180's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadwarrior
    Similar to guys I talk to that are older and suddenly want to race a bike and think Masters racing is a bunch of old guys that ride bikes on Saturdays.
    Wrong.

    Keep it in perspective.

    Bike racing's like any other sport. If they have not found you by the time you are 18-20 to do leadouts for Zabel, enjoy the sport for what it is.
    Fun.


    WHAT! After I have spent all my hard earned money on bikes, gear and a Dominatrix, (RoJo's idea), your telling me that I am destined to be just another balding old guy hoping to recapture the adrenaline rush of competing at a mediocre level...

    I guess I can live with that.

  24. #24
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Look up how many cat-1s there are vs. cat-2s. Catch-22 is that the 1/2/pros race together in one race. So in order to become a 1 from a 2, you have to beat the guys who are already cat-1!!! Most people turn pro from cat-2 without ever getting to cat-1, it's a very small elite group...

  25. #25
    Racing iS my Training Pizza Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
    Look up how many cat-1s there are vs. cat-2s. Catch-22 is that the 1/2/pros race together in one race. So in order to become a 1 from a 2, you have to beat the guys who are already cat-1!!! Most people turn pro from cat-2 without ever getting to cat-1, it's a very small elite group...
    I agree that it's pretty tough to make the jump from Cat 2 to Cat 1. There are very few Cat 2 only races so most of the time you're racing against several Cat 1's.

    What also make is difficult for me is that I'm a good climber, but not much of a sprinter. It's easy to find crits that meet the 60 rider minimum field, but there are not too many tough road races with big hills that get 60 riders in the Pro/1/2 race.

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