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  1. #1
    ( d/dx (66x) )^(1/2) jfk32's Avatar
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    USCF, Cat's, MORE NEWBIE Q's!

    Okay so I introduced myself on the road bikes forum, if you are not familiar with me and you want to find out a little more about me and how much of a newbie I am, just check over there.

    I was looking today at the USA Cycling site, trying to make heads or tails of the racing situation. From what I understand there are 5 categories, and you move up in them as you get better. Fine.

    Something else I have been finding out is that Cat5 races are crazy because of all the inexperience and people are getting killed all over the place. (perhaps an exaggeration). In any case there are a few things that I was wondering about racing...

    1) How much does it cost every time you race? What are the normal entry fees? How much does it cost to get your Cat5 license?

    2) How often are there races? For example, if I live somewhere, lets say Erie Pennsylvania for example, and I am willing to travel 150 miles to a race. Would there be a lot of races? Keep in mind here just use your own experience with wherever you live and let me know how you work it out for yourself, and if you know about the PA/OH/NY area, all the better!

    3) .......HOW FUN IS IT? Come on spill the beans you know you are having a great time racing, just let me know so I can smile and live vicariously through you.

    Thanks everyone for your responses in advance!

    Edit: P.S. What does "getting dropped" mean?
    Jason Kotenko

    Run + Swim + Cycle
    ----------------------------- = Triathlon
    Pain

  2. #2
    On Your Right ZackJones's Avatar
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    Originally posted by jfk32
    Okay so I introduced myself on the road bikes forum, if you are not familiar with me and you want to find out a little more about me and how much of a newbie I am, just check over there.
    Welcome to the forums!

    1) How much does it cost every time you race? What are the normal entry fees? How much does it cost to get your Cat5 license?
    License cost is $50.00 per year and it is good for one calendar year. Race entry fees vary. I would say a ballpark figure would be $20.00 to enter a race.

    2) How often are there races? For example, if I live somewhere, lets say Erie Pennsylvania for example, and I am willing to travel 150 miles to a race. Would there be a lot of races? Keep in mind here just use your own experience with wherever you live and let me know how you work it out for yourself, and if you know about the PA/OH/NY area, all the better!
    The states are divided into districts and each district has a race coordinator who maintains a race calendar. The best thing to do is find out who it is for your area and contact him or her for a copy of the calendar. You can also search active.com for some events in your area.

    3) .......HOW FUN IS IT? Come on spill the beans you know you are having a great time racing, just let me know so I can smile and live vicariously through you.
    It has been a long time since I've raced; however, I'm working to get back into it. It is great fun. I can hurt like hell when you're suffering up a hill but there's nothing quite like the feeling of riding in a large group of riders at 25+ MPH.

    What does "getting dropped" mean?
    It means you get left behind the rest of the pack. You drop off the back of the main group of riders. It happens to us all at some point in time

    Good luck if/when you get out there and give it a try.

    Zack
    "You never fail, you simply produce results. Learn from these" - Anonymous

  3. #3
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    At many races it is possible to purchase a one day race license, cost is $5. Check with the race director of the race you want to do ahead of time to make sure they offer this.

  4. #4
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    Getting dropped happened to me for the first 4 races. Words of advice from myself and others, do not spin over 110 (unless that is normal for you). No matter what, make sure you do everything to stay with the group.

    The first few laps in our races are usually around 27mph, but after about 5-10 minutes they slow up quite a bit. Just hold on.

    If there are any group rides in your area (most likely), go out on a few of those rides first before racing. That way you get used to having someone 12" from you going around a corner.

    Racing is fun.
    Reverend Dr. Jay
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  5. #5
    Senior Member RobRyb's Avatar
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    1) The last race I participated in, the cat 3/4's were the only ones to crash that day. Cat 5 isn't the "death match" some people make it out to be.

    2) If you live in, let's say Eerie PA for example, you might want to try

    http://www.mabra.org/

    for info on the local racing scene. They keep a very good calendar. You're not going to have any trouble finding races in Pennsylvania.

    3) Racing is fun, definately worth the effort even when you are peloton fodder like me. I'm just glad that I spent the Winter getting ready for it. I've been both dropped and managed to keep up with the pack to the finish line. The second approach is much better. :-)
    Last edited by RobRyb; 06-04-03 at 08:37 AM.

  6. #6
    ( d/dx (66x) )^(1/2) jfk32's Avatar
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    Excellent responses everyone!

    As far as what you said Zack about racing hurting sometimes, I am no stranger to pain! Running is punishment for sure, especially in racing. But it is the working through that and the finish that is all worth it. Add to that the apprehension the day of the race and all the rituals. Add to that the people that you meet at the race, as well as the people that you train with whom inexorably become great friends. What can I say? I love sports!

    I understand the one day license thing, but I think that if I ever do end up getting far enough along so that I want to race, I will most likely just buy a license. The reason for that is: By then I will have worked so hard and long at getting fit enough to race that I will be willing to make the commitment. I am not planning to get a bike and two months later go and race. I want to feel confident that I can compete, and maybe even win. Whether that happens or is even possible is not important to me, just that I feel confident about it.

    Thanks for the link to MABRA Rob, they do have quite an adequate calender there. Now I can get a better idea of what races cost and etc. Also, 20 bucks give or take a few per race is not bad at all, its very similar to running.

    Racing is something which both scares and excites me. I have been in one really bad bicycle accident, which was my FIRST TIME ON A ROAD BIKE coincidentally. Lets just say DONT HIT THE FRONT BRAKES FIRST WHEN GOING 40 DOWN A GIGANTIC SAN DIEGO HILL. That little mistake cost me a broken wrist, and several permanent scars including a nasty keyloid that at least I can make up a story about it being a gunshot wound from the ghetto about :-). I have a feeling though that it is something that you get used to. After all I have worked as an exercise rider for race horses, and that is one hell of a stressful thing sometimes. Another positive is that I never panic, even in numerous near car crashes and horse crashes.

    All in all, I am excited, but I'm keeping it in check, because its going to be a while before I get on a bike at a starting line.
    Jason Kotenko

    Run + Swim + Cycle
    ----------------------------- = Triathlon
    Pain

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