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  1. #1
    driving sucks indianatrails's Avatar
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    Best competitive event for dweebs?

    So I'm emerging from the happy fog of a low-risk, 30something parenthood into...competitive cycling of course. How better to satiate a midlife crisis. Got to be more exciting than gambling or adultery, albeit way more expensive.

    Courtesy of my wife, I finally acquired yer basic racing and TT bike setup (but no alien helmets, wheel discs, speedo's, etc.) Other than that, I'm 99.9% dweeb. Sorry for the FAQ, but what's a relatively kind & gentle introductory competitive event? Which might offer a chance to become the least embarrassed, injured, and broke?

    Crit?
    TT?
    RR?
    Tri?

  2. #2
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    what kind of training have you been doing?

  3. #3
    Carpe Diem bdcheung's Avatar
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    That's a tough call. Each discipline can have its share of crashes, dependent on a number of variables.

    Crits: Often called crashfests because they are fast. Especially for the beginner racers, who lack bike handling skills, taking corners at speed can be a dangerous task.

    Road races: Many (incorrectly) believe road races to be "safe". The fact is that depending on the technical features of the course and its characteristics, road races can be more crashful than crits.

    Time trial: Crashes here are, I'd say, 95% rider error. But in a time trial you're not going to get the experience of racing with people.

    Tri: I have no experience here and cannot comment.

    ---

    Bottom line is that in cycling, and racing specifically, crashes are going to happen. They're unavoidable. The best you can do is be confident in your handling abilities; this confidence will allow you to escape crashes or minimize the damage caused by them. But don't kid yourself: everyone crashes.
    "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!

  4. #4
    I'm fine. Cromulent's Avatar
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    Well bike racing is a great way for me to prove to myself that I should have started when I was 12. Do you have a road bike and a TT bike? Or do you have aerobars on a road bike? If you're going to do a RR or a crit, take the aerobars off.

    TT are not easy, but there's less risk of crashing.

    Crits are hard, and you need some pack skills, but it doesn't take all that much to hang on to the back of a cat 4/5 group. Ask me how I know.

    RR - You need more fitness for a road race than a crit. That's my theory anyway, ymmv.

    Start with a crit.

  5. #5
    Race to train jrennie's Avatar
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    All three will be very different and provide different thrills/pains, try them all:
    TT- test yourself and actually try to make yourself puke-good times
    crit- 100 guys bombing into a corner and all sprinting at the same time-good times
    RR- could wind up otb doing a 30+ mile death march solo-good times

    and no matter how painfull you'll keep coming back for more

  6. #6
    driving sucks indianatrails's Avatar
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    what kind of training have you been doing?
    Ah yes, the training: 10-20 hours per week packing snacks, toys, lugging kid+bungeed bike in Burley, providing her entertainment and stimulation whilst keeping son out of multiple simultaneous life-threatening situations, towing his 50-lb overbuilt kid bike uphill and against the wind one-handed over curbs in the wrong gear. Maybe I should just start with the TdF?

    Many thanks for the thoughtful answers so far. Ok, great, I've got training pencilled in for Sunday after lunch. Now what?

  7. #7
    Senior Member curiouskid55's Avatar
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    Maybe you should start by identifying a local racing club and tag along on their sat. training ride. Will give you a good picture of where you stand compared to the local amateurs.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by indianatrails
    Got to be more exciting than gambling or adultery, albeit way more expensive.
    Low-level bike racing is way cheaper than a divorce or gambling...
    I don't even use the offensive term "Fred." -- Sheldon "All Cyclists Are My Friends" Brown (1944-2008)

  9. #9
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdcheung
    Time trial: Crashes here are, I'd say, 95% rider error. But in a time trial you're not going to get the experience of racing with people.
    ---
    Bottom line is that in cycling, and racing specifically, crashes are going to happen. They're unavoidable. The best you can do is be confident in your handling abilities; this confidence will allow you to escape crashes or minimize the damage caused by them. But don't kid yourself: everyone crashes.
    Heh, heh... I've seen many and have had my share of mishaps in the Time Trials. Some people don't look where they're going and actually ride off the road or bump into other riders.

    I've done a warm-down after crossing the finish and was making a U-turn and ran into a parked-car because I was still looking up the road to see who finished behind me. Had another TT where I pulled off after the finish and picked up my bike to put on the car and the front-wheel fell off!

  10. #10
    Will race for points dl613's Avatar
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    I've done tri's and they weren't very exciting, for me at least.

    Love crits because the pace/intensity is high at the front and I love sprints-can get quite sketchy tho

    Love RR's for the strategy and I know my strengths and weaknesses (not a climber, ouch)

    Never done a TT but would guess that's the safest (next to tri's) as far as wrecks.

    I do vote for pushing yourself to puke on all of them though-good times.

    If you opt for an RR or crit, get some pack skills first. Both provide racing in close quarters but you'll be diving into tons of tight corners with high acceleration after on crits. Either way check with your LBS for rides, races and groups to join.

    Good luck.
    Best finish this season-2nd with a prime $$$

    worst: DNF-flatted on crit

  11. #11
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dl613
    Never done a TT but would guess that's the safest (next to tri's) as far as wrecks.
    Triathlons are definitely more prone to bike wrecks than TT's. Even though you can't draft (in the vast majority of ) triathlons, you can be riding amongst and around a bunch of other riders. If you're a poor swimmer like me, you'll spend a good portion of the bike leg picking your way through slower cyclists.

    Additionally, the bike handling skills of triathletes vary from very good at the top level, to downright scary.(i.e. people who road 50 miles for their training and put clip on aerobars on their neighbor's mountain bike last night.) From what I've seen bike wrecks are much more common in triathlons, than in Time Trials.

  12. #12
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    hey well if you need a coach, send me an email miked976@hotmail.com, I am a pro roadie and I know my stuff pretty good.

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