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Old 03-24-08, 07:55 PM   #1
currand
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How do you find a team?

This is my second full season racing. No results to speak of but at this point all but a couple are top 20. I don't really see myself as podium material (which is probably the reason I'm not) but I really enjoy racing. My thinking is I'd get a lot more enjoyment working for a team than just for myself. So outside of the local bike club team or starting my own, how do I go about getting hooked up with a team? Mind you my cat-4-o-meter is firmly in the single digits. Do I just stand outide a bike shop or at the next race looking lonely? Or maybe a 'man seeking team' add in my local paper?

Ok maybe that last one wouldn't get exactly the response I'm looking for.
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Old 03-24-08, 07:57 PM   #2
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How do you find a team?
via group rides and racing.
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Old 03-24-08, 07:59 PM   #3
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via group rides and racing.
+1. I talked to a few people from local teams and chose mine based on the people I met and the geographic location. No special formula.
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Old 03-24-08, 08:19 PM   #4
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Go to a few local races. Introduce yourself to people.
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Old 03-24-08, 08:24 PM   #5
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Old 03-24-08, 08:27 PM   #6
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Put an ad on the personal pages:

Fit guy seeks group to ride with should get great responses depending on where you post it.
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Old 03-24-08, 08:28 PM   #7
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Old 03-25-08, 05:18 AM   #8
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http://www.usacycling.org/clubs/
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Old 03-25-08, 11:24 AM   #9
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This is a great start. Lots of teams will have websites and such so you can learn more about them. The best way to get to know a team though is through racing and or group rides. When I moved back here I hadn't started racing and didn't know much about any local teams. There was a 4/5 team that was basically to introduce people to racing. That team folded after many years of being ran and multiple teams formed from it. It gave me a year to see what I did and didn't want from a team and to get to know people on other teams. Which is how I ended up where I am now.
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Old 03-25-08, 11:49 AM   #10
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Thanks for all the comments. So let me rephrase a little. How do I go about the actual act of joining a team? I can find them, they're everywhere. I see two main issues:

1. Do I ask to join or are they supposed to ask me?
2. I suck.

OK, that last one might be a little subjective but the gist of it is, how does one go about saying "hey can I join your team?" without sounding like that kid who always gets picked last at red rover? Is it more common to start winning and be asked or to get to know people and then ask them to join?
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Old 03-25-08, 12:04 PM   #11
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Most clubs will take anyone willing to pay their annual dues. What you want to do is contact any teams you find interest in, see if they'll let you go on some of their training rides, then decide if they are the type of people you want to ride and race with.

My criteria, in order of importance:
1) Teammates race in the same category as me, and in the same events
2) Teammates live close by and are enjoyable to ride with
3) Team has decent sponsor support and/or race fee reimbursement
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Old 03-25-08, 12:04 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the comments. So let me rephrase a little. How do I go about the actual act of joining a team? I can find them, they're everywhere. I see two main issues:

1. Do I ask to join or are they supposed to ask me?
2. I suck.

OK, that last one might be a little subjective but the gist of it is, how does one go about saying "hey can I join your team?" without sounding like that kid who always gets picked last at red rover? Is it more common to start winning and be asked or to get to know people and then ask them to join?
If you suck, why would anyone ask you?
What the heck do you have to lose by asking? Someone says no and you get your feelings hurt?

Put the tights on and go ask!
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Old 03-25-08, 02:48 PM   #13
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I'll tell you how I found my first 2 teams. I hung out at the bike shops that I spent money at an found out that they also had USCF sponsored clubs. I just said, 'Can i ride with your club?" and they said "Sure!"

I was with one of those clubs for almost 8 years. In that time I got to know a alot of people and got involved with promoting and behind the scenes activities. When it came time to move on, i just looked up the club pres of the team in wanted to join and here I am.

Now my current team has open signup on Bike Reg, as do several othes. Dont wait to be asked. Just ask. Whats the worst that can happen. They say no. Not a big deal. Move on to the next. Be forwarned though, most club have compuslory volunteering requirements. Meaing, its in the rules that a usa cycling registered club has to promote an permitted event. And what ever club you join, you will be expected to help out at the event. Personally, I think this is the best reason to join a club. To give back and keep the sport going.
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Old 03-25-08, 03:09 PM   #14
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Mind you my cat-4-o-meter is firmly in the single digits.
What do you mean? A single DFL showing will get you 10% of the way to cat4.
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Old 03-25-08, 04:48 PM   #15
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Met a guy. He needed web help with the team website. I obliged. Later, I joined the team. I got my butt kicked on race day. It's been uphill ever since.
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Old 03-25-08, 08:31 PM   #16
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What do you mean? A single DFL showing will get you 10% of the way to cat4.
I wasn't aware the O-meters needed to be accurate. In that case my cat3-o-meter is about 9.734539% Here's hoping they round up!!!
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Old 03-25-08, 08:54 PM   #17
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What do you mean? A single DFL showing will get you 10% of the way to cat4.
Or even a DNF. All you have to do is start.

OP: many clubs have open group rides.
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Old 03-25-08, 09:15 PM   #18
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I created my own team.

But seriously, just ride and race and you'll soon find friends. Ask them about their team. I wouldn't really force the issue, it'll most likely come up later on in the season (july, august) when the thought of the next jersey order pops into the team boss' head. A lot of teams will just want you to buy a kit or two so they can meet minimums or price points. I raced solo one year and was good friends with someone on another team. Naturally I ended up on their team. This year I started my own team with some guys in my area.
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Old 03-25-08, 10:04 PM   #19
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I just joined some group rides, asked, surfed some web pages and joined up. I love racing with a team b/c it just helps to have people you know at races. It's also a blast to work together.
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Old 03-26-08, 05:58 AM   #20
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BTW - the other incentive to join a club is the 5 buck unattached rider fee. Cat 5 is exempt, but when you move up to cat 4, you'll get socked with it.
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