1) I am about to be forty years oldI have been cycling for just over two years -- a hobby I selected to lose weight, but then got addicted -- and racing for about a year. By racing, I mostly mean weekly events at the Velodrome: other than that, I have three USCF Cat 5 criterium starts, a handful of 20K time trials, and a few short, non-sanctioned road races.
2) I'm not that fast. My three criteriums have been (a) a DNF, (b) getting pulled with a few laps left while in about 25th place out of 50 starters, and (c) a back-of-the-pack finish. I do better at the track, with some "podium" finishes against a 20+ person field that is usually guys who are Cat 4s.
3) My priority will always be track racing -- I like it best. My ultimate road racing goal is to be "competitive" in Cat 4 criterium-like races and 20K time trials (meaning, for example, that I don't finish every criterium at the back of the pack). I have no aspirations to do longer road races. I doubt that, at my age and weight, and with my limited time, I will ever see Cat 3: if I do, it's gravy; if I don't, I'm won't be disappointed.
4) I ride/train on the weekends, about 35 hard miles on Saturday with a group ride, and 50 miles or so on Sunday on my own or with a friend or two. I track race on Tuesday nights through the summer. My work and family commitments prevent me from riding more. While I enjoy racing, and would like to be better at it, it is not enough of a priority for me to sacrifice the work or family time.
At each of my Cat 5 criteriums, I have seen many in the field pull up to the line with PowerTaps on their Zipps. That seemed, to me, overkill. But what do I know?
Would riding/training with a power meter be that much help to me? How would it help? Or is it, frankly, not a wise use of money for a guy at my present level and with my future aspirations?