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  1. #1
    local pungee's Avatar
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    Should I get out of 5's?

    I have done enough races should I upgrade? I am a pack guy who is 35 yrs old and just picked this up a yr and a half ago. I have the wrong body type for cycling (6" 195lbs mostly from lifting weights). I had never done anything endurance wise competitively until this year.

    I don't feel good enough to upgrade having never gotten even a top ten in a 5 race. On the other hand I am very comfortable in a pack and would have no problem 'sitting in" in a 4 race.

  2. #2
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    I believe the purpose of 5s is to get you to where you are comfortable in a pack.

    Upgrade.
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  3. #3
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    What are your goals? There's nothing wrong with staying in Cat 5 if you're just going to do a couple races a year. If you get to the point that you're hitting the podium in every race, it's time to upgrade.

  4. #4
    Robbie McEwen Wannabe tbrown524's Avatar
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    Funny, I asked the same question on here when I was a 5.

    I'll tell you the same thing everyone here told me... Upgrade. you'll enjoy it.

    I'm 5'10 @ 220 and I'm also into lifting weights and have gotten a few top 10 finishes in Cat 4 races. So don't let the weight stop you.
    "Meyrueis, Lozere, June 26, 1977. Hot and overcast. I take my gear out of the car and put my bike together. Tourists and locals are watching from sidewalk cafes. Non-racers. The emptiness of those lives shocks me."

  5. #5
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    I upgraded immediately after my 10th race. I only wish it hadn't taken me 3 years to do 10 races. I did 14 last year as a Cat 4 and I'm loving it.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  6. #6
    Velo Club La Grange Cat4Lifer's Avatar
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    Upgrade. When I first started racing there wasn't
    even a category 5; the beginnerís class was Cat 4.

  7. #7
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    upgrade.

    when I was a 5 I never finished in the top 10

    IMO, category purpose (very loosely put):

    cat 5 is to get so that you can ride in a group without ****zing out

    cat 4 is to learn how to get yourself into the top 6 (USAC upgrade points - that has changed, but generally still applicable)

    cat 3 is to begin recognizing/implementing strategies and team tactics, how to race as a team member, how to race against others doing same, get individual results and assist others in getting results

    cat 2 - I'll let you know in July

    masters - where cat 1s and 2s sandbag for extra walkaround money

  8. #8
    starting pistol means war YMCA's Avatar
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    I know a guy who has been a cat5 since 1993.
    Does 5 races a year max and enjoys his life as a County Judge and father.
    Racing probably just gives him reason for all that commuting he does.

  9. #9
    I eat carbide. Psimet2001's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YMCA View Post
    I know a guy who has been a cat5 since 1993.
    Does 5 races a year max and enjoys his life as a County Judge and father.
    Racing probably just gives him reason for all that commuting he does
    .
    Hmmm......*thumbs pointed in* THIS GUY!


    ...seriously....it's sad, I know. I have a 5 digit USCF/USAC number and a "Member since 1993" on my license.....and a big ol "CAT 5"

    I chimed in because I kind of have the same issue....in a way.....

    I did a lot of races this year. Not all were USAC. A lot were under ABR. I took a few starts and races where I was never listed in the results (placed too low to be listed or DNF'd/pulled - once for forgetting my shoes...took the start, realized I couldn't reasonably ride, figured I was more of a hazard than anything, and pulled off after 1 lap).

    I have something like 7 or 8 cyclocross races in as many weeks as well.

    If I count the cross I have something like 15 mass starts that I would consider I could make a case for (listed in the finishes).

    I don't dominate anything. Took 5th in a TT and 8th overall in an end of year Omnium. Finished 9th and 10th in the last 2 crits. I'm placing top 25%-top 50% in cross in every race. I race mostly 4/5 Masters stuff anyway....but....

    ....kind of thinking about sticking with the 5's and trying to bust out a top 5 before leaving.

    The 4's around here are tough as nails and i have no hope of pulling anything out for a few years as a 4 (selling myself short is a talent of mine).

    I had "top 5 in a cat 5 race" in my goals for next year before upgrading about mid season (around/before Super weeks)....

    If 5's is about feeling comfortable in a pack...well...check - that's pretty much done.

    ARRRGHHHHhhhh! My two other low cat teammates have already upped to 4's.....would like to have it on the license when it comes....

  10. #10
    Senior Member adamt's Avatar
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    if you like the pack ride - go for 4.
    I would bet if you really dig the pack stuff, you could hop into the 3s and get a great workout...

  11. #11
    local pungee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
    What are your goals? There's nothing wrong with staying in Cat 5 if you're just going to do a couple races a year. If you get to the point that you're hitting the podium in every race, it's time to upgrade.

    The answer would be just become a better rider. I figure if I am a pack guy in 5's I can be a pack guy in 4's. I have no desire to get to a 3 any time soon. Genetics, work and family will keep me a 4 for a while.

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    are most cat 4 and 5 races ran together?

  13. #13
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pungee View Post
    The answer would be just become a better rider. I figure if I am a pack guy in 5's I can be a pack guy in 4's. I have no desire to get to a 3 any time soon. Genetics, work and family will keep me a 4 for a while.
    Yeah, you can hang in a 4s race. So you gonna go for it?

    Quote Originally Posted by flyguy676 View Post
    are most cat 4 and 5 races ran together?
    It's pretty common, but not always.

  14. #14
    I eat carbide. Psimet2001's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyguy676 View Post
    are most cat 4 and 5 races ran together?
    Most of the ones in this area are. There are a few dedicated 5 races on the calendar though.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
    Hmmm......*thumbs pointed in* THIS GUY!


    ...seriously....it's sad, I know. I have a 5 digit USCF/USAC number and a "Member since 1993" on my license.....and a big ol "CAT 5"

    I chimed in because I kind of have the same issue....in a way.....

    I did a lot of races this year. Not all were USAC. A lot were under ABR. I took a few starts and races where I was never listed in the results (placed too low to be listed or DNF'd/pulled - once for forgetting my shoes...took the start, realized I couldn't reasonably ride, figured I was more of a hazard than anything, and pulled off after 1 lap).

    I have something like 7 or 8 cyclocross races in as many weeks as well.

    If I count the cross I have something like 15 mass starts that I would consider I could make a case for (listed in the finishes).

    I don't dominate anything. Took 5th in a TT and 8th overall in an end of year Omnium. Finished 9th and 10th in the last 2 crits. I'm placing top 25%-top 50% in cross in every race. I race mostly 4/5 Masters stuff anyway....but....

    ....kind of thinking about sticking with the 5's and trying to bust out a top 5 before leaving.

    The 4's around here are tough as nails and i have no hope of pulling anything out for a few years as a 4 (selling myself short is a talent of mine).

    I had "top 5 in a cat 5 race" in my goals for next year before upgrading about mid season (around/before Super weeks)....

    If 5's is about feeling comfortable in a pack...well...check - that's pretty much done.

    ARRRGHHHHhhhh! My two other low cat teammates have already upped to 4's.....would like to have it on the license when it comes....
    PSIMet won't upgrade because he's chicken!

    This was my first year racing, and I upgraded at the end of the year. I didn't win a race, but managed 4 top 4's and 6 in the top 6. I knew it was time to upgrade when I started acting silly in the races (attacking for no good reason, other than it was fun, etc.). Looking back on it, I probably would have benefitted from upgrading sooner. I pretty much fell in a rut where my body became conditioned to the shorter races. I was good for 30 mins and not a whole lot more.

    There's a big difference between a 15-30 minute crit and a 45-60 minute crit.

    If you have to ask if you should upgrade from 5's, it's time.

  16. #16
    Foot + Mouth = me aperez8264's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
    What are your goals? There's nothing wrong with staying in Cat 5 if you're just going to do a couple races a year. If you get to the point that you're hitting the podium in every race, it's time to upgrade.
    Like Waterrockets said, what are your goals? Once you know the decision will be much easier. I will say this though, upgrade when you feel you are ready. You can learn more as a strong 5 than a weak 4...
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  17. #17
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YMCA View Post
    I know a guy who has been a cat5 since 1993.
    Does 5 races a year max and enjoys his life as a County Judge and father.
    Racing probably just gives him reason for all that commuting he does.
    I believe I know the guy you're talking about. A couple of years ago IIRC, he was getting a lot of high placings. Seemed to me he should have upgraded. However, next year when I saw him he was more mid pack, so I guess he knew better what worked for him.

  18. #18
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
    ARRRGHHHHhhhh! My two other low cat teammates have already upped to 4's.....would like to have it on the license when it comes....
    That's a good reason to Cat up. You'll have a lot more fun with teammates, particularly if you actually try to work together as a team.

  19. #19
    I eat carbide. Psimet2001's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MJH2 View Post
    PSIMet won't upgrade because he's chicken!
    ...correct. BTW - what's the cyclocross scoreboard look like? I'm the tortoise baby.

    Quote Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
    That's a good reason to Cat up. You'll have a lot more fun with teammates, particularly if you actually try to work together as a team.
    Meh...MJH2 is one of those teamates. He thinks I'm chicken. How much fun can it be.

    In all honesty MJH2 and our other teammate did well a couple of times we tried some team tactics in some of the 4/5 races we had. Only problem was the tactics had to be pretty low goal oriented in order to succeed because, well, I just didn't have the form to carry anything too long.

    Both of my low cat teamates have much better form than I so hanging in the 5's still gives me a shot at decent placement will affording me a chance to work team tactics in a 4/5 race - I usually double if I can.

  20. #20
    /\/\oderator Bevo Bill's Avatar
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    If you have to ask, you should upgrade.

  21. #21
    local pungee's Avatar
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    Put in for my upgrade last night. Received my approval this afternoon.

    BTW I would say 95+% of the races in my area have a Cat 5 only field. I think I only did one race this year when we were lumped with the 4's

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