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Old 02-05-09, 07:25 PM   #1
Hiflyer112
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Youth Racing in Conneticut?

Hi, I have been talking to my LBS looking for a race or team that I could join. I am 15, turning 16 this spirng and I would love to try racing as during the fall and spring I usually ride 15-30 miles a day and run at the same time. I really want to experience racing. Also, I can't run races for a while since I have shin splints, meaning I have more time to bike on my stationary at home since it was 6 degrees this morning in CT.
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Old 02-05-09, 09:37 PM   #2
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Go here to get a license and find some races to enter in. Don't worry about joining a club just yet. If you find a race that has a decent showing of juniors, you can talk with them and find out which club(s) to consider. Look for a team that really supports juniors. You could really use teammates the same age as you, gives you deals on equipment, a coach that invests his/her time with the riders, and possibly some team equipment you can borrow.

btw did you realize you spelled Connecticut incorrectly?
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Old 02-06-09, 02:00 AM   #3
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I started racing as a junior in CT 5 years ago when I was 16.

I started in the Bethel and PLainsville Spring series. They start pretty soon, so get ready.

The Bethel series is an excellent place to start racing and it is run by a poster here, CDR, who could probably give you better advice than me on any topic to do with racing in CT.

And you gotta Connect the icut, come on man.
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Old 02-06-09, 04:43 AM   #4
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Yea, problem with spelling is not that I can't but I made this post in and I had very little time to look it over. Just a problem with typing too fast and not having time to read it over all the time. When you started out five years ago, how was it? Did you have any prior experience and how much did you train when you first started?
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Old 02-06-09, 08:40 AM   #5
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Coming in with a racing age of 16 might be difficult as there will be some rather fast 16 year olds, but the learning curve is quick for beginners. You might want to double up and try adult Cat 5 races as well, since they might be of similar speed but give you a much better pack riding experience.

Oh, and CDR is carpediemracing in case you want to look for him.
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Old 02-06-09, 08:42 AM   #6
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Don't sweat the prior experince part. Everyone starts somewhere.

The nice thing about junior racing is that there are no grizzled vets out there to grind you into a souless shell of what you used to be. Wait, I meant to say that pretty much everyone is on a level playing field with regards to experience.
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Old 02-06-09, 09:30 AM   #7
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Few things you should keep in mind.

1. Your age is only one part of how you are categorized. At 16 (your racing age is your age on Dec 31 of the current year) you're a "junior". This means you qualify to enter races open to riders 16 and older, unless there is a minimum age (i.e. "Masters 40+" means you have to be racing age 40 or more).

2. Your category, as a new racer, is Category 5. This is absolutely critical to keep in mind! This is because many races do not allow Cat 5s into age graded races. In other words, many Junior races are for Juniors Cat 1-4 only, ditto Masters races.

You'll use the two above criteria to figure out if you're eligible to enter a race. You must meet both age and category standards, otherwise you will be ineligible for that particular race.

For example, at Bethel (coming up), the Juniors are Cat 1-4 only. As a Cat 5 you have to do the Cat 5 race. This applies to Masters Cat 5s too.

To get started with racing, check out the sticky post at the top of the racing forum.

I'd recommend doing group rides. Since it's pretty cold out, you'll have to wait until March/April to go find group rides. I would not recommend making a race your first group ride.

Junior racing is the toughest racing out there. An open Junior race (Cat 1-5) means there will be some extraordinarily strong Cat 1s putting a world of hurt on the other guys in the field. The last batch of Juniors to race at Bethel includes Matt Crane and Christian Stahl, both of whom went onto National level teams (google them).

Field sizes are small for Juniors, making learning how to race in a group very hard. I'd recommend racing the Senior (i.e. regular) races in your category to gain racing experience. I'd race Juniors to get a workout.

To get an idea of what you should know when racing in a field, check out the following post I wrote:
http://sprinterdellacasa.blogspot.co...-crashing.html

Not everyone knows everything I wrote, but you'll reduce problems if you know more of them.

Let me know if you have more questions,
cdr
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Old 02-06-09, 11:21 AM   #8
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About the age requirement, I am 15 now and turning 16 in april. That means I don't meet the age of 16 by december 31 requirement. What would this mean if I wanted to try racing this spring?
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Old 02-06-09, 12:42 PM   #9
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About the age requirement, I am 15 now and turning 16 in april. That means I don't meet the age of 16 by december 31 requirement. What would this mean if I wanted to try racing this spring?
Since you'll be 16 at the end of the year, you'll be classified as a 16 year old racer for the whole year. If you got a license right now, it would have your racing age as 16 years old.

Junior racing is typically 15-18 years old, although technically licenses can be issued for younger riders.

Keep in mind that until you are 18 years old, you have to have a guardian/parent sign a legal waiver in order to enter a race. The waiver can be signed at the event or it can be signed and mailed in. It is critical that this waiver be signed, because if something happens and you get hurt at the race, you won't be covered by the event's insurance.

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Old 02-06-09, 04:03 PM   #10
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I am 15 right now but my racing age is 16 as well.
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Old 02-06-09, 04:58 PM   #11
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Junior racing is typically 15-18 years old, although technically licenses can be issued for younger riders.
??? I'm pretty sure the Junior National Championships and national records include age groups for 10-12, 13/14, 15/16, and 17/18
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Old 02-06-09, 05:44 PM   #12
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??? I'm pretty sure the Junior National Championships and national records include age groups for 10-12, 13/14, 15/16, and 17/18
That's true but if you go to a local race, it'll say "Juniors", not much else. Usually 10-14 year olds are semi-excluded because if a 10 year old lined up against an 18 year old, it would be extremely demoralizing for the 10 year old. Technically I've accepted entries from such young riders but it's agonizing to watch. I just hope and pray the kid will get back on the bike on Monday.

Since it's hard enough to find Juniors for a race, it's rare to find the Juniors split up by age. The ones that came to Bethel in 2008 would meet and decide whether or not to race for 3 places (usually 2-4 Juniors) or race in the categorized races. They usually chose the latter.

I think at 15 years old most riders can hold their own with Seniors. I started doing group rides at 14 (and got shelled) but by 15 I was okay, and I only had one wheelset and one freewheel so I always had a 53x15 max gear. 16, 17, I was the one attacking the group rides.

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Old 02-06-09, 06:34 PM   #13
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Ahh makes sense. They are often a little nicer around here, scoring the different age groups seperately even if they run them together. Of course, we get a slightly better turnout at our races (most races I see have 10-20 juniors). You have to be selective as a junior to find the right races, and that includes talking to other juniors to see which ones everyone goes to. Just because the race has a juniors category doesn't mean anyone will be in it. For example, I once travelled to Las Vegas for a highly advertised race only for my brother and me to be the only juniors there. They handed us 1st place medals at the line and then gave us each a free ride in our respective categories.
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Old 02-06-09, 07:37 PM   #14
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What part of CT are you in ? CDR's Spring Series in Bethel is great. And then after that, Rick from Cycle Fitness runs a less formal series on the same course. It's perfect for new racers because you're allowed to get back in if you get dropped, and it's a bit lower key than sanctioned races. The Cycle Fitness training races were Tuesday night (May-Sept ?), but I heard a rumor they might be moving to Wed nights.
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