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  1. #1
    Bears on Bikes
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    How fit does one have to be to participate in a CAT5?

    I'm am beyond scared of competing in any sort of bicycle race, but I really want to try it out - and soon! I was never much of a competitive sport fellow, and I have no idea what sort of skill level to expect riders in the 'starter' category to have.

    For that matter, what is generally the average length/speed of a cat5 race?
    What are some red flags to look out for before I decide to participate?

  2. #2
    umd
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  3. #3
    dia por dia El Pelon's Avatar
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    Buy a beater
    Dia por dia.

  4. #4
    Carpe Diem bdcheung's Avatar
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    Find a race.

    Buy a 1-day license.

    Race.
    "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!

  5. #5
    Stratiotika ktemata
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    To participate and to compete are two different factors. Anyone can participate, ofcourse, but unless you're relatively fit you'll probably get dropped.

  6. #6
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrBearSir View Post
    I have no idea what sort of skill level to expect riders in the 'starter' category to have.
    You should be able to reach down, take a bottle from its cage, drink, and return the bottle to its cage all while riding at a good speed and maintaining your line.

  7. #7
    **** that mattm's Avatar
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    one way to see how you stack up (on paper at least) is to get a PT & WKO+ and find your places on the e-wang chart.
    pro-meter: lol

    blog

  8. #8
    umd
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    You should be able to reach down, take a bottle from its cage, drink, and return the bottle to its cage all while riding at a good speed and maintaining your line.
    You are fooling yourself if you expect everyone in a cat 5 race to actually be able to do that. The question wasn't what skill level should he have, it was what to expect. I wouldn't expect most people do be able to hold their line let alone do it while futzing with a water bottle.

  9. #9
    going roundy round wanders's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattm View Post
    one way to see how you stack up (on paper at least) is to get a PT & WKO+ and find your places on the e-wang chart.
    based on my e-wang extrapolations, I have yet to acheive the power of an untrained female.

    go race.
    Quote Originally Posted by CastIron View Post
    Damn.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Ratfish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrBearSir View Post
    I'm am beyond scared of competing in any sort of bicycle race, but I really want to try it out - and soon! I was never much of a competitive sport fellow, and I have no idea what sort of skill level to expect riders in the 'starter' category to have.

    For that matter, what is generally the average length/speed of a cat5 race?
    What are some red flags to look out for before I decide to participate?
    Take a pic of your guads and we'll tell you if you're ready.

  11. #11
    No matches Flatballer's Avatar
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    This is my first full season on BF. Is this what it's like for the rest of the season?

  12. #12
    umd
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flatballer View Post
    This is my first full season on BF. Is this what it's like for the rest of the season?
    It has its cycles.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Avalanche325's Avatar
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    Good helmet + bike you don't care about = ready to participate

  14. #14
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by umd View Post
    You are fooling yourself if you expect everyone in a cat 5 race to actually be able to do that. The question wasn't what skill level should he have, it was what to expect. I wouldn't expect most people do be able to hold their line let alone do it while futzing with a water bottle.
    Well one could always hope all the cat 5s could handle that ...... but sadly, you're probably right.


    How about just being able to ride in a straight line?

  15. #15
    The Guadfather Lecterman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrBearSir View Post
    I'm am beyond scared of competing in any sort of bicycle race, but I really want to try it out - and soon! I was never much of a competitive sport fellow, and I have no idea what sort of skill level to expect riders in the 'starter' category to have.

    For that matter, what is generally the average length/speed of a cat5 race?
    What are some red flags to look out for before I decide to participate?

    The best advice I can give is that no matter how ready you think you are, you still may not be ready.

    The only way to find out for sure is to grip it and rip it.

    Have fun and be safe.
    Are you a registered member? Why not? click here to register. Its free, and only takes 27 seconds!
    Help out the forums, abide by our community guidelines.
    "Minor bun engine, made Benny Lava!!!"

  16. #16
    Bears on Bikes
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    Quote Originally Posted by Avalanche325 View Post
    Good helmet + bike you don't care about = ready to participate
    Bike I don't care about? Are crashes really that common?

  17. #17
    No matches Flatballer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Well one could always hope all the cat 5s could handle that ...... but sadly, you're probably right.


    How about just being able to ride in a straight line?
    Still a bit optimistic. And I'm still a Cat 5, so I should know.

    I ride rollers a lot and have pretty decent bike handling skills, but there are sketchy riders in 4/5.

    Mostly it's people not holding their line going into/out of corners. Some guys weave just from poor pedal stroke.

    That being said, I've bumped shoulders, jumped rear wheels, touched hands, and haven't wrecked in a race yet. I took an inside line a couple weeks ago and bounced off a rider who cut me off, bounced off the curb, and then back into the pack, and nobody went down.

    My friend in a 4/5 race locked handle bars with another racer, his front wheel went completely sideways, his whole bike hopped off the ground, and then he landed without crashing or anyone behind crashing.

    It has its moments.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Well one could always hope all the cat 5s could handle that ...... but sadly, you're probably right.


    How about just being able to ride in a straight line?
    Not that either
    Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike

  19. #19
    Senior Member calRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrBearSir View Post
    Bike I don't care about? Are crashes really that common?
    Crashes happen at every level of bike racing, but most of the time they're not too serious (of course, sometimes they are serious...and that's unfortunate). Look, the best thing you can do is work on your bike handling skills, protect your front wheel, and stay away from sketchy riders.

    I don't know what your cycling experience is, but you should be more concerned about pack riding skills and bike handling then fitness--nobody will care if you go off the back because you're not fast enough, but they'll be p1ssed if you make them crash.

  20. #20
    Carpe Diem bdcheung's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrBearSir View Post
    Bike I don't care about? Are crashes really that common?
    Yes.
    "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!

  21. #21
    Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrBearSir View Post
    Bike I don't care about? Are crashes really that common?



    Give Blood: Race Cat-5

  22. #22
    Senior Member
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    It's just like a fast group ride, with more carnage. Unless you're out front, be prepared for a lot of unexpected slowing and accelerations. Bumping of elbows and bikes. Don't freak when you hear the bikes crashing aside of you and you'll be all right.
    I'd leave the Pinerello at home and go with the Caad9.

    Edit: if you can keep up with a decent B ride, you should have the fitness to do a Cat5 race.
    Last edited by BarryJo; 03-05-09 at 06:09 PM.

  23. #23
    powered by Racer Ex gsteinb's Avatar
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    Many threes can't ride in a straight line.

  24. #24
    Bears on Bikes
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    Quote Originally Posted by calRider View Post
    I don't know what your cycling experience is, but you should be more concerned about pack riding skills and bike handling then fitness--nobody will care if you go off the back because you're not fast enough, but they'll be p1ssed if you make them crash.
    My handling isn't too bad, but I have no experience with pack riding. Which I guess just occurred to me as being pretty key haha.

    Would I gain these skills from club riding or something? Cause that's another problem of mine. I'm having a hard time finding a group to ride with.

    Not to mention I'm afraid of that too haa

    god im a wreck

  25. #25
    Dirt-riding heretic DrPete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrBearSir View Post
    I'm am beyond scared of competing in any sort of bicycle race, but I really want to try it out - and soon! I was never much of a competitive sport fellow, and I have no idea what sort of skill level to expect riders in the 'starter' category to have.

    For that matter, what is generally the average length/speed of a cat5 race?
    What are some red flags to look out for before I decide to participate?
    Always faster than you think, but you'll never know until you try...
    "Unless he was racing there was no way he could match my speed."

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