Reposted from training status since no one responded =)
What were your teams like when you initially came up the 5>4>3 ranks? Very helpful? Not helpful? Did you do everything solo or lay out team strategies? Did you have a specific mentor? or learn everything the hard way? - I'm just looking for some perspective here.
So it seems that the team i was going to race with is not going to be much help for me this year. I'm very curious on input from you guys... The situation is this: Our 123 team has a lot of super experienced people who pretty much never interact with the 4/5 team (me). Not out of elitism or anything, but I don't think anyone's ever asked to go on a ride with them and they haven't invited anyone else ever. So there's really not much information flow or advice or anything from the experienced people to the inexperienced.
Then the 4/5 team, which I'm a part of, is primarily based in a town called Katy which is like 35 miles from Houston center - where I live; plus they are all old people who have no ambition to cat up (not even from 5 to 4, some have been racing as cat5 for years beyond their 10 initial starts). So it seems that now I'm left without any teammate training partners within the city I'll likely never ride with the other 4/5s in Katy except in races, and maybe not then if it's separate 4 - 5. I'm kinda just frustrated with the whole thing. What would you guys do in my situation? I could ride unattached, I don't think I'll look for a new team right now, or I could just live with it, or I could man up and invite myself to ride with some of the 123s and hang on for dear life.
I'll have to quit my second job if I want to go ride with them, since I don't have weekends off; which isn't too big a deal since I've come to the conclusion I dont really need/want another bike.
Making a kilometer blurry
You should try to ride with the faster guys as much as possible. If that's your team or another team, it doesn't matter much.
There isn't a lot of use for a strong team in a 4/5 race, since they generally just chase everything down anyway. If you can get your guys to rotate attacks, you can benefit from each other, but it will take more commitment than is available.
In this area there are a few teams focused on developing new riders. This means working on riding skills, team tactics, and training in general. One holds a weekly training series in the summer, and the in the Bs (4s and 5s) the club's A riders (2s, 3s, and stronger 4s) ride with the Bs, giving advice etc.
They're focused enough that one guy left the team to start his own team (for other reasons) but left his son as a member of their original team, the weekly series one.
If there are a few clubs out there, you may be able to find one that has some more focus on education etc.
If not, you can usually find a frustrated old timer that feels that there needs education, and team up with said old timer and make your own program, within your current team or outside of it.
As more an editorial, I see a lot of racers accept the status quo. If one does that, one can't complain about anything. If one tries to change things, and things don't work out, that's a different story (and could be long and involved).
Running a club is time and energy consuming. Even motivating members to participate can be difficult. It's up to the individuals to get things done, and if they can't, perhaps it's a sign to move on.
I "ran" my own club for many years, from 1990 or so to 1997. When I closed my shop I stopped the team, but then revived it to race for my own race series. A bunch of folks joined, mainly friends, even after I expressly stated that I would not do anything other than get kits every now and then (no meetings, no rides, etc). I realized that this wasn't productive in the whole scheme of things so I joined a team local to the race (but not to me). This year I joined a team local to me. We have group rides, meet every month (40+ of the 60+ members have shown for the last couple meetings), have a meet-n-greet coming up, and have some skeletal outline of next year's schedule. I hope to run riding clinics, to encourage members to race the track, and to participate with the team in the local summer crit series.
Given your location I'd also suggest getting a cheapo track bike and racing Alkek as much as you can. Track allows you to work on individual tactics in a very compressed environment, 3 or more races a night/day depending on your cat.
Plus you can sit in the infield and watch other race and learn from that also, and generally track guys are pretty free with advice once you get to know them.
You'll learn how to race much faster.
That's not a bad idea, but the Alkek is also in Katy, which means 1.5 hrs of driving any time I go out there. Maybe 1 hr without traffic. Not exactly ideal.
Originally Posted by Racer Ex