Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 16 of 16
  1. #1
    Banned.
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    91
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Age group racing

    A man I work with asked me if there is much interest in bike racing for men over 50 years. He's a former crew member at Harvard and has talked about getting started in bike racing for a while now. Has not done it yet. I think he is 54.

    So is there much participation for riders over 50?

    Thanks for anything you can add.

  2. #2
    bf is my facebook. ljrichar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
    Posts
    1,147
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Yes. There's Masters racing, sometimes splitting fields into 35+, 45+ 55+, etc. but they are usually even more competitive than CAT 5.

  3. #3
    Senior Member spinwax's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    My Bikes
    2011 Felt FC, 2009 ADK/Pedalforce Road, 2011 Felt B12 TT
    Posts
    829
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Some of the fastest guys in Cali/NV are 50+.

    Check out the results of the Amgen Masters and Paul Tracy/Barry Lasko Masters guys here on the West Coast. Unbelievable. They are winning many 1-2 pro races and all upwards of 45+. Masters are great fields and as competitve as any 1-2-pro race.

    Here is a couple outstanding 50+ guys that can be competitive in and win any age group.
    Keith Ketterer's bio at age 53. The dude is a total stud!!
    http://www.velogen.org/agm/consec.cfm?do=bio&id=1607

    Kent Bostick. 55yrs young.
    http://www.velogen.org/agm/consec.cfm?do=bio&id=305

  4. #4
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Tariffville, CT
    My Bikes
    Tsunami Bikes
    Posts
    12,654
    Mentioned
    24 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Consider all age-group racing (Juniors and Masters) as "Cat 1-2 races with a bunch of filler 3s and 4s providing prize money".

    Once you do that, it becomes much easier to understand why Masters races are usually the fastest or second fastest race of the day (after the Pro12 races).

    "Masters" means Cat 1s and 2s that not only have the genetic gift, but they also have more years racing than many of their non-age-graded competitors have been alive.

    The only exception I know to this rule is Prospect Park as of 3-4 years ago. Back then I could finish the M35 race but not the P123 race, and I could place in the M35s. So I did them.

    cdr

  5. #5
    Seņor Member myclem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Seattle
    My Bikes
    Motobecane Immortal, Van Dessel Gin & Trombones, Rawland Stag, Bianchi SASS
    Posts
    196
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    noob alert

    Interesting comments. I'm planning on starting my first road racing season next year (35+). Just finishing my first full season of cross and am now infected with the racing bug.

    Would you recommend starting as a Cat-5 over Masters-C? I'll probably get dropped either way, but figure (hope) that in the Masters field there will be more "family" guys making fewer risky/dangerous/stupid moves.

    Yeah, yeah, yeah...before you jump on me, I know racing is a risk and we all sign the waiver just the same no matter what category.

  6. #6
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Location, location.
    Posts
    11,431
    Mentioned
    17 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Where's he at?

    Good 50+ or 55+ fields in the places I've raced. In some locales they also run 35+ 4/5 and in NoCal the occasional 45+ 4/5.

    Generally the "open" races are faster and smoother because, as mentioned, there are a bunch of 1/2 guys making them fast and smooth.

  7. #7
    Old Road Racer Cleave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    SoCal
    My Bikes
    Bicycle Transportation: 2013 Ford Focus Electric, 2010 Toyota Prius
    Posts
    4,997
    Mentioned
    11 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hi Ms. Lane,

    The answer to your question is going to depend significantly on location. From your earlier post, I guess you're in Massachusetts as is your co-worker.

    As a Cat 3, 50+ Master in SoCal, I can tell you that Masters racing is generally not for beginners out here. Our 50+ races are not categorized except for district championships but a beginning racer will have a hard time with the pace and the tactics.

    I generally "race" the 50+ race and then sit in the 40+ or 45+ 1/2/3 race (someone has to be pack fodder) for additional training and grins. On a typical industrial park crit, the 40+ races are 1-3 MPH faster than the 50+ races (which average 25-27 MPH). 50+ fields out here are generally 50-70 racers while 40+ fields have 50-90 racers.

    I would recommend that a beginning 54 year-old racer start with some low-key Cat 5 races or a mid-week series race, just to get the feel of a bike racing.

    Of course, YMMV especially in New England. Hope this helps.
    Thanks.
    Cleave
    "Real men wear pink."
    See my cycling photos at http://www.pbase.com/cleavel/bicycling
    See my bikes at http://www.pbase.com/cleavel/mybicycles
    Visit my blog at http://cleavesblant.wordpress.com/
    Lightning Velo Cycling Club: http://www.lightningvelo.org/

  8. #8
    Old Road Racer Cleave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    SoCal
    My Bikes
    Bicycle Transportation: 2013 Ford Focus Electric, 2010 Toyota Prius
    Posts
    4,997
    Mentioned
    11 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
    Where's he at?

    Good 50+ or 55+ fields in the places I've raced. In some locales they also run 35+ 4/5 and in NoCal the occasional 45+ 4/5.

    Generally the "open" races are faster and smoother because, as mentioned, there are a bunch of 1/2 guys making them fast and smooth.
    Hi,

    The only problem with the Master 40+ 4/5 races out here is that there are a always a number of sandbaggers in the field. I haven't seen our District Rep force any 40+ Masters to upgrade. I am regularly surprised to see who is racing in those races.

    Maybe I should downgrade?
    Thanks.
    Cleave
    "Real men wear pink."
    See my cycling photos at http://www.pbase.com/cleavel/bicycling
    See my bikes at http://www.pbase.com/cleavel/mybicycles
    Visit my blog at http://cleavesblant.wordpress.com/
    Lightning Velo Cycling Club: http://www.lightningvelo.org/

  9. #9
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Tariffville, CT
    My Bikes
    Tsunami Bikes
    Posts
    12,654
    Mentioned
    24 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I proposed to a USAC board member that Masters races be counted as Cat 3 races for upgrade purposes. I got some mumbo jumbo that this would be impossible.

    Most of the strong Masters in the area keep doing Masters races so the can keep their Cat 4 and Cat 3 status. It just seems wrong when a Cat 3 lines up with a National Championship jersey on their back. A current jersey! Or a Cat 4 demolishes a Masters field, and someone says that the same guy did it for a few years running.

    This is a part of USAC which is not quite right.

    cdr

  10. #10
    Senior Member spinwax's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    My Bikes
    2011 Felt FC, 2009 ADK/Pedalforce Road, 2011 Felt B12 TT
    Posts
    829
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by myclem View Post
    Interesting comments. I'm planning on starting my first road racing season next year (35+). Just finishing my first full season of cross and am now infected with the racing bug.

    Would you recommend starting as a Cat-5 over Masters-C? I'll probably get dropped either way, but figure (hope) that in the Masters field there will be more "family" guys making fewer risky/dangerous/stupid moves.

    Yeah, yeah, yeah...before you jump on me, I know racing is a risk and we all sign the waiver just the same no matter what category.
    I just did my first race at age 36 in over 19 yrs in Nov of this yr. It was as a Cat 5 in a Stage Race. I think it was good place to start to get my feet wet again. Now that I know I am competitive in the 4/3/2s I am hoping to do mostly Cat 1-2 and Masters 35 plus stuff by the end of the 10 season. Unless you are usually a 4, 3 or better you can't do a 35+ race anyways unless noted otherwise by the promotor or USA Cycling. To my knowledge, Cat 5s can't do 35+ races unless it is a 4/5 30+ race.


    Good luck and have a blast!!!

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    My Bikes
    too many to list
    Posts
    369
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    My opinion, and this could be totally wrong, but here goes...

    If this guy is just now getting into cycling at 50+ years old, he's gonna get his clock cleaned if he races with his age group. The guys who are racing in the M50+ categories have almost always been riding for most of their life.

    Even with a solid aerobic background from rowing, he's still gonna get trounced pretty hard if he's not adapted to cycling. You may want to gently mention this to him so he doesn't get discouraged.

  12. #12
    bf is my facebook. ljrichar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
    Posts
    1,147
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by myclem View Post
    Would you recommend starting as a Cat-5 over Masters-C?
    Here you have to be at least a 4 to race Masters.

  13. #13
    Senior Member ericm979's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Santa Cruz Mountains
    Posts
    6,170
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by crispy010 View Post

    If this guy is just now getting into cycling at 50+ years old, he's gonna get his clock cleaned if he races with his age group.
    Probably true but not guaranteed. I know a guy who started riding post 55 and has done pretty well. He doesn't have the bike handling skills that you get from lots of riding (he can't even ride no hands) but he fakes it well enough and he has enough motor that it doesn't matter. He's won a number of local races and even was stoker on a tandem that won the nationals 110+ tandem road race. I don't know what athletic stuff he did before cycling.

    That said, if there are 35+ or 45+ 4/5 or 5 races in his area, thats' what your friend should be doing.

  14. #14
    Seņor Member myclem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Seattle
    My Bikes
    Motobecane Immortal, Van Dessel Gin & Trombones, Rawland Stag, Bianchi SASS
    Posts
    196
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by ljrichar View Post
    Here you have to be at least a 4 to race Masters.
    I just looked at the WSBA race calendar for 2009 and it looks like at least one race has a category: "Masters C/D Men (age 30+ cat 4/5 & over 50 all categories)".

    That sounds about right for me, but from the comments above, I should expect the "open" 50+ guys in my field to have some strong 1/2s. Sounds like fun. Can't wait.

  15. #15
    I eat carbide. Psimet2001's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Elgin, IL
    My Bikes
    Lots. Current sponsors - Giant and Specialized
    Posts
    19,326
    Mentioned
    7 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Chicago cycling's own version of Chuck Norris rides 50+ and kicks major ass. He's been a national champion - regularly medals. Our 50+ fields are crazy fast. Same with 40+.

    Even open cat 30+ is a suicide mission. Luckily there are enough older hacks around here to warrant 30+ 4/5 fields at the majority of the races in the area. 35+ 4/5 fields set up my best results of the season.

    As for upgrading masters - yeah, it's kind of funny, but the guys aren't racing the regular elite categories so who cares. When you enter a masters race you know who you're racing against.

    OP - your guy should look for 4/5 masters fields (even 30+) or just suck it up and race cat 5. There's a steep learning curve but a few weekends in and everything will be clear.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Medina, OH
    My Bikes
    confidential infromation that I don't even share with my wife
    Posts
    5,708
    Mentioned
    12 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm 56 yrs old and started racing last year. I started out last year in the open/Cat 5 races and got shellacked at first. By the end of the season I was able to stay in the pack on most races. I upgraded over the winter and began the season racing Cat 4 and some Master's races. My intention in catting up to 4 was to be able to race in the Master's races. I later discovered in Ohio that Master's older than 55 yrs didn't need to be a Cat 4 to race Master's.

    I found the Cat 4's easier to stay with as the attacks and changes of pace were not as intense as the Master's races. Early in the season I took a 2nd place finish in a Cat 4/5 race with a field of 22 riders. As for keeping up in the Master's races it depended if multiple age groups were combined and who all entered. As previously stated some Master's are just plain studs. The N E Ohio area's Master race fields (20 - 40 riders) are not large as some have stated. In one particular circuit race series I was able to stay in the field and competed in the sprint finish on the first two races. At the 3rd race some of the strongest 35+ and even 50+ studs all entered the Master's race and splintered the field over the first 5 laps with a 29+ mph ave. The race was a combined 35+ and 45+ field with seperate scoring.

    As the season progressed I began to race the local Tuesday night training race and frequently finished with the 50 to 60+ rider field in the A races.

    My ultimate racing goal is to be competitive in regional Master's 55+ races and even ride in some National events. I was able to finish 3rd in the State 55+ Crit Championship but did not get to race in my season's "A race", the state 55+ RR, because the State Race was canceled 3 weeks before the event for unknown reasons.

    I would say encourage your friend to try racing out with the Cat 5's to get a feel of the whole experience. If the bug to train and get competitive hits him then he can begin to work towards riding with the Master's.
    oldschool areodynamic brick

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •