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  1. #1
    tcb
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    New to racing (in NYC)

    Please school me on clubs and licenses, etc.

    This will be my first year of racing. My goal is to get through Cat 5 this Summer, and maybe do a couple Cat 4 races. I'm a freelance worker so there may even be a few weeks I can do multiple races. I've been riding for about 10 years, but don't have a lot of experience riding in groups - which I gather Cat 5 will rectify.

    As far as clubs go, I gather I can race in Kissena sponsored races unattached because they are "open," plus I think the fee is the same for Cat 5's. Joining a club like Kissena may give me some support and help me meet people though. Otherwise, I have to be a member of CRCA if I want to race in Central Park.

    I live in Brooklyn, and it is likely that I will do most of my racing at Prospect Park and Floyd Bennett Field, but it may be nice to have the option of racing in Central Park. I was thinking I would be riding unattached or as a member of one of those giant clubs through Cat 5 and then see if I make friends or get noticed by a team whom I could race for as a Cat 4...

    Also, is a USCF license all I need/want?

    Please advise me on how to get started. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member djbowen1's Avatar
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    You can do any of the prospect park and floyd races with just a usa cycling license. If you want to race in central park beyond the spring series you will need to join CRCA as well as having a usa cycling license. You can race CRCA without joining a team.

  3. #3
    tcb
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    That's simply enough. Thanks for your answer.

    Would it be worthwhile for me to join a club off the bat - group rides, clinics, etc.? If so, whom would you recommend?

  4. #4
    Senior Member NickDavid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcb View Post
    That's simply enough. Thanks for your answer.

    Would it be worthwhile for me to join a club off the bat - group rides, clinics, etc.? If so, whom would you recommend?
    Do some research and don't be so quick to join a club. Make sure you like the guys 1st and that they actually race. You're going to love it.

  5. #5
    Senior Member SteelerHoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcb View Post
    That's simply enough. Thanks for your answer.

    Would it be worthwhile for me to join a club off the bat - group rides, clinics, etc.? If so, whom would you recommend?
    Congrats on getting into racing.

    I started racing in nyc before moving to sunny CA. I think nyc is perhaps the best place for someone just getting into racing, great community, ride to races and back home before 9 a.m.

    I would join CRCA and remain unattached http://www.crca.net.

    IMHO, joining CRCA is worth it for access to their closed Central Park races (though wondering if I can race as a bandit when I visit later this year...)

    Once you join CRCA, you can take part in their training clinics for free. You can also get a feel for the scene and meet other racers and teams.

    I think it makes sense to take your time before joining a sub-team. It's helpful to meet your potential future teammates first before joining a club since every team has a different personality, commitment level and view on cycling vs. non-cycling life balance. Assuming that balance exists of course.
    Last edited by SteelerHoo; 03-26-10 at 12:18 PM.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteelerHoo View Post
    Congrats on getting into racing.

    I started racing in nyc before moving to sunny CA. I think nyc is perhaps the best place for someone just getting into racing, great community, ride to races and back home before 9 a.m.

    I would join CRCA and remain unattached http://www.crca.net.

    IMHO, joining CRCA is worth it for access to their closed Central Park races (though wondering if I can race as a bandit when I visit later this year...)

    Once you join CRCA, you can take part in their training clinics for free. You can also get a feel for the scene and meet other racers and teams.

    I think it makes sense to take your time before joining a sub-team. It's helpful to meet your potential future teammates first before joining a club since every team has a different personality, commitment level and view on cycling vs. non-cycling life balance. Assuming that balance exists of course.
    Agree 100%. CRCA is great and its emphasis is on rider development:

    "The emphasis of the club is development — preparing riders to succeed in open races. Expert coaching is free to members. The club looks to hold forums for tips on training, nutrition and other topics of interest to cyclists.

    Everyone interested in bicycle racing is welcome to join CRCA. There are a number of sub-teams within the club but membership in CRCA does not require belonging to a sub-team. In fact new members are encouraged to race without joining a sub-team. Free CRCA coaching is available to help one’s entry into the sport. "

  7. #7
    . botto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteelerHoo View Post
    Congrats on getting into racing.

    I started racing in nyc before moving to sunny CA. I think nyc is perhaps the best place for someone just getting into racing, great community, ride to races and back home before 9 a.m.

    I would join CRCA and remain unattached http://www.crca.net.

    IMHO, joining CRCA is worth it for access to their closed Central Park races (though wondering if I can race as a bandit when I visit later this year...)

    Once you join CRCA, you can take part in their training clinics for free. You can also get a feel for the scene and meet other racers and teams.

    I think it makes sense to take your time before joining a sub-team. It's helpful to meet your potential future teammates first before joining a club since every team has a different personality, commitment level and view on cycling vs. non-cycling life balance. Assuming that balance exists of course.
    wtf?

  8. #8
    Senior Member SteelerHoo's Avatar
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    CRCA is a cycling club with a charter that allows them to hold exclusive club races in central park.

    in their races, instead of having several hundred people in the same jerseys racing, they have sub-teams underneath the club.

    the upside is that you get different teams and team dynamics in races. for the clubs, they get to fulfill usa cycling (soft) requirement to sponsor a race by virtue of membership with CRCA.

    so your choices are to:
    1. join CRCA and remain unattached in generic yellow and blue CRCA jersey
    2. join CRCA, join a sub-team and wear their fancy custom lycra kit with CRCA emblem on the shoulders

    it's a huge club, you can usually find some members or ex-members wherever roadies congregate. there are some CRCA racers in Redlands this weekend.

    always fun to give a, "what's up nyc!" shout whenever i see them on the road
    Last edited by SteelerHoo; 03-26-10 at 01:42 PM.
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  9. #9
    Bulldozer GirlAnachronism's Avatar
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    Welcome to racing in NYC! I'm new to it this year as well and so far it's been a blast.

    Definitely join CRCA and do some park races and clinics. I'd echo SteelerHoo's advice and say to hold off on joining a team until you've done a few races and gotten your feet wet. You'll figure out who's who and what's what pretty quickly.

    Good luck and have fun! I'll see you at the races.
    You're not punk, and I'm telling everyone.

  10. #10
    . botto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteelerHoo View Post
    CRCA is a cycling club with a charter that allows them to hold exclusive club races in central park.

    in their races, instead of having several hundred people in the same jerseys racing, they have sub-teams underneath the club.

    the upside is that you get different teams and team dynamics in races. for the clubs, they get to fulfill usa cycling (soft) requirement to sponsor a race by virtue of membership with CRCA.

    so your choices are to:

    1. join CRCA and remain unattached in generic yellow and blue CRCA jersey
    2. join CRCA, join a sub-team and wear their fancy custom lycra kit with CRCA emblem on the shoulders

    it's a huge club, you can usually find some members or ex-members wherever roadies congregate. there are some CRCA racers in Redlands this weekend.

    always fun to give a, "what's up nyc!" shout whenever i see them on the road
    either usa cycling's definition of unattached has changed, or you're confusing riding for crca with it.

  11. #11
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    Hey Steeler...quit referring to CRCA riders who haven't joined a sub-team as "Unattached" ;-)

    Unattached: have not designated an official club on their license.

  12. #12
    . botto's Avatar
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    correct.

  13. #13
    Senior Member SteelerHoo's Avatar
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    you fellas must be bored. despite the misuse of unattached, thankfully you and everyone else understood the post
    Steeler football is 60 minutes!! - Mike Tomlin

    Team racing and training blog: bbcracer.wordpress.com

  14. #14
    . botto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteelerHoo View Post
    you fellas must be bored. despite the misuse of unattached, thankfully you and everyone else understood the post
    nope.

  15. #15
    RustyTainte substructure's Avatar
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    i'm bored. but i don't know anything about specifics to racing in NYC.

  16. #16
    BMC Lover
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteelerHoo View Post
    you fellas must be bored. despite the misuse of unattached, thankfully you and everyone else understood the post
    Online message boards: the final frontier of pedantic banter...just doing my part.

  17. #17
    tcb
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    Thanks for your input, everyone.

    Well...almost everyone.

  18. #18
    Face of a thousand pieces
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    Quote Originally Posted by NickDavid View Post
    Do some research and don't be so quick to join a club. Make sure you like the guys 1st and that they actually race. You're going to love it.
    +1 what Nick said, plus try and do some local group rides. I'm sure the local shops around you can point you in the right direction. Doing some group rides before throwing yourself into a race would be good for yourself and the other racers.

  19. #19
    . botto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justleaning View Post
    +1 what Nick said, plus try and do some local group rides. I'm sure the local shops around you can point you in the right direction. Doing some group rides before throwing yourself into a race would be good for yourself and the other racers.
    apparently you're not familiar with the NYC cycling scene.

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