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Old 07-24-11, 08:21 AM   #1
calbob76
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how do I start racing?

I've been riding bikes seriously for the past 2 years or so and I want to start racing now. What do I have to do, legally, to qualify and be ready to race?
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Old 07-24-11, 08:31 AM   #2
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The most direct answer is to show up at a race go to the director's tent and buy a 1 day license and pay your entry fee and line up with the Cat.5s.

Better answer is to get with organized group rides for awhile and then do above but at some point you need to line up in a Cat. 5 race.
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Old 07-24-11, 08:31 AM   #3
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you dont have to qualify. show up at a race early, fill out the registry form for cat 5 (entry level/beginners), get your number, go warm up. line up and race.
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Old 07-24-11, 08:36 AM   #4
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Old 07-24-11, 09:40 AM   #5
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Old 07-24-11, 02:46 PM   #6
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Pony up the $60 for a CAT 5 License

Sign up for the next race you see in your area. Look here: http://www.bikereg.com/

Then go out and jump in the mix. You'll figure out the rest as you go along.
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Old 07-24-11, 02:49 PM   #7
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Definitely make sure you have experience riding fast in groups. It helps with handling skills and helps you stay calm. And read DScott's link to Botto's pointers. Good advice there.

In a bit of shameless self-promotion, here's a bunch of answers I compiled on racing on my blog.
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Old 07-24-11, 02:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkadam68 View Post
Definitely make sure you have experience riding fast in groups. It helps with handling skills and helps you stay calm. And read DScott's link to Botto's pointers. Good advice there.

In a bit of shameless self-promotion, here's a bunch of answers I compiled on racing on my blog.
Good post. I hope you don't mind, but I've cut and pasted these lines for emphasis:

Quote:
Originally Posted by mkadam68
Aver*age speed really does mean noth*ing in a race. It is the surges where rac*ing is won & lost. How well you recover at 25mph from repeated accel*er*a*tions will tell you more about how well you’ll do in a race.
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Old 07-24-11, 06:08 PM   #9
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Go Here: http://www.usacycling.org/

Pony up the $60 for a CAT 5 License
Don't get the license right now unless you plan to do more than six races -- it'll expire at the end of this calendar year. Just pay the $10 fee at each race you enter.
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Old 07-24-11, 10:10 PM   #10
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To start a race, get on your bike. When they say "go" pedal fast.
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Old 07-24-11, 11:16 PM   #11
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I am starting to race too and signed up online, but was wondering, what is the difference between the $60 Cat5 license and $150 UCI license?

Also, if I just show up to a race to sign up on the spot, isn't it possible that it might be full?

Another question: how do you define and find a "fast" group? I used to get dropped by my group, but right now I am quickly approaching the top. How can I know that my group is "fast"? And if it isn't, how do I find a "faster" group? I am in SoCal and where I live, there seems to be only one club around here. Am I missing something?
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Old 07-25-11, 01:46 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Excelsius View Post
I am starting to race too and signed up online, but was wondering, what is the difference between the $60 Cat5 license and $150 UCI license?

Also, if I just show up to a race to sign up on the spot, isn't it possible that it might be full?

Another question: how do you define and find a "fast" group? I used to get dropped by my group, but right now I am quickly approaching the top. How can I know that my group is "fast"? And if it isn't, how do I find a "faster" group? I am in SoCal and where I live, there seems to be only one club around here. Am I missing something?
Velo club La Grange? I'm in SoCal too.
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Old 07-25-11, 03:42 AM   #13
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There's a 10 page thread pinned to the top of the forum: Read that.
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Old 07-25-11, 06:03 AM   #14
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Before you just "show up" to a race and try and get a one day license, you might want to check the pre-registration ahead of time at sites like bikereg.com or whatever sites your region uses. Cat5 races have a 50 rider limit, and Cat4/5 races have a 75 rider limit. Both tend to close early. You can always just "show up", but you might just become a spectator if you're on the waitlist and enough riders don't bail.
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Old 07-25-11, 06:25 AM   #15
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You find a fred on a MUP and race him first. Don't tell him that it's a race though. Just give 'the look' as you pass by.
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Old 07-25-11, 08:16 AM   #16
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I am starting to race too and signed up online, but was wondering, what is the difference between the $60 Cat5 license and $150 UCI license?
The difference is that you'll never need a UCI license.
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Old 07-25-11, 08:56 AM   #17
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Velo club La Grange? I'm in SoCal too.
Thanks, that was helpful. Is there a site where I can find a full list? I did do an extensive search before finding a couple of clubs, but I had never come across the La Grange club. I will probably join them if that's the right club for me. I have also noticed that most of the people in the clubs are older and/or out of shape. Maybe a faster club will be more within my age group too (20s).

Last edited by Excelsius; 07-25-11 at 09:03 AM.
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Old 07-25-11, 09:00 AM   #18
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Before you just "show up" to a race and try and get a one day license, you might want to check the pre-registration ahead of time at sites like bikereg.com or whatever sites your region uses. Cat5 races have a 50 rider limit, and Cat4/5 races have a 75 rider limit. Both tend to close early. You can always just "show up", but you might just become a spectator if you're on the waitlist and enough riders don't bail.
I asked because it was suggested in this thread. So to guarantee a spot, I pretty much have to just buy the license so I can sign up in advance online, right? There's still four months left in the year and maybe signing up for six or more races won't be that difficult.
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Old 07-25-11, 09:11 AM   #19
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The difference is that you'll never need a UCI license.
Not very helpful.
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Old 07-25-11, 09:12 AM   #20
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So to guarantee a spot, I pretty much have to just buy the license so I can sign up in advance online, right?
I'm pretty sure that USAC allows one-day licenses for day-of registration only, but I'm not 100% sure. Check the rulebook. You should read it through several times anyway.

http://www.usacycling.org/news/user/story.php?id=4220
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Old 07-25-11, 10:00 AM   #21
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USAC should allow one day licenses for day of race. Promoters are supposed to have forms available and accept payment on behalf of USAC. At our race (we use bikereg.com) you can pre-reg then pay the license fee when you show up (in 2012 we may have the option of paying the $10 when you register). If the promoter does USAC online reg then you can pay for the one day license when you register for the race.
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Old 07-25-11, 10:47 AM   #22
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Not very helpful.
You only need a full UCI license if you intend on racing outside of the US....

I know here in Ontario, prior to this season, this was not being enforced and US riders could race with a domestic US license. This year the CCA (Canadian Cycling Association) re-iterated that US riders must possess a full UCI license to participate in sanctioned races...
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Old 07-25-11, 11:21 PM   #23
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Thanks for clarifying. I think I will just try the one day pass for a couple of races, if pre-registration is an option indeed. I also have a 2010 Garneu team shirt (bought it for looks) and I guess have to read the rulebook to find out if I can wear it, since I don't have anything else.
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Old 07-25-11, 11:31 PM   #24
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Technically, no. But I'd be surprised if the USAC ref enforced that rule in a Cat 5 race.
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Old 07-25-11, 11:45 PM   #25
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I am sort of disappointed. Can this be right? http://www.bikereg.com/events/?et=1&rg=CA There are barely any races in CA according to this, and half of them are not even in SoCal. Are there better racing calendars out there?
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