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Old 09-04-11, 01:44 PM   #1
john winn
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how to get into competitve cycling?

im new to cycling and i had some questions. i know competitive cycling isnt simply riding a bike around but i was wondering how to get into actual races. riding against my friend is getting boring. how should i prepare and what exactly do i need? if it means anything ive been riding a 4 mile loop on a cheap dawes lightning 1000 with various inclines. i average around 13 minutes and my best time is 12:12 so far. thanks in advance guys.
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Old 09-04-11, 02:07 PM   #2
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Get to the point where you can ride that loop about 40 times a week, then find a local shop that has a club or team that does group rides, then once you're comfortable with them sign up for some cat-5 races. At that point you should be able to figure it out by yourself.
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Old 09-04-11, 02:14 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by john winn View Post
im new to cycling and i had some questions. i know competitive cycling isnt simply riding a bike around but i was wondering how to get into actual races. riding against my friend is getting boring. how should i prepare and what exactly do i need? if it means anything ive been riding a 4 mile loop on a cheap dawes lightning 1000 with various inclines. i average around 13 minutes and my best time is 12:12 so far. thanks in advance guys.
Start here
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Old 09-04-11, 02:17 PM   #4
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if it means anything ive been riding a 4 mile loop on a cheap dawes lightning 1000 with various inclines. i average around 13 minutes and my best time is 12:12 so far.
4 miles in 13 minutes.
That's less than 20mph.
No offence but that's pretty slow for such a short distance.
To put it in perspective ... I ride way faster than you ... for way longer ... on my hybrid.
Instead of wondering how and where you can enter races ... you'd better start off by riding more and riding harder to get stronger.
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Old 09-04-11, 02:20 PM   #5
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4 miles in 13 minutes.
That's less than 20mph.
No offence but that's pretty slow for such a short distance.
To put it in perspective ... I ride way faster than you ... for way longer ... on my hybrid.
Instead of wondering how and where you can enter races ... you'd better start off by riding more and riding harder to get stronger.
Yeah I agree. That's roughly 18mph... You should find some other people to "race" and just get stronger. Consider riding longer distances too
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Old 09-04-11, 03:00 PM   #6
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Can someone list a resource for competitive #'s for Cat 5 and Cat 4 cyclists?
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Old 09-04-11, 03:04 PM   #7
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1) Find a racing-oriented club.

2) Go on their rides, get your @#! kicked, and listen to what they're yelling at you.

3) When you can hang with the club rides and they don't have to yell at you much anymore, get a racing license.

4) Enter some races, get your @#! kicked, and listen to what they're yelling at you.

5) When you can hang in the races and nobody's yelling at you much anymore, then you're a bike racer.
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Old 09-04-11, 03:19 PM   #8
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This.........
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Old 09-04-11, 08:27 PM   #9
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Can someone list a resource for competitive #'s for Cat 5 and Cat 4 cyclists?
We could, but you couldn't trust them. (I'm assuming you mean speeds?) Too many factors to be dogmatic about average speeds. Hills, winds, temperature, length of course, type of race (crit, circuit, or road race), number of riders in race, location of race (Belgium faster than U.S.?), general feeling of the pack on any given day, etc...

The best advice is already given here: check out the resources that Six jours & chasm54 are mentioning.
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Old 09-04-11, 08:35 PM   #10
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Moving from Road to Road Racing.
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Old 09-10-11, 12:41 PM   #11
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I'd say being comfortable in group rides would be more important than whatever numbers you do when toodling about yourself. That's the crux of racing, unless you're trying to go off the front at every opportunity.

Find a shop that runs an easy group ride. Ride that until you think it's easy. Find a harder group ride. And on you go.

And for all we know this guy lives in f'ing Le Bourg-d'Oisans; 18mph might be pretty sweet for his route.
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Old 09-11-11, 07:33 AM   #12
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Go find a race, sign up, pin on number, get your ass kicked 100m after the starting gun and learn from it. Then train harder, way harder and join group rides to get comfortable at pack riding.
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Old 09-11-11, 07:47 AM   #13
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Go find a race, sign up, pin on number, get your ass kicked 100m after the starting gun and learn from it. Then train harder, way harder and join group rides to get comfortable at pack riding.
It's amazing how getting your ass kicked a few times can motivate you to get faster.
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Old 09-11-11, 12:16 PM   #14
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If there's a velodrome near you, that is the best way to get started racing. Velodromes give you classes before you start racing, so the approach is less haphazard compared to the way most people start racing on the road.
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Old 09-11-11, 02:53 PM   #15
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i dont even know what a velodrome is to be totally honest. i'm one of 5 cyclists in my town, but ill be going to a university soon so maybe ill find something. thanks guys for all the advice. im just going to take a good long time training.
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Old 09-11-11, 03:35 PM   #16
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Yes. Just do it.
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Go find a race, sign up, pin on number, get your ass kicked 100m after the starting gun and learn from it. Then train harder, way harder and join group rides to get comfortable at pack riding.
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Old 09-14-11, 11:12 AM   #17
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i dont even know what a velodrome is to be totally honest. i'm one of 5 cyclists in my town, but ill be going to a university soon so maybe ill find something. thanks guys for all the advice. im just going to take a good long time training.
It's good to train and it's very important that you know how to handle your bike before racing, but don't just train for years before signing up for a race. Racing is fun, it's good training in and of itself, and it will let you know very bluntly what your weaknesses are.
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