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Old 06-12-12, 12:25 AM   #1
chris675D
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DO you have to drive to be able to race?

I'm not sure where to post this, but I'm curious if someone wants to road race do they have to own a car and drive out to the races? Is there any other way to do this?
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Old 06-12-12, 04:56 AM   #2
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Ride or walk? In NYC, plenty take the subway.

I suppose you could also hop, skip or jump. But you know what Greg Lemond said about bike racers and walking.
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Old 06-12-12, 05:03 AM   #3
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Obviously it depends where you live and where the races are. My most local crits are only about seven miles from home, so I can ride there as a warm-up. More frequent races take place about 30 miles away and it is easy to take the bike on a train. further afield it gets more difficult without using a car.
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Old 06-12-12, 05:15 AM   #4
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An interesting question. Sometimes I choose to ride my bike to race and sometimes I choose to drive my car. I have a file on how I go to a race; however, I don't have time to analyze it right now. I suspect that I've ridden my bike to around 77.7% of the races in which I've competed. Another category that I haven't maintained a record on is races to which I've driven my car, but, would have preferred to have ridden my bike (and, of course, there is the category of ridden my bike and wished that I'd driven my car).

The key factors for me are the distance and the extent to which I like to feel the wind in my face before I race. When a race is more than 100 miles away, I tend to drive my car to a race. However, when I want to feel the wind in my face before a race, no matter the weather, I will ride to a race.

In any event, I think more important questions are: what do you do when you get to a race? Do you register first or do you warm up first? Do you chit chat with folks you know before registering, or, tell them you'll be back to say hi in a few minutes after you register? If the latter, do you then not linger and chat with folks at the registration table because you want to get back, as promised, to chit chat with folks you saw when you arrived? Do you talk with folks while warming up? Etc, etc, etc...
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Old 06-12-12, 05:29 AM   #5
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I have done 14 race days this year, and driven 1121 miles to those races. I could have added another 2-3 race days to that, if I wanted to add another 800 or so miles driving distance. If I didn't have have a car, or couldn't get a ride with someone, I'd have only done a couple. Some people may be better located when it comes to races than I am.

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Old 06-12-12, 05:40 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by chris675D View Post
I'm not sure where to post this, but I'm curious if someone wants to road race do they have to own a car and drive out to the races? Is there any other way to do this?
in NY, yes.In california probably not.

alternative...live near the track and race there
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Old 06-12-12, 05:58 AM   #7
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We can only realistically ride to one race, the rest we must drive to...

We use to lease our cars, but since starting to race we had to buy...Mileage costs would get out of hand quick...Our current car is 17 months old and has over 50000kms on it (my commute is 45km round trip)...There's a lot of bike related traveling...
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Old 06-12-12, 06:15 AM   #8
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Drive.

When I laid out my 2011 calendar to mimic a friend of mine I would have driven 11,000 miles to get to the races I wanted to do.

I am assuming the OP is a young fella. My old team had a junior squad and they would often travel with us with a couple of rules:
1. They slept on the floor
2. They fed us in the feed zone
3. If it were really crappy weather they cleaned up our bikes

For this the got to travel with us, train with us (where applicable) and learn as much as they could.

If you are with a team you can probably sneak rides with some of the older guys.
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Old 06-12-12, 06:32 AM   #9
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Where I live, yes. It's an average of 90 minutes of highway driving to the majority of races.
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Old 06-12-12, 06:42 AM   #10
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Even our local training crit is 35 miles from my house.

OP, looks like you're in the Los Angeles area. I have to think there are some races that you can get to either riding, or a combination of mass transit and riding.

Also get hooked up with a team, and I'm sure you can get rides with teammates if you contribute for gas.

By Google maps, you're about 10 miles from the Rose Bowl. You can do the Peleton ride there, which is virtually a training race, and would give you an opportunity to meet local racers, and find out about the local races.
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Old 06-12-12, 07:01 AM   #11
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I drive. Even to the one race that was only a few miles from my house, I drove. I like the convenience of having my car and all my other "stuff" at races.
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Old 06-12-12, 08:01 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris675D View Post
I'm not sure where to post this, but I'm curious if someone wants to road race do they have to own a car and drive out to the races? Is there any other way to do this?
Can't add much to what's already posted, but in 2010 & 2011 I did about 45 races per season without a car. Just get ready to bum a lot of rides and pay for gas!! (a team really helps here)

Some of our races you can ride to (I've ridden up to 40 mi to a race), but most are about 1-2 hours away. Some as long as 6 hours away in WA.
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Old 06-12-12, 08:18 AM   #13
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Get on a team for the carpool benefits if nothing else.
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Old 06-12-12, 08:30 AM   #14
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Guys on my team that don't own cars bum rides from teammates.
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Old 06-12-12, 08:30 AM   #15
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Even on the very rare occasion there is a local race you still need to have spare wheels and all the other crap you bring to a race so driving is almost always desirable.
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Old 06-12-12, 08:38 AM   #16
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I raced for almost three years before I could drive. I usually got a ride with a teammate, a Veteran 35+ rider (as Masters were called back then). He was kind of like the Den Mother of the team - me and one to three other Juniors would pile into his car and go.

Sometimes my mom would drive me. Sometimes a teammate's dad would drive us.

If you're not 18 yet then you MUST have your parent (or whoever takes care of you) sign a release. You'll probably have to either mail it or something. You cannot have just anyone sign it. Back in the day I didn't know that so my older teammates would sign the parent line. You really must have a parent sign it. Back in the day there were no personal computers, no internet, so I mailed my waiver and my mom wrote a check. This made it clear that the parental signature was valid.

Also you should make sure the emergency contact info is pertinent and valid. If you're on the ground severely concussed and they're transporting you to a hospital, what number should they call? Where will they get your insurance info? Who will come to the hospital to drive you home?

Best bet is to have a parent drive you.

If you're not a minor and you just don't have a car, all that still applies, minus the parent stuff. I just had a long talk about how racers think that the waiver is just a formality. Well, it is, until you crash. Then it becomes a legal document, and that scribble you put down will make it impossible for the officials to contact anyone worth contacting.
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Old 06-12-12, 08:41 AM   #17
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Chris - Get to know some people who live around you. Go to a shop that sells road bikes (a small shop with high end bikes might yield better results) and ask them if they know anyone who races. They will give you the names of some people or a team. Then you can get into a car-pool to races. Joining your local club will help too.

Unless you're a **** I'm sure you can find someone with room in their car pretty easily, and if you are a **** it will take them at least one ride to figure that out.

Good luck.
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Old 06-12-12, 09:12 AM   #18
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Chris - Get to know some people who live around you. Go to a shop that sells road bikes (a small shop with high end bikes might yield better results) and ask them if they know anyone who races. They will give you the names of some people or a team. Then you can get into a car-pool to races. Joining your local club will help too.

Unless you're a **** I'm sure you can find someone with room in their car pretty easily, and if you are a **** it will take them at least one ride to figure that out.


Good luck.


On not being a dick: bumming rides is great, and got me to out of town races, including all of the big/super far away stage races, just about every weekend last year. Just don't expect to always be picked up/dropped off at your front door, don't plan on bringing extra wheels and everything you've ever owned to every race, and always be the guy who offers up gas and toll money without being asked.

If you're friendly and flexible you can make it work.
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Old 06-12-12, 09:56 AM   #19
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CDR, i often just sign the wavier myself. most of the time the registration table is far away from where we park, and i dont want to have to make my dad walk over.
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Old 06-12-12, 09:57 AM   #20
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On not being a dick: bumming rides is great, and got me to out of town races, including all of the big/super far away stage races, just about every weekend last year. Just don't expect to always be picked up/dropped off at your front door, don't plan on bringing extra wheels and everything you've ever owned to every race, and always be the guy who offers up gas and toll money without being asked.

If you're friendly and flexible you can make it work.
Yep, here in Austin, and back in Denver and Boulder, you can ride to the weekly stuff and bum rides to races all season long. Just buy the tacos and gas.
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Old 06-12-12, 10:12 AM   #21
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Just don't expect to always be picked up/dropped off at your front door, don't plan on bringing extra wheels and everything you've ever owned to every race, and always be the guy who offers up gas and toll money without being asked.
As the guy who used too drive everyone (big conversion van), I appreciated those that kicked in for travel expenses.
In turn, they got first dibs every weekend.
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Old 06-12-12, 10:40 AM   #22
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Just a handful of races are rideable for me. But luckily there's a group ride nearly every day of the week that's an easy ride from my house or office.
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Old 06-12-12, 11:04 AM   #23
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It kind of sucks, but pretty much yes. If it wasn't for bike racing, I would have no car, a convertible, or motorcycle for sure, but I'm limited to a car with a roof and some space for my weekend bike trips! I'm also feeling the pain of having a nice car and driving it a ton at the moment, done 6,000 miles in the last 3 months for bike racing.

Totally worth it though.
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Old 06-12-12, 11:06 AM   #24
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CDR, i often just sign the wavier myself. most of the time the registration table is far away from where we park, and i dont want to have to make my dad walk over.
I'd work on getting your dad to sign the waiver. It's a big deal if something happens.

A while ago I read something where a girl asks her mom why they put their shopping cart in a corral area whereas other people in the lot just left them where they parked. The mom answered, "There are people who put their carts away and there are people who don't. We put our carts away."
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Old 06-12-12, 11:20 AM   #25
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What's a toll?
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