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Old 05-19-14, 11:56 AM   #1
Gramercy
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Focus on riding/racing or continue to play other sports?

How many of you guys play other sports? I've been playing ultimate frisbee for 15 years, and play about 4-6 hours a week during the year in a league. Since I started racing this year, (I think I have six races under my belt so far) I was considering not playing ultimate in the summer and just focus on riding. I don't ride much - I only have 800 miles this year so far, as I don't have a trainer and other things come in the way, work, family, terrible weather until about two weeks ago, etc.

If I continue to play other sports, would that hurt me in training for races? I do like ultimate, but would consider taking a few months off if I spent that 4-6 hours on the bike getting stronger. I would like to upgrade this summer, even though I'm not crushing cat 5, but it seems the cat 4's really aren't that much faster, the races are just much longer.

The problem is, once I upgrade I feel like everyone is going to be a lot stronger and the few races left in late July through the end of the year will be far too intense for my fitness level. Do you think it's worth just staying in Cat 5 for the full year and continue to play other sports, then get a trainer and try to compete in cat 4's when the races start in March next year and focus more on racing?
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Old 05-19-14, 12:00 PM   #2
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Upgrade as soon as possible, and see what you're in for. Cat 5 is not a destination; it's about learning some basic skills.

As to the other question haven't you asked it before regarding recovery? Do what you like, but everything we do in life has some consequence. That said, if you're only going to train 4-6 hours you could probably hold down another sport or two.
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Old 05-19-14, 12:00 PM   #3
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It's entirely dependent on what you want out of it. 5s/4s aren't that different, but the front of the 5s are usually front of the 4s who are as strong as 3s, etc...

You are less likely to win in the 4s, but also less likely to be around inexperienced rides that comprise the entire 5s field. You're also more likely to be more challenged and forced to learn more (drafting, timing, tactics, etc...) in the more difficult category.
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Old 05-19-14, 01:14 PM   #4
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Upgrade as soon as possible
I sort of disagree with this. I wish I stayed as a cat5 throughout my first season instead of upgrading mid-way through. The biggest factor for me were the road races in my area and actually learning to race in them. In the 5s the distances for road races are substantially shorter when compared to the 4s of the same race. The shorter distances will allow you to learn the course, learn the race tactics, and become a better racer. If you're able to hang on and compete with the 4s for a 45-60 mile road race, then by all means upgrade. If you're only doing crits, then i'd just upgrade as there's not a huge difference IMO for shorter distances. The 4s also usually have bigger fields, so the competition is a little more advanced and experienced. The start times for the 4s are usually better, too.

The decision to play other sports or focus on cycling is something you need to come to terms with, but I chose cycling. I played Adult Wooden Baseball competitively for years and I was also an aspiring motorcycle racer (obtained the license, but never actually raced; I just tracked my motorcycle a lot and earned my license). I initially picked up cycling to train for motorcycling and then I dropped it and baseball altogether for cycling; I never questioned the decision either. Cycling (and even racing to an extent) is something I can take with me to old age and really make a life hobby from it.
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Old 05-19-14, 02:01 PM   #5
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I sort of disagree with this. I wish I stayed as a cat5 throughout my first season instead of upgrading mid-way through. The biggest factor for me were the road races in my area and actually learning to race in them. In the 5s the distances for road races are substantially shorter when compared to the 4s of the same race. The shorter distances will allow you to learn the course, learn the race tactics, and become a better racer. If you're able to hang on and compete with the 4s for a 45-60 mile road race, then by all means upgrade. If you're only doing crits, then i'd just upgrade as there's not a huge difference IMO for shorter distances. The 4s also usually have bigger fields, so the competition is a little more advanced and experienced. The start times for the 4s are usually better, too.

The decision to play other sports or focus on cycling is something you need to come to terms with, but I chose cycling. I played Adult Wooden Baseball competitively for years and I was also an aspiring motorcycle racer (obtained the license, but never actually raced; I just tracked my motorcycle a lot and earned my license). I initially picked up cycling to train for motorcycling and then I dropped it and baseball altogether for cycling; I never questioned the decision either. Cycling (and even racing to an extent) is something I can take with me to old age and really make a life hobby from it.
You don't race the 5's to win, you race them to finish your 10 races and upgrade. If you can hang with the field for 5's you can probably do it for 4's as well.
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Old 05-19-14, 02:11 PM   #6
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You don't race the 5's to win
Tell that to the 3 or 4 guys that protested the cat 5 results this past Saturday...
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Old 05-19-14, 02:40 PM   #7
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I'm not what you call a 'gifted athlete' but I'm still very competitive, so whatever I do, I go all in. For me its either be good at one thing or mediocre at a bunch.

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You don't race the 5's to win, you race them to finish your 10 races and upgrade. If you can hang with the field for 5's you can probably do it for 4's as well.
I've never understood this logic. A race is a race. Granted, its a more dangerous race, but still a race. I'm taking my time in the 5's, because quite frankly, I'm not there yet both in experience and fitness.

Teaching a Cat 5 via racing other Cat 5's is equivalent to teaching *** safety by giving a bunch of 5 year olds a loaded weapon, locking them in the room, and waiting for a shot to go off. Other than parsing out newbies and hoping they figure it out in those 10 races, it doesn't do much. An extra 30 seconds for the ref to go over crossing wheels and holding a line would be huge.

Every race I've been in there have been some really talented 5's; in a field between 10-75, beginner or not there's always going to be at least one.
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Old 05-20-14, 07:35 AM   #8
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I'm not what you call a 'gifted athlete' but I'm still very competitive, so whatever I do, I go all in. For me its either be good at one thing or mediocre at a bunch.



I've never understood this logic. A race is a race. Granted, its a more dangerous race, but still a race. I'm taking my time in the 5's, because quite frankly, I'm not there yet both in experience and fitness.

Teaching a Cat 5 via racing other Cat 5's is equivalent to teaching *** safety by giving a bunch of 5 year olds a loaded weapon, locking them in the room, and waiting for a shot to go off. Other than parsing out newbies and hoping they figure it out in those 10 races, it doesn't do much. An extra 30 seconds for the ref to go over crossing wheels and holding a line would be huge.

Every race I've been in there have been some really talented 5's; in a field between 10-75, beginner or not there's always going to be at least one.
So you're saying you wouldn't upgrade from the 5's without winning? That's not the point of the 5's....
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Old 05-20-14, 07:49 AM   #9
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if racing as a 5 or a 4 is the extent of your aspirations, and there's nothing wrong with that being all you want from the sport, then doing it part time as part of a healthy lifestyle mixed in with other pursuits is doable. but, bicycle racing is a hard sport that is difficult to do part time if you want to progress past the beginner categories. some people can, but considering scarcity of time and need to train plus recover from training, I couldn't.
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Old 05-20-14, 08:03 AM   #10
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I sort of disagree with this. I wish I stayed as a cat5 throughout my first season instead of upgrading mid-way through. The biggest factor for me were the road races in my area and actually learning to race in them. In the 5s the distances for road races are substantially shorter when compared to the 4s of the same race. The shorter distances will allow you to learn the course, learn the race tactics, and become a better racer. If you're able to hang on and compete with the 4s for a 45-60 mile road race, then by all means upgrade. If you're only doing crits, then i'd just upgrade as there's not a huge difference IMO for shorter distances. The 4s also usually have bigger fields, so the competition is a little more advanced and experienced. The start times for the 4s are usually better, too.

The decision to play other sports or focus on cycling is something you need to come to terms with, but I chose cycling. I played Adult Wooden Baseball competitively for years and I was also an aspiring motorcycle racer (obtained the license, but never actually raced; I just tracked my motorcycle a lot and earned my license). I initially picked up cycling to train for motorcycling and then I dropped it and baseball altogether for cycling; I never questioned the decision either. Cycling (and even racing to an extent) is something I can take with me to old age and really make a life hobby from it.
You are the 3rd person who i've heard that used to race motorcycles and became a cyclist. One of the guys i know who's been winning a lot of races used to race motorcycles and use cycling to keep fit.
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Old 05-20-14, 09:15 AM   #11
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So you're saying you wouldn't upgrade from the 5's without winning? That's not the point of the 5's....
The point of any bike race is racing. I'm not staying in the 5's to win, I just don't see the logic in racing a lot solely to get to a new division. I consider myself a bonafide 5 and not some guy that is just passing on. You could watch one of my videos and see my mediocre power. The past two races my bike handling skills have went up, but that's more from my coach and team weekday training crits. Being in the outskirts of Los Angeles most races are 1+ hour drive away, and I prefer to just do the local series.

I don't know how many of you guys have actually been in the 5's but no one treats it any differently than the other races. There's no special instructions, no one keeps an eye on the field, its just a race.
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Old 05-20-14, 09:28 AM   #12
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I vote for focusing on cycling.

Besides, is ultimate even a sport? You can't even run when you have the frisbee!! =]
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Old 05-20-14, 10:09 AM   #13
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unless you are getting a paycheck from a cycling team, have fun and do it all. A single focus on cycling just makes me stale and eventually tire of it, mixing up other things is what keeps it fresh. As far as peak fitness, unless you have a really good coach who really focuses on you (aka your are pro or national champ, etc) doing other things will likely just keep you balanced and in overall better condition anyways. Cyclist more than most worry way too much about cross training and other sports. I see many cyclist who will just be dead when the bear comes. I will run, they will wait and decide what type of training day it is and when their next A race is to see if they can risk running at all ... they will be caught.

Live long ... have fun ... don't ride your bike every day.
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Old 05-20-14, 10:23 AM   #14
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unless you are getting a paycheck from a cycling team, have fun and do it all. A single focus on cycling just makes me stale and eventually tire of it, mixing up other things is what keeps it fresh. As far as peak fitness, unless you have a really good coach who really focuses on you (aka your are pro or national champ, etc) doing other things will likely just keep you balanced and in overall better condition anyways. Cyclist more than most worry way too much about cross training and other sports. I see many cyclist who will just be dead when the bear comes. I will run, they will wait and decide what type of training day it is and when their next A race is to see if they can risk running at all ... they will be caught.

Live long ... have fun ... don't ride your bike every day.

rather than focus on some of the other confusion in here…do you actually think you can out run a bear?
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Old 05-20-14, 10:46 AM   #15
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rather than focus on some of the other confusion in here…do you actually think you can out run a bear?
bears sprint to 40 with no lead out.
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Old 05-20-14, 10:47 AM   #16
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rather than focus on some of the other confusion in here…do you actually think you can out run a bear?
Just gotta run faster than the other guy!
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Old 05-20-14, 10:55 AM   #17
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^^^^ This. If a bear comes and I am surrounded by cyclist ... I am going to live a long life.
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Old 05-20-14, 11:18 AM   #18
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I wear speedplay cleats specifically for faster clip-in in case of bear emergency.
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Old 05-20-14, 11:21 AM   #19
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last time I saw a bear on a ride, i was going uphill, it stood up in the middle of the road, and I turned around. since i'm still here, I concluded that I can descend faster than a bear.
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Old 05-20-14, 11:49 AM   #20
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The point of any bike race is racing. I'm not staying in the 5's to win, I just don't see the logic in racing a lot solely to get to a new division. I consider myself a bonafide 5 and not some guy that is just passing on. You could watch one of my videos and see my mediocre power. The past two races my bike handling skills have went up, but that's more from my coach and team weekday training crits. Being in the outskirts of Los Angeles most races are 1+ hour drive away, and I prefer to just do the local series.

I don't know how many of you guys have actually been in the 5's but no one treats it any differently than the other races. There's no special instructions, no one keeps an eye on the field, its just a race.
CDR has power that is worse at times than many cat 5's but he tends to do pretty well in 3/3-4 races. Why? Because he knows how to race. You don't get that by dabbling at racing and staying in a field where there's little to no potential for organization since the good people go forth. The 5's are an intro category. Do your 10 races and gtfo.
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Old 05-20-14, 12:16 PM   #21
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if racing as a 5 or a 4 is the extent of your aspirations, and there's nothing wrong with that being all you want from the sport, then doing it part time as part of a healthy lifestyle mixed in with other pursuits is doable. but, bicycle racing is a hard sport that is difficult to do part time if you want to progress past the beginner categories. some people can, but considering scarcity of time and need to train plus recover from training, I couldn't.
This. Unless you're gifted, bike racing is too hard for most people to advance very far on a part time basis.

So you've got to make tradeoffs. Personally, I'd give it at least a full season really dedicated to racing and then decide what you want to do with tha experience under your belt.
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Old 05-20-14, 12:22 PM   #22
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bears sprint to 40 with no lead out.
at how many watts?
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Old 05-20-14, 12:45 PM   #23
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bears sprint to 40 with no lead out.
Bears suck (relatively) at running downhill. Point your bike down and gtfo.

Just like Grolby gets tired of people thinking he's a climber, Bart The Bear gets tired of people thinking he's a downhiller.

[video=youtube;SLMa5-n2OVc]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLMa5-n2OVc[/video]
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Old 05-20-14, 01:01 PM   #24
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Bear on the main street in our town. When I happened to drive by there were probably 200 people just outside "the zone", i.e. a 40-50 foot radius around the tree. Traffic was stopped in both directions. I don't think I have a picture and I don't remember if I was running my dash cams at the time.


From here

The closest I got to a bear was a cub running across a field. He stopped, looked at me, turned around, and ran the other way. I thought I posted a picture of it but apparently not.

Most riders end up in the 4s or 3s. It's sort of where people end up. I think that if you upgrade to 4 then you have a lot of options open to you. You can do 4-5 races, 4 races, and 3-4 races. The latter would be a good way of testing the Cat 3 waters and give you exposure to significantly better bike handling skills, based on the 3-4 races I've done, where I've noticed unexpectedly poor bike handling skills. In fact our local Tues Night Crits are now P-1-2 and 3-4-5 (recommended) so I did the Bs last week. It was very, very sketchy, lots of weirdness, even more than a 3-4 race.

Learning to race with the "better" racers is good. It teaches you, it gives you examples of what's possible. I use P123 races for aspiration inspiration, if you will. I do 3 or 3-4 races to do well, if I'm in that kind of a season.

This year I've been barely riding. I last rode last Tuesday at the race. My next ride will be tonight, at the following week's race. Still it's fun, I enjoy it, so I'll go.
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Old 05-20-14, 07:07 PM   #25
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Playing another sport should be complimentary to both... Crosstraining would be the more appropriate description...
I returned to serious cycling many years ago to complement alpine ski racing. These days it's cycling 80% and Tennis does fit in about 20%.
Not sure if I will compete this year in Tennis ( 4.0 ) but there is offseason from cycling with both skiing and tennis.

I don't think I understand this Cat 5 mindset.. Cycling is a demanding and difficult passion but in the competitive realm the point of Cat 5 is as an intro into a controlled racing situation. It is about getting some experience and then moving up to the more demanding category of Cat 4...
If upgrading up to Cat 4 then Cat 3 and hopefully for some to Cat 2 and Cat 1 isn't the reason to race a bike then why bother ??

It is first and foremost about competition, or should be. If not then perhaps it is the wrong sport for some... Candidly I just cannot imagine wanting to stay in Cat 5 any longer then needed.. The shortest time possible the better... One of the main reasons should be as clear as daylight.
It is a field which is more than a bit risky.. Noobies racing bikes will make mistakes, and the risk factor goes up since every one is on more or less the same learning curve.
One really doesn't learn how to race in Cat 5 no matter how long one stays. It's introductory and the needed skill level doesn't appear until upper level Cat 4 and into Cat 3's. In Cat 3 sometimes you'll get to race with 1's and 2's. Another bigger step.

As for the coaching part, Why would you need a coach as a Cat 5 or really even as a Cat 4 ? The more profitable option is to belong to a well established club, one that has Cat 3's and 4's and most importantly Cat II's and hopefully a couple Cat I's. Those upper Category riders will be the one's to ask and train with on group rides... Much better than a coach... Unless you really are knocking on the door of the Cat II field than a coach is really superfluous at the Cat 5 and Cat 4 realm..
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