Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

"The 33"-Road Bike Racing We set this forum up for our members to discuss their experiences in either pro or amateur racing, whether they are the big races, or even the small backyard races. Don't forget to update all the members with your own race results.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 06-25-14, 12:13 PM   #126
furiousferret
Senior Member
 
furiousferret's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Redlands, CA
Bikes:
Posts: 4,669
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 109 Post(s)
I get what you are saying, but telling a Cat 5 to sit and not worry about winning, is basically telling them not to enjoy racing until they hit the 4's. If I want to do that, maybe I can just Cat up doing an MS150 ride. People are always trying to marginalize Cat 5. Despite having a crowd of less than 5 people, a course not swept or set up, no medical support, no team support, not even significant others caring to show up its still a race to the people toeing the line. We still train just like every other racer, go to sleep hungry, attend the hammerfests, obsess about power numbers, etc.

Whatever system gets put in play it shouldn't interrupt the actual race.
furiousferret is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-14, 02:40 PM   #127
grolby
Senior Member
 
grolby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: BOSTON BABY
Bikes:
Posts: 9,376
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 106 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by furiousferret View Post
I get what you are saying, but telling a Cat 5 to sit and not worry about winning, is basically telling them not to enjoy racing until they hit the 4's.
Don't be obtuse. Telling a Cat 5 to not worry about winning doesn't mean that anyone thinks that Cat 5 racers shouldn't be interested in winning or want to win races. It means that wins as a Cat 5 are not the measure of how well a new racer has learned and internalized the art of race craft. Not a single poster in the 33 has ever said a Cat 5 shouldn't want to win bike races, and if you're paying attention at all, that should be pretty clear. What is being said is that Cat 5 exists for a purpose other than providing another category in which someone can win a bike race. Every Cat 5 race has a winner. Duh. So what? That's the point. If you think arguing that there needs to be more structure to safely guide Cat 5 racers through the learning process is "marginalization," I don't really know what to tell you other than to go back and re-read the thread. You don't just go and teach someone to play soccer by throwing them into a game with a bunch of experienced players. You teach them relevant skills through drills and practices that may not bear much resemblance to the actual game. And if the student whines that this is "interrupting the actual game," you tell them to shut the hell up and do the drills, because the student doesn't actually have the experience to know the most effective way to learn the game, let alone what they even need to do in the first place. And then you synthesize by running a 15-minute scrimmage at the end of practice. There's room for drilling and scrimmage when you learn a new game. Why anyone thinks cycling should be taught purely through unsupervised scrimmages is unclear.
grolby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-14, 03:42 PM   #128
hack
Senior Member
 
hack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Folsom, CA
Bikes:
Posts: 3,338
Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 179 Post(s)
Sure, you should be trying to race hard and if possible, place well/win. However, that isn't the primary objective of cat 5. Cat 5 should be there to teach how to race hard, safely, and smartly.
hack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-14, 03:43 PM   #129
furiousferret
Senior Member
 
furiousferret's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Redlands, CA
Bikes:
Posts: 4,669
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 109 Post(s)
Typical, you toss out insults than largely agree with what I have said. This is the third time you've pulled this stunt and I've largely ignored them because its unproductive. You'll do anything to impress some people on this site.

Quote:
Originally Posted by grolby View Post
Don't be obtuse. Telling a Cat 5 to not worry about winning doesn't mean that anyone thinks that Cat 5 racers shouldn't be interested in winning or want to win races. It means that wins as a Cat 5 are not the measure of how well a new racer has learned and internalized the art of race craft.


Quote:
Originally Posted by grolby View Post
Not a single poster in the 33 has ever said a Cat 5 shouldn't want to win bike races, and if you're paying attention at all, that should be pretty clear.
It has been said. Maybe not in those exact words, but the 'doing the 10 races and getting out' seems to be the general theme.



Quote:
Originally Posted by grolby View Post
What is being said is that Cat 5 exists for a purpose other than providing another category in which someone can win a bike race. Every Cat 5 race has a winner. Duh. So what? That's the point. If you think arguing that there needs to be more structure to safely guide Cat 5 racers through the learning process is "marginalization," I don't really know what to tell you other than to go back and re-read the thread. You don't just go and teach someone to play soccer by throwing them into a game with a bunch of experienced players. You teach them relevant skills through drills and practices that may not bear much resemblance to the actual game. And if the student whines that this is "interrupting the actual game," you tell them to shut the hell up and do the drills, because the student doesn't actually have the experience to know the most effective way to learn the game, let alone what they even need to do in the first place. And then you synthesize by running a 15-minute scrimmage at the end of practice. There's room for drilling and scrimmage when you learn a new game. Why anyone thinks cycling should be taught purely through unsupervised scrimmages is unclear.
This was the point I made earlier. Cat 5 races are just another race. There are a few around the country that are supported well, but for the most races its just a money grab. Most around here start so early nothing is set up and there is nothing in any terms of any 'mentoring' or an adult version of tee ball practice (as you propose).
furiousferret is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-14, 04:16 PM   #130
caloso
Packfodding 3
 
caloso's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Sacramento, California, USA
Bikes: Ridley Excalibur, Gazelle Champion Mondial, On-One Pompino, Specialized Rock Hopper
Posts: 34,102
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 245 Post(s)
Sigh. I haven't won a race since I was a 5. Now you're telling me I wasn't supposed to try to win?
caloso is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-14, 01:12 PM   #131
Moyene Corniche
Senior Member
 
Moyene Corniche's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Connecticut
Bikes:
Posts: 207
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by furiousferret View Post
I get what you are saying, but telling a Cat 5 to sit and not worry about winning, is basically telling them not to enjoy racing until they hit the 4's. If I want to do that, maybe I can just Cat up doing an MS150 ride. People are always trying to marginalize Cat 5. Despite having a crowd of less than 5 people, a course not swept or set up, no medical support, no team support, not even significant others caring to show up its still a race to the people toeing the line. We still train just like every other racer, go to sleep hungry, attend the hammerfests, obsess about power numbers, etc.

Whatever system gets put in play it shouldn't interrupt the actual race.
No... I don't think we are on the same page. If you are racing and enjoying it only to win, then you are going to be disappointed more often than not. This has to be about enjoying the sport as a whole, bad days and good days. This is where a club comes in ( a well structured club, not one one based on club member status. ) one where there is mentoring for new members. Where there is a system designed to bring riders up to speed with the intricacies of racing.
You cannot race well without the needed skills. Riding a bike and racing a bike comprise a very different set of skills. Which can only be achieved with a lot of training. Bike handling is key when conditions are less than ideal, the competitors are stronger than you anticipated and the course is plainly a challenge. Cat 5 is a learning phase, we all had to go thru the phase at one point. Looking at it on the positive/productive spectrum of What can I get out of this ? rather than " This isn't good or that isn't what it should be" will only shut you off from observing critical subtleties.
You couldn't put a NASCAR driver in an FI car at the Monaco Grand-Prix and expect that it will be a win. More like a carnage. Not being offensive but there are vital skills to be learned at the Cat 5 level and no one is exempt.
I read the other posts and I beg to differ. As you rise up the Categories, there are various skill sets needed that demand to be not only learned and ingrained but also refined.

Racing a closed circuit Crit isn't like racing at Killington Stage Race where in the circuit race finish, it's an all-out sprint downhill at 70+kph, or descending from Brendon Gap attempting to bridge. Or riding in a crosswind echelon in the pouring rain at full gas.
Sorry the race course isn't swept clean or the support isn't there or whatever. Bike racing is really about attrition and the one's that can adapt to the challenges will do well.
I rarely have raced on a course that is 100% prepared, smooth pavement, no glass, no sand, no annoying potential canines or suicidal squirrels.
It's all part of the fun and enjoying the moment. Some promoters are great at providing a well designed, safety conscious race course. Other's, not so much. ( I was a Promoter so I'm speaking from both viewpoints. ) Also bear in mind that often what a city or town promises to have repaired or prepared for race day doesn't always happen, as a matter of fact, I was more surprised when they came thru then not.

Look at the big picture, sweating the small stuff like solo support, logistics challenges etc.. is no different than what everyone else goes thru racing. Be it here or at some small race in a petit patelin in France.
Moyene Corniche is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-14, 02:16 PM   #132
grolby
Senior Member
 
grolby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: BOSTON BABY
Bikes:
Posts: 9,376
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 106 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by furiousferret View Post
Typical, you toss out insults than largely agree with what I have said. This is the third time you've pulled this stunt and I've largely ignored them because its unproductive. You'll do anything to impress some people on this site.
Okay, first of all, if "don't be obtuse" is so insulting that you need to break out that amateur psychoanalysis about my putative motives, I suggest you step back from the keyboard and take a deep breath. You came out with a complaint that Cat 5 racers are being told not to race for the win, in fact that they are being told not to even have fun. It's a complaint so absurd that "don't be obtuse" didn't seem all that strong to me. But hey, I'm not here to hurt your feelings, okay? I'm sorry.

Second, I don't think we largely agree, but it's hard to say because the points you're trying to make are unclear to me. Do you think Cat 5 needs more support and more instruction, or not? Because demanding that alterations (which aren't really in the cards at USAC anyway) not interrupt the "actual race" sounds like you think more structured clinics and the like are just no fun because it's not really racing somehow. Complaining about lack of attention is, well, not exactly the opposite side, but more structure would require more attention from officials.

Quote:
Originally Posted by furiousferret View Post
It has been said. Maybe not in those exact words, but the 'doing the 10 races and getting out' seems to be the general theme.
There is a diversity of opinions on whether you should do 10 and get out right away or stay in Cat 5 until you feel comfortable, or if there should be some kind of individual discretion involved by upgrade officials. But ain't nobody saying you shouldn't try to win if you want, only that it isn't the objective of racing in the category.


Quote:
Originally Posted by furiousferret View Post
This was the point I made earlier. Cat 5 races are just another race. There are a few around the country that are supported well, but for the most races its just a money grab. Most around here start so early nothing is set up and there is nothing in any terms of any 'mentoring' or an adult version of tee ball practice (as you propose).
It sounded a heck of a lot more to me that your point was that everyone is telling the Cat 5 racers not to try to win their races. Which they aren't. Then there was your justifying point about how no one pays any attention to the 5s, which I get, but which seems kind of orthogonal to the question of whether you should be wanting to win or not. All I can tell you is that no is ever going to give a crap about the result of the Cat 5 race except the people in it. But you know, so what, because that's also true of the result of the Cat 4 race, the Cat 3 race, most of the time the Cat 2 and Cat 1 races as well. If the Cat 5 racers are being treated more poorly as customers (lack of medical support, no course set up, whatever) than the rest, that's a problem with the promoter, sure. No argument there. It also has not been the standard practice to treat Cat 5s that poorly in the places I've raced. But I've raced primarily in two regions, the Southeast and the Northeast, so my base of experience is totally insufficient to say what the level of support given Cat 5 races is across the country. What about you?

I guess what I want to know is, what exactly ARE you trying to say? Okay, you think Cat 5 is marginalized. What do you think needs to change? You seem to be saying that insisting that Cat 5 should have a greater focus on learning would be further marginalizing it - is that accurate? If not, I'm really not seeing what you are unhappy about in this discussion.
grolby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-14, 02:19 PM   #133
lsberrios1 
Senior Member
 
lsberrios1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Atlanta GA
Bikes: '13 Spech Roubaix SL4 Expert
Posts: 2,495
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 25 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by caloso View Post
Sigh. I haven't won a race since I was a 5. Now you're telling me I wasn't supposed to try to win?
No, but those wins didn't count for anything in anybody's life.
__________________
Cat 6 going on PRO....
lsberrios1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-14, 02:56 PM   #134
Ygduf 
\_(ツ)_/
 
Ygduf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Redwood City, CA
Bikes: aggressive agreement is what I ride.
Posts: 9,686
Mentioned: 30 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 243 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by lsberrios1 View Post
No, but those wins didn't count for anything in anybody's life.
If you're not earning a living from racing, your wins basically don't count for anything.
__________________

strava.com/athletes/ygduf
Ygduf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-14, 02:59 PM   #135
lsberrios1 
Senior Member
 
lsberrios1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Atlanta GA
Bikes: '13 Spech Roubaix SL4 Expert
Posts: 2,495
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 25 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ygduf View Post
If you're not earning a living from racing, your wins basically don't count for anything.
Not true! I get paid in ego dollars.
__________________
Cat 6 going on PRO....
lsberrios1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-14, 03:11 PM   #136
Ygduf 
\_(ツ)_/
 
Ygduf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Redwood City, CA
Bikes: aggressive agreement is what I ride.
Posts: 9,686
Mentioned: 30 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 243 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by lsberrios1 View Post
Not true! I get paid in ego dollars.
But cat 5 ego dollars are the richest, so we're back where we started.
__________________

strava.com/athletes/ygduf
Ygduf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-14, 04:40 PM   #137
shovelhd
Senior Member
 
shovelhd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Western MA
Bikes: Yes
Posts: 15,596
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ygduf View Post
But cat 5 ego dollars are the richest, so we're back where we started.
Who made you king?
shovelhd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-14, 11:57 PM   #138
aaronmcd
Senior Member
 
aaronmcd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: SF Bay Area, CA
Bikes: Cervelo S5
Posts: 2,564
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 99 Post(s)
Holy smokes, Grolby. From what I read, the whole point was that some posts - and I noticed it as well - were basically giving off the impression that the goal of a race is not to win, if you're a cat 5. Thus insinuating cat 5 races are just "meh, cat 5 isn't really a race".

Caloso, I haven't won a race since cat 5 either. But I guess that was only a few months ago haha
aaronmcd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-14, 05:35 AM   #139
shovelhd
Senior Member
 
shovelhd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Western MA
Bikes: Yes
Posts: 15,596
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
It's amazing how stuff can be twisted around to suit ones opinions. I've been vocal on this topic because I've had a stake in improving Cat5 for others. Let me see if I can spell it out clearly.

A Cat5 race is a race. Of course you should race to win.
The win doesn't count for much of anything from the USAC perspective. You could finish last and get the same treatment.
Cat5 is under served and poorly supported by USAC due to a lack of institutional formal learning programs.
Cat5 is a free pass category. It is the only racing category where a rider can discover their strengths and weaknesses under race conditions without paying a penalty for it. Too many riders focus on the win and learn nothing about themselves.
Riding away from the field to win a Cat5 race only proves you are stronger than everyone else.
Upgrading stronger Cat5 racers early is a mistake. The chances are high that they will become a hazard in the upper categories.
shovelhd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-14, 06:00 AM   #140
gsteinb
out walking the earth
 
gsteinb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: teh Jersey
Bikes:
Posts: 19,947
Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 91 Post(s)
le sigh
gsteinb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-14, 06:09 AM   #141
globecanvas
Ninny
 
globecanvas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: The Gunks
Bikes:
Posts: 4,499
Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 169 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
A Cat5 race is a race. Of course you should race to win.
The win doesn't count for much of anything from the USAC perspective. You could finish last and get the same treatment.
Cat5 is under served and poorly supported by USAC due to a lack of institutional formal learning programs.
Cat5 is a free pass category. It is the only racing category where a rider can discover their strengths and weaknesses under race conditions without paying a penalty for it. Too many riders focus on the win and learn nothing about themselves.
Riding away from the field to win a Cat5 race only proves you are stronger than everyone else.
Upgrading stronger Cat5 racers early is a mistake. The chances are high that they will become a hazard in the upper categories.
I strongly agree with all of this... except for the sentence in bold. Unless you are an exceptional racer (or unless you are extremely selective about which races you do), there will always be races that you just don't have a chance of winning, either because the course doesn't suit you or because the competition is too strong. In those situations you can, I think, be more creative about finding out what you're capable of, without any real penalty, other than not not winning in a different way from how you would have not won if you had raced by the book.

I've mentioned this before, but the current NYC area upgrade coordinator is a stickler for not upgrading anybody early at any level. He gets a massive amount of grief for this but it is the right thing to do from from a racer safety, and mental health perspective too.
globecanvas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-14, 06:49 AM   #142
shovelhd
Senior Member
 
shovelhd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Western MA
Bikes: Yes
Posts: 15,596
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by globecanvas View Post
I strongly agree with all of this... except for the sentence in bold. Unless you are an exceptional racer (or unless you are extremely selective about which races you do), there will always be races that you just don't have a chance of winning, either because the course doesn't suit you or because the competition is too strong. In those situations you can, I think, be more creative about finding out what you're capable of, without any real penalty, other than not not winning in a different way from how you would have not won if you had raced by the book.

I've mentioned this before, but the current NYC area upgrade coordinator is a stickler for not upgrading anybody early at any level. He gets a massive amount of grief for this but it is the right thing to do from from a racer safety, and mental health perspective too.
We are saying the same thing. Of course there are races that one may not be capable of winning. I'd put most of my races in that category and I am an experienced racer. The penalty I am referring to in Cat5 is that if you try a kilo attack or try to start a late break or you save it all for the sprint, and fail, you don't pay a penalty as long as you finish. There are no upgrade points involved, so it is the one place you can try stuff like that under race conditions without paying a price. Given that there are so few learning opportunities in road racing, Cat5's should value the opportunity to experiment at least as much as trying to win.
shovelhd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-14, 06:53 AM   #143
Wylde06
Senior Member
 
Wylde06's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: NW Ohio
Bikes: Cannondale Six13
Posts: 1,814
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)
As a 5 I was just happy to not get pulled.

As a 4 I'm just happy to not get pulled.
Wylde06 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-14, 07:41 AM   #144
grolby
Senior Member
 
grolby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: BOSTON BABY
Bikes:
Posts: 9,376
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 106 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronmcd View Post
Holy smokes, Grolby. From what I read, the whole point was that some posts - and I noticed it as well - were basically giving off the impression that the goal of a race is not to win, if you're a cat 5. Thus insinuating cat 5 races are just "meh, cat 5 isn't really a race".
Holy smokes, indeed. I'm amazed at how sensitive this subject apparently is. Here is the last thing I have to say about this: even if the goal of a cat 5 race is not to win, that in no way insinuates, suggests or implies that Cat 5 isn't really a race. Anyone who is getting defensive about being told they weren't really racing in Cat 5 is reading things between the lines that just aren't there. I get it, cause there is a problem with people being dismissive of beginner racers generally, but that's not what's happening here.
grolby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-14, 08:12 AM   #145
Moyene Corniche
Senior Member
 
Moyene Corniche's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Connecticut
Bikes:
Posts: 207
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The discussion is once again steering back to " Winning ". For the sake of repeating myself, it is not the emphasis of Cat 5 racing. Nor should it be.
A triathlete crossing over to road racing does not result in a rider that anyone wants to be near. Simply because the required skills of pack riding are absent. That triathlete is capable of riding away from the field but it's not a drag race.
Cat 5's are similar, some are quite strong and can easily ride away, but the skill set is also absent.

As I understood the implementation of Cat 5 years ago, it was to provide an educationally based Category for new riders/racers. The Cat 4 fields was subject to a high percentage of crashes due to novice riders being thrown in at the deep end and unable to ride amidst a field of 60 to 100.
Many Cat 4's average well over 200+ miles a week in addition to racing full on. That means a peloton that moves and reacts at a level far above the Noobie Cat 5's comfort zone. A rider out of their comfort zone, into a panic mode, unable to or I should say unequipped to confront the challenge is a rider that is dangerous to themselves and everyone around them... It's not personal it's just part of lacking experience in a sport where the missing elements can and will be chaotic. Thus due to a large amount of complaints and mishaps, USAC introduced the Cat 5 group.
Thereby creating an intro Category, with a much lower entry fee scale, a much reduced race distance, max field limit at a reasonable limit.
That means a new racer can enter and race and decide wether this is for them or not. there is a much lower pressure and if the emphasis is taken off winning then the learning aspects and developmental process can be implemented.

The rate of attrition in Cat 5's is high so many don't pursue racing after an initial race. Should USAC have more implementation of programs ?
To me this is really more of a responsibility of the clubs, not the governing body. Cat-5, Cat-4 and to some degree Cat-3 are really about local regional racing rather than National preparation and the subsequent International exposure. In France, Belgium, Italy, the local clubs organize the regional system. They're overseen by the governing body but the support, mentoring, rider programs are handled by the local clubs. In addition, they all network with each other, which results in a system that is geared towards promoting the sport as a whole rather than individual clubs or teams.
Moyene Corniche is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-14, 09:35 AM   #146
TMonk
Not actually Tmonk
 
TMonk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: San Diego, CA
Bikes: road, track, mtb
Posts: 8,795
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 149 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wylde06 View Post
As a 5 I was just happy to not get pulled.

As a 4 I'm just happy to not get pulled.
go on....
__________________
"Your beauty is an aeroplane;
so high, my heart cannot bear the strain." -A.C. Jobim, Triste
TMonk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-14, 09:38 AM   #147
TMonk
Not actually Tmonk
 
TMonk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: San Diego, CA
Bikes: road, track, mtb
Posts: 8,795
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 149 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moyene Corniche View Post
The discussion is once again steering back to " Winning ". For the sake of repeating myself, it is not the emphasis of Cat 5 racing. Nor should it be.
A triathlete crossing over to road racing does not result in a rider that anyone wants to be near. Simply because the required skills of pack riding are absent. That triathlete is capable of riding away from the field but it's not a drag race.
Cat 5's are similar, some are quite strong and can easily ride away, but the skill set is also absent.

As I understood the implementation of Cat 5 years ago, it was to provide an educationally based Category for new riders/racers. The Cat 4 fields was subject to a high percentage of crashes due to novice riders being thrown in at the deep end and unable to ride amidst a field of 60 to 100.
Many Cat 4's average well over 200+ miles a week in addition to racing full on. That means a peloton that moves and reacts at a level far above the Noobie Cat 5's comfort zone. A rider out of their comfort zone, into a panic mode, unable to or I should say unequipped to confront the challenge is a rider that is dangerous to themselves and everyone around them... It's not personal it's just part of lacking experience in a sport where the missing elements can and will be chaotic. Thus due to a large amount of complaints and mishaps, USAC introduced the Cat 5 group.
Thereby creating an intro Category, with a much lower entry fee scale, a much reduced race distance, max field limit at a reasonable limit.
That means a new racer can enter and race and decide wether this is for them or not. there is a much lower pressure and if the emphasis is taken off winning then the learning aspects and developmental process can be implemented.

The rate of attrition in Cat 5's is high so many don't pursue racing after an initial race. Should USAC have more implementation of programs ?
To me this is really more of a responsibility of the clubs, not the governing body. Cat-5, Cat-4 and to some degree Cat-3 are really about local regional racing rather than National preparation and the subsequent International exposure. In France, Belgium, Italy, the local clubs organize the regional system. They're overseen by the governing body but the support, mentoring, rider programs are handled by the local clubs. In addition, they all network with each other, which results in a system that is geared towards promoting the sport as a whole rather than individual clubs or teams.
Trying to win a race is usually an educational experience. Except, of course, for said example of supa-strong triathlete riding away from the field. Like others here have suggested, I support new racers experimenting with race winning tactics, especially when it involves optimizing bike handling and pack skills, which it does in most cases.

Also the fitness difference between competitive 5's and 4's (and even cat3's IME) is negligible.
__________________
"Your beauty is an aeroplane;
so high, my heart cannot bear the strain." -A.C. Jobim, Triste
TMonk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-14, 09:46 AM   #148
hack
Senior Member
 
hack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Folsom, CA
Bikes:
Posts: 3,338
Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 179 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moyene Corniche View Post
The discussion is once again steering back to " Winning ". For the sake of repeating myself, it is not the emphasis of Cat 5 racing. Nor should it be.
A triathlete crossing over to road racing does not result in a rider that anyone wants to be near. Simply because the required skills of pack riding are absent. That triathlete is capable of riding away from the field but it's not a drag race.
Cat 5's are similar, some are quite strong and can easily ride away, but the skill set is also absent.

As I understood the implementation of Cat 5 years ago, it was to provide an educationally based Category for new riders/racers. The Cat 4 fields was subject to a high percentage of crashes due to novice riders being thrown in at the deep end and unable to ride amidst a field of 60 to 100.
Many Cat 4's average well over 200+ miles a week in addition to racing full on. That means a peloton that moves and reacts at a level far above the Noobie Cat 5's comfort zone. A rider out of their comfort zone, into a panic mode, unable to or I should say unequipped to confront the challenge is a rider that is dangerous to themselves and everyone around them... It's not personal it's just part of lacking experience in a sport where the missing elements can and will be chaotic. Thus due to a large amount of complaints and mishaps, USAC introduced the Cat 5 group.
Thereby creating an intro Category, with a much lower entry fee scale, a much reduced race distance, max field limit at a reasonable limit.
That means a new racer can enter and race and decide wether this is for them or not. there is a much lower pressure and if the emphasis is taken off winning then the learning aspects and developmental process can be implemented.

The rate of attrition in Cat 5's is high so many don't pursue racing after an initial race. Should USAC have more implementation of programs ?
To me this is really more of a responsibility of the clubs, not the governing body. Cat-5, Cat-4 and to some degree Cat-3 are really about local regional racing rather than National preparation and the subsequent International exposure. In France, Belgium, Italy, the local clubs organize the regional system. They're overseen by the governing body but the support, mentoring, rider programs are handled by the local clubs. In addition, they all network with each other, which results in a system that is geared towards promoting the sport as a whole rather than individual clubs or teams.
I think these are fine ideas, but I don't see this happening without a major effort from USAC. From this thread alone, it is clear that the implimentation of Cat 5 is quite variable across the country with many (maybe most??) race coordinators being content to let Cat 5's be an early morning nuissance and nothing more. Also, with the lack of existing organization and race entry requirements, I think it would be a difficult sell to get the triathletes or first time racers to buy into the notion that while they're strong enough to ride away from the field that they shouldn't as that isn't the point of Cat 5. I could see the triathletes or new racers confused or frustrated by the notion that they're effectively paying for a group ride. Perhaps there could be additional incentive like having a couple of "mentors" ride with the pack and effectively grading the performance (rather safety) of each rider during the race and requiring the racers to have some number (5??) of mentor approvals before moving up to Cat 4.

Keep in mind, I'm on the same page in that Cat 5 should be where you learn, but that is on'y something I've become aware of now that I'm out of Cat 5. When I was a 5 I was hellbent on winning the race because in my mind that is what I was there to do, race. While my Cat 5 racers were mentored and had a post-race debrief, our pre-race instructions were limited to something along the lines of "be safe, go at the whistle". There was minimal discussion regarding "you're here to learn", "work as a group", and so on. One on occasion, I think I mentioned it in here earlier, I watched a race official gather up all the dropped Cat 5's, re-group them, and gave them stern instruction that they were to stay together and work together as they had already lost the "race" and they were there to learn. I haven't seen a similar approach from other officials before or after that incident though.

Lastly, regarding the notion that clubs should be more in control, do you mean local race associations (e.g., Northern California and Nevada Cycling Association [NCNCA]) or actual clubs like Bob's Club and Race Team? I could see some conflict if it was left in the hands of the club/race teams as each team may have different approaches to racing and while we're all adults, I don't foresee people always getting on the same page.
hack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-14, 09:48 AM   #149
hack
Senior Member
 
hack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Folsom, CA
Bikes:
Posts: 3,338
Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 179 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wylde06 View Post
As a 5 I was just happy to not get pulled.

As a 4 I'm just happy to not get pulled.
I've been pulled twice (once 15 minutes into a 50 minute race), it's quite humbling.
hack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-14, 09:57 AM   #150
TMonk
Not actually Tmonk
 
TMonk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: San Diego, CA
Bikes: road, track, mtb
Posts: 8,795
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 149 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by hack View Post
...and while we're all adults...
let's not get ahead of ourselves here.
__________________
"Your beauty is an aeroplane;
so high, my heart cannot bear the strain." -A.C. Jobim, Triste
TMonk is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:08 PM.