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Old 07-01-14, 09:59 AM   #51
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There are other ways than a PR to measure progress, and a PR still isn't winning. Much has been made of this difference between bike racing and running/triathlon lately, but I'm not sure it's all that important.
While it isn't winning, it is an easier method to measure progress than getting dropped by a little vs getting dropped by a lot in a race.

I think cycling has a greater investment for entry than most other endurance/racing sports. You need a decent (not great) bike, you do need some experience, you need decent fitness (you can get away with poor fitness in a running or tri event), and you need the willingness to get up early and line up (out here 5's are usually the first race around 7AM). In reality, just to get to the starting line at a Cat 5 race, you're looking at some serious time and financial commitment. Compare that to any local 5k (about same price as a crit), where you can throw on a pair of shoes and walk the entire event, and I can see why people are more inclined to take on other events. You can't go out to a bike race and soft pedal to a finish, you'd get pulled and sent home. In a tri or running event you can come out and finish whenever you want (somewhat).

Bike racing can also be a pretty intimidating venture for some. There are a few guys that jump into our local group rides that are amazingly strong riders that have no interest in racing because they say "that stuff is way too serious" or "I'm not that crazy". Little do they know that they'd do just fine in most any race.

Without a US superstar the interest has dropped considerably. Sadly, I don't think superstars doping is really a detriment to the average viewer's interest. You see PED use in all sports and people still love those other sports. But, without a superstar to root for, especially an American one, people's interest tapers quickly (see golf and the decline of Tiger Woods).

Oh yeah, add to all of this that people HATE cyclists and as a population we are collectively getting much lazier. I see fewer and fewer kids out on bikes these days as it's easier to sit on the couch and play video games. Fewer kids riding leads to a significant drop in teenagers and young adults racing.

Ultimately, I think it comes down to, as Grumpy said, bike racing is really hard. People opt out of the hard stuff for the easier stuff.
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Old 07-01-14, 10:33 AM   #52
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Reason 1: The sport is too hard*. (the asterisk* is added for whatever reason they add them now)

A long time ago, in a Galaxy called the Milky Way, there was a thing called bike racing. It was fun. You got on a team and learned how to ride together. You practiced all sorts of maneuvers and learned to corner together. You learned how to cheat the wind and even, sometimes, cheat other riders out of chances. "Training" meant riding a lot in the off season and racing a lot in the on season.

Fast forward to the "modern era" and we have zillions of coaches, powermeters, ride sharing, special diets, special supplements, special doping, altitude tents, cross training, video instruction, online and long-distance endurance coaching, etc.

And that's just for cat 4. How many riders do you personally know who are aware of what their w/kg is for a specific duration? Are they professional riders?
For #1 I don't really see how anything is different these days than it was 10 years ago.. some guys were strong 10 years ago, a lot of guys sucked 10 years ago. A PM and a coach isn't going to make anyone a super star..

I agree though that racing is too hard for many, and they find it out pretty quickly and take up sports that embrace getting dropped (like cx). I just don't agree with the "these days" sentiment.

For #2 , why isn't training more an option?
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Old 07-01-14, 10:42 AM   #53
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How's it different? Isn't choosing an inherent act of expressing preference? That is to say "I prefer that which is less dangerous."
No. You're creating a false dichotomy where it's either/or, when the case is (presumed to be) that the guy would stop racing due to perceived danger regardless.
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Old 07-01-14, 10:51 AM   #54
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For #2 , why isn't training more an option?
For many, recreational time is a limited resource.
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Old 07-01-14, 10:52 AM   #55
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No. You're creating a false dichotomy where it's either/or, when the case is (presumed to be) that the guy would stop racing due to perceived danger regardless.
No I'm not.
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Old 07-01-14, 10:55 AM   #56
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For many, recreational time is a limited resource.
I get that - but it's limited for everyone to some extent.

We pretty much all have jobs.

Guys that are winning find the time to train.
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Old 07-01-14, 10:57 AM   #57
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No I'm not.
OK. I guess more specifically when you say "isn't it the same...", that would be a false dichotomy. He's not making a choice between racing OR strava. He's made a choice to not race, but to continue using strava. There's a significant difference in causality in why he isn't racing (perceived risk vs. strava).
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Old 07-01-14, 10:58 AM   #58
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For #1 I don't really see how anything is different these days than it was 10 years ago.. some guys were strong 10 years ago, a lot of guys sucked 10 years ago. A PM and a coach isn't going to make anyone a super star..

I agree though that racing is too hard for many, and they find it out pretty quickly and take up sports that embrace getting dropped (like cx). I just don't agree with the "these days" sentiment.

For #2 , why isn't training more an option?
Your CX schtick is really getting boring. There isn't such a thing as getting dropped in a CX race, there is no peloton so you can't get dropped from something that doesn't exist. Getting dropped certainly is not embraced either, and depending on the course and official people will get pulled if they're in the way and getting lapped. What I don't think you realize is there is a very different yet significant technical skill required to racing cross and that impacts times and placements, much like mountain bike racing. You can be the strongest, but if you can't handle your bike you won't be near the front.
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Old 07-01-14, 11:00 AM   #59
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OK. I guess more specifically when you say "isn't it the same...", that would be a false dichotomy. He's not making a choice between racing OR strava. He's made a choice to not race, but to continue using strava. There's a significant difference in causality in why he isn't racing (perceived risk vs. strava).
Dude. No.
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Old 07-01-14, 11:01 AM   #60
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Your CX schtick is really getting boring. There isn't such a thing as getting dropped in a CX race, there is no peloton so you can't get dropped from something that doesn't exist. Getting dropped certainly is not embraced either, and depending on the course and official people will get pulled if they're in the way and getting lapped. What I don't think you realize is there is a very different yet significant technical skill required to racing cross and that impacts times and placements, much like mountain bike racing. You can be the strongest, but if you can't handle your bike you won't be near the front.
Beer hand ups in particular
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Old 07-01-14, 11:04 AM   #61
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There isn't such a thing as getting dropped in a CX race
This is kind of my point though. This is why guys that blow on the road LOVE cross!

Of course that isn't true for everyone, some guys are good at both, or better at road than cx, or whatever.

I hate cx b/c guys in Seattle (that coincidentally sucked on the road) would either be too "tired" from cx to train during the winter, and/or quit racing in the summer to "train" for cx.

I know it takes skill to race cx - I mean taking a beer/weed handup doesn't look easy!! Or riding in a tutu, that can't be easy either. =]
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Old 07-01-14, 11:05 AM   #62
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Sure, but "I quit because this is dangerous, I'll just do strava instead" is different from saying "I quit because it's either racing or strava and I prefer strava."
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How's it different? Isn't choosing an inherent act of expressing preference? That is to say "I prefer that which is less dangerous."
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Dude. No.
I don't know what the difficulty is. You asked "How's it different?"

The difference is: I quit racing to Strava vs. I quit racing because it felt dangerous.

I cannot be clearer.
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Old 07-01-14, 11:06 AM   #63
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This is kind of my point though. This is why guys that blow on the road LOVE cross!
They also love cycling caps under helmets.
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Old 07-01-14, 11:09 AM   #64
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The racism comes out. I thought we were supposed to be tolerant of all racers and only hateful towards century riders, commuters, single speeders (aka hipsters), Radonneurs, casual club riders, kom hunters, those cycling for weight loss, those cycling for enjoyment, and to a lesser degree Cat 5's. I'm sure I missed about 20 other categories.
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Old 07-01-14, 11:13 AM   #65
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I don't know what the difficulty is. You asked "How's it different?"

The difference is: I quit racing to Strava vs. I quit racing because it felt dangerous.

I cannot be clearer.
In your ability to be the smartest guy in the room you've missed the point entirely and that he said his point wasn't clear. Choosing to do strava over racing because of perceived danger is a choice. It is expressing a preference. /the end.
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Old 07-01-14, 11:16 AM   #66
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Has this been posted yet? https://s3.amazonaws.com/USACWeb/for...vey-Report.pdf
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Old 07-01-14, 11:25 AM   #67
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The racism comes out. I thought we were supposed to be tolerant of all racers and only hateful towards century riders, commuters, single speeders (aka hipsters), Radonneurs, casual club riders, kom hunters, those cycling for weight loss, those cycling for enjoyment, and to a lesser degree Cat 5's. I'm sure I missed about 20 other categories.
It's not a race, it's a class. I still like CX guys and slow racers and non-racers. I was just noticing some clustering effects among the groups. Kind of like how all MTB riders smoke copious amounts of weed and downhill guys are bad boys who score a lot of ladies, I'm sure.
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Old 07-01-14, 11:27 AM   #68
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In your ability to be the smartest guy in the room you've missed the point entirely and that he said his point wasn't clear. Choosing to do strava over racing because of perceived danger is a choice. It is expressing a preference. /the end.
Insulting me is a point I think. He's not choosing to do strava over racing. He's choosing, in the example, to not race but to continue doing strava. It is not either/OR. <- that's the false dichotomy
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Old 07-01-14, 11:49 AM   #69
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I'm not insulting you. You're pining for an argument where there isn't one. I'm not biting.
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Old 07-01-14, 11:51 AM   #70
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but..I just fixed popcorn.
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Old 07-01-14, 11:53 AM   #71
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Cool stuff.
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Old 07-01-14, 12:10 PM   #72
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Cool stuff.
Interesting to see the growth in MTB members, toward the end. I didn't expect that.
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Old 07-01-14, 12:54 PM   #73
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Interesting to see the growth in MTB members, toward the end. I didn't expect that.
We have a high school Interscholastic league in SoCal now that started in the last 5 years or so. I'm sure that's helping the numbers to some degree.

Maybe some of those kids will turn into roadies when they get bored with MTB.

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Old 07-01-14, 01:39 PM   #74
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We have a high school Interscholastic league in SoCal now that started in the last 5 years or so. I'm sure that's helping the numbers to some degree.

Maybe some of those kids will turn into roadies when they get bored with MTB.
Our Group Rides now have about 20 or so High School kids from the local league team. I feel like the awkward dad in Modern Family whenever I get stuck next to one on a ride. A lot of them race, some are really fast.
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Old 07-01-14, 08:17 PM   #75
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I get that - but it's limited for everyone to some extent.

We pretty much all have jobs.

Guys that are winning find the time to train.
You don't race Masters much.
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