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  1. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
    I think the doping thing and masters is greatly over rated. Yes there are dopers. Masters is hard though because it's dominated by guys who are ones, ex pros, ex Olympians. If you're a three and trying to race against guys who have forgotten more than you have a prayer of knowing it's going to be a rough go. The best 45+ guy in nj is an ex national team member and former pro. He raced all over the world, and is still one of the best elite riders in the state. Masters is supposed to be hard.
    x2. sure, there are dopers, but i believe there are more people who think that everyone who wins a race -- or even finishes ahead of them -- surely must be doping.

    i'd love to see a purely clean sport at every level, but i just don't think a ton of folks are actually doing it. the "dopers" thing seems like a convenient excuse for someone who is otherwise inclined to get out of the sport.

  2. #77
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grolby View Post
    Interesting to see the growth in MTB members, toward the end. I didn't expect that.
    I'm seeing it on the blue shirt side. Lots of requests for officials for new MTB races.

  3. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grumpy McTrumpy View Post
    I might as well express my lengthy opinions on this. There, I have used the "O" word, so anything stated below should not be considered fact.


    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?

    How many of your teammates would bail on a team ride in order to do the interval sets that their coach prescribed for that day?

    And once all this is set and done, what sort of speeds are races being run at today?

    It all adds up to this: Unless you train your ass off, you may be one of the large number of riders who simply do not have much of a chance to win or even place in the money in many races. Maybe you could get away with poor fitness if you stick to flat races and learn how to draft well, but you better have a kick ass sprint.

    So people's focus is on personal achievement, fitness, power, and all sorts of "me" stuff. Bike racing doesn't reward this. Only a small percentage of the pack actually get rewards. (and you hear more race reports from those folks and far far fewer reports that simply say "I got dropped")

    Those huge numbers of riders, once they discover other sports like GFs and triathlons and running races or other events where there is no pack to get dropped from will gladly take their money to these other venues instead of getting humiliated and riding around alone, off the back.
    Having been racing for a few decades now I'm unaware of that time. Bike racing was always hard. It was and remains fun. The ride together thing still goes on, though given the differences between agendas and abilities and the reality of free time many folks find it inefficient. I know many many folks who regularly ride with teammates. Guys who ride lots and lots. Guys who ride lots and lots with others. I have virtually zero desire to train with others. I do recovery rides with teammates. Full stop. I can't think of another training ride I did with another person this year. My coach and I, should I have a team ride coming up, would schedule around it.

    That we're getting better and more regimented at training is what's improving the stock of riders.

    In the good old days, if you didn't train your ass off, and had a chance to win…it wasn't a race worth winning. We can pine for things that didn't exist, or wish the sport wasn't so challenging, I guess, but that's challenging is the beauty of the sport.

    I don't know anyone with an 02 tent.

    I can name a few guys who doped as lower cat riders. It says more about them as people, then anything trending in the sport. They're ****ed up. It's about them.

  4. #79
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    More regimented training is raising the bar, but it's also taking away some of the social aspect for those who do it. You said yourself that you train alone (as do I except for recovery). Back then I trained almost exclusively with others. That's what we did. We raced training races, and did hill climbs and time trials during the week. Every other day was recovery or off the bike. That's Grumpys point.

  5. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    More regimented training is raising the bar, but it's also taking away some of the social aspect for those who do it. You said yourself that you train alone (as do I except for recovery). Back then I trained almost exclusively with others. That's what we did. We raced training races, and did hill climbs and time trials during the week. Every other day was recovery or off the bike. That's Grumpys point.
    I don't like to speak for others, but I think Gary's point is that stuff is still happening, if you want it to. It is around here anyway.

  6. #81
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    Oh yeah. I'm sure of it. But the two conflict with each other and one didn't exist back then except at the highest level.

  7. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    Oh yeah. I'm sure of it. But the two conflict with each other and one didn't exist back then except at the highest level.
    I think you guys are right. As a newer racer back in 2008-2009, I rode almost exclusively with groups. Now, I (almost) exclusively train alone.

    I'm one of those with a power meter and a coach. At this point, I find it more rewarding (and efficient) training alone and seeing gains rather than doodling along with a group with no focus. But, I can see how that turns people off of entering, or continuing on in the sport. . . . at some point you almost have to either find a few people with similar goals or just ditch the social aspect of the riding almost entirely. I still try to get one group ride or so in per week. I'll work a group ride into a warm-up or something. But for now, improvement as a racer is trumping the social aspect. The pendulum will likely swing back the other way at some point.

  8. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    More regimented training is raising the bar, but it's also taking away some of the social aspect for those who do it. You said yourself that you train alone (as do I except for recovery). Back then I trained almost exclusively with others. That's what we did. We raced training races, and did hill climbs and time trials during the week. Every other day was recovery or off the bike. That's Grumpys point.
    I understand his point. I simply don't agree with it. No one making you train any way. You want a group ride, go to or make one. I didn't find that special. I found it took more time and more time away from things that are more impor rtant to me like family and work.

  9. #84
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    Training alone just sounds awful sisyphean. Don't know how you guys do it. I train with groups, do recovery rides alone w/podcasts.

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  10. #85
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    Importantly the idea that everyone is doing this is a myth. Yes, more guys are coached, have PMs, follow a program. But there are still plenty of guys doing old school JRA programs of churning miles with their friends and racing 3-5x a week. There are races in the NY area more days than not. Most days have organized group rides as well. NY is littered with guys who do all that, especially this time of year as they all start to burn out. Some guys do real well following that program, others crack. The idea though that in the old days everyone was chums and things were easier is just made up. It's fiction. Guys did a million miles a week. I know a lot of guys who were amongst the best in the country. National team guys. Pros. In the 90s I rode 19 hours a week to be a two. When I came back ten years ago I was training up to the mid 20s a week. Having lived through it I'm not buying the rose colored glasses thing. It's fiction. Science has made things more efficient, emphasized rest and recovery, and as a result we're turning out a higher number of world class cyclists. That, as a sport, is the name of the game. And it was the name of the game 20 years ago as well. In that regard nothing has changed.
    Last edited by gsteinb; 07-02-14 at 09:55 AM.

  11. #86
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    I did 22 hours a week to be a 2. Must be why I burned out.

    More people are training alone today then back then. More people own power meters today than back then. More people employ coaches today than back then. But because some people are still training today like they did back then, then nothing has changed. Uh huh.

  12. #87
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    I said that nothing has changed in regard to the name of the game being turning out world class cyclists.

    And if you or Grumpy or some other guy don't like the way you're training the same opportunities exist to do it any way you want. That's the point.

    And really there's no data for or against the statement that more people train alone.

  13. #88
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    I promise you this: There are more guys racing on a JRA just show up program than are super regimented power meter coached guys. And those same guys aren't winning anymore today than they would have 20 years ago racing against guys training harder and doing intervals.

  14. #89
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    Grumpy and I weren't talking about ourselves. We were talking about trends. I have no problem with training alone. I do try and work in some group oriented riding during the season because doing day after day of intervals gets monotonous.

  15. #90
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    The names are irrelevant. The rides and races exist. Guys are still training that way. That's the point. If some guy like Fudgy wants to train entirely with others he does it.

    Of the 9 guys on our team three have power meters. Only two use them in any way that they're relevant.

    2 guys on our team followed structured programs.

    Only three do any sort of intervals at all.

    Guess how many of those 9 guys could realistically win a masters race.

    Knowing enough guys well I can rattle off similar statistics from other teams.

    A few guys can win. The others are riding for fun, camaraderie and exercise.

  16. #91
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    I can't even fathom training 20 hours a week - I have no time for that, and don't even have kids yet (just wife and a desk job). Plus, ingesting enough calories to not waste away would be another 20 hours a week for me. But I guess if you love the sport that much, you will make time and sacrifice other things to be successful. I would be frustrated training that much and just have someone who has better genetics beat me in a race while training a fraction of the amount of time.

  17. #92
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    That's why you're a Cat5.

  18. #93
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    That's the point, I'm new to the sport and have to decide if I'm going to stick with it. One has to make a choice to put more time and money into this sport or lead a more balanced lifestyle and only do rides with friends once or twice a week after work or on a weekend. But if other Cat 5's feel the way I do and are frustrated that you can't be a casual competitor like you can in other pick-up type sports leagues then they will drop out, and USAC fields will continue to decline, even though competition at the top gets better.

    I'd be happy riding 4 hours a week, being competitive in Cat 4 races, maybe get in a break in some races and get upgrade points. That's my current goal. Once the baby comes along riding may go down to once a week instead of my usual three rides a week; we'll see if I am motivated enough to purchase a trainer for the winter.

  19. #94
    Senior Member hack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gramercy View Post
    I can't even fathom training 20 hours a week - I have no time for that, and don't even have kids yet (just wife and a desk job). Plus, ingesting enough calories to not waste away would be another 20 hours a week for me. But I guess if you love the sport that much, you will make time and sacrifice other things to be successful. I would be frustrated training that much and just have someone who has better genetics beat me in a race while training a fraction of the amount of time.
    Can you commute to work and build training into the commute?

    I think this is where a structured more efficiently focused training plan would be beneficial. If you have limited time to train, then you need to maximize that training (be it intervals or something to that effect). I ride with a couple of guys (Cat 2) from time to time that get in something like 5-7 hours a week, but these are super foucsed hours that yield great race results.

    Then you have the other end of the spectrum type of guys that are just natural athletes. I'll ride from time to time with guys like this that train 2-3 hours a week, yet they can still just destroy races/rides/etc.

    I fall in the limited training window and I DO NOT maximize that window. I need to sit down and develop a plan (either solo or with some paid guidance) to really take advantage of the time I do have.
    Cat 2 upgrade status: never

  20. #95
    **** that mattm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gramercy View Post
    I can't even fathom training 20 hours a week - I have no time for that, and don't even have kids yet (just wife and a desk job). Plus, ingesting enough calories to not waste away would be another 20 hours a week for me. But I guess if you love the sport that much, you will make time and sacrifice other things to be successful. I would be frustrated training that much and just have someone who has better genetics beat me in a race while training a fraction of the amount of time.
    Don't worry, I can't fathom it either.
    cat 1.

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  21. #96
    These Guys Eat Oreos Creatre's Avatar
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    I don't know anyone that rides 20 hours a week consistently. Few times a year sure.
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  22. #97
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    I probably average 8 hours a week.

  23. #98
    Senior Member grolby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gramercy View Post
    That's the point, I'm new to the sport and have to decide if I'm going to stick with it. One has to make a choice to put more time and money into this sport or lead a more balanced lifestyle and only do rides with friends once or twice a week after work or on a weekend. But if other Cat 5's feel the way I do and are frustrated that you can't be a casual competitor like you can in other pick-up type sports leagues then they will drop out, and USAC fields will continue to decline, even though competition at the top gets better.

    I'd be happy riding 4 hours a week, being competitive in Cat 4 races, maybe get in a break in some races and get upgrade points. That's my current goal. Once the baby comes along riding may go down to once a week instead of my usual three rides a week; we'll see if I am motivated enough to purchase a trainer for the winter.
    It doesn't take 20 hours a week to be a casual competitor in this sport.

  24. #99
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    One needs intensity and efficiency in increased measures the faster one wants to be on less time.

  25. #100
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    I've never done a 20 hour week, I don't win much though so maybe I should.

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