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  1. #1
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    Thinking of racing.

    I have been a cycle commuter for many years. I have recently moved closer to my job, freeing up time and making me think of racing.

    I have done a few group rides over the last 14 months and only one in the last 6 months. I am comfortable with those aspects of riding, I just need to hone my skills.

    I have been getting ready to do specific training and I have recent bought my first race bike. A 1999 Rocky Mountain Turbo, aluminium frame, carbon fork and ultegra components. I have only had it a few weeks and up to this morning only had about 50 km on it for two commutes and a test ride. I took it out for a 50 km ride this morning. I held an average of 30 km/h (18mph) for the ride (according to strava 47.5 km and 1:35 for time). I felt good on it and I felt fast, my body was a bit tired (usual for Thursday mornings). I rode alone and it was mostly flat. Is this a decent pace?

    I have started looking into clubs and race training clinics, which will not be until the spring.

    Does anyone have any club or group recommendations in the Vancouver area? I am looking for a nice group who can help me hone my skills and get ready to start racing. Or is anyone looking for a riding partner to train and help with accountability.

    I am a former university swimmer so I know what it takes training wise to be competitive and I am okay with that. I am 34 and in decent shape, I need to work on my core. I usually commute 100-150 km per week at an average of 24 km/h on a steel tourer (Surly LHT) with panniers and a kid half the distance.

    I cannot afford a power meter. I intend to get a cadence meter and maybe a HR monitor. I currently track my rides with strava.
    Last edited by joeyduck; 09-04-14 at 01:14 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member HOWSER's Avatar
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    Why wait? Throw some knobbies on that Surley and start off with cyclocross. It'll fill the void between now and spring road season. CX clinic's are in full swing in my area for new riders. It'll give you some time to hone your bike handling skills and place you in direct contact with local clubs/teams. Plus CX is a blast and quite the workout.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by HOWSER View Post
    Why wait? Throw some knobbies on that Surley and start off with cyclocross. It'll fill the void between now and spring road season. CX clinic's are in full swing in my area for new riders. It'll give you some time to hone your bike handling skills and place you in direct contact with local clubs/teams. Plus CX is a blast and quite the workout.
    I have debated that. But I think I would have to remove my fenders and racks; that is why I have not done group rides with one group on town. The leader said I could not ride with the racks. I do not look forward to having to take them on and off frequently.

    Where are you?

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    Senior Member HOWSER's Avatar
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    Yes, you'd want those racks and fenders off. How long would it take you to remove them? I can't imagine it would take someone too long. It may be worth it to spend the time for a few races. The best races are those you show up for.

    I'm in the midwest (USA). A bit far to meet up for a ride.

  5. #5
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Commuting is going to provide you with a good base and having a background in competitive sports is always a plus. One thing you can do is find a local bike shop that has a road racing flavor. Ask them if they sponsor any local teams and, if so, whether any are a good fit for new racers. Also ask them about race-oriented group rides. I would think a city as large as Vancouver has many rides to choose from.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by HOWSER View Post
    Yes, you'd want those racks and fenders off. How long would it take you to remove them? I can't imagine it would take someone too long. It may be worth it to spend the time for a few races. The best races are those you show up for.

    I'm in the midwest (USA). A bit far to meet up for a ride.
    I assumed you were not near me, just curious. From the previous exploring I have done is the CX season is winding down due to impending wet conditions and tearing up too much.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by caloso View Post
    Commuting is going to provide you with a good base and having a background in competitive sports is always a plus. One thing you can do is find a local bike shop that has a road racing flavor. Ask them if they sponsor any local teams and, if so, whether any are a good fit for new racers. Also ask them about race-oriented group rides. I would think a city as large as Vancouver has many rides to choose from.
    There are many groups; I was hoping someone had experience with one of them. I like the word of mouth (reading of text) advertising.

  8. #8
    Senior Member HOWSER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joeyduck View Post
    ...From the previous exploring I have done is the CX season is winding down due to impending wet conditions and tearing up too much.
    I can't speak for you folks up north but when it gets wet and cold is when we start ours.

  9. #9
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HOWSER View Post
    I can't speak for you folks up north but when it gets wet and cold is when we start ours.
    +1

    (Except ours starts this week and it's going to be 100F and dry as a bone, but hey whatever.)
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    Senior Member HOWSER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caloso View Post
    +1

    (Except ours starts this week and it's going to be 100F and dry as a bone, but hey whatever.)
    For the record, our first one in the region is this coming Saturday. I can't wait!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by HOWSER View Post
    For the record, our first one in the region is this coming Saturday. I can't wait!
    I stand corrected they are just getting going with one last weekend.

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    Senior Member HOWSER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joeyduck View Post
    I stand corrected they are just getting going with one last weekend.
    This CX race calender seems to have many events yet to come. Not sure how close they are to you.

    http://cyclingbc.net/wp-content/uplo...s-Calendar.pdf

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    Close enough to happen. I am just intimidated by pack riding in a race. Just one of those things I need to do to relive the anxiety of doing it.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by joeyduck View Post
    I have been a cycle commuter for many years. I have recently moved closer to my job, freeing up time and making me think of racing.

    I have done a few group rides over the last 14 months and only one in the last 6 months. I am comfortable with those aspects of riding, I just need to hone my skills.

    I have been getting ready to do specific training and I have recent bought my first race bike. A 1999 Rocky Mountain Turbo, aluminium frame, carbon fork and ultegra components. I have only had it a few weeks and up to this morning only had about 50 km on it for two commutes and a test ride. I took it out for a 50 km ride this morning. I held an average of 30 km/h (18mph) for the ride (according to strava 47.5 km and 1:35 for time). I felt good on it and I felt fast, my body was a bit tired (usual for Thursday mornings). I rode alone and it was mostly flat. Is this a decent pace?

    I have started looking into clubs and race training clinics, which will not be until the spring.

    Does anyone have any club or group recommendations in the Vancouver area? I am looking for a nice group who can help me hone my skills and get ready to start racing. Or is anyone looking for a riding partner to train and help with accountability.

    I am a former university swimmer so I know what it takes training wise to be competitive and I am okay with that. I am 34 and in decent shape, I need to work on my core. I usually commute 100-150 km per week at an average of 24 km/h on a steel tourer (Surly LHT) with panniers and a kid half the distance.

    I cannot afford a power meter. I intend to get a cadence meter and maybe a HR monitor. I currently track my rides with strava.
    In 2010 a local racer commuted for a good 6 months minimum (his car broke down in October, he didn't fix it). He came to the March/April spring series of races and cleaned up. Granted, he was a bit nutty about how much he rode (he rode something like 80 miles round trip to go to his team meeting) but the steady mileage really helped.

    When I did well in the same series in 1995 I was commuting to work a few days a week, about 18 miles to, a bit further on the way back since we took a longer route. My commuting partner (and co-worker) and I both won our respective classes.

    Commuting will give you a broad, solid base of fitness.

    However racing is about peak speeds, drafting, and being good riding groups. You can look at the race video thread in the 33 for some videos and corresponding thoughts. You'll see that newer racers tend to sit in the wind more, they make their efforts without much gain. More experienced racers tend to sit in until they need to move, they make sharp and effective moves, etc.
    "...during the Lance years, being fit became the No. 1 thing. Totally the only thing. It’s a big part of what we do, but fitness is not the only thing. There’s skills, there’s tactics … there’s all kinds of stuff..." Tim Johnson

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    "...during the Lance years, being fit became the No. 1 thing. Totally the only thing. It’s a big part of what we do, but fitness is not the only thing. There’s skills, there’s tactics … there’s all kinds of stuff..." Tim Johnson

  16. #16
    Senior Member HOWSER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joeyduck View Post
    Close enough to happen. I am just intimidated by pack riding in a race. Just one of those things I need to do to relive the anxiety of doing it.
    I wouldn't worry too much about pack riding in a CX race. You'll be bunched up at first but it'll string out quickly. That's dependent on the number of entrants though.

    You'll likely be TTing the event as a first time racer. Many people in front of you, maybe a few behind. You should at least go watch one.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by joeyduck View Post
    I have been a cycle commuter for many years. I have recently moved closer to my job, freeing up time and making me think of racing.

    I have done a few group rides over the last 14 months and only one in the last 6 months. I am comfortable with those aspects of riding, I just need to hone my skills.

    I have been getting ready to do specific training and I have recent bought my first race bike. A 1999 Rocky Mountain Turbo, aluminium frame, carbon fork and ultegra components. I have only had it a few weeks and up to this morning only had about 50 km on it for two commutes and a test ride. I took it out for a 50 km ride this morning. I held an average of 30 km/h (18mph) for the ride (according to strava 47.5 km and 1:35 for time). I felt good on it and I felt fast, my body was a bit tired (usual for Thursday mornings). I rode alone and it was mostly flat. Is this a decent pace?

    I have started looking into clubs and race training clinics, which will not be until the spring.

    Does anyone have any club or group recommendations in the Vancouver area? I am looking for a nice group who can help me hone my skills and get ready to start racing. Or is anyone looking for a riding partner to train and help with accountability.

    I am a former university swimmer so I know what it takes training wise to be competitive and I am okay with that. I am 34 and in decent shape, I need to work on my core. I usually commute 100-150 km per week at an average of 24 km/h on a steel tourer (Surly LHT) with panniers and a kid half the distance.

    I cannot afford a power meter. I intend to get a cadence meter and maybe a HR monitor. I currently track my rides with strava.
    Pace isn't what matters in races, it's all about the surges. Hard to get ready for that without just racing or doing "race rides" that simulate races.

    There's also the velodrome up there in BC, Burnaby - I believe it's covered right? That might be a better intro to the surges of racing than cx.

    Either way best of luck!
    cat 1.

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  18. #18
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattm View Post
    Pace isn't what matters in races, it's all about the surges. Hard to get ready for that without just racing or doing "race rides" that simulate races.

    There's also the velodrome up there in BC, Burnaby - I believe it's covered right? That might be a better intro to the surges of racing than cx.

    Either way best of luck!
    I got into bike racing coming from triathlon. I thought I was pretty fit because I could motor along at tempo all day long but my first crit was extremely humbling. It's a totally different kind of fitness. So I agree with the suggestion of finding race rides or checking out the velodrome.

    Also check out the BF workout cookbook sticky. They are mostly keyed to power, but you can still get a lot of value out of them with a HRM, or even just a stopwatch.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  19. #19
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    Having a big motor that you can develop from CX will help with Road Racing if you jump into a break or need to chase. Also not being thrashed at the end of a race when there's a field sprint helps a ton.
    -Cat-3-o-meter: TBD :/

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    I'd get a HRM before cadence if you can only afford one of the two. IMO cadence is only useful as a metric when combined with a PM or HRM.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattm View Post
    Pace isn't what matters in races, it's all about the surges. Hard to get ready for that without just racing or doing "race rides" that simulate races.

    There's also the velodrome up there in BC, Burnaby - I believe it's covered right? That might be a better intro to the surges of racing than cx.
    Yup.

    Burnaby Velodrome Club | Track cycling at it's best!

  22. #22
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    Yeah I used to live near it. For some odd reason track cycling has very little appeal to me. Despite its benefit. I will stick with intervals and hills.

    I have no problem swimming laps, running laps and speed skating has always been appealing to me. But track cycling not so much.


    @HOWSER I think I will take my son and check out a race in a few weeks.I see they even have kids races. Seeing them in action will help.

  23. #23
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    if you are gonna race, you better post timely, concise race reports in the appropriate thread

  24. #24
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    Without a doubt

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