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    Senior Member Mi11er's Avatar
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    Question

    Saw in another thread someone saying that they would like to go from a Cat 5 to a cat 4 rider. I didn't want to hijack the thread so I am asking here. What is that?

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    USACycling license grades. You start as a Category 5 and work your way up to Cat1/Pro. The move from Cat 5 to Cat 4 is an easy one, as it only requires that you participate in a minimum number of races. After that, the upgrades to 3 onward are determined by a points system for finish places and must be earned. Some folks try to upgrade as quickly as possible and go looking for points. Others enjoy winning in a lower grade and sometimes are forced to upgrade via a mandatory system if they've accumulated to many places or wins.
    Birth Certificate, Passport, Marriage License Driver's License and Residency Permit all say I'm a Fred. I guess there's no denying it.

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    Senior Member Mi11er's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigfred View Post
    USACycling license grades. You start as a Category 5 and work your way up to Cat1/Pro. The move from Cat 5 to Cat 4 is an easy one, as it only requires that you participate in a minimum number of races. After that, the upgrades to 3 onward are determined by a points system for finish places and must be earned. Some folks try to upgrade as quickly as possible and go looking for points. Others enjoy winning in a lower grade and sometimes are forced to upgrade via a mandatory system if they've accumulated to many places or wins.
    Thank you!!

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    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    The move from Cat 5 to Cat 4 is largely symbolic. In the olden days (when I raced), it was the difference between non-licensed racing (called "citizen's class") and licensed, meaning officially joining USCF, the then-governing body, by paying an annual fee and completing paperwork. Anyone could participate in citizen's class races without having to do that, although there were still plenty of waivers to sign. So the whole process was really only emblematic of one's decision to become a "bicycle racer." After doing that, you only moved up to the other Cats through your race results.

    Today it's pretty much the same thing except citizen's class is called Cat 5 and involves getting a license, albeit a one-day license, and the name of the organization has changed (USACycling). I've often wondered if you get the same sandbaggers in Cat 5 that we used to get in citizen's class - guys who really should have been licensed and competing at Cat 4 but would rather stay with the general population and dominate there. That was a big problem.
    Craig in Indy

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    Captain Big Ring tractorlegs's Avatar
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    I used to race in "Citizens" races in the USCF days. All the other racers were glad to see me arrive because they knew there was somebody they were able to beat lol
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    A "Cat 5 tattoo" is the name given to that chain gunk mark a less experienced rider sometimes get on his/her leg (although it can happen to anyone).

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    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tractorlegs View Post
    All the other racers were glad to see me arrive because they knew there was somebody they were able to beat lol
    You and me both. My best finish ever was 3rd in an extremely short criterium. Every other race I finished mid-pack or farther back, or DNF, or was pulled by officials for being lapped.
    Craig in Indy

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    Just Plain Slow PhotoJoe's Avatar
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    And a Cat6 is slang for a Fred like me riding on the MUP.
    If at first you don't succeed, Skydiving is not the sport for you!

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    Senior Member lsberrios1's Avatar
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    How fit do you have to be to be competitive in cat 4? Something like 20mph average for 2hours with 3000 ft in climbs or more like 18mph ave with 1000ft.?
    Cat 6 going on PRO....

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    Quote Originally Posted by lsberrios1 View Post
    How fit do you have to be to be competitive in cat 4? Something like 20mph average for 2hours with 3000 ft in climbs or more like 18mph ave with 1000ft.?
    To broad a question. Flat courses vs hilly, crits vs road races, local and regional variation, good race tactics vs bad, etc. Go enter a few races and find out.

    This sticky pretty much covers the first bunch of questions you'll have:

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...s-a-tip-or-two

    Including "how to get started":

    1. Find some group rides, fast group rides. Sit in the back.
    2. Don't get discouraged if/when you get dropped from those group rides.
    3. Go back the following week and do the fast group ride again.
    4. If you're dropped a 2nd time, repeat steps 2 & 3
    5. Once you're comfortable with the group and pace (and vice versa), take some pulls.
    6. Once you're comfortable taking pulls, try some attacks (if it's that kind of group ride).
    7. Once you're comfortable with steps 5 & 6, it's time to enter a race.
    8. At your first race, repeat steps 1-6, but substitute 'race' for 'group ride'.
    Birth Certificate, Passport, Marriage License Driver's License and Residency Permit all say I'm a Fred. I guess there's no denying it.

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    Senior Member tergal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhotoJoe View Post
    And a Cat6 is slang for a Fred like me riding on the MUP.
    I was wondering where i would be placed in this system , Thanks !!
    Tact is for people who arenít witty enough to use sarcasm.

    Early helplessness is the price we pay for later brilliance. Or, at least our later capacity for non-idiocy

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    You would know it as Grade F.
    Birth Certificate, Passport, Marriage License Driver's License and Residency Permit all say I'm a Fred. I guess there's no denying it.

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    Senior Member tergal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigfred View Post
    You would know it as Grade F.
    i was thinking S because a sloth could overtake me if it wanted to .
    Tact is for people who arenít witty enough to use sarcasm.

    Early helplessness is the price we pay for later brilliance. Or, at least our later capacity for non-idiocy

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    Senior Member ka0use's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tergal View Post
    i was thinking S because a sloth could overtake me if it wanted to .
    t for turtle!
    first star on the right and straight on 'til morning
    avatar is of dame edna

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    Senior Member tergal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ka0use View Post
    t for turtle!

    I hate turtle.... bastard speed demons they are


    Tact is for people who arenít witty enough to use sarcasm.

    Early helplessness is the price we pay for later brilliance. Or, at least our later capacity for non-idiocy

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    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    I belong to the group that uses calendars for clocking my time trials.
    Craig in Indy

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    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lsberrios1 View Post
    How fit do you have to be to be competitive in cat 4? Something like 20mph average for 2hours with 3000 ft in climbs or more like 18mph ave with 1000ft.?
    Quote Originally Posted by bigfred View Post
    To broad a question. Flat courses vs hilly, crits vs road races, local and regional variation, good race tactics vs bad, etc. Go enter a few races and find out.
    It also depends on what type of racing you're doing. Road, CX, XC, DH, Enduro... Cat-4 has the widest span of skill and conditioning within its ranks; from the people just doing their first race, to those who are ready to Cat up and move into the 3s next season.
    Your best indicator is, as bigfred pointed out, to go enter a race or two and see where you stack up.

    For instance: Last season I started racing CX after 15+ years of no competitive riding. I entered 1 Beginner's race, ran away with it on the first lap with 3 others in the group, and immediately moved myself to Cat-4 in my next races. There, I was placing between 20th and 30th in a field of 100 for most races. Comparing lap times to the Cat-3s, I would have been in the bottom 30% and finishing 1-lap-down in almost every race.
    This season I stayed in Cat-4 and finished 7th overall in a 6 race series. Comparing my lap times to the Cat-3s again, when I move up next season I'll be finishing in the top 30% of the field and not getting lapped. Could I have moved up? Sure. If it was a UCI points-based series would I have been moved up after my first year? No. (The only automatic Cat up in the MFG Cyclocross series is to take 2 first-place finishes in a season. You win twice, you get bumped up.)

    Of course, in the singlespeed division where there is no Cat 1-2/3/4 breakdown, I'll be getting my arse handed to me sideways about halfway through a race by guys who are pro-caliber.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
    - Mandi M.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigB View Post
    I belong to the group that uses calendars for clocking my time trials.
    Heh. Better hope it's not the Mayan calendar.

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    Senior Member IBOHUNT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigB View Post
    Today it's pretty much the same thing except citizen's class is called Cat 5 and involves getting a license, albeit a one-day license, and the name of the organization has changed (USACycling). I've often wondered if you get the same sandbaggers in Cat 5 that we used to get in citizen's class - guys who really should have been licensed and competing at Cat 4 but would rather stay with the general population and dominate there. That was a big problem.
    Same thing happens in every sport.
    When I was into competitive 3D archery the folks that run the tournaments tried to eliminate that bit by stipulating if you win X dollars in a year you have to move up. You still have the problem of sand baggers but they only last one tournament. As I recall to move to semi-pro in ASA you had to had won $600 in Open A. Woo Hoo! Gas money to get to the next tournament just to be handed your butt.

  20. #20
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigB View Post
    I've often wondered if you get the same sandbaggers in Cat 5 that we used to get in citizen's class - guys who really should have been licensed and competing at Cat 4 but would rather stay with the general population and dominate there. That was a big problem.
    In my local (non-UCI) series, if you were in the top 10 of your category for the series finish and don't have a legit reason for not Catting up* they're actually present you with an honorary 2 pound sack of sand the next season.

    *legit reason means: broke a hip or some such thing in the off-season and you're only back on par with where you were (or less).
    If I showed up on the Cat-4 35+ line again next season, Randy would have a field day in the announcer's booth and rip me to shreds on every lap.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
    - Mandi M.

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    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
    In my local (non-UCI) series, if you were in the top 10 of your category for the series finish and don't have a legit reason for not Catting up* they're actually present you with an honorary 2 pound sack of sand the next season.

    *legit reason means: broke a hip or some such thing in the off-season and you're only back on par with where you were (or less).
    If I showed up on the Cat-4 35+ line again next season, Randy would have a field day in the announcer's booth and rip me to shreds on every lap.
    I love that!
    Craig in Indy

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