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  1. #1
    EuroJosh's Avatar
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    First race, Masters 35+ a bad idea?

    I'm participating in my first cross race this weekend (Fort Yargo,GA). I'm fighting some internal indecision as to what race to do, cx4 or masters 35+. I'm leaning towards doing the masters race, how much more hellish can the extra fifteen min. be?

    I know I should be able to answer this myself, just trying to clear the butterflies before the suffering. As a matter of pride is it better to get an butt whooping from young punks or old hard asses?
    T A R C K B I K E . C O M

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    cxmagazine dot com pitboss's Avatar
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    Hey Josh, I have heard from a few racers about doing this, and also doing both. My stamina levels are not up to racing bith 30+M and Cat4s, so I have only raced a Cat4. I am pretty sure that my abilities at this time are not suited to hang with guys who have been at this for some time, or are just seasoned riders in general

    Next year, I am going to hit the Masters races, and possibly the 4s too. I am trying to look at this season as experience and gauging for next season, and still have a ton of fun. The fun part is easy.

    And an ass-whooping in cross for a first season rider is like waking up everyday. It just happens for 99.999% of us
    Deathlap - cyclocross, training, beer,...escape hatch

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshFrank View Post
    I'm participating in my first cross race this weekend (Fort Yargo,GA). I'm fighting some internal indecision as to what race to do, cx4 or masters 35+. I'm leaning towards doing the masters race, how much more hellish can the extra fifteen min. be?

    I know I should be able to answer this myself, just trying to clear the butterflies before the suffering. As a matter of pride is it better to get an butt whooping from young punks or old hard asses?
    I think it's irresponsible to race masters if it's your first CX. Do the beginner race. I'm not saying you'll make any rookie mistakes, but they are totally tolerated (expected) in cat 4. In masters, not so much.

    You can watch the masters race while warming up and gauge whether you're up for it the next time around.

  4. #4
    ambassador of good will *new*guy's Avatar
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    I've only ever raced masters. I think only you know best what's right for you based on your bike handling abilities and fitness.

  5. #5
    M_S
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    I don;t know about where you guys are, but here the top few masters are frequently as fast or faster than the top A racers. Just sayin.'

  6. #6
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    To answer part of your question, that extra 15 minutes can seem like an eternity That's why a lot of fast guys who can race Masters do......to save that 15 minutes they'd have to do in the A's.

    What is your riding/racing background? If you are a strong Sport or Expert-Class Mountain Bike Racer I'd say try the Masters. Or a strong Cat 4 or above with better-than-average bike handling skills, again try the Masters. But start at the back and try to hang on.

    Realistically, though, the B (or Cat 2/3) race may be a better option if you think the C (Cat 4) race wouldn't provide enough of a work out. In my experience it's usually a little slower than the Masters 35+ races and you get the full 45 (or so) minutes. This does depend on the promoter letting you race the cat you want vs. what's on your license.
    Last edited by Duane; 10-25-07 at 05:27 PM.
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    If you race the masters, you will get lapped by several steam-snorting, crazy-eyed 36YO's who've been racing for a decade, maybe two. They will magically conspire to spray mud on you. You'll get pulled from the course by a very polite official and be allowed to pedal back to your car.



    Or you can start by racing C's.
    This is the internet. If someone is being nice to you they are probably trying to **** you.

  8. #8
    EuroJosh's Avatar
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    Thanks for the imagery of doom Walleye, I was looking for a reality check like that.
    It will be C's for me.
    T A R C K B I K E . C O M

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    cxmagazine dot com pitboss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walleye View Post
    If you race the masters, you will get lapped by several steam-snorting, crazy-eyed 36YO's who've been racing for a decade, maybe two. They will magically conspire to spray mud on you. You'll get pulled from the course by a very polite official and be allowed to pedal back to your car.



    Or you can start by racing C's.
    now that is a good description!
    Deathlap - cyclocross, training, beer,...escape hatch

  10. #10
    Tiocfáidh ár Lá jfmckenna's Avatar
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    I thought I was strong before I raced my first race and I raced the "B" race. I came in second...... Second to LAST that is . So I started racing "C's" and had a great time because I could at least be competitive and learn the ropes. Now under the new system and many more years experience I am a Cat 2 and race Masters and the Pro/1/2 races. I am competitive in Masters but get my ass handed to me in the 1/2 race. Granted it's the second race of the day but those boys are fast. My goal in the 1/2 race is to not get lapped and not come in last

  11. #11
    EuroJosh's Avatar
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    Well I went ahead and did it, raced masters yesterday. I was encouraged by three teammates (also racing masters)to give it a shot. No rookie mistakes but boy did I get my ass handed to me. The course started with a longish paved climb followed by an equally longish paved decent. I should mention that I'm running single speed, obviously at the rear of the pack by the time we hit dirt. After the pukey feeling passed I kept reminding myself how fun this is from the depths of my pain cave. Sweet relief came when the nice official told me "finished". I came in 22 out of 25, the winner only had me by two measly laps .

    Next week I'll try it again and probably run the C's as well for comparison, maybe the 45min "warmup" will give me a shot.
    T A R C K B I K E . C O M

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    Tiocfáidh ár Lá jfmckenna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshFrank View Post
    Well I went ahead and did it, raced masters yesterday. I was encouraged by three teammates (also racing masters)to give it a shot. No rookie mistakes but boy did I get my ass handed to me. The course started with a longish paved climb followed by an equally longish paved decent. I should mention that I'm running single speed, obviously at the rear of the pack by the time we hit dirt. After the pukey feeling passed I kept reminding myself how fun this is from the depths of my pain cave. Sweet relief came when the nice official told me "finished". I came in 22 out of 25, the winner only had me by two measly laps .

    Next week I'll try it again and probably run the C's as well for comparison, maybe the 45min "warmup" will give me a shot.
    Do they have a single speed class? A lot of races have this class now.

  13. #13
    Just Peddlin' Along SaddleBags's Avatar
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    Good job on your first race.
    I'm a relatively newbie (9 races) and do both the Master's and C races. To give you perspective, in the 35+ race, I consistently finish in the bottom 3rd with a goal of not being DFL and not getting lapped. In the C races, I have 4 top 10 finishes (out of 5 C races). Of course, all regions vary in riders and ability.
    I used the 45-50 minute Masters race as a good "warmup" for the C race an hour later. I usually start in the back on purpose in the masters to let the more competitive guys go at it. I don't redline myself the entire time in the Master's race but still race hard. It gives me a chance to get a good feel for the course to pick/try new lines for the C race. The hour between races give me time to recover but keep the legs warm by easy spinning around the park or nearby streets. The C race is all at redline.
    It makes for a tiring day (remember I'm a master) but it makes traveling 2-3 hours for two races easier vs. just one 30-minute race.

  14. #14
    EuroJosh's Avatar
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    No SS class in Georgia, I am pretty sure I was the only single speed in the field. I did see 3-4 SSers in the C race (and one fixed!).
    I will adopt your strategy SaddleBags next week, except our C's start 15min after masters. I'll stick with masters until I DFL, hopefully I can stay ahead of the 45+ pack next Sunday.
    T A R C K B I K E . C O M

  15. #15
    Senior Member sfcrossrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pitboss View Post
    Hey Josh, I have heard from a few racers about doing this, and also doing both. My stamina levels are not up to racing bith 30+M and Cat4s, so I have only raced a Cat4. I am pretty sure that my abilities at this time are not suited to hang with guys who have been at this for some time, or are just seasoned riders in general

    Next year, I am going to hit the Masters races, and possibly the 4s too. I am trying to look at this season as experience and gauging for next season, and still have a ton of fun. The fun part is easy.

    And an ass-whooping in cross for a first season rider is like waking up everyday. It just happens for 99.999% of us
    That last sentence is the quote of the year!
    Quote Originally Posted by BikeIndustryGuy View Post
    I guess the feel good aspect of this story is that the perpetrators did this as a couple. It's nice to see people coming together with a common love of cycling and assault.

  16. #16
    Tiocfáidh ár Lá jfmckenna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfcrossrider View Post
    That last sentence is the quote of the year!
    Ha Ha HA yea thats a good one

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshFrank View Post
    I came in 22 out of 25, the winner only had me by two measly laps .
    Getting lapped is Allah telling you to cat down. Ride the cat 4 race with fresh legs and see how it goes.

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    The decision should be based, at least in part, by the field. Here in Florida it would be silly for an older beginner to race anything but his age group because more or less everybody's a beginner. The strongest 35+ guys are racing expert anyway.

    Ron

  19. #19
    institutionalized PDXJeff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshFrank View Post
    Well I went ahead and did it, raced masters yesterday. I was encouraged by three teammates (also racing masters)to give it a shot. No rookie mistakes but boy did I get my ass handed to me. The course started with a longish paved climb followed by an equally longish paved decent. I should mention that I'm running single speed, obviously at the rear of the pack by the time we hit dirt. After the pukey feeling passed I kept reminding myself how fun this is from the depths of my pain cave. Sweet relief came when the nice official told me "finished". I came in 22 out of 25, the winner only had me by two measly laps .

    Next week I'll try it again and probably run the C's as well for comparison, maybe the 45min "warmup" will give me a shot.
    Nice job Joshfrank. Better to race hard and finish 22 of 25 than to get called a sandbagger your first race out. At least now you know, and you still weren't dead f'ing last. Cross' is all about fun and racing with whoever is closest, so go ahead and race with the guys in the back of the masters, or race with some guys in the C's. Either way you're out their having fun (after the "pukey feeling" that is. - I get it too, second lap usually).

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