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Old 10-07-10, 12:42 PM   #1
Andy_K 
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First year racers

I've seen a lot of posts recently from people in their first year of racing. That's awesome.

If you're one of these (or even if your not), would you consider posting anything you'ved learned on the "Tips for Newbies" thread? Veteran racers, it seems, have the basics down so well that they avoid the common newbie mistakes without even thinking about what they're doing. Newbies, on the other hand, learn a lot by doing things wrong.

Thanks!
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Old 10-07-10, 03:47 PM   #2
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For my first race I was most wooried about getting lapped and pulled from the course. I did get lapped, but not pulled. Seems that's only in the UCI races.
I'm actually not at all worried about my technique on barriers or runups or the like. I'm not going to lose any relevant time or places there. My big problem is overall lack of fitness.
In the races I've been in I've done 4 and 5 laps; so I don't worry about the obstacles - I just need to ride.
I've been lapped in both races I've been in - by all of the field except one in one of the races.
I've been at least a minute and a half behind the next person in front of me and 20 seconds ahead of the only person I think I've finished ahead of.
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Old 10-07-10, 08:09 PM   #3
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This is my first season, three races so far, and three or four to go. I've learned a tremendous amount each race. I'll be sure to post in the newbie thread, a great resource to be sure.
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Old 10-08-10, 06:44 PM   #4
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My first year as well. I was surprised by the sandbagging in the CAT4 races. As a newbie, I was a little frustrated because there were guys in my races who clearly should have been in the CAT 1,2,3 race but wanted a shot at getting on the podium. The problem is that it means folks like me who are new to CX racing get lapped and pulled if it's a UCI race.
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Old 10-08-10, 07:48 PM   #5
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My first year as well. I was surprised by the sandbagging in the CAT4 races. As a newbie, I was a little frustrated because there were guys in my races who clearly should have been in the CAT 1,2,3 race but wanted a shot at getting on the podium. The problem is that it means folks like me who are new to CX racing get lapped and pulled if it's a UCI race.
I don't know about sandbagging in my races, but there is a clear difference between the top ten and the rest of the field. I assume they are road racers who are new to cross. Lets hope they move up categories and leave the CAT4's to us normals later in the season.
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Old 10-08-10, 10:57 PM   #6
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Well, the beginner races are supposed to introduce you to what CX racing is like, and as much as I hate to say it, you're going to see that pattern repeated at every level until Cat 1. We had a guy in the beginners races last year that took three wins and four seconds (in only 7 races) before he was asked to upgrade. This year, I moved up to Master C and there was a guy there who put up 4 wins, a third and a sixth in the first 6 races before being upgraded. The Master B's have a similar story. I haven't really paid attention to the other groups, but I expect it's something similar. Even in the A's Ryan Trebon or Barry Wicks come out every now and then and humiliate the rest of the field.
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Old 10-11-10, 08:17 PM   #7
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The sandbagging aspect is frustrating and I think the forced upgrades should be more readily enforced. I really do not see this being done in my area. I can see why the B's do it since when you move up from there most will never have a shot at winning again, but beating on the guys in the 4's is rather sorry.
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Old 10-12-10, 10:39 AM   #8
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Yeah, I don't quite understand it. The way I see it, first place in the C's is last place + 1 in the B's. We've got people here who say that if you're not finishing in the top 20 they do see why you'd bother racing. Our Master C's had 212 racers in a recent race. Either we need a whole lot more categories, or somebody needs a math lesson. The trouble is, the upper cats aren't small either, so just making 100 people cat up wouldn't really solve anything. The fact is, we get over 1000 participants almost every Sunday. Most of us are never going to win a race.
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Old 10-12-10, 06:16 PM   #9
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First race was last Saturday. I learned:

Practicing dismount/remount really helped. Just watched a few videos, and got my form down in an hour or so.

Get there early and make a few practice laps on the course.

Water bottles fall off easily.

Open 40+ masters category not for beginners.

My maximum possible heart rate.
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Old 10-12-10, 09:22 PM   #10
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My first year.

Been doing alright... Spent my first two races without any foot retention system. Finally got the eggbeaters. Works great; wasn't absolute hell without them, but do recommend them. Some of the terrain is rough and sometimes my feet would bounce off the pedals, among all the other obvious advantages.

Been racing on a one-day license.

Haven't had a single problem with dismounting and hurdling. :dunno

It's fun.
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Old 10-13-10, 09:43 AM   #11
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First place in C's is clearly not last place in B's. the guys winning the C races woud probably finish top 10-20 in the B races or atleast thats what our local practices have shown. There are also things to be said about practicing winning races. Some one is always going to win the C races and they can't all be sandbaggers. Sandbagging shouldn't even exist.The rules should be set for each catagory and then you race the lowest level until you win your self out of it. They are force upgrading people around here that are obvously tallented so the system is working just fine. There will always be fast roadies or tri people who start cross each year and wind up being fast.
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Old 10-13-10, 11:45 AM   #12
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First place in C's is clearly not last place in B's. the guys winning the C races woud probably finish top 10-20 in the B races or atleast thats what our local practices have shown.
Oh yeah, that's definitely true. I don't know what your group sizes are like, but we had a guy locally who won three straight Master C races (one with 212 riders), was given a mandatory upgrade and finished fourth of 80 in the Master B's. Obviously, he could have upgraded sooner. I think he could be competitve in the Master A's.

What I was saying about first in C being last+1 in B was meant to be a commentary on the prestige, not the ability required. If you can compete with the B's, race with the B's for crying out loud. I do hear what you're saying about needing to learn the particulars of winning a race. That's obviously valid. I'm not sure that you need to learn that in the C's before stepping up to B, but whatever.

My actual point, before I started whining, was that this is just the way things are. I really have come to accept it. I wouldn't be winning unless 80% of the guys in my category upgraded and all the guys in the category below me stayed there, so it doesn't really matter in terms of my results. It's really my OCD tendencies. I just want to see things ordered properly. There are people in the B races that I think should cat down.

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Old 10-19-10, 09:23 AM   #13
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What have I learned in year 1 of X? It's more fun that the years of MTB racing. I can't believe the lack of bike handling some X racers have. Lower pressure even in clinchers is better. If I could afford it, I would so rock tubulars. Barriers and dismounts are not an issue.

It's like crit racing but off-road and more fun.

Elbows are thrown, people get mad and fights may happen.

JPOW is even more awesome in person.
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Old 10-19-10, 09:23 AM   #14
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oh and it's not a cat1,2 or 3's fault for starting off as a Cat4 X racer. That's the way the game is played. Now, sitting there not upgrading when you have that kind of talent IS a problem.
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Old 10-26-10, 07:36 PM   #15
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the sandbaggers have to live with themselves, but then, that's the problem...they don't mind or they don't really stop and look at themselves...something like that. these cat 4 turbo-sonics who lap half of the field in two laps can just go around me...i am a moving obstacle. if you don't like it, enter the race that allows you to actually COMPETE...

i actually slowed down at Granogue (last lap) for a small group to pass...it was at a really technical twist around a tree... one dude said keep going...other folks took advantage of my slow-down offer and easily passed....i then happily obliged him (by moving on, rather awkwardly around the turn) and inadvertently blocked him from making his move. i tried to help....!
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Old 10-27-10, 07:41 AM   #16
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At UCI3 and USGP, they were pulling lapped riders even in the 4s but talk about sandbagger. There is a junior rider that has been racing cat4 for 2 season now and winning. For whatever reason, USA Cycling isn't giving him the mandatory upgrade. I think he was a past US Champ in the JRs too. Hell, he might be 15.
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Old 10-27-10, 08:06 AM   #17
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Sandbagging makes the forced pulling that seems to be popular this year more draconian. Basically, it should be one top 5 and your out of the 4s. The guys who are on the podium in the C races around here know how to win - they're usually winners from crits and road races.

There will always be new, super fast guys coming up through the ranks - but I've seen those guys and as soon as they're doing well, they upgrade. That is not the problem. It's the guys winning Cat3 races on the road (or yes even Cat1, I've seen it), who shouldn't be there beyond one or two races to get their bearings (which I doubt they really need).
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Old 10-27-10, 12:46 PM   #18
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I'm glad they are not pulling lapped riders in ths SCPS circuit. In my first race I just held off being lapped twice.
I've been lapped every race, once by the entire field minus one.
Getting pulled would seriously cut my enjoyment.

Now, watching half the field get pulled in the UCI race I watched was a different thing - some of them seem relieved.

BTW I'm a first year Cat 4
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Old 10-27-10, 01:34 PM   #19
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Yeah, I don't quite understand it. The way I see it, first place in the C's is last place + 1 in the B's. We've got people here who say that if you're not finishing in the top 20 they do see why you'd bother racing. Our Master C's had 212 racers in a recent race. Either we need a whole lot more categories, or somebody needs a math lesson. The trouble is, the upper cats aren't small either, so just making 100 people cat up wouldn't really solve anything. The fact is, we get over 1000 participants almost every Sunday. Most of us are never going to win a race.
Your area needs two day races or new categories. That seems like way too many people. While fun, it could be better with less at a time. Newbies could have their own race cats, 3+ year veterans could have their own group of categories etc?
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Old 10-27-10, 03:29 PM   #20
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I'm lobbying for an over-40, under 5'10", over 200 lb, 20+ lb bike category. I might be able to make the top 50 there.
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Old 10-27-10, 06:33 PM   #21
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actually i was thinking, andy, that there should be a vintage bike category...or at least 20 year, 20+ pound CAT races!

glad to be doing my first 'halloween' race saturday....i'll go hard, but have a little more fun with my 17 year old, 20+ pound bike
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