Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Bikes: Rodriguez Shiftless street fixie with S&S couplers, Kuwahara tandem, Trek carbon, Dolan track
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Racing, though a nice goal, requires A LOT of motivation to carry thru. You REALLY have to want to do it. You have to possess a murderously competitive nature in order to have fun doing it. There's no "maybe give it a try." That's a recipe for disaster.
And unless you're really fit to begin with, it's even more difficult if you're 50. In Cat 5, you're racing against young guys in their 20's with a wide variation in strength and skills. And if you race masters, you're racing against guys that could ride in Cat 2.
Here's a suggestion: September is "century month." They put on lots of serious recreational rides with interesting routes, people riding at various speeds, and lots of food stops. If you've only been riding a couple of months, maybe suggest doing the Fall Colors Century Tour or whatever in your area. Sign up for the 25 or 35-mile option; don't even think about doing the 100 in miles or kilometers. Well, maybe kilometers if you are really keen and not worried about how long it takes you. This will give you and your friend a realistic goal to work towards, something to train for. And there won't be any of the tension associated with competing.