So start off I have a few questions that after going through many threads i haven't really been clear on. I'm currently 14 years old, im 5'4 and weigh around 115 pounds(pretty light haha). I will be 15 in February so since i anticipate to join races after February. Now i started cycling during the Summer of 2012. Ever since I've fallen in love with cycling. It has taken my mind of things and has helped my knee pain. I started around August and i live in New York near the border of Connecticut(pretty hilly). Now I know what you guys may be thinking, "Hes only been doing it for like 5 months", but in no way do i plan to join a race and expect to stay with the pack let alone even place(unless i get dropped)but like i said I would like to join to see what it would be like and see what awaiting for me later on. Ive always been that go-getter type of guy, and my love and enthusiasm for the bike has grown alot since ive started.
First Question: I've looked up race events near my area and not many of them have a cat. for Juniors. So as a 15 year old, would i be able to join a race under a cat. 5 or would i have to look for an event with a junior category only? Then there are some races that have both. Which one would be suitable for me?
Second Question: I've seen in some threads they told teen racers to have the Junior Gearing configuration, my current bike has a 7 speed cassette with the smallest gear being 13T and the largest cog in the front is 52T. According to the guidelines my bike doesn't meet the Junior Gearing requirements, unless i change the cassette. Now lets say I race in a Cat. 5 does the gearing configuration still need to be like the Junior Gearing because I'm basically considered a "junior"? Or can I freely use my current bike in a Cat. 5 race? Or would i just be put into a junior category?
The third question is more of a personal question, Have you ever seen a 15 year old whenever you have raced in a Cat. 5 race? I wont lie, it would be pretty intimidating being the only teen in a race where there are people 2 or 3 times older than me, though it wouldn't stop me from joining a race; i was just curious.
Thank you for taking your time and reading this really long post but if any of you could answer it, it would be a great help!