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  1. #301
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    Thanks for the thread--I've been lurking for sometime. I will ride in the "Hell of the South" training race this Saturday (http://hellofthesouth.wordpress.com/) which is my first race in a long time and, like Dominae, would appreciate any advice (including "what the hell are you thinking" which is my wife's perceptive advice). Also, since I am far less serious (no coach, modest power numbers, etc) than the regular posters on this thread, I thought my experience might be useful for others, like myself, who are considering dipping their toes in the pool before jumping in. I will post race reports as long as they are not too embarrassing.

    I did race one season 10 years ago and by the end of the season I was midpack Cat 5 with one top ten finish. However, back then it seemed much more casual, at least in the middle Tennessee area near Nashville and the races accounted for the most of my training. Since then, I've commuted semi-regularly and done occasional group rides (I got used to being dropped when I tried to do A rides with the local racers).

    Last year I started doing some longer rides with the FOGBEES (`fat old guys on bikes'-see http://fogbees.blogspot.com/), a recreational group north of Nashville, which encouraged me to see if I could get in shape to again try some races. I've managed to develop enough fitness to do the Saturday training rides with a local team (Bikers Choice in Hendersonville, TN).

    The cat 5 HOS race is about 28 miles and, from the race profile, is pretty flat. I'm 6' and have managed to drop about 15 lbs to 177-180 lb range without much difficulty. I would like to get closer to 170 but right now I seem to have stabilized around 178. Fortunately, my understanding is that the race this weekend is relatively flat, but later races (particularly, the Highland Rim RR in May near McMinnville) do have substantial climbs and hopefully I will have a little more power and little less weight by then.

  2. #302
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Ahab: It looks like a somewhat technical loop with a lot of cornering. Since you raced before, you know how difficult the accelerations out of the turns will be and if your current level of training is ready for that. Wind may be a deciding factor where crosswinds may break up the peloton so positioning will be critical. Assume there will be a few experienced Cat 5s who know how to make the race as hard as possible and use the wind and corners effectively. Remember...only racing really prepares you for what is required for racing so the first attempts will be difficult. That is why the type of races AZ is doing is great training and preparation for his A event. If he goes OTB, he takes a time out and rejoins the group.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  3. #303
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    Hermes,
    Thanks, for reminding me about the turns--I was more focused on the lack of hills. I have been doing some interval training on my own as well as with the team training rides on the weekends and I am usually pretty good with short accelerations and recovery, it is the longer climbs (say 10 minutes or more) that I seem to need to work on right now. However, it has been a long time since I raced so I really don't know how I will handle the race intensity. If I recall correctly, the acceleration out of turns gets harder the further one is back in the pack, so I guess I should do my best to stay toward the front quarter or so of the pack as long as possible.

    There is a weekly criterium series in Nashville, but I think it starts in May. If things go badly this weekend, I may skip some of the races I had planned to try this spring and concentrate on the criterium series.

  4. #304
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Turns. They take so much out of you. You are going at an avg speed you think you should be no problem, but your heart is pounding out of your chest because of the accelerations out of the turns. So you try to maintain your speed, but the guys in front of you pick horrible lines, and if you don't follow the leader (especially at our level of experience), you can create mass mayhem. So you follow the wheel as it slows down and speeds up. And is it really going to speed up when you think it should? If so, you can start cranking early to avoid any gap in the surge. But if you do that, and the wheel in front of you doesn't? Tough choices, but you start to develop a sense of when to push...

    In my worst race, I was too tentative. I wasn't feeling strong, and there had been a crash the week before. So I didn't start cranking quick enough, which caused gaps, which snowballed into drifting back. I quite frankly embarrassed myself. Last week, I managed to be more "relaxed and alert", cranked early in the surges, which weren't as bad because the course was straighter, and I did much better. I also paid close attention to the wind. Hermes is spot on about that. There was one area where we angled into the wind, then turned dead into it. I started drifting outside of the guy in front of me to keep the shadow, then moved right behind him in the turn, maintaining the draft. Big difference, especially when nobody else was doing it! There was one guy who was good at keeping you out of his draft, especially through that section, so I passed him and grabbed a different wheel.

    I had no idea there was so much to it. This first season is a huge eye-opener for me, and I am really glad I'm doing the crit series.

    I also had a great training ride Saturday, with the fast guys again. In fact, a team pushed the pace so hard the pack splintered apart early on. After several minutes of 550w surges, and my HR right at the max, I was OTB. But I was in good company, and never had that feeling of "I should be able to close this gap." When the lead group is doing a long rise at 28mph, I know I'm not going to hold on! Sheesh.. someone was out to prove a point, is what it was. I got some great "rotating double paceline" experience, with a friend and two guys I didn't know. We were actually reeling in the front group.. until we blew up trying to maintain it! No matter how much you want to, you can't use more than your training has made available.

    I love this sport.
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  5. #305
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    Ahab, Most of the regular posters on this thread are new to racing or have been at it just a few years. This year is my 4th year of racing. For over 10 years I rode solo then graduated to club rides and also developed a local group of riding buddies who all ride fairly close in skills and fitness. I was the first to segue into racing and now there are around 7 or 8 of us who race.

    Please don't feel that you should sit back and just read other's post. I used to be a regular on the BF racing forum but got tired of the regular guys dominated the forums. This thread can flourish if everyone, including those only thinking or willing to comment, feels encouraged to post.

    By all means a race report is a must.
    oldschool areodynamic brick

  6. #306
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    My core/resistance program has gone to phase 2. Now my tormentor has me a new pain maker among the usual circus training routines. As part of the routines I'm supposed to do the Jack La Lanne push-ups to failure. At first I thought 0-1 rep would be to failure. They hurt like hell but I could do 5 to7 reps in each of the 3 sets. I also have to do L pull-ups with palms away with narrow, normal and wide grips, dragon fly leg lifts and the dreaded 3rd degree medicine ball push-ups using wide, normal and narrow grips.

    The workout was to do a set of medicine ball push-ups with narrow grip almost to failure then go right to the L pull up with narrow grip and do a set to near failure, recover 1 minute, then do two more rotations of the set. The 2nd set would use a normal grip and the 3rd set using a wide grip for both exercises. I did get 5 minutes recovery between sets.

    Following that is the Jack LaLanne push-ups and the dragon fly leg lifts. I had to the two tasks back to back with 1 minute recovery between sets.

    Fun lots of fun. I suggest you all give it a go.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fu1yQuZK4KU
    http://www.theflyingspirit.co.uk/dra...-tutorial.html
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKl_n...eature=related
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bRjW...eature=channel
    oldschool areodynamic brick

  7. #307
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    AZ,
    I always enjoy the enthusiasm in your posts. I really don't know what I have available right now (I know that I cannot hold 550w for any length of time!), but I will try to be efficient in the turns and pick a good wheel to follow. I've definitely increased my fitness and decreased my weight so even if the racing does not work out well, it has been a good decision to give it a try.

  8. #308
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    AJ,
    Thanks for the encouragement! I will report regardless of the outcome.

  9. #309
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allegheny Jet View Post
    Ahab, Most of the regular posters on this thread are new to racing or have been at it just a few years. This year is my 4th year of racing. For over 10 years I rode solo then graduated to club rides and also developed a local group of riding buddies who all ride fairly close in skills and fitness. I was the first to segue into racing and now there are around 7 or 8 of us who race.

    Please don't feel that you should sit back and just read other's post. I used to be a regular on the BF racing forum but got tired of the regular guys dominated the forums. This thread can flourish if everyone, including those only thinking or willing to comment, feels encouraged to post.

    By all means a race report is a must.
    It does not take many to have an interesting discussion. And we can dominate.

    I think one thing everyone should do is disabuse themselves about being embarrassed. Bike racing, due to its limited participation, is an elite sport and the competition is extremely good. So the results will vary dramatically.

    An embarrassment is getting paid $10 million a year on a ten year pro baseball contract and go 0 for 16 in the playoffs or playing basketball for the Cavs.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  10. #310
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
    I think one thing everyone should do is disabuse themselves about being embarrassed.
    What embarrassed me was that I was "all over the place", as in, a threat to those around me. That "weak week", where even my workouts sucked, I tried to rejoin the pack as it came back around, and I just got in the way as I was unable to hold wheel after wheel. Rejoining after a timeout works much better, especially on a course with room on the outside. I rejoined the group at their pace, and worked my way up from the back. Much mo' bettah!
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  11. #311
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Are posters to this sticky interested in a Masters 50+ Racing and Training sub forum?

    I cannot do a poll on a sticky. A'jet made a good point about the general racing forum. Although, I like it and there is interesting information in the threads, it is not "old" thinking, mostly positive and motivating, it is also good to communicate with racers of similar age.

    To enter 50+ forum and get to our sticky, one reads: Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

    Quite frankly, I train and race the same as everyone else who is younger and my racing friends over 50 do as well. We do not have any special concerns or needs. However, it is great to exchange information, comments, results, kibitz, bust a little ass and etc. with racers and event riders of similar age, motivation and life experiences. I am plugged into the local racing scene via my club and racing friends via Facebook and socializing. I find what racers are doing in other districts nationally and internationally interesting.

    Hence, the reason for the question to the posters of this sticky.

    I think it would be great to have our own subforum: the Masters 50+ Racing and Training. To discuss masters road and track racing, training and special events such as Grand Fondos and timed longer events. Race, training and event reports are welcome so please join us for exchanging information.

    Interested parties do not have to click on the 50+ forum to get to ours.

    Thoughts?
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  12. #312
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    It would allow for mutiple threads, and likely also attract more people to the conversation. Would it be within the Road forum, alongside the existing racing subforum?
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  13. #313
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzTallRider View Post
    It would allow for mutiple threads, and likely also attract more people to the conversation. Would it be within the Road forum, alongside the existing racing subforum?
    I thought about that aspect and it is not clear which way to go or what the administrators will require / add to the discussion. The first step is to determine what we want. Then depending on the response and consensus involve admin. My thought was the same as yours that it would increase participation.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  14. #314
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
    I think it would be great to have our own subforum: the Masters 50+ Racing and Training. To discuss masters road and track racing, training and special events such as Grand Fondos and timed longer events. Race, training and event reports are welcome so please join us for exchanging information.

    Interested parties do not have to click on the 50+ forum to get to ours.

    Thoughts?
    If more would be likely to join it would be a good idea. I would like to communicate and share thoughts and experiances with other 50+ racers. In the Cat 3/4 race I was in on Saturday I don't think any other rider was over 45 yrs. Hell, I've got two boys older than 1/2 of my competitors.
    oldschool areodynamic brick

  15. #315
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    One of the Cat5s I raced against last week was driven to the venue by his parents! We finished within a bike length of each other.
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  16. #316
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allegheny Jet View Post
    If more would be likely to join it would be a good idea. I would like to communicate and share thoughts and experiances with other 50+ racers. In the Cat 3/4 race I was in on Saturday I don't think any other rider was over 45 yrs. Hell, I've got two boys older than 1/2 of my competitors.
    It is clear to me that being a sticky here will not increase participation.

    We have a large 45+ 50 + and 55+ racing groups in our district. Our 55+ peloton fills up for races with fields of 50. The 45+ fills with fields of 100. Typically, we do not have a 50+ category but there are a lot of 50 to 54 racers. And many of our 55+ racers, race in the 45+ races from our club to work as a team. The 45+ races are some of the most difficult next to the elite P/1/2. My point is that demographics favor a significant number of 50+ racers nationally. Track is similar but with smaller numbers.

    There several 50+ racers on BF including you, me, AZ, Red Rider, Cgallah, Pcad, Racer Ex, shovelHD (??) Cleave, Ahab, Ritterview, Merlinxlight (??) and Dominae. There are some racing tandem teams. And there are the racers who are 40+ who will dope the age and post in the 50+ because it will make more sense than posting with the elites. So I think there is enough known members plus many unknown who may participate. To increase the participation, we could make it 45+.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  17. #317
    going roundy round wanders's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
    ... To increase the participation, we could make it 45+.
    Is that actual or racing age? It will take me 2 years to catch up to you guys anyway.
    Quote Originally Posted by CastIron View Post
    Damn.

  18. #318
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
    There several 50+ racers on BF including you, me, AZ, Red Rider, Cgallah, Pcad, Racer Ex, shovelHD (??) Cleave, Ahab, Ritterview, Merlinxlight (??) and Dominae. There are some racing tandem teams. And there are the racers who are 40+ who will dope the age and post in the 50+ because it will make more sense than posting with the elites. So I think there is enough known members plus many unknown who may participate. To increase the participation, we could make it 45+.
    You forgot to mention Pcad! There is also CarbonFiberBoy (posts in training and nutrition quite a bit), and I'm sure many others.
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  19. #319
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wanders View Post
    Is that actual or racing age? It will take me 2 years to catch up to you guys anyway.
    I'll loan you a few of mine!
    oldschool areodynamic brick

  20. #320
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wanders View Post
    Is that actual or racing age? It will take me 2 years to catch up to you guys anyway.
    Racing age but we are pretty flexible and you can have some of my years as well. I am looking for a place to unload them as well as a couple of pounds.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  21. #321
    going roundy round wanders's Avatar
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    My cup runneth over with pounds. Throw in a couple of watts and I'll take the years off both of your hands.
    Quote Originally Posted by CastIron View Post
    Damn.

  22. #322
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    It seems like those responding like the idea of a more direct access to a sub forum. I will send Tom Stormcrow a PM and see what is possible. I will suggest this...

    Masters 50+ Racing and Training. To discuss masters road and track racing, training and special events including grand fondos and longer timed events. Race, training and event reports are welcome so please join us for exchanging information.

    We have to pick a number so 50 sounds as good as any.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  23. #323
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    The process is underway and I have exchanged PMs with the admins. Stay tuned. BTW, the key discussion point is where to put it i.e. with the existing racing forum as an equal choice or a stand alone. We do not want to be a sticky on another forum.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  24. #324
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wanders View Post
    My cup runneth over with pounds. Throw in a couple of watts and I'll take the years off both of your hands.
    A'Jet, You seem to have more watts than you know what to do with. You give him watts and I will give him some years. I am short watts but long on age.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  25. #325
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
    A'Jet, You seem to have more watts than you know what to do with. You give him watts and I will give him some years. I am short watts but long on age.
    I will agree to loan wanders some watts because I don't need his pounds.
    oldschool areodynamic brick

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