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Masters Racing (All Disciplines) Race on the track or road or on your mountainbike in the Masters Category? Want to talk tactics, strategy and training with your peers?

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Old 11-12-13, 07:37 AM   #26
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I cant find any groups around me that are 70 +. I really wish there were.
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Old 11-12-13, 09:49 AM   #27
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I can't argue with you guys, and you know I won't anyway. But, when I was talking about stacking things in your favor, I was considering something else. I meant side stepping competition all together to get a win over all else - example, being the only person in a category or age group on purpose. That's along the lines of what I was thinking. And to me, that's not winning, that's backing in. And it's hollow. Yes, I have done that, not intentionally, but even so in the end I didn't enjoy it.
That is a flawed theory. One does not control who shows up at a race. Races are promoted and all racers have an opportunity to register, show up, start and finish. At the Masters World Track Championships the older age group fields are small. If you show up and race and you are the only one, should you be denied a world championship or should you get one and all your peers snicker because it was a field of one? Racers who do not show up self select defeat for that race. Many think they are not worthy. I see this all the time where racers openly say they are not national or worlds material. Okay, they should stay home. However those that train and compete should be rewarded no matter who shows up.

And there are always competing races and even when there is a 60+ field the racers may be doing other races or do not like the course or type of event. Popular races many times trump specialty races. We have a lot to choose from in NorCal and my wife and I also race a lot in SoCal so many times we miss a race that we would do in NorCal because it is conflicting.

I have seen racers select races and events based upon whether they can win or dodge someone who is in a particular field. This is really true in tandem racing. One can select mixed, men/men or woman/woman. So at the national championships, teams are developed based upon how well they think they can do and who the competition may be in that field. And if no one show up against you, hallelujah you win a national championship.

And there are racers who go at each other Ali / Frazier style. They battle it out race after race and other competitors do not matter.

I agree with R'Ex. I use every advantage I can get that is within the rules to improve my performance and I select races where I think I have a competitive advantage and I would definitely take a national or world title in a field of one.
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Old 11-12-13, 09:57 AM   #28
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Hermes, yes, I understand. That works for you and others at your level. Put yourself in my shoes, though - at my level - and then consider my thoughts. I could go find races where I know the fields are small, or that there is an age group category - but no one will show up - and do those. But to call that winning? No, not me, not a chance. I get that one can't control who shows up, and I also understand competition - there are those who are going to beat you no matter what. That happens to me ALL the TIME. Maybe it's because of that that I think the way I do. I would much rather go out and EARN a spot on the podium, or even a win, than back into it. And then, picking a race with no competition, knowing there is no competition, isn't something I'd enjoy doing.
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Old 11-12-13, 10:43 AM   #29
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I cant find any groups around me that are 70 +. I really wish there were.
George, Do you want to race or just ride with a group of 70+ riders? I am sure there are opportunities for age group racing in the Houston area. Check your local USAC district website for races.
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Old 11-12-13, 11:42 AM   #30
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George, Do you want to race or just ride with a group of 70+ riders? I am sure there are opportunities for age group racing in the Houston area. Check your local USAC district website for races.
We have group rides here, but it's by distance and speed. That's what I've been getting into. It's hard to find many people my age for riding. Close by anyhow. If I wanted to drive 50 miles I could pick up a group, but then my whole day is shot. Thanks for the reply.
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Old 11-12-13, 11:45 AM   #31
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From my seat, being able and willing to travel provides for a lot of competition within my age group. However in two weeks we have our State Cyclo Cross Champs. There will be 15 - 20 riders in the 55 - 59 group and maybe only 4 -6 in my age of 60-64. At the Iceman MTB race two weeks ago held in upper Michigan there were 7 riders of 111 from Ohio in my age group of 58-60. The small field at Cross States' won't bother me and I have no intention of racing down even if I could.
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Old 11-12-13, 11:50 AM   #32
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By time you show up at a race you're already in the top 0.1 percentile of the population. The exceptionalism of this gets lost in the noise of how few people might be in that race.

Very few people race bikes in the first place because it's a hard sport that's tough on your ego at times and is often paid for with blood, skin, and bone.

If you start over in the "41" road forum, there's a whole bunch of folks riding bikes. Check out how many migrate over to the 33 racing forum and read the hand wringing and fear posts by new racers or people thinking of racing.

Then check out the license turnover at USAC. A lot of people do one race and go "no ******** way" and go back to doing recreational rides.

While you're at it do a head count here of people who haven't busted themselves up in the last 24 months.

If you didn't think you earned a win by killing yourself in a TT because no one entered in your age group, I'd say that your camera lens is taking very small pictures. You're not all that far off from the person who ends up being the oldest/only women to climb Everest or swim from Cuba to Florida.
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Old 11-12-13, 12:20 PM   #33
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If you start over in the "41" road forum, there's a whole bunch of folks riding bikes. Check out how many migrate over to the 33 racing forum and read the hand wringing and fear posts by new racers or people thinking of racing.
And yet there's almost no posturing here or in the 33. That one of the biggest reasons I like it here.
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Old 11-12-13, 01:17 PM   #34
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If you didn't think you earned a win by killing yourself in a TT because no one entered in your age group, I'd say that your camera lens is taking very small pictures. You're not all that far off from the person who ends up being the oldest/only women to climb Everest or swim from Cuba to Florida.
Okay, okay! I know, I know. I like the idea of having "earned". That's me. I won't give back the two wins I had because I was the only one there, but they just don't have the satisfaction, to me, of actually coming in ahead of someone else in my age group, gender, category, species, you name it. But yeah, a win is a win, is a win.

You guys win! But I won't surrender.
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Old 11-12-13, 01:18 PM   #35
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And yet there's almost no posturing here or in the 33. That one of the biggest reasons I like it here.
+1. I'm a tough chick, but not tough enough for the 33. I have the scars to prove it.
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Old 11-12-13, 01:19 PM   #36
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We have group rides here, but it's by distance and speed. That's what I've been getting into. It's hard to find many people my age for riding. Close by anyhow. If I wanted to drive 50 miles I could pick up a group, but then my whole day is shot. Thanks for the reply.
George, We have a lot of bicycle riders on the road where I live along with several clubs. The clubs offer the full spectrum of riding from racing to social and some clubs feature both. Within our racing club, we have an elite development team, masters 45+, social rides and tandem rides. And we have a few 70+ racers. My suggestion is to look around for a local club that is larger and go to the easiest ride they have. See how you like it and the other people. You may discover that group is too easy and want to ride with a faster group or the slower group may be too fast. i would focus on ability versus age. But I totally get that cyclists may want to ride with people of similar age. Sometimes that is hard to make happen independent on how large the pool of cyclists.
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Old 11-12-13, 01:31 PM   #37
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Okay, okay! I know, I know. I like the idea of having "earned". That's me. I won't give back the two wins I had because I was the only one there, but they just don't have the satisfaction, to me, of actually coming in ahead of someone else in my age group, gender, category, species, you name it. But yeah, a win is a win, is a win.

You guys win! But I won't surrender.
Then you lose. You will not be able to change the governing body, nature and demographics of the sport. You will be continually frustrated with the "system" and continue to whine about it. Your choice for large field head to head competition is the cat 4 women. And IMO, if you apply yourself to the training and select races with courses (flat) that give you a competitive advantage then you will have success racing with the cat 4 women. Otherwise, embrace the peccadilloes of age group racing and use them to your advantage.
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Old 11-12-13, 02:51 PM   #38
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I have to say that I share some of Sara's sentiments when it comes to my rare wins and podiums. In a field of genetic freaks and super freaks (I'm quoting someone ), I'm happy to be there at the end. When I race in a "depleted" SoCal field and win or podium, I'm generally less happy, but still happy.

As I've said, I get more joy and satisfaction out of doing my best and sometimes doing better than I've done before. I guess that's why I've stuck with this sport and not been part of the turnover. However, as age inevitably starts to take even that away from me, I'll have no problem with outlasting my competition, if that becomes the case.
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Old 11-12-13, 02:53 PM   #39
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Then you lose. You will not be able to change the governing body, nature and demographics of the sport. You will be continually frustrated with the "system" and continue to whine about it. Your choice for large field head to head competition is the cat 4 women. And IMO, if you apply yourself to the training and select races with courses (flat) that give you a competitive advantage then you will have success racing with the cat 4 women. Otherwise, embrace the peccadilloes of age group racing and use them to your advantage.
Look, you took what I said for something bigger than what I was talking about. My whole point was that I feel a "victory" is earned, not backed into. That's all. I race where and when I can, I don't look at who's there (except senior events), and I take what I get. That's reality, I know that. This is the proverbial mountain out of a mole hill. Okay?
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Old 11-12-13, 02:55 PM   #40
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I have to say that I share some of Sara's sentiments when it comes to my rare wins and podiums. I a field of genetic freaks and super freaks (I'm quoting someone ), I'm happy to be there at the end. When I race in a "depleted" SoCal field and win or podium, I'm generally less happy, but still happy.

As I've said, I get more joy and satisfaction out of doing my best and sometimes doing better than I've done before. I guess that's why I've stuck with this sport and not been part of the turnover. However, as age inevitably starts to take even that away from me, I'll have no problem with outlasting my competition, if that becomes the case.
Cleave, that's it exactly. Thank you!
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Old 11-12-13, 03:29 PM   #41
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[MENTION=59940]George[/MENTION], if I read your posts properly, you are looking for rides with 70+ people. If you keep it on the informal side, you should be able to pull together something yourself. There is an informal email list in SoCal for 55+/60+ racers. There are a variety of topics, but some people have used the list to organize rides. We did a ride last year that went up the local mountains and we did a fairly good job of keeping most everyone together and this was with a group of racers.

This year someone organized a ride up a climb during the Tour of California. For both rides, the "organizer" had the ride start and end at their house and they did a post ride meal. Both rides drew something like 20 people and both, IMHO, were a lot of fun. They were just hard enough for me and the camaraderie was the icing on the cake.

IMHO, regularly scheduled group rides are OK for whatever reason they exist. If you want to ride with people of your generation and no one has organized one, then try organizing one yourself. It's rewarding and fun! (Plus you get to set the rules. )
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Old 11-12-13, 04:32 PM   #42
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I think it's generally true that the better the competition, the better we are going to feel about beating it. That's a big reason to race the state, national and world age group races. It's also true that the most successful strategy is to (in a certain way) throw the age thing out the window. We all know that, yes, age erodes performance. But, with many thanks to Hermes for is repeated encouragement/determination in this area, it's also true that almost all of us can improve our performance over what we did last month, or even last year. That age threshhold is pretty high up the performance chart, at a level most people never reach anyway. Cleave also makes a good point that we always know, when we finish a race, whether we left everything on the course, and whether we raced smart, or made repeated mistakes. If I did the best I possibly could, well, that would be a first , and I would be ectstatic even if I finished down in the standings. If I win a race as the only one in my age group, I'm taking the cash or ribbon, felling good about it, and also evaluating how I think I did compared to how I could have done.

If I see an opportunity where, because of the specific age cat's, or the nature of the course, I will be a strong contender... I'm grabbing that. But I'm also going to show up when I know there are two guys I have yet to beat, and I'm going to line up and try to beat them. I'm also going to race a younger category, if that race looks like it would be more fun, or more beneficial to training/learning, even if it means I have less of a shot at a podium. As the saying goes "it's all good". You're racing your bike, and that's just a great effing thing to do.

Some of my most enjoyable outings have been on team rides (teenagers on up, with me usually the oldest guy), when points were being awarded and a large group was going for it. Being consistently in the top 5-6 (regardless of age) as we built for this past season, was a great feeling of accomplishment. I could confidently and truthfully say "I'm fast", with no "for my age" appended.

My goal now is to work my way back to that.

Again...
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Old 11-12-13, 04:33 PM   #43
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Age-group racing is a cop-out. Real racers race their category.
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Old 11-12-13, 05:14 PM   #44
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[MENTION=59940]George[/MENTION], if I read your posts properly, you are looking for rides with 70+ people. If you keep it on the informal side, you should be able to pull together something yourself. There is an informal email list in SoCal for 55+/60+ racers. There are a variety of topics, but some people have used the list to organize rides. We did a ride last year that went up the local mountains and we did a fairly good job of keeping most everyone together and this was with a group of racers.

This year someone organized a ride up a climb during the Tour of California. For both rides, the "organizer" had the ride start and end at their house and they did a post ride meal. Both rides drew something like 20 people and both, IMHO, were a lot of fun. They were just hard enough for me and the camaraderie was the icing on the cake.

IMHO, regularly scheduled group rides are OK for whatever reason they exist. If you want to ride with people of your generation and no one has organized one, then try organizing one yourself. It's rewarding and fun! (Plus you get to set the rules. )
Thanks Cleave, what I'm thinking about doing is to keep going on the group rides and start meeting more people around my age and just ride at there pace and distance. Then maybe keep meeting them on Saturdays and keep riding with them. I kind of like the group rides. The week before last, I jumped on with an A group, it was fun for about 3 miles, lol. That was about it, for me.
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Old 11-12-13, 05:33 PM   #45
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Age-group racing is a cop-out. Real racers race their category.
As a 46 year old Cat 3, I can tell you that (at least in NorCal) the E3 race is the easy race.
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Old 11-12-13, 05:52 PM   #46
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Age-group racing is a cop-out. Real racers race their category.
Which completely disregards the fact that as a Master I race with a ton of Cat1's, ex-pro's, Olympians, etc.

Myopic.
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Old 11-12-13, 06:00 PM   #47
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As a 46 year old Cat 3, I can tell you that (at least in NorCal) the E3 race is the easy race.
And as a (gonna be) 62 Y/O Cat 4, the W Cat 4 field is NOT easy. M 60+ isn't either.
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Old 11-12-13, 06:00 PM   #48
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Which completely disregards the fact that as a Master I race with a ton of Cat1's, ex-pro's, Olympians, etc.

Myopic.
So true. As a Cat 4 I would never get to race against those kind of racers too! At Track Nats I was the only one on the podium without some kind of colors on their sleeves.
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Old 11-12-13, 06:15 PM   #49
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So true. As a Cat 4 I would never get to race against those kind of racers too! At Track Nats I was the only one on the podium without some kind of colors on their sleeves.
Cry me a river, AJ. Sheesh! You're the only one I know who would complain about getting on the podium. There'll be a new rope at yer hangin', too, pardner, so's we don't hafta put up wit yer whinin'!

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Old 11-12-13, 06:18 PM   #50
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Age-group racing is a cop-out. Real racers race their category.
Troll.

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As a 46 year old Cat 3, I can tell you that (at least in NorCal) the E3 race is the easy race.
In some cases in SoCal. I've done some E3 races that were easier than M55+. I also got dropped in other E3 races. Skinny, young guys hurt me on longer hills. Heck, skinny, old guys hurt me on longer hills.
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