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Old 05-22-07, 11:23 AM   #1
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Sandbagging question

I've been riding Mountain bikes for almost 2 years now and started racing this year. I've raced 3 races out of 4 and won the 3 I've entered. I'm racing in the beginner class 30+. The first 2 races I won by 10 minutes over second place, 1 of them was an absolute mudfest and can't really be considered an equal race I don't think since we walked half the dam race do to the 3 inches of mud everywere. Anyway, I won a race this weekend by 3/4 of a bike length, literally it was wheel to wheel going across the finishline. I'm having people ask me when I'm going to move up to sport class and some poking fun at me saying I'm a sandbagger. I have no intention to move up because I've trained harder in the winter months than others and can push myself harder when I need to. I dont' have a road bike and I consider 25 miles of biking a week a good week for me, as I don't have time to ride more. I don't really have a fear of wrecking so I don't slow down in sections were some might, I have great core strength so I think that helps also, and I come from years of ATV racing so going from 4 wheels at 46 inches wide to a bike on 2 wheels and 25 inches wide dodging trees seems easier. I want to finish out the year in my class and try to win a championship then move up.

What are your thoughts on this??
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Old 05-22-07, 11:32 AM   #2
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You need to move up. If you are training then you are not a beginner. Sorry.

In my opinion there should not be a point series (championship) for the beginner class. The beginner class is to learn to race a little not for trying to win a series.
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Old 05-22-07, 11:35 AM   #3
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Personally, I'd rather see how hard I could push myself in sport that win every beginner class race and a beginner class championship.

do you still consider yourself a beginner ?

edit: I will add that I agree with LC in that a beginner class is for learning. It sounds like you have learned what you need to. Step up.

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Old 05-22-07, 12:03 PM   #4
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That's a hard one. I raced a season as a beginner and was on track for beginner season champion until a horrific crash in my last race. There is no shame in finishing out the season in beginner class. Some people consider beginner a 'first-timers' class and some consider it a 'first-season' thing. All depends on the local racing culture I guess.

Even with your built-in skill-set from off-road racing, just two years on a bike and racing now makes you a bona fide beginner racer in my book. It's those guys who've been hard-core riders forever but maybe never actually plunked down an entry fee, then go sign up beginner who are true sandbaggers. Enjoy your success. Who knows, it might even help you attract some sponsor notice - - if you're inetersted in that sort of thing.
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Old 05-22-07, 12:21 PM   #5
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You need to move up. If you are training then you are not a beginner. Sorry.

In my opinion there should not be a point series (championship) for the beginner class. The beginner class is to learn to race a little not for trying to win a series.
Well it is a series, the Ky series actually. The sport class is doing 2x the laps the beginners are and there have been 2 races that I'm not sure I could have even completed 2 laps. Also if I move up I loose all my points that I've earned so far. I had no idea what to expect this year that's why I spent time on a trainer so that I didn't show up and come in last place. Also mechanicals slowed down several people in my class that came in 2nd and 3rd place. I want to do what is right but I also don't want to give away my wins so that other's have a chance to win in my class. I know there are guys riding as much or more than me so they are training too. Hell one guy was talking on the line about the 170 miles he got in that week on his road bike.. I'm like, yeah I put in 16 miles this week.
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Old 05-22-07, 12:54 PM   #6
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Welp you asked opinions, I gave you mine. I just don't know what you can get out of it if you keep winning beginner races. However, if it makes ya happy then do it.
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Old 05-22-07, 01:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dminor
That's a hard one. I raced a season as a beginner and was on track for beginner season champion until a horrific crash in my last race. There is no shame in finishing out the season in beginner class. Some people consider beginner a 'first-timers' class and some consider it a 'first-season' thing. All depends on the local racing culture I guess.

Even with your built-in skill-set from off-road racing, just two years on a bike and racing now makes you a bona fide beginner racer in my book. It's those guys who've been hard-core riders forever but maybe never actually plunked down an entry fee, then go sign up beginner who are true sandbaggers. Enjoy your success. Who knows, it might even help you attract some sponsor notice - - if you're inetersted in that sort of thing.
I would normally agree however since he is winning on a regular basis I would say it's time to move up and suffer like the rest of us.
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Old 05-22-07, 01:08 PM   #8
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My first "beginners" race I was wearing tennis shoes, and a pair of shorts from K-mart. platform pedals and a T-shirt. Lining up on the start line against people wearing $300.00 worth of clothes, who talked about how hot it was the year before, but the year before that was really miserable. And here is the six time gold medalist in the beginners class!!!!!!.. Hah-ha LOL. I vote.. move up! at the very least move up at the end of the season! but leave the beginners class to the people 10 minutes behind you.
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Old 05-22-07, 04:53 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by LowCel
Welp you asked opinions, I gave you mine. I just don't know what you can get out of it if you keep winning beginner races. However, if it makes ya happy then do it.
Lowcel I wanted your opinion because I know your a XC racer so I do appreciate it. It does make me happy to win and there is still plenty of races left in the season, 10 to be honest. Maybe I jumped the gun asking this question and get my arse handed to me from here on out??? I don't know but in the ATV world this is a legit thing to do if you truly are a beginner. Then you move to the next class and if your better than everyone else you hand out arses all year long then move up again the next year and do it again, again and again until your in the pro ranks and then you do it again, IF your good enough. Dminor said it best, if you've been biking for 10 years hard core and know your better but enter a lower class just to win then yeah your a sandbagger. If you've never raced and enter the beginner class and win, are you a sandbagger or more determined then the rest of the guys in your class. If they are home eating tater chips, drinking cokes, laid out on their neck all week and come to a race and get beat and moan and groan should they be racing to begin with??? I guess the question is this. Do I try and make myself happy or make the next guy happy that is not trying hard enough to win or have the determination to dig deep and deal with the pain and suffering to get to the finish line first like I have been doing??

PS... there is a lower class than mine for people to enter so I"m not winning the lowest class on the totem pole.
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Old 05-22-07, 05:05 PM   #10
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In that case how about doing two more races and if you end up with top threes in those then move up? That way you will know if it was just luck the other times. Not only that it will really help you for next season. The sooner you move up and start suffering the better. Once you move up to sport class you will start getting much, much faster and you will quickly gain endurance. By staying in beginner you are really only hurting yourself.

By the way, I speak from experience. My first season I did six races in the beginner class. I won all six. To this day I am still embarassed about that. At the time I kept telling myself the same thing that you are. Four years later I know that I should not have been in that class. I should have won a race or two and then moved up and started paying my dues. Instead I did that whole season as a beginner and then moved up the following year. I had no idea how bad that was going to hurt. If I had done a couple of sport races the year prior I would have known what to expect and been able to prepare a little.
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Old 05-22-07, 05:43 PM   #11
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If you win another race, move up. Racing is about being the best that you can be and pushing yourself, and you get that by racing the fastest category you can hold on to.
If you're winning with that much riding, you have some natural talent anyway so just go for it.

IMO, if you stay in beginner class after winning 2 more races, you ARE a sandbagger.
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Old 05-23-07, 02:17 PM   #12
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PS... there is a lower class than mine for people to enter so I"m not winning the lowest class on the totem pole.
What's lower than beginners?

First timers?
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Old 05-23-07, 05:40 PM   #13
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What's lower than beginners?

First timers?
Yes.

I"m going to go by NORBA rules, that state if I win 5 races I need to move up. There are 14 races and there's only been 4 so far. 8 Races count toward a points championship. We have several races that are coming close to town, Louisville KY, that brings out the real sandbaggers so I"m sure I'll be getting my azz handed to me real soon...
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Old 05-23-07, 06:36 PM   #14
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That's not "exactly" what it says. It says that if you place in the top five in five races that you "must" move up. In other words if you won't move up like you should before that then they will move you up.

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Beginner racers must move to their appropriate Sport categories after placing in the top five in five races (see 2.4 for specifics). Failure to do so may result in license suspension. If you participate in a state or regional series these upgrading procedures still apply. You may contact the NORBA Competition Director for a written waiver to this policy that will allow you to finish a series in your original category for a title.
It does state that you can stay in your original category for a title but why would you want to? Beginner races are for beginners. There should be no sense of pride in winning the beginner series. The goal of that class is supposed to be to learn not to dominate. If you are finishing ten minutes ahead of your competition then you are not a beginner, you are a sandbagger. Seriously, what fun is it?

Just for the record I am being easy on you and as kind as I can possibly be. Go post this same question over on MTBR in the xc race forum. They don't hold back over there.

Oh yeah, don't get me wrong. It is cool that you won a couple of the races, you should consider that a milestone / goal accomplished. Now move on to bigger and better. You are a natural, you will probably go far with this sport.
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Old 05-24-07, 07:27 AM   #15
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Thanks for the imput.

1st race = 4 racers in my class

2nd race = 5 racers but I didn't race in this one.

3rd race = 4 racers in my class

4th race = 12 racers in my class

Just to give you an idea of how small the class really is, but again I will do what it right so that I can hold my head up and have the respect of other racers...
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Old 05-24-07, 08:49 AM   #16
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My take on the beginners class is: 1 - It is for either beginner bikers OR beginner racers, 2 - it is a place to judge your ability against other racers vis-a-vie time and distance, and 3 - if you plan on racing, you should not register as a beginner for more than 3 races. In WV, beginners usually do @ 10K, sport 20K, expert 30K, so it's pretty easy to check the results board & divide...

On the other hand, someone who has raced in the past at a higher class, but has not been riding/racing for whatever reason, and just feels like doing a race here & there should feel ok about racing beginner, but also shouldn't be out there to dust the others in that class....
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Old 05-24-07, 10:14 AM   #17
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On the other hand, someone who has raced in the past at a higher class, but has not been riding/racing for whatever reason, and just feels like doing a race here & there should feel ok about racing beginner, but also shouldn't be out there to dust the others in that class....
I have to disagree with this one. Those people should not be back in beginner - -that's what the Sport class is for.

On a similar line, it's going to get interesting as the older racing population ages. There are already ex-pros in the 40+ Expert classes. I got my a** handed to me at a National a couple years ago by a couple guys who race a special Vet Pro class on SoCal. I think NORBA is going to have to eventually address this group of people and figure out something.
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Old 05-24-07, 11:56 AM   #18
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I've thought about this issue some and am torn. Provided the competition is good, I don't see why someone would have to move up from beginner, despite winning. Clearly the beginner class is for those people who are learning mountain biking, racing etiquette (passing and such), endurance, a combination, or some other skill necessary for racing. It is also for those people who need to determine where they fit in for racing.

With such a long season and so few showing up for the first couple of races, I can imagine the competition will only get better. I also imagine that many people may not have even considered the season started yet and just now working on conditioning (at the beginner level).

I see nothing wrong with staying in that class and seeing how things develop a little bit longer. If the racing becomes more competitive, then stay. If you’re blowing everyone away, then move.
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Old 05-24-07, 05:11 PM   #19
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i dont think he is sandbagging
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Old 05-24-07, 07:54 PM   #20
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i dont think he is sandbagging
He isn't yet. If he continues doing it for much longer he will be though.
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Old 05-24-07, 08:47 PM   #21
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i dont think he is sandbagging

Well, there you have it, coming from a racer who spent 7 YEARS in the same class
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Old 05-25-07, 04:45 AM   #22
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Well, there you have it, coming from a racer who spent 7 YEARS in the same class
Ouch!!!
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Old 05-25-07, 06:18 AM   #23
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He isn't yet. If he continues doing it for much longer he will be though.
Exactly, I think it is a little early for people to be labeling me.
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Old 05-25-07, 03:15 PM   #24
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i think you should finish the season in beginner and the reason i raced the same class for 7 years is because it was an age thing and i never won the series onces. keep racing beginner
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Old 05-25-07, 07:11 PM   #25
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That's why I'm torn. Obviously, someone has to win. That's why I think if there's competition, wheel to wheel racing at the end (like the last one), losing a couple here and there, I don't think there is an issue. Keep racing and keep the rubber side down.
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