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  1. #1
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    Mountain bike racing: For fun vs for competition?

    I was wondering why people race for fun. I am very competitive, I am going to race this season to test myself. I want to see how far I can go. I always try to do the best I can do at anything I attempt. Both mt biking and cycling are no different. I am always pushing to faster average speeds and better technical skills.

    Some people in my team say they're just doing it for fun and they don't care if they do well. They aren't even training for the season. I would just like to know from anyone who feels the same, why they feel that way.

    I was competitive about my riding even before I ever decided I'd try racing. I know that I wouldn't try racing if I didn't think I would do well. Maybe people want to set the expectations low so they could be pleasantly surprised. What do you think?

  2. #2
    In search of moar cowbell dminor's Avatar
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    In my experience, the people who say that are just hedging their bets in case they get spanked - - so they can say, "Well, I was just doing it for fun anyway." And, they may truly not have that lofty of goals: it may just be to beat one friend or acquaintance for a bit of bragging rights; not necessarily to get on the podium.

    I'm with you. In anything I've done - - running, motorcycles and now bicycles - - there came a time when I wanted to go beyond the recreational and test myself against other people; so I went racing. It's in my DNA I think.

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    When I started racing last summer, my #1 goal was to have fun. #2 was to gain experience. #3 was to do the best i could and push myself to do better. I did the best I could, but refused to get upset or stressed when someone would pass me. I wanted to have fun. Yes, I got spanked the first time. After that, I held my own enough that I was generally pleased with my results. My goal is to still have fun, no matter what. Been known to cut rides short when they just plain are miserable and/or I'm in a foul mood and hating everything.

    Just a different view of the same pie is all.

  4. #4
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    I find that competition and fun aren't mutually exclusive. I did some of the Wednesday-night XC races at the state park near our city last year. I was in pretty good training, I had a competitive mindset, I was sustaining up to 95% of maximum HR at times, but what made me keep coming back for the next week was that they were very fun. My chief rival and I were pretty evenly matched, and would trade our current heart rates for laughs

    < shifty eyes> This year I'm going to shove him in a time machine and age him so we're both 40 < / shifty eyes >

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    I'm the most competitive person I know!

    Thanks for everyone's comments. There are many reasons that people have to race, as I can see.

    I'm so competitive that I've looked up the past scores of my competitors. I do this so I can see who are the tough ones to beat. Some people who found out I did this were very shocked that I'd do such a thing.

    I look at it like this: if there are people who are better than you, now you have a goal to strive for....to beat them. There's nothing like beating the best! Anyone who is truly better, can be beaten if you figure out how to do it. They must have a weakness and if you ride behind them, you might see what it is. If you study their scores, you might get some ideas too.

    Does anyone else have this mindset? Just trying to see if I'm WAY TOO COMPETITIVE about this!

    Angie

  6. #6
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    I review the XC race results in both the Masters and all-around mens' fields for the same reason. However...

    Anyone who is truly better, can be beaten if you figure out how to do it.
    ...not necessarily. If they're gifted, there's only so much you can do. You could know all their weaknesses and fully exploit them, and their strengths may still be too much to overcome.

  7. #7
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    For the fun of competition...

  8. #8
    Ouch... my knees. 7daysaweek's Avatar
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    I have fun...

    I just had my 5th race of the year, came in second place, and beat a guy who had beaten me at the last two races I'd been at. I also gained 10 minutes on a guy that beat me by 15 minutes on the same course 2 months ago. I had a great time and the best race I'd ever had and competed like crazy when I realized I was actually keeping up with guys that just a few months ago were leaving me in the dust.

    Just like mechBgon said, fun and competition don't have to be mutually exclusive. We all had a nice, friendly chat after the race too.
    Oh noes....

  9. #9
    amateur mountain biker jdlmodelt's Avatar
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    Different DNA drives us all for different reasons. I just want to get myself into shape and stay that way and cycling is fun for me to achieve that goal. I love building up the bikes for my family and I want to spur that desire into my kids at a young age to keep themselves physically and mentally fit.

  10. #10
    Lost in the Black Hills mx_599's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by godsang View Post
    I was wondering why people race for fun. I am very competitive, I am going to race this season to test myself. I want to see how far I can go. I always try to do the best I can do at anything I attempt. Both mt biking and cycling are no different. I am always pushing to faster average speeds and better technical skills.

    Some people in my team say they're just doing it for fun and they don't care if they do well. They aren't even training for the season. I would just like to know from anyone who feels the same, why they feel that way.

    I was competitive about my riding even before I ever decided I'd try racing. I know that I wouldn't try racing if I didn't think I would do well. Maybe people want to set the expectations low so they could be pleasantly surprised. What do you think?
    For me, it is about seeing different parts of the country and having fun!

    my only goal this year is to qualify for and finish Leadville 100 in under 12 hours so I can get a belt buckle. that's all I ever really wanted in life...a Leadville Belt Buckle.

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    I'm never going to earn money at this, so by definition, I am racing for fun. The experience is worth more to me than any hardware I may or may not win.

  12. #12
    Member WilliamH's Avatar
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    I agree with mechBgon that fun and competition should not be exclusive... I mean, yes, you have a goal but if you weren't able to achieve it you'll cry and hate the guy that beat you?
    I race because I want to challenge myself that I can do it. But I also want to have fun because it wouldn't be that much enjoyable if I only see the finish line. It's really different reasons for different people. I mean "fun" is really very subjective.

    I'm more like in between. I race because it's fun being with people who also love running, I race because it's challenging, and if ever I win a medal it's FUN + PRIDE

    For the real competitive people, maybe they find it fun to win the races. So I wish you the best of luck on your races.
    Free Automated Fit Guide for Thule Bike & Yakima Bike Carrier

  13. #13
    Senior Member Dilberto's Avatar
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    Do it for fun = really FUN

    Do it for competition = very stressful

    What do you need more of???
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  14. #14
    Senior Member RavingManiac's Avatar
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    If you read a book, do you have to read it faster than everybody else?

  15. #15
    misanthrope 333foto's Avatar
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    why would you pay to get beat because you're just having "fun?" does not compute.

  16. #16
    Lost in the Black Hills mx_599's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 333foto View Post
    why would you pay to get beat because you're just having "fun?" does not compute.
    no need to understand. everyone is different. if you do not understand why some would do it for fun it simply means that you see racing as strictly competitive. we would all agree certainly nothing wrong with that either!


  17. #17
    Senior Member bike00's Avatar
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    I race for fun, but the competitive aspect of it makes me want to do my best.
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  18. #18
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    A bike of a certain quality is required to enable a level playing field. However, the most expensive choice is certainly not a necessity. Rather, the most important aspect of the bike is that it be sturdy and reliable.
    Last edited by Emrick; 01-22-11 at 04:07 AM.

  19. #19
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    I think part of the "fun" of it is even though one may be a slower rider and does not expect to win, it's fun because you get to get out there with a bunch of other people and ride. I don't know about everyone else but my typical weekend ride doesn't involve 100 other people. Yes, sometimes that's nice, but the atmosphere of a race is, well, fun! Realistically, if someone is entering a race (that hasn't been pushed into it by a friend) is competitive with SOMEONE there even if it's themselves.

    My opinion: Nearly every racer does it for both the competition and the fun. I feel sorry for the ones that are only there for the competition, it defeats the purpose of the whole thing.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Dilberto's Avatar
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    I have a 21 pound FS race bike, simply because I like 'em very light. As far as I am concerned - that's the CLOSEST to competing I'll ever get.

    Riding a race machine makes me FEEL like a racer....all without the stress, the crashes, the flats, the cramps and loss of ego(from losing).
    Last edited by Dilberto; 04-25-11 at 08:28 AM.
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  21. #21
    Lost in the Black Hills mx_599's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dilberto View Post
    I have a race bike, simply because I like 'em very light. As far as I am concerned - that's the CLOSEST to competing I'll ever get.

    Riding a race machine makes me FEEL like a racer....all without the stress, the crashes, the flats, the cramps and loss of ego(from losing).
    Lolz

    + 1

    I think that is why I like the long endurance events. More of a personal victory against the mountain and just finishing

    Plan to do breckenridge 100 this year. I am on the Laramie enduro lottery

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