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Old 08-27-02, 03:27 PM   #1
Mambwe
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How does i get started in mountain bike racing?

How do i get sponsors and find out what events are out there? Are there any beginer events that i can try and what else would i need to know?
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Old 08-27-02, 03:49 PM   #2
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Go to your local bike shop and ask them about racing. There's a series of races in just about every state out there. Finding a race isn't difficult, and then as you keep getting better you move up in class
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Old 08-27-02, 03:57 PM   #3
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To get sponsors you have to win. And win alot. Depends on where you are but most regions have more than one club holding regional races. Lots of them will have a series too, where you gain points for each race you enter, and at the end of the season whoever has the most points wins their class. They usually have from a junior level and up, and adults can start in a beginner class of some kind. Tell us your area and your age and maybe we can help more. I am going to try to get my son to race with me next year, he will be 14 and I'll be 40 so I can race with the rest of the old geezers. Most races are sanctioned by NORBA, and you can read more about them here:

http://www.usacycling.org/mtb/

There will also be local events, and you can usually find them by searching on yahoo or altavista or another search engine. Good luck...
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Old 08-27-02, 09:36 PM   #4
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As Dirtbikedude said, try your local shop, many actually have a bike club too.

The weekday evening races from my experience are quite relaxed, and they are pretty cheap to start with. 6 or 7 Canadian Peso's round these parts.

From there you could go on to citizen races on the weekends.

Good luck and enjoy, its great fun!!
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Old 08-28-02, 07:43 AM   #5
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This racing season is drawing to a close, so finding races close to home may be more difficult until next year - depending on where you live.

Finding races. USA Cycling has an event search feature that will give you some of the races in your state/region, but not all. Search the web to find events. I also subscribe to VeloNews, which also has a lot of races in the calendar section. You will probably need 3 or 4 sources to find all the events around you as promoters use different sources to advertise their events.

Racing license. You will need either a NORBA license, or purchase a "one day" license at each event you ride. A NORBA license runs around $45/year and a "one day" costs $15/race. So, if you plan to ride more than 3 races, get your NORBA license. A license application form can be downloaded from USA Cycling, or you can call them for info. Note that NORBA is part of USA Cycling.

Get up the nerve. Just go do it, and plan to have fun. Keep your expectations in line so you don't get demoralized. Racers are fast, even in the beginner class. The jump to sport class from beginner is a big step, so start as a beginner no matter what your ego is telling you. You can move up anytime if you find that the beginner class is too low.

Plan to be humbled. If you think you're fast, race. Even if you win at the beginner level you'll see how much faster the sports and experts are. Use them as motivation to train harder.

Learn. You will learn something about racing, yourself or equipment every time out. The learning curve is steep at first, too. Equipment set up and durability become really important. Knowing when to attack, or how to pace yourself can only be learned in a race. There is much more.

XC info: Cross country races are usually about an hour long for beginners, 1 1/2 hours for sports and 2 hours for experts and pros. XC is similar to a time trial as team tactics and drafting rarely play a part in a race. You go out and give it all until the finish. It's your fitness and ability against the next guy. Leave it all on the course. When you cross the finish line you should be spent, completely and totally.

Have fun and be safe. Don't be too hard on yourself if things don't go as planned. I drove 2 hours to a race last month that I had been looking forward to for a long time. I broke my chain on the 2nd lap. My day was over. Oh, well. Crashing, too, is part of racing. Even when I race well I usually go down once. Get up and finish, if you can. I crashed 3 times on the first lap last fall in my first race as a sport. I pushed my bike for a mile until I felt ready to ride again. I finished last, but I finished.
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Old 08-28-02, 11:55 AM   #6
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Racing is a blast, and a pain, both at the same time.

I was absolutely humbled my first race! I entered Beginner Clydesdale class and got smoked, I ended up in something like 30th position. I had been doing a lot of riding, but not at race intensity. Definately do some race simulation before your first race. Go ride some trails NON-STOP for 1.5 hours.

My second race was a mixed bag. I was better prepared physically, but failed to double check my bike. I had switched to a set of race wheels and had to readjust my brakes. Going into the first turn, my rear cable slipped and I had to stop and retighten it. I was in 3rd or 4th going into the turn, was in last (about 26th) due to the repair delay and fought back to 10th.

If you get a chance, go see a race before you enter. Talk to some of the racers and ask for some hints and tips on training. If you can, go ride the course during practice to get an idea of the intensity level required to beat the times of the top finishers in your class.

Good Luck & have FUN!
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Old 08-29-02, 12:11 AM   #7
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Hey, it's cyclocross time. Do a google search and drag your mt. bike to the nearest race. You'll have fun, get in shape and meet lots of racers.
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Old 08-29-02, 08:54 AM   #8
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What type of racing are you looking to do? DH or XC? Also, depending on where you live you might be able to find a club that has a winter series. Riding in the snow and ice is a blast, at least I think so, and racing in it is interesting especialy DH.
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Old 08-29-02, 04:17 PM   #9
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I'm sure I'm gonna get loads of grief for this statement, but cyclocross has got to be the most meaningless sport ever created.
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Old 08-29-02, 04:30 PM   #10
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I'm sure I'm gonna get loads of grief for this statement, but cyclocross has got to be the most meaningless sport ever created.
I guess you first have to decide if "meaning" and "sport" belong in the same sentence. The point is to have fun. But yes, pooping on cyclocross in a bike forum is stupid.
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Old 08-29-02, 04:58 PM   #11
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Think about it- let's go to some park and lay out some ribbons in a few zig-zags and a few circles. To make it require another $1500 bike with different tires, bars, frame geometry (like anyone really understands frame geometry anyway) let's throw in a few logs and rocks so they will have to dismount. Now let's make a rule that says no dually bikes because if we do that everybody will want to ride their mtn bikes and we can't have that. And if the course is to smooth they will ride road bikes or heaven forbid- "cross bikes".

Man, sign me up!
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Old 08-29-02, 05:50 PM   #12
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Think about it- let's go to some park and lay out some ribbons in a few zig-zags and a few circles. To make it require another $1500 bike with different tires, bars, frame geometry (like anyone really understands frame geometry anyway) let's throw in a few logs and rocks so they will have to dismount. Now let's make a rule that says no dually bikes because if we do that everybody will want to ride their mtn bikes and we can't have that. And if the course is to smooth they will ride road bikes or heaven forbid- "cross bikes".
First of all Mike, you can ride any type of bike you wish in a cyclocross race - you just have to remove bar ends. Cyclocross is an old sport, the bikes evolved prior to the existence of mt bikes, therefore, they look quite a bit like road bikes. I am, primarily, a mountain bike racer. Cross is furiously athletic (jumping, dismounting) and helps me stay in shape over the winter. Plus, having a cross bike allows me to have a fast road bike that can also chew up dirt roads, light single-track and such. Toss on slicks and you can race most of them. You certainly don't have to dismount, some riders hop the barriers and ride the climbs. Oh, I won a cross race on a "dually bike". I also like bmx, downhill and dual slalom - every one is quite a bit more fun if you have a bike made to match the discipline.
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Old 08-30-02, 06:42 AM   #13
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Originally posted by MikeOK
I'm sure I'm gonna get loads of grief for this statement, but cyclocross has got to be the most meaningless sport ever created.
A truly ignorant an inappropriate statement.

Then again, how stupid is DH? Why bother putting pedals on the bikes at all, gravity does all the work? And don't call DHers athletes, they don't even have to pedal. Does anyone take a 3 minute race seriously? And spending $6,000 on a bicycle that will be trashed at the end of the season. . . yeah, that's smart.

No, I don't DH. I don't even like DH, but I (usually) keep my negative opinions to myself. However, just because I don't participate, doesn't mean that DH isn't a valid type of cycling. If you DH, great, but don't be dissing my cycling passion because you don't understand it.

BTW, I don't cyclocross either, and you would have received the same lecture had you stepped on recumbants, commuting, or any other type of cycling.
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Old 08-30-02, 03:07 PM   #14
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I was wrong. Meaningless wasn't the right word. The right word is lame. But I was wrong again. I forgot about baseball, but thats's for another day. Thanks for your replies.
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Old 09-02-02, 08:02 AM   #15
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Hey guys, as long as we're all cycling who cares!

Ride on and ride hard...whatever may float your boat

Getting back to the original question, your LBS should be able to let you know of all the local races in your area, if I remember correctly, you're in South Africa...it would certainly beat racing around the lowlands of England!

Good luck in your search, Rich
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