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Old 07-24-03, 12:24 AM   #1
wkpat81
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What to do before entering races?

Hi,

Im pretty new to mountain biking. I have been riding for around 6 months. At first I started riding to stay in shape, but after a while I found myself competing against myself (the clock) a lot. I was just wondering what people usually do before the begin entering races of any sort. I live in Colorado and am sure that there are a lot of different bike clubs around. I just dont know what kind of training I would need to do, what kind of upgrades I would need to do to my bike (if any are recommended) I have a 2003 TREK 6700 with disc brakes. I just turned 22 years old. If anyone has any tips on things I should do before thinking about entering races I would greatly appreciate it!!!

Take Care
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Old 07-24-03, 12:38 AM   #2
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Don't worry about upgrades just yet. You will find out that (most) mountain bike races have a more causal atmosphere then their road counterparts. You don't need a $5000 bike, or lycra, or to be that fast to enjoy yourself. My first race I was in cargo shorts and a t-shirt, riding a cheap freeride-eske (sp?) Giant Warp. Find a small local race put on by a ski resort or LBS, sign up for the novice class and dive in. Trust me by next year everything you do on a bike will be devoted to racing.

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Old 07-24-03, 07:49 AM   #3
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Just sign up and do it.

Your local shop probably has some racers and see if you can meet up with some of them during a group ride. That way you already know somebody when you show up on race day.

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Old 07-24-03, 08:13 AM   #4
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Colorado is extremely competitive in the road circuit, but i dont know how that carries over to the off-road. The best thing for beginners-experts is just ride a lot and get a TON of base miles. With mtb races everyone just does their own thing and sprinting rarely happens to the finish in my expereience. So just go out there and ride your bike a lot and get those miles in. The more miles you get the better you'll do. Simple as that
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Old 07-24-03, 10:42 AM   #5
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ya find some people who do some racing and ask them about whats going on in your area. and then go race, almost as simple as that.
Are you wanting to XC race or DH ?
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Old 07-24-03, 10:49 AM   #6
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Get a good nights rest and eat a good healthy (not heavy) breakfast/meal no closer than 2 hours before the gun goes off. Drink about 20 oz of water an hour before race time to delay dehydration ( but drink during the race as you normally would during a hard training ride). Then ride like there is a mountain lion chasing you
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Old 07-24-03, 11:45 AM   #7
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Its also very important to warm up for at least 30 min before the race(i usualy warm up for about 45min to an hour) and stretch before hand along with afterwards.
and get to the event at least an hour and a half before your start time. this will give you time to warm up and get registered and ready to go.

like SamDaBikinMan said , dont eat to heavy in the morning.
most of the time before a race i eat a small bowl of oatmeal a bannana ornage juice and lots of watter and then about 30 min before the race i eat a little energy snack (Hammer gel sometimes) you dont want to eat a lot but not to little nither, you dont want to bonk! Every one is different so you have to try different things. I only weigh 135 pounds and im 5'11" so i dont need as much as some others.
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Old 07-24-03, 01:40 PM   #8
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Thanks for all of the responses. I usually ride around 20-25 miles a day 5 days a week. Like I said I havent been riding for very long so im not sure how much to do. I Know i just need to push myself, just dont want to be over doing it. Anyone on here from Colorado know of any good places to race for a beginner? Im around the Ft. Collins area. If I show up at a race is there a good chance that im going to be the only one there that has never raced before? Dont want to make a fool of myself. haha Thanks again for all the tips I really appreciate them.

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Old 07-24-03, 03:28 PM   #9
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not sure around your area for races but ask around the shops first, they should know.
If you show up at a race your first time you WILL get made fun of and you will get creamed so i wouldent even go...Ok not really but there are always newcomers to races, ya gotta start some place.
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Old 07-24-03, 03:34 PM   #10
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Oh, and if your doing 25 miles a day every week than it sounds like your riding plenty to start racing.
I started racing XC this spring and haddent riden much since that. i started my first race with only 2 weeks of pre ride so i wasent even in shape yet. but now im turning up on the podium and getting 1st amost every race.

Just have fun with it, most of the people at the races are real nice and relaxed.
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Old 07-24-03, 06:27 PM   #11
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If you ride like 20 miles per day you'll do just fine. I only ride hard on the weekends and rarely during the week, and I managed to place 12th in my first race. I love racing, but the Florida mountain bike racing scene seriously sucks.
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Old 07-24-03, 07:41 PM   #12
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I just dont know what kind of training I would need to do,
Just have fun riding. After you do your first race you will have a better idea of what you need to work on. Then you can figure out a good routine.

Follow the advice given by others as to eating, sleeping but also try to stay as relaxed as possible. If you get your self to worked up before the race you are done for. Yes you will have the jitters and such but relax the best you can.

You will learn an aweful lot in you first race. Just try and enjoy it. be sure to preride the course so you have an idea of what to expect. Some courses will have turnoffs that are not well marked. You do not want to miss them.

Oh yeah, one last thing. Make sure your bike is working properly at least a day or two before the race. You do not want to be screwing around with adjustment the day of the race. Granted you may brake something or flat during practice but that is how it goes.

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Old 07-24-03, 08:02 PM   #13
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Yeah, mechanical working order is VERY important in a race, especially when conditions are nasty. I got ahead by at least 5 places because of others having mechanical failures.
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Old 07-24-03, 10:31 PM   #14
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I clean my bike up before the race (day or two ahead of time) and go through the whole bike and inspect things just in case. and I clean the chain up real well (Soak in simple green and flush clean).

Also if you do another race dont forget your number plate (if its a pernament one) i seam to forget mine a lot and it costs me a buck every time i do (for a temp replaccment)
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Old 07-25-03, 02:03 AM   #15
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Thanks again to everyone that responded, there is a lot of good info here. What do you guys think about my bike? Is it a pretty good bike for the beginning racer, without having to do any upgrades or anything? It is a 2003 TREK 6700 HT with Disc Brakes. Anyone own this bike? Have any comments to share about it? THanks again,

Take Care
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Old 07-25-03, 02:16 AM   #16
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I took a look at it on the trek website, components seem up to par. If you wanted something to upgrade maybe go with a raceface prodigy XC crank, about $75. Then maybe a fork and shifters down the road.

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Old 07-25-03, 08:34 AM   #17
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Thanks Middi-zon, ill take a look into those for sure. What would be the biggest benifet from the prodigy XC crank? THanks again, I appreciate it!!


Take Care
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Old 07-25-03, 12:18 PM   #18
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The Prodigy is real stiff, pretty light, about shimano XT quality but looks cooler, and has 2 more teeth in the big ring than most of shimano's line which helps in the sprints.

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Old 07-25-03, 12:20 PM   #19
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Cool, thaks!!! Ill have to go by the bike shop after work and check it out. Take Care
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Old 07-25-03, 01:39 PM   #20
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Not to be funny but if you can manage it, take a really big sh1t before you leave. I ride hard on the weekends and I always take a huge dump before I head out. Youll feel lighter, seriously. I know I do
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Old 07-25-03, 03:31 PM   #21
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Originally posted by troie
Not to be funny but if you can manage it, take a really big sh1t before you leave. I ride hard on the weekends and I always take a huge dump before I head out. Youll feel lighter, seriously. I know I do
Ditto that!
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Old 07-25-03, 06:05 PM   #22
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ya, thats a good point. let it all out before the race. no joke! drink plenty of water before the race and go piss just before you start. i have seen people accualy go potty durring the race.
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Old 07-25-03, 06:15 PM   #23
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Originally posted by troie
Not to be funny but if you can manage it, take a really big sh1t before you leave. I ride hard on the weekends and I always take a huge dump before I head out. Youll feel lighter, seriously. I know I do
AMEN brother! I'll vote yes on this one too.

You don't want to waste energy keeping the cheeks tight to keep from soiling the chamois
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Old 07-25-03, 06:25 PM   #24
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lol
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Old 07-25-03, 06:58 PM   #25
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Mad Dog, I defenitley know what you mean there. I always "unload" before riding. haha
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