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Old 04-20-12, 11:32 AM   #1
FujiKid
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Bike "Noob" here with some serious questions about San diego races/bike clubs/ ect!

So a little backstory about me, I started solo riding in march of 2011. I had a Fuji with sora components that cost me about 699$ and I rode that for around 2,000 miles for 3-4 months and absolutely FELL in love with this beautiful sport and loved every minute of it. Unfortunately, I had to have surgery on my chest (Gynocemastia) and had to take a break from the bike... unfortunately that break turned into 6-7 months of individual therapy and I fell into depression and lost motivation to get onto the bike and ended up selling my Fuji.

I started school in september of 2011, and bought a new GT series 2, with apex components and as of today I have almost 5,000 miles on her. I love the sport even more than I did when I started! However, I'm SICK of riding solo... and I see/hear all of these guys that are "Cat 5" Or "cat 4"... and I have absolutely NO idea what it means... I feel like a total bike noob even when I'm on my 70-80 mile solo rides up the 101..

So I guess my questions are...
- What's the meaning behind the "cat 5" and "cat 4" stuff?
- How can I start racing? Does it cost money? Do I need to do things before I sign up for them?


I guess I just want to start getting MORE out of my riding and not just riding for 150 miles each weekend, just for "Kicks".. hehe


Thanks for the read all,

Erik
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Old 04-20-12, 11:44 AM   #2
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CAT5 means you paid $60 for a USAC license. CAT4 means you've done that, plus started in 10 CAT5 mass start events (or you were so awesome that they bumped you up early). CAT3 means you have a certain number of points from CAT4 and upgraded, etc all the way down to CAT1. It's a way to break races up so that in theory the fast guys aren't racing with the slower new guys as much.

Races cost money. The USAC license is $60 a year, or you can buy a one day license for $5 or $10 depending on the event. On top of that, there's usually some fee for the actual event ($20-$40 seems common).

I'm not familiar with what is available in San Diego as far as racing goes, so others can chime in there.
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Old 04-20-12, 11:52 AM   #3
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CAT5 means you paid $60 for a USAC license. CAT4 means you've done that, plus started in 10 CAT5 mass start events (or you were so awesome that they bumped you up early). CAT3 means you have a certain number of points from CAT4 and upgraded, etc all the way down to CAT1. It's a way to break races up so that in theory the fast guys aren't racing with the slower new guys as much.

Races cost money. The USAC license is $60 a year, or you can buy a one day license for $5 or $10 depending on the event. On top of that, there's usually some fee for the actual event ($20-$40 seems common).

I'm not familiar with what is available in San Diego as far as racing goes, so others can chime in there.
Thank you so much for your post J! USAC stands for...? Just curious so I can pay for a license..

That being said.. what does a "license"... do for me?
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Old 04-20-12, 01:44 PM   #4
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The license allows you to race, you can't do a USAC race without it. The best way to start racing is by joining a race club, that way you can get used to riding on big groups at high speeds and also make sure that you have the fitness to race in CAT 5.
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Old 04-20-12, 01:54 PM   #5
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I'm not a racer, but if it helps, I've found Facebook has been the best way of finding recreational groups to ride with. I used to check in once a week or so, just to see what my kids are doing, but once I had a few cycling contacts, It became the place to go if I want to find a ride.
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Old 04-20-12, 01:57 PM   #6
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You might want to check out the sticky thread in the road racing forum.

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...s-a-tip-or-two
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Old 04-20-12, 03:29 PM   #7
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If you don't have someone to mentor you for learning how to ride in groups and racing, you should join a club. SDBC is good for beginners. SDBC, san diego bicycle club.
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Old 04-20-12, 05:29 PM   #8
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If you don't have someone to mentor you for learning how to ride in groups and racing, you should join a club. SDBC is good for beginners. SDBC, san diego bicycle club.
This.

Before you think about racing, for your sake and the sake of others, get comfortable riding in groups. SDBC is a good beginner group. They have a lot of rides at different paces and lengths that you can try out.

Their main page is www.sdbc.org.

Here is a page describing all of their Saturday rides. They meet in front of UC Cyclery and the rides leave at 8:30am.
http://www.sdbc.org/core/template.php?page=ride.satride

There is currently a new ride that isn't listed there. It's the "C" ride, but the C stands for Climbing, not an indication of the pace. The C ride is probably as hard, effort-wise as the B ride, but does between 3,500 and 5,500ft of climbing. Rides are around the 55-65 mile mark and the routes change every week.

Note that the Sunday ride page is wrong.
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Old 04-20-12, 11:22 PM   #9
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Thank you everyone for the help!
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Old 04-20-12, 11:51 PM   #10
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Tomorrow morning the Trek group is is doing one. PLan to show up if you want.

EDIT: Heres the website with the information. http://trekbicyclesuperstore.com/art...ions-pg565.htm

I plan on showing up tomorrow morning and it will be my first group ride in months. Ive been really busy with school and work that I didnt have time riding so I will be either in the B or C group in my black CAPO jersey w/ Specialized Tarmac. I have to take it a little easy on my legs. Say hi if you stop by. Cheers!

Last edited by NotZeroSix; 04-20-12 at 11:57 PM.
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Old 04-24-12, 10:14 AM   #11
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USAC = USA Cycling, the national governing body for the sport of bicycle racing in the US, including Olympic selection. Beginning in 2012 Cat. 5 racers must not only start 10 races to upgrade to Cat. 4, they must also finish the races.
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