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Old 12-06-04, 02:43 PM   #1
hoodlum
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Hope to start Cat 5 Racing in the spring

I am hoping to start racing some cat 5 races (RR, TT, and Crits) in the spring. I've never done any bike racing but have done about a dozen triathlons. Right now I am only building base milege and will start with some tempo rides and repeats after the 1st of the year. My speed seems to be getting better without too much hard riding right now, and yesterday I rode 65 miles @19.5 mph solo. I was riding steady and got my HR up on some climbs, but wasn't pushing all that hard. My question is, if I keep riding and start some serios riding soon, will I be OK for some Cat 5 racing in the spring? I really don't want to get dropped quickly and struggle through races, I would rather wait until I am in good enough shape to compete before I start. Also, does anyone have any advice to keep me from looking like a fool as I attempt this?
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Old 12-06-04, 03:39 PM   #2
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yes. i normally average about 18.5 over a 40ish mielr ide and i raced juniors and held with guys that raced cat 3 +. i also rode club with a lot of 4 and 5 guys during the peak of the season and could stay in the pack relatively easy. my longer rides normally don't go over 35 to 45 miles(due to time) and i do some shorter fast paced 2o mile rides. i could stay witht hem for 20 to 25 miles without any problem, and most cat 5 races are only 12.4 miles(20 k). most of the guys also said that they thought i would be ok. i live in greenville SC and am heading up to Winston Salem next year, so hopefully i'll be seein' you at the races
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Old 12-06-04, 03:41 PM   #3
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Crits are all about whether you can hang with the front when they go from 24 to 28+ mph in the blink of an eye. Over and over again.
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Old 12-06-04, 03:46 PM   #4
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If you haven't already, please do everyone around you a favor and get some serious group rides in. All the speed in the world does you no good when you get nervous cause you're surrounded by other riders and you take out half the pack.

Once you've done that, just go out and do it. It's really the only way to know if you have what it takes. Average speed means nothing. It's whether or not you can keep up with those in front of ya.
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Old 12-06-04, 04:37 PM   #5
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Yes, I will probably be there in W-S. I get a little nervous when I hear you guys talk about 28 mph in a Cat 5 race. I guess I could do that for a few hundred yards, but the thought of 28 mph makes me feel lactic acid burn right here at my desk. Either way, thanks for the advice.
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Old 12-06-04, 04:56 PM   #6
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Remember what your do by yourself is a time-trial. Having watched a number of triathletes move to racing the major problem is learning to ride with a group. If you can ride with a group 25 mph is not a problem. If you can't ride with a group you will be dropped. This has almost nothing to do with how fast you can ride by yourself. If you are not smooth someone will see to it you get dropped. Light on the brakes, keep pedaling, and DO NOT watch the rear wheel of the person directly in front of you (look through the person to the next bike). You just have to go race and learn. Too high of an expectation in your first race will almost certainly make it less fun. Pick a small road race if you can.
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Old 12-06-04, 06:08 PM   #7
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hehehehehe.....that's what intervals are for. I couldn't wait until March before I hit the interval work.


Quote:
Originally Posted by hoodlum
Yes, I will probably be there in W-S. I get a little nervous when I hear you guys talk about 28 mph in a Cat 5 race. I guess I could do that for a few hundred yards, but the thought of 28 mph makes me feel lactic acid burn right here at my desk. Either way, thanks for the advice.
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Old 12-06-04, 10:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoodlum
Yes, I will probably be there in W-S. I get a little nervous when I hear you guys talk about 28 mph in a Cat 5 race. I guess I could do that for a few hundred yards, but the thought of 28 mph makes me feel lactic acid burn right here at my desk. Either way, thanks for the advice.
Don't be! As has been said, riding in a pack at 25 mph isn't that hard, it's being able to keep up with the constant accelerations out of the corners - that's when the gaps come in. Take a peek at this movie (it's 34MB but WELL worth it). The cameraman is a Cat 2 racer, but you'll get an idea of the accelerations plus it's way cool and makes me want to jump on the bike every time I watch it!!
http://www.mashermovies.com/movies/2...austincrit.mpg
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Old 12-07-04, 07:29 AM   #9
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I would suggest a road race before a crit, if you're not comfortable in fast groups. Road races tend to string out more and the groups are smaller and the courses less technical, i.e. fewer hard turns at speed.

While 28mph may seem impossible alone, in a pace line of 10 motivated racers it's not too bad. You can do your 10 sec turn at the front and then get in the draft.

Final word: Hang up your pride and go race. Try to have fun, stay safe and learn.
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Old 12-07-04, 11:47 AM   #10
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Cool movie.
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Old 12-07-04, 03:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacMan
Take a peek at this movie (it's 34MB but WELL worth it). The cameraman is a Cat 2 racer, but you'll get an idea of the accelerations plus it's way cool and makes me want to jump on the bike every time I watch it!!
http://www.mashermovies.com/movies/2...austincrit.mpg
Way cool - thanks for sharing, MacMan.
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Old 12-07-04, 06:31 PM   #12
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I hope to be there, in a year or so, good luck with your aspirations...
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Old 12-07-04, 11:13 PM   #13
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If you haven't done so, look for some pickup races in your area to ride in. They're ridden like races, but no one's keeping score. This will get you used to close pack riding (essential for survival) and the surging that occurs in races. You'll also find out how ride in a paceline bridge gaps and other fun things. Lots of Tri riders are strong like bull, but aren't use to drafting, pack riding, and the surges that go on in bike races. Cat 5 races average 23-25 mph, but it's mostly going from 20 mph then jumping to 33, then back to 25, then up to 30 back to 22 etc. Good luck. Have fun.
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Old 12-08-04, 08:09 AM   #14
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Hoodlum,
Sounds to me like you will be just fine. I would take Laggards advice and join a few big group rides because if that freeks you out right away then you will need to work on it.

NC has a really competitive racing sceen. Some times there are citizen races that are a sort of like pre-cat5 and just an opportunity to get a feel for it and be safe. Check out this web site: http://t2r.org/ the 'race' link currently has cyclocrosss schedule but after that it will have a list of all the races in NC and some in SC probably. There are also tips for training and racing.
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Old 12-08-04, 09:33 AM   #15
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Thanks for all of the help. I have checked out those sites and watched the movie (That thing is awesome!). Hopefully I will have some sort of race experience to report back in the near future.
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