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What to put on license?

Old 12-02-16, 03:38 PM
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What to put on license?

Lately I have been racing with just one day licenses and now I am joining a team that requires a year license. The problem is that as a u14 I was only racing kids and only did a few races before going u15 which race with cat 3. I was getting dropped but I have since gotten a lot faster, I plan on racing mostly cat 5 this season but may want to do some junior races. If I put junior on license will I still be able to race cat 5 or will I have to race with the rest of the juniors in cat3?
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Old 12-02-16, 06:59 PM
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Go here for the answer.

Not being snarky about this, it's worth a look through aside from your specific question. Good to know where the resource is and how to look stuff up vs. hoping someone here knows the right answer to any questions you might have.
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Old 12-03-16, 03:06 PM
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Regardless of whether you are racing Cat 5 or Juniors, you will still have to comply with all junior regulations, most notably gearing.
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Old 12-03-16, 03:23 PM
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And note that if you have fewer than 10 mass starts, you are a Cat 5.
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Old 12-03-16, 03:46 PM
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And you will not be upgraded past a 3 in some regions until you are 15. Each district makes it's own rules it seems. Winner of women's 123 pro was 14. Still a 3 (maybe a 4) as SoCal district does not use USAC rules.
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Old 12-03-16, 04:12 PM
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Also...
Join a junior team. The juniors are given a lot by very kind sponsors that, well, don't give as much after being a junior.
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Old 12-03-16, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Doge
Also...
Join a junior team. The juniors are given a lot by very kind sponsors that, well, don't give as much after being a junior.
Their are no junior teams near where I live, I have already joined a normal team. Just need my license. If I register as a junior, can I still race with cat 5?
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Old 12-03-16, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Bikeracer123
Their are no junior teams near where I live, I have already joined a normal team. Just need my license. If I register as a junior, can I still race with cat 5?
Yes.
Being a junior is based on age alone. The rules about gearing, sometimes wheels you may use (rules change by country and race) and bikes you may use are based on age alone. The most likely thing you need to be concerned about is the gear which is 52X14 which you can block out so it does not shift into the higher gears (things change at Nationals). When you race Cat 5 - you are still under junior rules even thought you are racing adults. So while your competitors may use a bigger gear you may not. Cycling is the only sport I know like that.

The other thing is rules say you do not have to upgrade as a junior. Adults have to move up a category when they reach a certain number of points. Juniors do not. Which means you can clean up on Cat 3 money when you are as good as a Cat 2 and all others were forced to upgrade.

However, as I mentioned, certain districts (SoCal for one) do not follow USAC upgrade rules, so what you read in the USAC rule book may not apply.
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Old 12-04-16, 05:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Bikeracer123
Their are no junior teams near where I live, I have already joined a normal team. Just need my license. If I register as a junior, can I still race with cat 5?
You're in Florida? Yeah, there are junior teams.

What do you mean when you say that there are none 'near you'?
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Old 12-04-16, 06:01 AM
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Originally Posted by canuckbelle
You're in Florida? Yeah, there are junior teams.

What do you mean when you say that there are none 'near you'?
The closest team is about 2 hours from where I live. I think I will put junior on my license and race cat 5.
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Old 12-04-16, 06:05 AM
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If I can comfortably average around 23-25mph and I am pretty good with accelerations, do you think I can not get dropped from the cat 5 group?
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Old 12-04-16, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Bikeracer123
If I can comfortably average around 23-25mph and I am pretty good with accelerations, do you think I can not get dropped from the cat 5 group?
depends on who is there... my first cat5 averaged 27-28mph.. got gapped in a turn when I had to brake hard (my fault for being back there in the first place) never made it back to the main pack and I averaged 25+. My advice don't worry about being dropped..it's not the end of the world.
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Old 12-04-16, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Bikeracer123
If I can comfortably average around 23-25mph and I am pretty good with accelerations, do you think I can not get dropped from the cat 5 group?
You should be fine in terms of fitness. What you'll want to work on is riding in a group, drafting, cornering, etc.

You have a Junior gear limit. If you don't know what that is you absolutely need to read the rulebook. When I started racing a fellow Junior gave me some advice. The first one was to read the rule book.

It's fine that you joined a normal club. Many/most clubs do not have Junior specific program/stuff. Also you won't be a Junior forever so racing in the Senior races is fine.

Junior races tend to have very small fields so they're more time trialing than group racing. In addition Junior races are usually open category. Combined with the small fields you may find yourself racing regularly against a Cat 1 or 2 that can blow apart the tiny field at will. That's no fun.

Racing Cat 5s, 4-5s, you'll be able to shelter, learn the subtle stuff about riding in a field, and you'll race against riders similar to you in experience and probably strength.

The gear limit should not be a huge factor in your races. I did a race where I lost the ability to get into the big ring so my biggest gear was a 39x11 (equal to a 53x15, so it's lower than the current Junior gear limit). I still won the sprint out of my group, outsprinting a guy who runs either a 54x11 or 55x11, and who normally beats me in sprints.

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Old 12-04-16, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Bikeracer123
... I think I will put junior on my license and race cat 5.
You have no choice on putting junior on your license.
The computer software picks that up. For example if you put age 7 it would not allow a license.

If you are under 18 the software will allow you to lie about your age and you do not need to prove it (and it happens).
When you are over 18, or race outside USAC you have to show proof of birth.

If you are turning 18 or under this year and getting a USAC license - you are a junior. There is no way out of that in USAC.

Last edited by Doge; 12-04-16 at 10:27 AM.
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Old 12-04-16, 10:35 AM
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I'd add on racing advice (my kid is last junior year, started racing when he was 8).
Do both Cat and junior.
Do not upgrade too early, don't sandbag.
It is good to experience struggling to stay on, riding in the pack and dominating.
Some kids would go get their Cat 2 as soon as they could and spend time struggling, getting dropped, not really racing - just hanging on. They "forgot how to win". Later upgrades went from winning Cat 3 to winning Cat 2. Hopefully a parent or coach can guide you. Point is upgrade intelligently, not emotionally. Being a junior you will get better each year. But at some point it is less easy to be at the front.

You will likely not have much issue with Cat 5s after a bit.

On junior team. 2 hours is very little if you can see them 1-2 times a year. Ask around and see if you can meet them at a race.
Ideally, starting you would go closer first, but junior teams can help you with advice and equipment and stuff. Older junior teams have members from all over the country.

Last edited by Doge; 12-04-16 at 12:15 PM.
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Old 12-04-16, 02:03 PM
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Thanks, I have been doing "A" group rides which average around 24+ mph and often get above 30 mph.
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Old 12-04-16, 04:03 PM
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Like [MENTION=364302]Doge[/MENTION] said ... you'll be both a 5 and a Jr. You SHOULD be able to tie in your previous races from one day licenses last year if you inform USAC or your race association if you're not wanting to start from zero.

Also, your fitness will be fine.
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Old 12-05-16, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Bikeracer123
Thanks, I have been doing "A" group rides which average around 24+ mph and often get above 30 mph.
The 30 mph will need to be on the junior gears we mentioned above.

Speed of the juniors vs men's category packs in a competitive races can be close. These are my observations/opinions and close to what I see.
U14 ~ Cat 4
U16 ~ Cat 3
U18 ~ Cat 2
Depending on the importance of the event, and course - it varies. It is clear some promoters don't know this when they start the wrong group in front. Because juniors do not have to upgrade, you may see a few much faster than their age group. So you could have several Cat 1 juniors driving a U18 pack, Cat 2s driving a U16 group.

You jumping into categories racing adults is not a bad idea at your age. Starting against U15s is pretty tough.
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Old 12-06-16, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Doge
The 30 mph will need to be on the junior gears we mentioned above.

Speed of the juniors vs men's category packs in a competitive races can be close. These are my observations/opinions and close to what I see.
U14 ~ Cat 4
U16 ~ Cat 3
U18 ~ Cat 2
Depending on the importance of the event, and course - it varies. It is clear some promoters don't know this when they start the wrong group in front. Because juniors do not have to upgrade, you may see a few much faster than their age group. So you could have several Cat 1 juniors driving a U18 pack, Cat 2s driving a U16 group.

You jumping into categories racing adults is not a bad idea at your age. Starting against U15s is pretty tough.
I already have junior gears on, and when I say 30, I mean it occasionally hits thirty but that is maybe only once per ride.
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Old 12-06-16, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Bikeracer123
I already have junior gears on, and when I say 30, I mean it occasionally hits thirty but that is maybe only once per ride.
You sound all setup. Go race. I think you will find you have more than enough power. There is more to racing than power and speed, but it helps.

Meet people. Even if you do not race juniors see if there are any and try to see meet some of them.
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