Go Back  Bike Forums > The Racer's Forum > "The 33"-Road Bike Racing
Reload this Page >

How does one do become a "race mentor" for USAC race?

"The 33"-Road Bike Racing We set this forum up for our members to discuss their experiences in either pro or amateur racing, whether they are the big races, or even the small backyard races. Don't forget to update all the members with your own race results.

How does one do become a "race mentor" for USAC race?

Reply

Old 12-06-17, 10:17 AM
  #1  
Radish_legs
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Radish_legs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 705
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 348 Post(s)
How does one do become a "race mentor" for USAC race?

Trainer Road podcast talked about this, and also made a blog post. From Cat 5 to Cat 1: How USAC Road Upgrades Work

So you have to be a cat 3, and you are I assume racing in a lower level category, kind of at the back, giving instructions and encouragement. Then you have a post-race meeting.

Where are the details on how this is accomplished? I'd never heard of this before.
Radish_legs is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-17, 11:26 AM
  #2  
furiousferret
Senior Member
 
furiousferret's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Redlands, CA
Posts: 5,498
Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 505 Post(s)
I believe race mentoring is relatively new though clinics have been around for a few years (at least since I started). My neighbor is the SoCal Association President (SCNCA) and he talked about it a bit as if it was something planned and not implemented.

I'll dig up the video he did on it and try to find the section.

When I did my clinic (in San Diego Red Trolley Course) we had 3-5 racers on the course helping us out. They were all pros, but I believe you can be a 3 and do it as well. Find a clinic promoter and volunteer your services if you're a 3.
furiousferret is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-17, 07:30 PM
  #3  
Radish_legs
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Radish_legs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 705
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 348 Post(s)
I'm wondering if we could have a 3 teammate race in the 4/5 weeknight crit as a mentor. And how that gets set up.
Radish_legs is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-17, 07:32 PM
  #4  
gsteinb
out walking the earth
 
gsteinb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 20,552
Mentioned: 55 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 425 Post(s)
I would think (hope) that the mentor would be an impartial advisor in the race. If you have a specific person in mind who has a knowledge base you respect and he happens to be on your team, that's cool. If you're thinking of it as some sort of advantage I'd suggest you might be looking at it wrong.
gsteinb is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-17, 07:46 PM
  #5  
Radish_legs
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Radish_legs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 705
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 348 Post(s)
Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
I would think (hope) that the mentor would be an impartial advisor in the race. If you have a specific person in mind who has a knowledge base you respect and he happens to be on your team, that's cool. If you're thinking of it as some sort of advantage I'd suggest you might be looking at it wrong.
Of course it's an advantage to have a mentor in the race. Giving advice, telling you what to do. Not for pulling. Someone behind you or to the side of you.

I don't think the advisor can mentor all the racers at one time.
Radish_legs is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-17, 07:47 PM
  #6  
gsteinb
out walking the earth
 
gsteinb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 20,552
Mentioned: 55 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 425 Post(s)
You're definitely looking at it wrong.
gsteinb is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-17, 11:14 PM
  #7  
hack
Senior Member
 
hack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Folsom, CA
Posts: 3,852
Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 402 Post(s)
The mentor is there for the benefit for all, not for teammates. If they were preferentially aiding teammates, I'd suspect their mentor career would be short lived.
hack is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-17, 11:37 PM
  #8  
Ygduf
\_(ツ)_/
 
Ygduf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Redwood City, CA
Posts: 10,817

Bikes: aggressive agreement is what I ride.

Mentioned: 96 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 889 Post(s)
Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
You're definitely looking at it wrong.
shocking
Ygduf is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-17, 12:54 AM
  #9  
mattm
**** that
 
mattm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: CALI
Posts: 15,187
Mentioned: 117 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 980 Post(s)
lol at how this thread turned out

it had potential to be legit
mattm is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-17, 04:44 AM
  #10  
gsteinb
out walking the earth
 
gsteinb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 20,552
Mentioned: 55 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 425 Post(s)
CRCA does something like this with their lower level club races. To be a club member each sub team needs to perform various team duties, along with mandatory marshall duty. One of the duties is that you can mentor the lower level races (club races are A, B, C) and offer tactical and safety advice while sitting in the field.
gsteinb is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-17, 09:16 AM
  #11  
furiousferret
Senior Member
 
furiousferret's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Redlands, CA
Posts: 5,498
Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 505 Post(s)
It's not like Cat 3 and under racers are Jedi. Except for maybe @mattm.
furiousferret is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-17, 12:26 PM
  #12  
Racer Ex 
Resident Alien
 
Racer Ex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Location, location.
Posts: 13,075
Mentioned: 140 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 344 Post(s)
You contact the mentor coordinator for your local association. They will explain the program and what your duties are. That will vary from LA to LA.
Racer Ex is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-17, 05:46 PM
  #13  
Radish_legs
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Radish_legs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 705
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 348 Post(s)
Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
You're definitely looking at it wrong.
Yet you offer no explanation.

Say I'm a Cat 3 and my friends are interested in me mentoring them in a 4/5 race. I don't know even know anyone else in the field. I don't know anything about them. They aren't expecting or wanting anything from me.

So please do explain how the race mentor guides the entire field of 35 riders. I'd like to hear this.
Radish_legs is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-17, 05:54 PM
  #14  
Radish_legs
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Radish_legs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 705
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 348 Post(s)
Originally Posted by furiousferret View Post
I believe race mentoring is relatively new though clinics have been around for a few years (at least since I started). My neighbor is the SoCal Association President (SCNCA) and he talked about it a bit as if it was something planned and not implemented.

I'll dig up the video he did on it and try to find the section.

When I did my clinic (in San Diego Red Trolley Course) we had 3-5 racers on the course helping us out. They were all pros, but I believe you can be a 3 and do it as well. Find a clinic promoter and volunteer your services if you're a 3.
We don't have race clinics in the Dallas area. Having someone ride around with you in a "clinic race", that's one thing. That's fake practice race. Having a mentor in a real race is another thing. My impression from the podcast was that it could be used in a real race.
Radish_legs is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-17, 05:56 PM
  #15  
Radish_legs
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Radish_legs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 705
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 348 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
You contact the mentor coordinator for your local association. They will explain the program and what your duties are. That will vary from LA to LA.
done.
Radish_legs is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-17, 05:57 PM
  #16  
furiousferret
Senior Member
 
furiousferret's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Redlands, CA
Posts: 5,498
Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 505 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Radish_legs View Post
Yet you offer no explanation.

Say I'm a Cat 3 and my friends are interested in me mentoring them in a 4/5 race. I don't know even know anyone else in the field. I don't know anything about them. They aren't expecting or wanting anything from me.

So please do explain how the race mentor guides the entire field of 35 riders. I'd like to hear this.
That's fair. I'll preface this with the fact the people commenting have more talent in their left toe than I'll ever have so take it with a grain of salt. I'm sure if I'm wrong they'll probably let me know as well (which I have been many times in the past)!

Going off the ones I saw this is how it should go:

Stay well off to the side of the pack and watch. The biggest priority is safety so if a rider isn't doing something right, you correct him (or have him pull off if its bad). If everyone is riding well then you start giving advice to the riders that are doing things wrong such as spending time in the wind, leaving gaps, not cornering well.

At least that's what our mentor did in San Diego. There were also 3 of them, and it was pretty impressive that during our 'race' they were able to keep up being off to the side and in the wind while barking out advice.
furiousferret is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-17, 06:11 PM
  #17  
Radish_legs
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Radish_legs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 705
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 348 Post(s)
I didn't envision it as kind of "safety policeman" of the race. Although that could be part of the job. The stuff you are talking about is pretty basic.

Maybe someone's left a gap on purpose. Maybe someone's dying legs have opened a gap. Maybe someone is on the front "too long" on purpose. Maybe there are team tactics at play.

I was thinking it was more along the lines of "this is how you win" and "this is how you maximize your placing." Telling someone when to move up in the field, how to get better sheltered from the wind. When to chase the break, when to make the break, etc.
Radish_legs is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-17, 06:14 PM
  #18  
gsteinb
out walking the earth
 
gsteinb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 20,552
Mentioned: 55 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 425 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Radish_legs View Post
Yet you offer no explanation.

Say I'm a Cat 3 and my friends are interested in me mentoring them in a 4/5 race. I don't know even know anyone else in the field. I don't know anything about them. They aren't expecting or wanting anything from me.

So please do explain how the race mentor guides the entire field of 35 riders. I'd like to hear this.
I think FF is on point.

It has nothing to do with knowing people in the field. A mentor is there to point out things to improve safety, offer some tactical advice, and point other things out, say, things that might be unique to that course or situation. This is a small step in the direction of actually making an effort that folks aren't out there without any clue at all how ride safely and act in a field. It is not a team oriented thing to improve your team's personal odds or winning. This isn't a 4/5 version of having a headset. Since it's pretty unlikely that there will be a mentor for each team (it could get pretty congested out there) impartiality is key. Since the goal is insuring safety and knowledge in the rider base there's really no reason it should be set up in a manner which favors a given group of riders. Certainly a case where the squeaky wheel will get the grease (the rider all over the road, or over lapping wheels). If it's all smooth than advice can be offered about attacking or chasing, but I figure it would be a pretty tertiary concern.
gsteinb is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-17, 06:15 PM
  #19  
gsteinb
out walking the earth
 
gsteinb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 20,552
Mentioned: 55 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 425 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Radish_legs View Post
Maybe someone's left a gap on purpose. Maybe someone's dying legs have opened a gap. Maybe someone is on the front "too long" on purpose. Maybe there are team tactics at play.
in a 4/5 race?
gsteinb is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-17, 06:20 PM
  #20  
Radish_legs
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Radish_legs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 705
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 348 Post(s)
Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
in a 4/5 race?
It does happen from time to time. Had a 4/5 crit where 10 out of 35 riders were on the same team. And a break did win. And yes, they blocked like crazy. And they had guys chase every person who tried to bridge.

A race mentor could help a team practice its tactics better.
Radish_legs is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-17, 06:57 PM
  #21  
arai_speed
Senior Member
 
arai_speed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Cali Caliente
Posts: 76

Bikes: Yes

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)
My Experience with Mentored Races

The Cat 5 races I completed that included a "mentor" were aimed at all riders, not just friends/team mates.

In other words, the race sponsor, offered the mentored race (called Beginner Race Program) to everyone. For $50 you got:

1) Pre-Race on-bike instructional clinic
2) mentored race (cost included)
3) Post-race debrief

Pre-race pep talk, on bike clinic on the course, drills, etc.

During the race, the mentors just hung back and watched. I don't recall them coaching anybody during the race. i.e. "Hey close that gap!" or "Follow that wheel!" What I did see them do was help riders that had gotten dropped by moving them out of the way as they got lapped, or helped them (if there was more than one dropped rider) organize into a group so they could work together.

Post race debrief for Q/A.

These events are worth 2 points (events) for Cat 5.
arai_speed is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-17, 08:06 PM
  #22  
rubiksoval
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Music City, USA
Posts: 1,698

Bikes: Felt AR

Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 954 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Radish_legs View Post
It does happen from time to time. Had a 4/5 crit where 10 out of 35 riders were on the same team. And a break did win. And yes, they blocked like crazy. And they had guys chase every person who tried to bridge.

A race mentor could help a team practice its tactics better.
How could a race mentor help one team practice its tactics better while being impartial to all racers?

What you're proposing makes absolutely no sense.
rubiksoval is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-17, 08:41 PM
  #23  
Radish_legs
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Radish_legs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 705
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 348 Post(s)
Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
How could a race mentor help one team practice its tactics better while being impartial to all racers?

What you're proposing makes absolutely no sense.
What I envisioned was someone in the race accomplishing the same thing that a race director in a car following would do. Like having a radio. Sits in the back, maybe moves up the side from time to time to give instructions.

The example given above actually seems to include no in-race mentoring. So what's the point of having a mentor riding in the race? Not much.
Radish_legs is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-17, 09:12 PM
  #24  
mattm
**** that
 
mattm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: CALI
Posts: 15,187
Mentioned: 117 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 980 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Radish_legs View Post
What I envisioned was someone in the race accomplishing the same thing that a race director in a car following would do. Like having a radio. Sits in the back, maybe moves up the side from time to time to give instructions.

The example given above actually seems to include no in-race mentoring. So what's the point of having a mentor riding in the race? Not much.
I think you're mis-using the term "race mentor" - what you're talking about is not what a race mentor is, at all.
__________________
cat 1.

my race videos
mattm is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-17, 09:16 PM
  #25  
arai_speed
Senior Member
 
arai_speed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Cali Caliente
Posts: 76

Bikes: Yes

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Radish_legs View Post
What I envisioned was someone in the race accomplishing the same thing that a race director in a car following would do. Like having a radio. Sits in the back, maybe moves up the side from time to time to give instructions.



Originally Posted by Radish_legs View Post
The example given above actually seems to include no in-race mentoring. So what's the point of having a mentor riding in the race? Not much.
Mentor in the race is watching the riders, watching their lines, looking for erratic behavior, etc.

This information is then relayed and discussed in the post-race briefing. You know, tactics & stuff.
arai_speed is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Terms of Service