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Prospect Park Cat 5 - Should I do it?

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Prospect Park Cat 5 - Should I do it?

Old 08-24-06, 11:33 AM
  #1  
brooklyner
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Prospect Park Cat 5 - Should I do it?

I just cycle for fun and don't put in as many miles as I should, but I do enjoy pushing myself on my regular 6-lap (20 mile) rides around Prospect Park, Brooklyn, so was thinking it might be fun to try a Cat 5 race (just 5 laps). I average about 17.5 mph (11 min 30 sec per lap). Obviously I don't care about winning, but will I get lapped? I ride in a t-shirt - will I be the only one without a jersey? Are crashes frequent? Any thoughts or advice is appreciated!
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Old 08-24-06, 11:44 AM
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Do it, but stay out of the jogger's lane. And the last report I got back on a PP CatV race the avg. speed was in the 23-24mph range. But it's a PACK. Easier in a pack, sucks you right along. Besides, what's the worst thing that can happen? You get dropped. I raced a gazillion times (half a gazillion in Prospect Park) and I've been dropped by every category of racer imaginable.

But if you do get blown out the back door, be sure to keep coming back. That's how you eventually stop getting dropped and start hammering people.
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Old 08-24-06, 11:54 AM
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the next race there is september 9th, FYI.
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Old 08-24-06, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by timmhaan
the next race there is september 9th, FYI.
can't make it. is the only one after that on 9/23, or are there others? source? thanks.
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Old 08-24-06, 12:51 PM
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you'll find these races listed at:

http://www.racelistings.com/

just search in the road section for northeast and you'll find all the nyc races. you can pre-register there too.
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Old 08-24-06, 01:33 PM
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Yeah, you'll be the only guy in a T shirt.
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Old 08-24-06, 03:09 PM
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Only wear the T-shirt if you plan on breaking away solo and lapping the field once or twice. And if you're going to do that be sure to ride a c. 1974 Schwinn Varsity and argyle socks.

After that you can tell us what riding for Discovery Channel in Belgium is like : ).
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Old 08-24-06, 03:12 PM
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You'll never know until you try it... Go for it!
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Old 08-24-06, 03:14 PM
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What Dr. Pete said.
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Old 08-24-06, 03:48 PM
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there was totally a guy wearing a T shirt in the race DrPete and I competed in yesterday. He dropped me and I was wearing an assos jersey. wear whatever you want.
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Old 08-24-06, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by riskus
there was totally a guy wearing a T shirt in the race DrPete and I competed in yesterday. He dropped me and I was wearing an assos jersey. wear whatever you want.
But he was the only guy, right?

I've never seen more than one guy in any race wearing a t shirt. Although I must agree. If you want to wear a tshirt, go for it.
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Old 08-24-06, 04:03 PM
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hey maybe this guy will go up to prospect park and race there too. that would make 2 guys in t shirts =D

I was definitely the only guy at my race with a years worth of unshaven beard on his face.
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Old 08-24-06, 08:23 PM
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forget the t-shirt.

i doubt you'll get dropped at PP. it's hard to get dropped there.

even better - don't wait. go to CP: if there's a race. it's slightly easier.

regardless, both are a good place to start racing, compared to a crit or a New England style Road Race
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Old 08-24-06, 11:23 PM
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1.) If you're new to bicycle racing it's not 'hard to get dropped' anywhere. Nor should you let such an eventuality discourage you from racing again. Just keep coming back.

2.) It's hard to race in Central Park. You can race there in March (after that the racing is in Brooklyn) or you can to the Mengoni race (I think that's this weekend) which is a massive crashfest anyway, and I'm not sure they have Cat 5's. Or you can belong to a CRC racing team that does club racing there on the weekends. But generally it's Prospect Park in NY City most of the year.

3.) Again, and this cannot be over emphasized: STAY OUT OF THE JOGGER'S LANE!! (add obligatory Hispanic accent and scratchy PA speaker acoustics).

God, racing in NY City is a pisser. I miss it badly. Long drive and extremely early wakeup call for me to do so again, but I may have to do it. Every weekend for 8+ years. And I parked my suburban ass car on the street every time and NEVER had a problem. I heart NY.
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Old 08-25-06, 05:22 AM
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Originally Posted by ryanrasband
Go for it man. You are the man if you wear a t-shirt. There is so many snobs in this sport. You gotta wear this, shave that, have your carbon fiber water cage......Damn bike weenies!
But whatever you do, make sure you remove your granny gear if you have a triple!

Bob
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Old 08-25-06, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Bobby Lex
But whatever you do, make sure you remove your granny gear if you have a triple!

Bob

Not for nothing weenies, but if you can't get up that 'hill' on the Prospect Park circuit in your 53 x 19 or stiffer gear, you're going out the back door anyway. I've been in vets races where the speed on that upgrade never dropped below 21-23mph or so.
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Old 08-26-06, 12:44 AM
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...............i'll wear a t-shirt so you won't be the only one!

I'll be racing at pp on the 9th, riding my trek 1000, im looking foward to the race, for this would be my first in pp, and i ride pp every day, so i should fare well, all things considered(I Hope!).
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Old 08-29-06, 08:10 AM
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i was hoping for some more specifics... typical winning/average times? does the race break up into multiple packs, so even if i can't keep up with the leaders, i could stick with another slightly slower group? why stay out of the runner's lane - is there a lot of passing on the inside? thanks!
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Old 08-29-06, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by brooklyner
i was hoping for some more specifics... typical winning/average times? does the race break up into multiple packs, so even if i can't keep up with the leaders, i could stick with another slightly slower group? why stay out of the runner's lane - is there a lot of passing on the inside? thanks!
we're not allowed to go into the jogger's lane under any circumstances. apparently that's a big complaint from other park users and if enough people do it the parks dept could easily not allow racing to continue. which would be a shame. plus it's just dangerous.

typical cat 5 will end up with around a 23-24 average speed for 5 laps. expect about 18-22 on the hill depending on what's happening, mid 20's on the stretch after the hill, around 35-40 on the downhill, and low 20's on the back stretch. surges will usually last about 20-30 seconds and the final lap can get pretty quick.

the cat 5 race usually sticks together...breakaways are pretty rare. when i first started racing i found that if i got dropped it was hard to get people in the mood to work together to get back on. they all just wanted to do an individual TT at that point.
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Old 08-29-06, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by patentcad
Besides, what's the worst thing that can happen? You get dropped.
Not to discourage the OP but the worst that can happen is a bad crash, much worse than merely getting dropped! My local shop owner who's won a Cat 5 race this year crashed and spent some time in the hospital at another Cat 5 race (not sure if it was in PP). I have the form myself but I don't want the crashes (and I grew up riding in PP, it would be cool to race there).
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Old 08-29-06, 09:19 AM
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believe it or not i've felt safer in the 5's in the last few races i've done. sure there is always a few bone head moves but nothing too serious. horrible crashes have been witnessed in the other categories as of late. and some of the 4's seem overly agressive...which isn't good in a field that is easily twice as big as the 5s.
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Old 08-29-06, 09:30 AM
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yep...try to stay near the front if you are strong enough, if not, always give yourself an "out"...don't worry too much about getting dropped your first race, it might happen, might not. No shame if it does. The biggest thing about racing is dealing with the surges in speed. Riding around at a steady speed doesn't prepare you for it.
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Old 09-14-06, 05:14 PM
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Can I ask: Is a 40-year-old guy with a vintage steel bike (which was top of the line when it was made, but still, no carbon feather) out of his depth? Am I going to be the oldeset one out there? I'm pretty competitive, but still....
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Old 09-14-06, 06:19 PM
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One of my team mates is in his early 50s. He is a cat4 for some time and frequently racing as a master. He placed 11th racing as a Master this past Bear Mountain Fall Classic.


Originally Posted by Bklyn
Can I ask: Is a 40-year-old guy with a vintage steel bike (which was top of the line when it was made, but still, no carbon feather) out of his depth? Am I going to be the oldeset one out there? I'm pretty competitive, but still....
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Old 09-14-06, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Bklyn
Can I ask: Is a 40-year-old guy with a vintage steel bike (which was top of the line when it was made, but still, no carbon feather) out of his depth? Am I going to be the oldeset one out there? I'm pretty competitive, but still....
Probably won't be the oldest guy. And you're only out of your depth if you're not fast enough.
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