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Deep Thoughts; Is there a place in racing for goofs like me?

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Deep Thoughts; Is there a place in racing for goofs like me?

Old 04-06-08, 07:49 AM
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Hipcycler
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Deep Thoughts; Is there a place in racing for goofs like me?

....or do I need to just stay on the sidelines and cheer you guys on.

Let me lay down the basis for this 'deep thoughts' post this morning.

In two weeks, the one race I have been in for three years in a row now will be held, a little 25-mile RR sanctioned by a group in our state called Wisport. I won't enter it this year because, well, I haven't done any riding let alone even consider being fit enough not to get spit off the back faster than Elliot Spitzer's credit card bill goes up at the Emperor's Club!

I'm not really a racer at 49 years old, about eight pounds overweight and about a thousand miles of training lacking in my legs thus far this year due to our winter from hell around these parts.

Yet there is something that draws me to it. I'll miss it...but not all that much.

Racing is dangerous for me too, because of the hip replacement, as I have discussed here before.
I should be satisfied with just riding my bike I guess.

But I have a deep respect for the guys that go out and hammer away in these local events weekend after weekend. I don't need (I don't feel) to be out there getting in the way where I really don't belong. Thus, I think my status is left to remain a cheerleader from the sidelines.

I ask you this though...
I saw something in the flyer for this race also coming up in our area: CLICK HERE FOR FLYER

There's a Masters 50+ cat in this event, which set off the light bulb in my head....Huh, I turn 50 this August. Maybe this should be a goal of mine for next season...to be in some races in the Masters 50+ cat. Anyone have any thoughts on this Cat? I suppose it's tough as hell like the others...but maybe there's a place for me on certain race days afterall?
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Old 04-06-08, 07:58 AM
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Try to find some time trial events or something, and build yourself up a nice time trial rig. This way you'll still get to race....against the clock.....and you'll have a new project (time trial bike) to keep you busy

Masters races can be brutally fast, BTW. I would avoid that.
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Old 04-06-08, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by GuitarWizard View Post
Try to find some time trial events or something, and build yourself up a nice time trial rig. This way you'll still get to race....against the clock.....and you'll have a new project (time trial bike) to keep you busy

Masters races can be brutally fast, BTW. I would avoid that.
This is an interesting option.
When you say build up a TT bike, is that something I can ride on my daily training route too?
I mean, I could see maybe entering a few, but the majority of my riding wouldn't be at races for sure, and I wouldn't want to be riding one of those hard to handle bikes with aero bars on it!
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Old 04-06-08, 08:04 AM
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I think doing TT's might be good option for you. To start, all you really need is some clip on aerobars on your regular bike.

If you really get into it, then you canconsider whetheryou want to invest in a dedicated TT bike.
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Old 04-06-08, 08:31 AM
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Another option would be to join a masters club and start doing some training rides with them. They''ll help you guage your fitness and you'll get some pointers.

If Milwaukee is anything like my area, you wont be the only one in the "started racing bicycles at age 50" club. You can't expect to be fast enough right away, but if you stick with it, you're almost garaunteed to see steady improvements in your fitness. Pretty soon you'll be hanging in the Master's 50+ races.
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Old 04-06-08, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Hipcycler View Post
This is an interesting option.
When you say build up a TT bike, is that something I can ride on my daily training route too?
I mean, I could see maybe entering a few, but the majority of my riding wouldn't be at races for sure, and I wouldn't want to be riding one of those hard to handle bikes with aero bars on it!
Hip - I've taken the TT option. I just slapped some aero bars on my regular road bike. I'm not as aero as I could be, but then I also haven't jacked my bike around so much I can't ride it for regular rides.

I liked it enough that I sprung for a pair of 404s of ebay. Maybe get a TT rig next year if I can get my times down into the below 65 minutes (as if).

As a side note, I find aero bars more comfortable than being in the drops as long as the road is half way decent.
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Old 04-06-08, 09:07 AM
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Without knowing how dangerous it is for you to fall/crash I don't feel comfortable giving you advice on whether or not to do a road race. I do feel comfortable, however, in seconding the general consensus that you should try some TT's. A lot of the faster guys at our local club TT are older gents; and, as everyone has said, you can just buy some clip-ons, which take about 5 minutes to put on/take off once you get used to the routine.

The guy I trained with quite a bit last year was a National Team level track sprinter in his prime but has since converted over to time trialing (I don't quite get that either, but, hey, minimising your weaknesses is always a good thing); and he rides in the TT position ALL the time -- hills, everything. He trains anywhere from 7 to 12 hours a week in that position and he is fine.

So don't let the position worry you. You will get a natural feel for when it's safe to be on the aerobars and when you should sit up and put your hands on the hoods.

Good luck with it and I guess to make a long story short you don't need to miss out on racing! Maybe you just need a new discipline to get into.
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