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Beginner interested in road racing . . . .

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Beginner interested in road racing . . . .

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Old 09-22-08, 02:15 PM
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Beginner interested in road racing . . . .

Hi,


I'm 17 and I recently have become interested in road racing my bike . . . . the thing is, I've never done it before, I have no idea how cycling works as a sport, and no clue as to where to look for information.

Any help, info, and resources would be great!


--Stefan
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Old 09-22-08, 03:21 PM
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Check on http://www.usacycling.org/clubs/ for your state/area. In fact, read http://www.usacycling.org/news/user/story.php?id=2622 which will tell you a good deal about the basics. Browse the site thoroughly to give you some ideas about what questions to ask when you jon a club

Your local library should have details of any local clubs/organisations. It may have books on training or riding generally or may be able to get them

Google "your state and cycling organisations"

Club rides are an excellent intro to group riding in races and any club, worth its while, will do its best to introduce you to the sport.

From my reading on the web, the Pacific Northwest area is pretty cycling friendly by US standards.

Good luck and welcome to the sport
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Old 09-22-08, 07:11 PM
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read tons of race reports here and as you become more informed you will notice gaps in fitness or knowledge. Pointers can be had here easily.

...but do a search of these fourms first.

I was in your position a bit more than a year ago...

have fun now because you will be going insane with anticipation this winter.
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Old 09-22-08, 07:19 PM
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A good place to start is right at the top of the racing forum:
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=380788
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Old 09-22-08, 07:37 PM
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1. Get a bike.
2. Ride lots.
3. Do group rides with the local racers.
4. Measure guads.
5. Win.
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Old 09-22-08, 09:16 PM
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Read this.
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Old 09-24-08, 02:38 PM
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Awesome . . . . thanks for all the links. So, joining a club seems to be the best way to start then?
Hmmm . . . I live out in a small town, probably about 75 miles from the nearest community with a bike club. Maybe it would work to take a bus out and do rides over the weekend?
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Old 09-24-08, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by EventServices View Post
Shameless...

Got it for birthday from the wife, she found it on her own from looking through Velonews mags lying around. Good read.
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Old 09-24-08, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by EventServices View Post
funny, I was expecting another link.

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Old 09-24-08, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by EventServices View Post
Shill.

I got mine for my birthday from the wife too. Wasn't signed though

::boooo hisssss::
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Old 09-24-08, 05:44 PM
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Our paths will cross one day, and I'll have a Sharpie with me.

Hope the OP gets a lot out of it. And the OPs parents, too.
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Old 09-24-08, 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by SR_ View Post
Hi,


I'm 17 and I recently have become interested in road racing my bike . . . . the thing is, I've never done it before, I have no idea how cycling works as a sport, and no clue as to where to look for information.

Any help, info, and resources would be great!


--Stefan
The single most beneficial thing you can do is find a group of guys to ride and train with. They will show you what to do... however if you want to know what NOT to do, I would recommend the Road Racing forums.
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Old 09-25-08, 04:03 PM
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For our lesson today we turn to St. Eddy's first letter to the Fredistines: "Ride lots."
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Old 09-25-08, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by SR_ View Post
I live out in a small town, probably about 75 miles from the nearest community with a bike club. Maybe it would work to take a bus out and do rides over the weekend?
NO! Ride your ass to the start of the ride, do the ride, then ride back home. You said road racing right? Gotta get those miles in!
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Old 09-25-08, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by EventServices View Post
Our paths will cross one day, and I'll have a Sharpie with me.

Hope the OP gets a lot out of it. And the OPs parents, too.
I'm going to stalk you at the tour of california next year to get mine signed
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Old 09-26-08, 12:08 AM
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Originally Posted by EventServices View Post
Bullsh--!

Read this
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Old 09-26-08, 06:06 AM
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Great book, and a required staple in anyone's cycling library. But it speaks in restricted language, nuance, and jargon that a newbie would never understand without some frame of reference.
It's a better gift for someone who's been racing for a while.
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Old 09-29-08, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by OCshark View Post
NO! Ride your ass to the start of the ride, do the ride, then ride back home. You said road racing right? Gotta get those miles in!


So do you guys ride through the winter?
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Old 09-29-08, 08:27 PM
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Get to know some racers, join a club or just make some new cycling friends
Then ask many questions, cycling folk love to talk cycling and will answer anything
Next, race, you may be sketchy and dangerous but you need to try racing at some point

if your cut out for it than one race will be all you need as inspiration.
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Old 09-29-08, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by SR_ View Post


So do you guys ride through the winter?
From a thread about mid-summer burn out, and my response:

"Exactly. My January-February self would kick my July self in the balls if I were to tell him "Oh, I am le tired of bike racing."

F*** that. I killed myself in 10-15 degree temps riding an early 1990s, fully rigid MTB on snow covered trails for two hours a night, with no one for company but the moon, the trees, an owl or two, the odd deer and my damn iPod. One week, I saw exactly one other person in 14hrs of riding, 10hrs outside. I wanted to stop and turn around so many times, every night, but I didn't."

You're damn right I ride in the winter. It's the only thing that keeps me from going Jack Nicholson on people.
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Old 09-29-08, 10:39 PM
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Originally Posted by umd View Post
I'm going to stalk you at the tour of california next year to get mine signed
Will he be there? That should be perfect as I am hoping to get a copy for x-mas or my b-day (January)!
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Old 10-01-08, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by SR_ View Post


So do you guys ride through the winter?
Where do you live within the "Pacific Northwest"? 1+ on joining a club, but that can be tough if you're far away.
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Old 10-01-08, 08:20 AM
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We ride in the winter. If you stop riding in the winter, you never get any better than the end of last season (you want to carry your fitness into the next year). It is more sociable, but the saturday ride is about 2 hours and the sunday ride is 80+ miles. Weekday rides are done on the rollers (bluh).

Bike racing taught me why I never broke 17 minutes in the 5k. I always took the summer off and lost all my fitness. So when I started XC again in the fall I was starting with zero fitness.
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Old 10-01-08, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Apus^2 View Post
We ride in the winter. If you stop riding in the winter, you never get any better than the end of last season (you want to carry your fitness into the next year). It is more sociable, but the saturday ride is about 2 hours and the sunday ride is 80+ miles. Weekday rides are done on the rollers (bluh).

Bike racing taught me why I never broke 17 minutes in the 5k. I always took the summer off and lost all my fitness. So when I started XC again in the fall I was starting with zero fitness.
Agree. At the very least, keeping some base fitness in the winter really helps in the spring. Depending on where in the PNW the OP lives, riding in the winter will either mean riding in the rain, or riding in ice and snow. Either way, that's what happens up here.

The racing season in the PNW starts March 1st and is heavily spring-weighted. So for those that want to be competitive, riding all winter is almost a requirement.
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Old 10-01-08, 08:32 AM
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Lots of great references listed. Not much to add from me other than what I tell people who ask me about what racing is like...

1. It is always faster than you will ever imagine it could be and you will never be "prepared" without having either done it or having ridden in a group that basically rides hard enough that it is a race without an entry fee. So stop wasting time "preparing" and just do it...(assuming you can ride comfortably in a group and know what is expected of you once you get shelled int he race).

2. Along with 1...you can't get there on your own. You HAVE to ride hard and fast with others. You just can't push yourself that fast on your own. If you've gotten tunnel vision, grayout, seen spots, or an apparation of a deity of your choice...then you have almost gotten there.

3. Want to know what it feels like? Ask someone to kick you real hard in the balls, take $25 from your wallet, and then make yourself ralph. If after a minute or two you really want to do it again then you are ready to race.
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