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Old newbie

Old 12-01-08, 06:23 AM
  #1  
udorustler
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Old newbie

I've been going to my sons races the past few years and now that my youngest son is starting I've decided to join in the fun. I'm 49 and have never raced, jus t-shirt rides and J.R.A. rides. I'm traing this winter for racing but don't know what races I should enter. Master's of cat 5's. Knowing that the master's are comprised of better cat. racers I leane toward cat 5's but everyone I've talked to says that they're a lot of crashes. What do you say?
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Old 12-01-08, 06:41 AM
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Some places won't let you race masters until you're at least a cat4.

Do the cat5 races, generally speaking they'll be easier and will give you an idea if racing is something you want to pursue, or not.
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Old 12-01-08, 07:31 AM
  #3  
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Also look for training crits - around DC, the Greenbelt series has a reputation for being less of a crash-fest (not that there aren't crashes).
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Old 12-01-08, 07:56 AM
  #4  
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It's been my experience that there are just as many crashes in cat 5 races as in all the cat's (except for perhaps the Masters). It's just that the 5 crashes may be for stupider reasons. IMO you should get your 10 races in as a 5 and then race masters.
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Old 12-01-08, 11:17 AM
  #5  
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There are crashes in all cats, difference is cat 5 crashes are slower.

Masters are generally faster, some older guys "cat down" as they get older (but not slower)

I'd say start with the 5's, watch out for the wheel in front of you and have fun.
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Old 12-01-08, 11:21 AM
  #6  
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Do the cat 5's for at least 10 races or even more. That class is designed for new racers who need experience...riding fast in tight groups, and learning how to race a crit or road race. Do the masters stuff later after you are fitter, faster, and more experienced. Get to cat 4 first. You'll probably be a bit more competitive with the 5's. The Masters guys are fast!!!...and serious.

Last edited by oneradtec; 12-01-08 at 11:34 AM.
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Old 12-01-08, 11:49 AM
  #7  
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Where you located?
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Old 12-01-08, 12:01 PM
  #8  
MJH2
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Originally Posted by udorustler View Post
I've been going to my sons races the past few years and now that my youngest son is starting I've decided to join in the fun. I'm 49 and have never raced, jus t-shirt rides and J.R.A. rides. I'm traing this winter for racing but don't know what races I should enter. Master's of cat 5's. Knowing that the master's are comprised of better cat. racers I leane toward cat 5's but everyone I've talked to says that they're a lot of crashes. What do you say?
I'm coming off a year of Cat 5 racing. A lot of what you read of the crashing is over hyped. Don't get me wrong... there are crashes. They just tend to be a lot fewer and a lot less severe than the internet would have you believe. Most of the Cat 5 riders are so afraid of going down that they're giving everybody else tons of room and riding with their heads up. We had an early August crit on a course with a tricky little turn that caused a wreck in every race of the day except the 5's and 30+ (including somebody going over the bars in the p/1/2 race).

If you want to see nasty wrecks, watch bigger money Cat 3 races.

Having said that, here (Chicago area), I'd stay away from Masters and race only Cat 5 to begin with. The Masters races are both a lot faster and longer leading to much more discouraging results. You can probably find 30+ Cat 4/5 races if you want to "split the difference".
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Old 12-01-08, 03:58 PM
  #9  
udorustler
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I'm located in Oklahoma City.
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Old 12-01-08, 04:03 PM
  #10  
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I'm located in Oklahoma City. Also I'm new to this forum so if I've replied in the wrong location let me know how to post replies correctly.
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Old 12-01-08, 04:03 PM
  #11  
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Oh I see how it works. Never mind!!
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Old 12-01-08, 04:43 PM
  #12  
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Good luck! I'm 45 and have been considering getting in to it too. Though I started out in severly poor shape and am still working on getting my fitness to a more reasonable place

Go get 'em!
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Old 12-01-08, 05:36 PM
  #13  
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You're in the right place.

Assuming you'll be coming down for some Texas stuff, and you'll be 50 next year, I'd go race the 40/50. If you're just sticking around up there or heading over to AR at all, give the 45 open a shot.

Both races are going to be fast at the pointy end, but once those guys go away it's pretty civil. You'll learn a lot more and it's a safer race.

Feel free to PM me, I'm another old guy down in the Dallas area and roll back and forth, pretty good friends with some of the OKCV guys. Try to hook into some of the faster group rides so you get comfortable with closer quarters and the speed.

Good luck and have fun.
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Old 12-01-08, 07:14 PM
  #14  
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I'm 55 and started to race this year. I rode in 5 road races, 3 crits and 3 cyclocross races with one more next Sunday. I intend to cat up to 4 next year so I'll be able to enter some Masters 50+ and 55+ races next year.

In Ohio, the Cat 5 road races are usually 25 to 30 miles in length while the Masters races are the same distance as the cat 4's, 30 to 40 miles, and even as long as the cat3's in the Ohio State RR Championship. I'll have to change my training in order to prepare for the longer races next year. I've watched some of the Masters 45+ races and know those guys can still ride and I suspect those over 50 will be no different.

I would encourage you to start out as a cat5 and get the experience of racing. Prior to this year I would ride on fast group rides and with my two grown boys who both race and compete in triathlons. Racing is a whole different animal from fast group rides and getting dropped several times and riding solo is a humbling experience. You'll likely need to adopt a training plan that includes intervals and other race specific training. Most importantly as a senior athlete beware, of overtaining, I nearly wrecked my season when I overdid it again and again in May and June. It took over a month to get back to making power and being able to recover during a ride. I was going backwards and was really getting discouraged and didn't understand the reason while assuming I needed to train harder to improve.

As for crashes in cat5. In all my races there was only one crash in the crits and road races. In the crash the rider who took himself out while riding up a steep little hill at the end of a road race.

Last edited by Allegheny Jet; 12-01-08 at 09:54 PM. Reason: correcting mistake
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Old 12-01-08, 07:47 PM
  #15  
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When I raced as a cat 5, I did see some occasional crashes....but Somehow, I always managed to avoid them(luck).

Work on getting fit and fast and you will discover that 9 of every 10 crashes will occur behind you. But on occasion they happen up front...see video for proof.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ar1pm...eature=related
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Old 12-01-08, 07:52 PM
  #16  
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stay at the front or get in a breakaway.
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Old 12-02-08, 12:02 AM
  #17  
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Go with Cat 5, it's there for people exactly like you.

I'm 50, and I was thinking about starting racing again. I've lost a lot of strength over the last decade, so I'm suffering a little. My last race was at least 25 years ago. I tried to get started again when I was 30, but life got in the way.

I'm assuming anyone that wants to race is doing fast group rides in a draft. Club races are good too, if available.


And stay near the front and don't let gaps open. The people that know what they are doing are at the front.
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