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Old 10-04-10, 07:49 PM
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FNG categories

A little preamble because I'm not sure how much of the rules are the same at such a low level...

CyclingBC offers two license classes. There's the regular UCI license that lets you race wherever/whenever and costs $150, and then there's the $40 citizen category that lets you race as novice/5 in races that offer it and only in the province.

A new rider who buys the UCI license still has to race in a handful of "local races" (weekday night crits) with the citizen/novice/5 riders before he can upgrade to proper 4, but no matter what license you have the subsequent season if you buy the UCI license you're a 4.

Now, I'm terrible at racing. Really, really bad. Astoundingly bad. Can't hang on to the pack for the whole race ever bad. I started racing (the tuesday crits) in late July, and I hadn't done any group rides before that, just MUP & road riding.

What I'm wondering is what you guys think I should do for next year, buy the citizen license and keep riding 5, or buy the full license and ride with the 4's.

Money isn't the issue here, I'm asking because I'm not sure if there's just a lot of strong riders that are cheapskates or otherwise don't care to collect upgrade points for the 3 & race in higher categories, or if I should expect 4 to be noticeably harder than 5. Or if I just need to HTFU and get stronger while being dropped by the 4's.
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Old 10-04-10, 07:55 PM
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How dedicated are you to improving your pack riding and/or conditioning?

Do the races you want to do offer cats that you can use cheap license for?

Answer those and you'll know what to do.
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Old 10-07-10, 01:47 PM
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Well, with regards to cycling in BC, I can offer some thoughts.

Short answer is that if you enjoyed racing and are planning on training over the winter to do better next year, then take out the Category 4 license. The citizen's permit is for those just starting out and testing the waters. In addition, for someone who might only do 3-5 races in a season, it's less paperwork and easier to manage than having them fill out one day insurance forms at each race.

Now, the bad news, 4's are faster. Of course, this depends on what races you do and what your strengths are.

Start the season with the Escape Velocity Spring Series. As a 4, sign up and race in the C's. If you've only done the Tuesday night crits, these will be a fairly big change. If it's your first set of road races, you might find these more to your liking... From there, take a look at the calendar for events that offer Cat 4 only races vs the Cat 3-4 combined. In general, the bigger races, Delta, White Rock, Yaletown and the like have combined races, but it varies from year to year.

The Cat 4 races I have done played out fairly similar to the Citizen/Cat 5 races with the one notable exception that surges last longer. The Cat 3-4 races are a different beast. There will be guys getting close to an upgrade to Category 2. These races will be fast. Random Anecdote: A friend of mine who won the overall C/cat 4 points competition this year for the Coastal Thursday races made it through about half of the Tour of Delta criterium and was blown off the back in a couple of minutes at Steveston.

The one thing I really would suggest though is that at least a couple of the local series have category rules that are phrased something like this: 'C' is for category 4's. 'B' is for category 3's and strong 4's. Doing the B races will make you faster, however, do the C races until you place in a couple and win at least one. There is value in learning about riding around the front of a race vs hanging on for dear life.
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