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Should I Continue going to College, or Drop Out to train full time? (Need Opinions)

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Should I Continue going to College, or Drop Out to train full time? (Need Opinions)

Old 01-06-14, 09:32 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by grolby
Funny that I'm now saying this in two threads, but: in spite of everything, the employment rate for people with college degrees is still significantly better than for those without.
Originally Posted by grolby
And I wouldn't bet large money that the OP will put 110% in cycling just because he enjoys it. Because when you are training as much as you need to when you are really trying to make it, it becomes work, it requires focus and discipline.
That's mostly why I quit this, when it becomes a need/job/chore, I'm done.

Originally Posted by grolby
It's easy to oversimplify and say, whatever, you're screwed anyway, and you'll be good enough because you want it enough - but it's not a good basis for important decisions. You're not screwed anyway, and just wanting to be a pro doesn't mean you have what it takes. Cat 5 to 3 in one season is good, but it's not necessarily evidence that you can make it as a pro, or that you can afford to devote yourself solely to that project.

Just for an example: a guy who turned pro for Optum this year, Jeremy Durrin - he comes to mind because I know him, worked and rode with him in college. I believe he went from 5 to 3 in one season, not to 2 or 1, and he eventually made it to the pro ranks. But it took him three or four full years of development, all the while finishing college and then holding down a job. He had some obvious potential, but he didn't drop out and he had to work to pay his bills. And he's got another business going as well! Point being, you might be able to make it, but you need to be able to work your ass off doing something that you may not enjoy, no matter what. Dropping out isn't really a great indication of having the work ethic you need to make this happen. Stick with school. Keep racing. If you're going to drop out of college, don't do it because you think you need to in order to go pro. If that's your attitude, you don't have what it takes.
And I agree with what you're saying. My biology teacher a couple months ago pointed out something to my class that not many people like to believe. "Just because you try hard, doesn't mean you're going to get good grades", which basically means you can't do anything just because you want to and you try hard. But at the same time, sometimes you need to take chances in life, and run with them without looking back. It's like attacking: commit 85% and get caught, you lost, commit 100% and get caught, you got beat. In this situation, committing 85% is just like trying to be a pro cyclist but always being cautious and making sure you have a nice cushion (degree) to fall back on in case it doesn't work.

One quote that I love - "You don't make the right decision, you make the decision right".

I myself am pondering what/where, even if, to go to university. I could easily go if I tried, but I don't know if I could handle going to the same place everyday with a terrible boss struggling to wake up everyday with a steady income. If I'm living with just enough money to survive on but am 100% satisfied with my life and wake up everyday with a smile on my face, I don't care if I don't have a flashy house with flashy cars, at least I'll be living. But that's just me. Sorry for the little rant.

At the end of the day OP, talk it over with your parents, and make the decision that's right for YOU.
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Old 01-06-14, 09:37 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Bb1123
Thanks for the tip, yea I will race A's and once I get my grades up this semester, Ill declare a sports related major next year.
I guess I just need to rethink my priorities, Im sure I have what it takes to balance both, and to succeed in both. Maybe its other unrelated issues making me think this way... who knows, can't live in a dream world.
Look if you are going to stick around at least do a major that will have potential for a job, or just drop out and save yourself and your parents some debt. There is always a need for low skill workers.
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Old 01-06-14, 09:48 PM
  #28  
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True story: I dropped out of college to bike race. I was also a Cat 3 by then end of my first season, but I actually sucked at it and went back to school. When I went back, I actually had the maturity to get through efficiently and successfully, and have managed to get to the point of being a high earner. I'm also a bit better at bike racing now.
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Old 01-06-14, 10:05 PM
  #29  
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someone probably made this point already, but Im too lazy to read all previous posts...

do you really think youre a good enough bike racer to make a living at it? Im under the impression that if you cant ride away from the field as a 3, it probably isnt going to happen.
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Old 01-06-14, 10:10 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by hammy56
someone probably made this point already, but Im too lazy to read all previous posts...

do you really think youre a good enough bike racer to make a living at it? Im under the impression that if you cant ride away from the field as a 3, it probably isnt going to happen.
Thats the thing, I have no idea. Ive only been riding for 1.5 years, and raced last summer. I am a 3, but have the points to upgrade to a 2 since august.
I just feel like I have just started out but I've gotten so far so soon. Maybe I feel like it would be that easy to get to the higher levels.
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Old 01-06-14, 10:15 PM
  #31  
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In bike racing if you are not 'the best' now, you never will be.
You've got a pipe dream; reality is much different!
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Old 01-06-14, 10:17 PM
  #32  
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license #.

let's see the results list.
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Old 01-06-14, 10:29 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Bb1123
Thats the thing, I have no idea. Ive only been riding for 1.5 years, and raced last summer. I am a 3, but have the points to upgrade to a 2 since august.
I just feel like I have just started out but I've gotten so far so soon. Maybe I feel like it would be that easy to get to the higher levels.
being a 1 in that time is impressive and one could maybe start think about following dreams. let us know when you're a 1.

being a 2 in that time is good but not dropout-level, in my opinion.

also if you're doing great (as a 1), you'll get asked to join the big team/go pro; that's when it's time to "quit your day job".
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Old 01-06-14, 10:34 PM
  #34  
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If you like sports, get a double major with your interest mix in business/admin/marketing and sports medicine/physical therapy/, etc. otherwise...your long term earning power will stall or suck hind tit. With that kind of education and some cycling experience, why not set a goal for working for a major manufacturer or big cycling nonprofit (I think Cascadia has 15 k members and two? dozen? staff). Or throw in a polysci degree and be a cycling lobbyist (the true ahole license). Make your cycling love work for you.
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Old 01-06-14, 10:38 PM
  #35  
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I wish I had done bike races instead of "boat races" in college.
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Old 01-06-14, 10:58 PM
  #36  
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Here are my thoughts and my story.
I started riding when I was 17 and the summer I was 17 I did one regional road race (no license) and got dropped.
Came back the following spring and by mid to late summer was a Cat 1 (18 years old).
I then went to college full time and stayed in the top 10% of my class at business school while training a huge workload.
Long story short I got the 'call' and was headed for Europe when, as luck would have it I got hit by a car. Though not really hurt it changed my perspective on life, I hung up the bike (for a while) and got into the real world.
Truth is if you had jumped from a 5 to a 1 in a year and were wrecking fields on the way there I would say go for it. These results would also have to come in large fields. Fudgy asked for your license number, rather than do that just put the snapshot from the USAC website (2/97, 3/84) to show placings. If you points came from fields of 25 guys you will be in for a rude awakening when you cat up to a 2 and get in with some real horsepower...
Take a look at your TT results and compare them to the times of a Cat 1 or Pro.
I'm not trying to disuade you but rather bring to light some experience from someone who has been there.
And to be frank if you have the talent/power/palmare/potential that you believe you do then a Pro Devo team will be knocking at your door this year, by 20 it's too late...
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Old 01-06-14, 11:08 PM
  #37  
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I didn't ask, I demanded. If I'm making life decisions for some 19 year-old stranger over the internet on short notice, I need some details!
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Old 01-06-14, 11:30 PM
  #38  
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A long time ago I was a reasonably promising junior who took the high school equivalency exam at 16 so that I could train full-time. I eventually did turn pro and go to Europe, where I suffered like a dog while losing (badly) every bike race I entered. I put up with that for a couple of years and then returned to the states to make a (not very good) living as a track coach for another few years. I know several people with similar stories and they are now in their 40s or 50s and still working in bike shops and sleeping on couches. I got lucky enough to marry well and end up with a decent job, a house in the suburbs, and all that other typical upper-middle class jazz, but I also realize that luck played a real part in all that.

The only positive thing I'll say about the whole business is that at least I had my shot and I don't have to spend the rest of my life doing the coulda/woulda/shoulda thing. I wasn't ever good enough, and that's that, time to move on.

So what do I think? Well, it's sort-of true that if you were going to be great you'd already have won everything you entered. But it's not true that every decent pro started out as a wunderkind. A great many solid pro bike racers took years to develop, with few if any early positive results. So the fact that you're not tearing up the circuit at the moment doesn't mean that you don't have what it takes to make a living at it.

But you should also fully accept the fact that life as a competent but not spectacular continental pro is hard. Hellishly hard, and not in a romantic sort of way. Even if you make it over there, you may well wish you hadn't.

So I think the questions you should be asking yourself are

1) Can I really take up where I left off re. school? I mean seriously, with all your credits intact and readmission a known fact and money not a problem, even after you're dead broke and have no car, house, or visible means of support?

2) Am I the kind of guy who's going to be eaten alive by the "I could have been a contender" syndrome?

3) Do I really want to ride a bicycle 30 hours a week and give up on women, alcohol, food that actually tastes good, and staying awake past 9 PM?

If yes to all the above, then it's time to drop out, IMO. If there's any question at all about any of them, though, then finding a school with a good collegiate team makes a whole hell of a lot more sense.
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Old 01-06-14, 11:46 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by waterrockets
True story: I dropped out of college to bike race. I was also a Cat 3 by then end of my first season, but I actually sucked at it and went back to school. When I went back, I actually had the maturity to get through efficiently and successfully, and have managed to get to the point of being a high earner. I'm also a bit better at bike racing now.
Like.

School will not vanish between now and whenever. Muddling through something you dislike is a waste of time. And you find out that time is the one thing you can't beg borrow or steal.

I didn't go to college because I hated school and wanted to race motorcycles professionally. What I learned in that process was worth a lot more than I would have gotten in school. Driving for three days to get to a race is no different than taking some course with a droning professor. The difference is for a few minutes or hours at that race you get something that will reshape you.

Education comes in many forms.
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Old 01-06-14, 11:50 PM
  #40  
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Its harder to be a Pro than to stay in school - So if its to hard for you to stay in school then how can you be a pro...

Dude - Stay in school and be a Pro - And if you can't do it then its not going to happen...

Simple temporal law applies here. "Cheeseman's Emotional Energy Theory, which holds that if you can concentrate enough emotional energy on a particular moment in time you can alter the past and create a new future. It appears that this new future is believed to be what we've elsewhere identified as a divergent history in the parallel dimension..."

You Gotta Want It... Or neither will happen... Cause the only time is Now...
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Old 01-07-14, 12:40 AM
  #41  
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This reminds me of two brothers I know. One received a degree after high school and is a very high ranked military official now. The other quit school and went to Europe to play soccer. He ended up playing for several Premier League teams, but just enough for a little bit of glory and no big payday. They're both envious of each other's path and really neither one made the better decision.

No one can really decide for you, but there is a ton of evidence provided here to make the right call.
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Old 01-07-14, 12:58 AM
  #42  
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Aren't most riders barely getting by anyways? Unless they're the top 10 riders in the world. If I was you I would focus on school and get a degree. Get that out if the way. Then get a good job that will still allow you to ride a lot or even race but you will still live comfortably.
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Old 01-07-14, 01:06 AM
  #43  
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Old 01-07-14, 01:59 AM
  #44  
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"... but if athletes are not willing to suffer, chances are slim that they will make it."
??? how does "athlete" and "not willing to suffer" fit into the same sentence? Isn't that like the first step to be an athlete? If it is easy, how the hell is it an athletic competition?
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Old 01-07-14, 07:53 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by Six jours
A long time ago I was a reasonably promising junior who took the high school equivalency exam at 16 so that I could train full-time. I eventually did turn pro and go to Europe, where I suffered like a dog while losing (badly) every bike race I entered. I put up with that for a couple of years and then returned to the states to make a (not very good) living as a track coach for another few years. I know several people with similar stories and they are now in their 40s or 50s and still working in bike shops and sleeping on couches. I got lucky enough to marry well and end up with a decent job, a house in the suburbs, and all that other typical upper-middle class jazz, but I also realize that luck played a real part in all that.

The only positive thing I'll say about the whole business is that at least I had my shot and I don't have to spend the rest of my life doing the coulda/woulda/shoulda thing. I wasn't ever good enough, and that's that, time to move on.

So what do I think? Well, it's sort-of true that if you were going to be great you'd already have won everything you entered. But it's not true that every decent pro started out as a wunderkind. A great many solid pro bike racers took years to develop, with few if any early positive results. So the fact that you're not tearing up the circuit at the moment doesn't mean that you don't have what it takes to make a living at it.

But you should also fully accept the fact that life as a competent but not spectacular continental pro is hard. Hellishly hard, and not in a romantic sort of way. Even if you make it over there, you may well wish you hadn't.

So I think the questions you should be asking yourself are

1) Can I really take up where I left off re. school? I mean seriously, with all your credits intact and readmission a known fact and money not a problem, even after you're dead broke and have no car, house, or visible means of support?

2) Am I the kind of guy who's going to be eaten alive by the "I could have been a contender" syndrome?

3) Do I really want to ride a bicycle 30 hours a week and give up on women, alcohol, food that actually tastes good, and staying awake past 9 PM?

If yes to all the above, then it's time to drop out, IMO. If there's any question at all about any of them, though, then finding a school with a good collegiate team makes a whole hell of a lot more sense.
This is a great post and thanks for writing this based with your experiences. I was typing from my iPad last night and got lazy

I correspond with a bunch of domestic pro guys and as I have said before that is where I can many of my deals on stuff. The need to dump their team stuff to pay the bills.

DO I play the shoulda/coulda/woulda game? Sometimes as I know I would have done well (I raced against many guys who spent years over there, before they left we were all at the same level) BUT ultimately if I had gone over I wouldn't have had my sweet little princess (my 11 year old girl).

Like 6jours I have a great job, make a few pennies, live in a really nice home, etc. and though I'm not riding I know that I still have the ability to jump on the bike and drope da hamma....
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Old 01-07-14, 08:20 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by gsteinb
41
OPs IQ apparently.
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Old 01-07-14, 08:27 AM
  #47  
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But I don't get what is so bad to just try for a few years full time, because I know I don't have an interest in academics now. Im sure I would realize that it does matter once I realize I can't race pro.... So id just go back to school in say 3 years.

But If I do make it, I don't care about the quality of life, I love riding my bike and nothing else would matter to me.
But i don't know what I'm saying. Yes it would be easier to drop out and just ride, but its not always the easy way thats the right way.
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Old 01-07-14, 08:39 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Bb1123
But I don't get what is so bad to just try for a few years full time, because I know I don't have an interest in academics now. Im sure I would realize that it does matter once I realize I can't race pro.... So id just go back to school in say 3 years.

But If I do make it, I don't care about the quality of life, I love riding my bike and nothing else would matter to me.
But i don't know what I'm saying. Yes it would be easier to drop out and just ride, but its not always the easy way thats the right way.
I think what you are missing is it is a bunch more than riding a bike and to say that nothing else would matter to you shows your age (remember many of us here are much older).
Not sure what your training weeks are like right now but when you start putting in 20+ hour weeks for months on end, riding just isn't as much fun...
After you hit the deck a few times, riding isn't as much fun...
When your team dictates a 7 hour ride on a rainy 42 degree day, riding is not as much fun...
When you have to worry about paying the electric bill, buying groceries and paying your cell phone bill from a 300 square foot apartment on a small stipend from the team, riding is not as much fun...

Nobody is saying to not try to do your best but factor in who you are going against. Nate Brown (now 22) was on a pro development team (Trek Livestrong) at about your age. He got the callup for the 2014 season. There are many already in the developmental scene, sponsor dollars are shrinking and the talent pool is getting deeper. Michael Olheiser didn't see his first pro ride until his mid 30's and it was short lived and this is after many national titles to his name.

One of our forum meatheads jsut is 18, a Cat 2 and on his way to a 1. He is planning to continue to train/race while attending Georgetown. He realizes the importance of education.

You can do both, many of us have...
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Old 01-07-14, 08:41 AM
  #49  
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factor in the fact you're a three. hincappie was riding away from elite fields as a junior.

cash your cat 2 chips in, upgrade to 1 by memorial day (keeping your grades up) and get back to us
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Old 01-07-14, 08:53 AM
  #50  
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The funny thing is, I've considered in the past to return to school to pursue racing more seriously. So much free time.

Just race collegiate and decide afterwards if you want to go into the real world or go into cycling. Many pros have done it this way and it leaves you in a much better situation in the end.
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