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what's the racing scene like in california?

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what's the racing scene like in california?

Old 10-06-14, 12:27 AM
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what's the racing scene like in california?

particularly around the bay area, LA area, and San Diego?

Over here, there are races here and there, but pretty spread out. a lot of them are up in the dallas area. Houston has the training series - bear creek or I guess now it's memorial park. do does Austin - driveway series. I've only been to Houston... 4 times total in the last two years, and that's with 'excused' early absence from work to drive over there in rush hour. Is it pretty much the same over there?

I'm going to look for a new job/position. this area totally sucks as far as outdoors options go.
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Old 10-06-14, 01:41 AM
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You can race pretty much every weekend if you want to. In NorCal most races are within two hour drive if you live in Bay Area.
Check out ncnca.org for racing calendar.

There are tons of races in SoCal also. Driving distances are about the same. Less road races thought.

So pick your poison, and desired living expense.
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Old 10-06-14, 01:43 AM
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what about training series?

yea living expenses would suck. maybe there will be houses for rent. or maybe start paying for a house in a good real estate area, I don't know.. I wouldn't mind living out of a trailer, but I don't think women would like that very much
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Old 10-06-14, 01:45 AM
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Originally Posted by spectastic
what about training series?
Beginning in January there is early bird crits in Fremont. There is also a road race. They run 4-5 weeks on weekends. Mainly geared towards people getting in to races. Also SJBC runs training crit series starting some time in spring in San Jose. I believe it's on Tuesdays. To make those you really need to live around San Jose. Its at the height of evening commute, and traffic is ****ed up all around.
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Old 10-06-14, 01:48 AM
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Originally Posted by UmneyDurak
Beginning in January there is early bird crits in Fremont. There is also a road race. They run 4-5 weeks on weekends. Mainly geared towards people getting in to races. Also SJBC runs training crit series starting some time in spring in San Jose. I believe it's on Tuesdays. To make those you really need to live around San Jose. Its at the height of evening commute, and traffic is ****ed up all around.
isn't lane splitting legal in California? do they have the carpool/motorcycle lanes? I've thought about building a motorcycle rack, but haven't had the time to follow through. there's also biking to your destination, but I don't suppose the access roads are very bike friendly.
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Old 10-06-14, 01:55 AM
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Originally Posted by spectastic
isn't lane splitting legal in California? do they have the carpool/motorcycle lanes? I've thought about building a motorcycle rack, but haven't had the time to follow through. there's also biking to your destination, but I don't suppose the access roads are very bike friendly.
It is, for now... Personally I wouldn't want to lane split with a bike on the back of a motorcycle, but that's me. There are carpool lanes, which of course are legal to motorcycles. That being said when real congestion happens even they are backed up. Although not quite as bad as regular lanes.

There are trails scattered around, but I never explored them. Most streets have bike lanes.

My personal suggestion if you can afford it live close to work. Commute in Bay Area sucks. I know people who commute from to from S.F. to South Bay. I think they are insane.
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Old 10-06-14, 02:02 AM
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Originally Posted by UmneyDurak
It is, for now... Personally I wouldn't want to lane split with a bike on the back of a motorcycle, but that's me. There are carpool lanes, which of course are legal to motorcycles. That being said when real congestion happens even they are backed up. Although not quite as bad as regular lanes.

There are trails scattered around, but I never explored them. Most streets have bike lanes.

My personal suggestion if you can afford it live close to work. Commute in Bay Area sucks. I know people who commute from to from S.F. to South Bay. I think they are insane.
I've heard of people commuting from Houston to where I work (TX-LA border). That's anywhere from 90 to 140 miles each, depending on which side of Houston. That's so depressing to think about, spending 4 hours in a cage every day.
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Old 10-06-14, 02:11 AM
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Originally Posted by spectastic
I've heard of people commuting from Houston to where I work (TX-LA border). That's anywhere from 90 to 140 miles each, depending on which side of Houston. That's so depressing to think about, spending 4 hours in a cage every day.
Here it takes two hours to go 40 miles. Example from Santa Clara to SF on 101. That is assuming it's "normal" traffic, and there were no accidents. It's faster on 280, but only if you live/work near it. Getting to it is PITA.

I should also mention that rent in Bay Area is cray cray. Around 1800 for a one bed room apartment in most places. More in more desirable areas like SF, Mountain View or Palo Alto. Actually now days 1800 will get you a closet in SF. Most people who moved there recently seem to live with roomates, and they are making 100-150k. People I know who live on their own were renting before the latest craziness, and are living in rent controlled buildings.
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Old 10-06-14, 02:15 AM
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Originally Posted by UmneyDurak
Here it takes two hours to go 40 miles. Example from Santa Clara to SF on 101. That is assuming it's "normal" traffic, and there were no accidents. It's faster on 280, but only if you live/work near it. Getting to it is PITA.

I should also mention that rent in Bay Area is cray cray. Around 1800 for a one bed room apartment in most places. More in more desirable areas like SF, Mountain View or Palo Alto. Actually now days 1800 will get you a closet in SF. Most people who moved there recently seem to live with roomates, and they are making 100-150k. People I know who live on their own were renting before the latest craziness, and are living in rent controlled buildings.
I heard on the radio SF has surpassed NYC in being the most expensive areas to live. Similar situation in Santa Barbara. why is that?

2 hours for 40 miles? sh*t, might as well ride a bike and save some gas. when are they gonna start to make that hyperloop? jeezus
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Old 10-06-14, 07:33 AM
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Boulder.
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Old 10-06-14, 09:09 AM
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the driving commute only sucks if you're going the same direction as everyone else.. I get to Cupertino in like 10 mins, no real traffic going south on 85 in the morning.

unfortunately when I do sjbc Tuesday night crits I'm going the same direction as everyone else on 101.. ugh. I cheat tho, and take the HOV lane most of the way. same for hellyer.

fwiw the racing scene is great here; the weekday crit scene sucks tho.
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Old 10-06-14, 09:23 AM
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In the LA area; mostly crits, in the Spring and Summer there's at least one a week, in the fall winter 1-2 a month. Weekly series in Irvine (Great Park) on Thursdays and Long Beach (El Dorado) on Tuesdays. For Road Races, we only have about 10 through the year. Driving to these events can be a bear, anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours. We also have 2 velodromes.

The biggest positives are: Crit Racing, Climbing
The biggest negatives are: Lack of Road Races (compared to NorCal), Cars / Traffic

The big thing to remember about moving to LA is the real estate for cycling is limited; there are a lot of areas where there is just too much urban sprawl to make training viable. It's a big area; the Los Angeles Metro area goes out 70 miles east to San Bernardino, and 50 miles south to San Clemente (Orange County). Its all one big connected megagopolis. If you do make it out here its also important to check the scene; some towns have a ton of teams and group rides, others are fairly barren.

San Diego doesn't have as many races but the riding all around is better.
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Old 10-06-14, 09:32 AM
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Sacramento is a bit cheaper and less congested than the Bay Area. Just as hot and windy as Texas but less humid. No week night crits, but there are race rides and TTs every night of the week during daylight savings time.
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Old 10-06-14, 09:48 AM
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there is barely any racing in NorCal
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Old 10-06-14, 10:03 AM
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Greater Sac area is pretty rich with cycling. As said above, you can get a race ride in every day of the week. Flat rides, hilly rides, etc. Sac is significantly cheaper than the Bay Area, but you have to put up with some crappy weather and equally crappy air quality.

Also, the Bay Area and Sac racing scene overlap and you'll find races and racers bouncing between the two areas. Most road races are out in the middle of nowhere, so it's a bit of a drive for Bay Area and Sac folks. Crits happen almost every weekend of the race year (January to end of September) and are pretty well distributed across the region. There is a new crit series that is two years old and has grown dramatically since its inception. I know of local Sac guys that will put in 75+ races a season and know of Bay Area guys (e.g., MattM) that do the same.
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Old 10-06-14, 10:19 AM
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Yes. I would add that I pretty much limit myself to a 90 minute drive radius and I have all the racing that my fitness and marriage can tolerate.
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Old 10-06-14, 11:25 PM
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Drove 40k miles this year and I work at home. IMO San Diego has the best roads, 2nd being central, Ventura to Paso Robles. Norcal has better races due much to the promoter.

There are some great SoCal RRes. Boulevard, Pearblossom/Punchbowl, or UCLA. Bakersfield.
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Old 10-07-14, 04:25 PM
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Ferret hit most of info on SoCal. Trying not to repeat, I'll add:

Training is year-'round with our rainy season (what? 3 or 4 wet days a year?) during March & April. Racing season is pretty much from mid-January to end of August. One local promoter (Chris Lotts) runs 3, short, off-season crits. 1 each in Oct, Nov, Dec.

Road races in SoCal seem to be more centered in 1st half of year. Crits are throughout. Some weekends you can get 2 races, 1 on Sat & Sun, sometimes 2 on Sundays.

SoCal has some of the fastest, strongest, and most experienced racers in the US. Former World Champs, current National Champs, former and soon-to-be Olympians, former Tour de France riders, etc... You name it. And, there's a bunch of them. Do well here, you'll match up anywhere in country.

Geography is excellent. From long stretches of flat roads, to 8-10 mile climbs through the mountains, all within a 30-45 minute car ride or less. Yes, lots of traffic in some places, but it's easy to get out of that.

There are club/group rides throughout the county every day of the week as well as some very intense training rides sprinkled here & there (Rose Bowl, Montrose, Simi rides up north, Donut ride & others down south--I'm not too familiar with them).

Orange County (due south) seems to have a very good & popular cycling culture, as well as Ventura County/Santa Barbara (immediately north-west of LA).

Races throughout the year are all over LA County and a few beyond. 85% (more?) are probably within 30-60 minutes of downtown LA (although you wouldn't want to live/train downtown--too many lights). Early morning hours on the weekends are pretty traffic-free here in LA. The drive back after everyone's awake at around 3-5pm? Not so much.

My only problem with our counterparts in NorCal? Sounds like it's hilly everywhere. As a clyde, I don't like hills.
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Old 10-07-14, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by mkadam68
My only problem with our counterparts in NorCal? Sounds like it's hilly everywhere. As a clyde, I don't like hills.
Ha...you'd be a fan of the Central Valley (well, if lack of hills was your only criteria). We've got plenty of rides and races that are flat as can be. The big one up in Sac (River Ride) is ~40-50 miles of flat levy road. The only "hills" are one over pass and the occasional 10-foot jump back up to the levy road.
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Old 10-07-14, 05:17 PM
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what about the mountains surrounding LA?

is it safe to say that the categories are generally more competitive over there than most other places, all around? like would a cat 4 race in CA be a little more competitive than a cat 4 race in TX?
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Old 10-07-14, 05:20 PM
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People say that CA is harder/faster, but racing is hard/fast everywhere.

There are people that shoot through categories here, and people that are stuck in categories just like everywhere else.

But I will say that compared to WA there are more fast guys, more ex-pros - and more importantly more future pros.
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Old 10-07-14, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by mattm
and more importantly more future pros.
I thought you'd forgotten me.
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Old 10-07-14, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by spectastic
what about the mountains surrounding LA?

is it safe to say that the categories are generally more competitive over there than most other places, all around? like would a cat 4 race in CA be a little more competitive than a cat 4 race in TX?
The mountains were in the races I listed. One is on the other side of the LA - San Bernardino mountains and is a great road course. It was put on by UCLA (the university) last year and before a slight course switch called Devil's Punchbowl. There have been issues with local authorities with people keeping the roads clear.

Bakersfield - quite north, still SoCal has a hilly RR east of it and is really Sierra foothills. Beautiful course.

Santa Maria - getting close to central California (called central, it is still southern part) they have some races, but also issues with Spectators and authorities. I fear that course may be gone for a while.

San Diego has the Boulevard RR - about 60 mile East of San Diego on the I-8 on the was to Yuma. Great course.
There is also San Luis Rey more around the population centers in the north of San Diego. That course used to be a loop, now it is an out and back and still nice, but safer than what it was (big crack in joint going over the freeway at an close to 15% decent) but not as pretty. The finish was more on a flat, now it finishes after a mild hill.


In the masters - I think the best are mostly here. I wouldn't claim that for the <30 crowd. Certainly good, but there are greats elsewhere.

There are some great group rides that are as hard as many races and still are Frequented by off season Pro-Tour riders. As was mentioned LA area the Rose Bowl ride (I don't know the group rides there so much), The IE (Inland Empire has the Buds ride), San Diego has Swamis as well as some others. Orange County has Como Street (and Food Park and Coffee Crew). Of course there are a bunch of mid-week rides too.

Last edited by Doge; 10-07-14 at 07:54 PM.
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Old 10-07-14, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by furiousferret
... For Road Races, we only have about 10 through the year. ...
I can't think of that many.
Pear blossom (UCLA or Punchbowl), Boulevard, Bakersfield, San Luis Rey and...?
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Old 10-07-14, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by mattm
People say that CA is harder/faster, but racing is hard/fast everywhere.

There are people that shoot through categories here, and people that are stuck in categories just like everywhere else.

But I will say that compared to WA there are more fast guys, more ex-pros - and more importantly more future pros.
After following this sport for years, it seems there really isn't a hotbed for up and coming pro's; maybe Boulder but that's where ex pros retire and breed super kids. Tejay is from Montana, Gaimon and Talansky are from Florida which you'd think are the worst places to start as a pro. If you have talent it doesn't matter where you race. SoCal is full of Domestic Pro's but they seem to be common all over. Our juniors out here get a ton of support including free coaching and sometimes a free bike. I'd like to see one of them make it to Europe.

Masters out here sucks. By the time I cat up and race in the 45's 123's will be about the time Chris Horner starts racing out here for fun.


Originally Posted by Doge
The mountains were in the races I listed. One is on the other side of the LA - San Bernardino mountains and is a great road course. It was put on by UCLA (the university) last year and before a slight course switch called Devil's Punchbowl. There have been issues with local authorities with people keeping the roads clear.

Bakersfield - quite north, still SoCal has a hilly RR east of it and is really Sierra foothills. Beautiful course.

Santa Maria - getting close to central California (called central, it is still southern part) they have some races, but also issues with Spectators and authorities. I fear that course may be gone for a while.

San Diego has the Boulevard RR - about 60 mile East of San Diego on the I-8 on the was to Yuma. Great course.
There is also San Luis Rey more around the population centers in the north of San Diego. That course used to be a loop, now it is an out and back and still nice, but safer than what it was (big crack in joint going over the freeway at an close to 15% decent) but not as pretty. The finish was more on a flat, now it finishes after a mild hill.


In the masters - I think the best are mostly here. I wouldn't claim that for the <30 crowd. Certainly good, but there are greats elsewhere.

There are some great group rides that are as hard as many races and still are Frequented by off season Pro-Tour riders. As was mentioned LA area the Rose Bowl ride (I don't know the group rides there so much), The IE (Inland Empire has the Buds ride), San Diego has Swamis as well as some others. Orange County has Como Street (and Food Park and Coffee Crew). Of course there are a bunch of mid-week rides too.
The IE also has Raincross (in Riverside) and the Tuesday Sunset ride in Redlands. You should come out for one.

Originally Posted by Doge
I can't think of that many.
Pear blossom (UCLA or Punchbowl), Boulevard, Bakersfield, San Luis Rey and...?
I suppose you are right. Death Valley Stage Race and a few Omniums are the only other ones.

As for climbing, like I've said before we have about 15 beyond category climbs within a centuries ride from here. Onyx Summit tops out at 8400 feet. Some are a tad sketchy with traffic. Here's a pic of some 'hills'

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