Masters Racing (All Disciplines) Race on the track or road or on your mountainbike in the Masters Category? Want to talk tactics, strategy and training with your peers?

80's racer trying to get back into it

Old 07-04-19, 03:40 PM
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Hang 5
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80's racer trying to get back into it

I'm a former Cat 3 from the early to mid '80's (qualified for 2, then got a real job). I've retired and been trying to get back into shape. Doing a couple group rides each week and tossing in intervals and a long ride on the weekends. I live in the southeast (GA/FL). I'd love to do some crits. Is there such a thing as a 55+ circuit? Back when I was racing, I could do two or three races a weekend. Doesn't seem like that's the case now. Thinking of Georgia State Games in a couple weeks.

Bueller?
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Old 07-05-19, 02:48 PM
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Welcome to BF and welcome back to racing. First, I assume that you are still a cat 3 or USAC still recognizes you as a cat 3. Yes, there are Masters 55+ races. Generally, they are open to all categories or the promoter will specify. For example, there may be a 55+ open, 55+ 1/2/3 and a 55+ 4/5 or even a 55+ 1/2/3/4.

If you are still a cat 3 then you will have to race in the open or 55+ 1/2/3. Generally, there is no 55+ Cat 3.

The 55+ 1/2/3 will be a very hard race. There is not much difference between Elite 1/2 and the 55+ 1/2/3. It depends on the region and who shows up. And you can always race with the younger guys which at times is a better deal. Generally, the masters are a little smoother / refined but then again it depends on who shows up.

If you want more racing per week, you can race with the Cat 3 men, any of the younger masters categories such as the 45+ 1/2/3 and the 55+ 1/2/3, So depending on the timing of the races you could do three in a day or any combination thereof over two days.

And you can race masters age group category races at state, district and world levels as well as events such as the senior games.

In general, racing opportunities are being reduced due to a lot of reasons. But new racing opportunities are gaining popularity such as cross and gravel. IMO, this is cyclical and today, there is no catalyst to drive more USAC style racing and inspire promoters and new racers.

Also, check out the 33 which is where most of the racers are posting on BF independent of age.
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Old 07-06-19, 05:38 PM
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Hang 5
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Thanks for the reply, both very helpful and depressing. I've likely got some work to do to hang with a Cat3 field these days. When I was racing there was a club time trial on Tuesday, Practice Crit on Thursday and two races on the weekend during the season. I basically did one or two days of training/week when things were on. I doubt there is any record of my old USCF license, and I don't have the paper anymore. Guess I'll need to climb up through the 5s. There's a Georgia state game next weekend which has a 55+ class, though it's the same start as all the Masters. Might try the crit and TT just for giggles.

I have a guy from my old team who is competitive and anxious for me to get back into it. He says there are so many people who are fit from indoor training, but have no pack sense, that he's wanting someone to work with that knows how to lead out.

I used to be OK at cross, but trying not to have a zillion bikes. Had 4 back in the day, Crit, Road, Track and cross.

Just got some new wheels with a powertap hub, so will try training with power, yet another new concept.

Again thanks for the reply.
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Old 07-07-19, 09:25 AM
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My suggestion is to contact USAC and see if they have your license on file. That way you control where you want to race - to an extent. Starting over as a Cat 5 may preclude you from racing with the guy who is encouraging you to come back. You have to do 10 qualifying mass start races before upgrading to a Cat 4. Theoretically, masters racing does not allow Cat 5 racers. So it is a crapshoot if there will be a 55+ group that a 55+ cat 5 racer can race with. It seems to be less of an issue with time trials versus mass start racing.

And you can always downgrade to a Cat 4. I am not sure why you would do that other than to race is the limited number of 55+ 4/5 races that may be offered.
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Old 07-08-19, 02:46 PM
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Thanks again for the suggestions. I wrote an email to USAC to see if I still exist. I haven't seen too many categorized masters races in the southeast, except by age. Definitely would love to avoid mixing it up with a bunch of 5's 10 times before getting to race in my own age group. I'm likely another couple of months away from getting race fit, but I'm ok getting dropped in a crit or last in a TT to get a sense of how far off the mark I am.

Appreciate the replies.
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