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What is needed to get into amateur racing events?

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What is needed to get into amateur racing events?

Old 05-06-21, 06:14 PM
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kosmo886
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What is needed to get into amateur racing events?

I知 somewhat interested in doing some kind of competitive event, but am certainly no professional. What kind of options are there out there? And what skill level is needed? I知 in the Boston area if that helps.
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Old 05-06-21, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by kosmo886 View Post
I知 somewhat interested in doing some kind of competitive event, but am certainly no professional. What kind of options are there out there? And what skill level is needed? I知 in the Boston area if that helps.

if I was in a big city I壇 definitely do an alleycat, those look super fun. I知 sure there are sanctioned events too but idk about all that
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Old 05-06-21, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by kosmo886 View Post
I知 somewhat interested in doing some kind of competitive event, but am certainly no professional. What kind of options are there out there? And what skill level is needed? I知 in the Boston area if that helps.
Get your Covid-19 shot. It is being required for racing at our local velodrome. I have a feeling that will become a standard everywhere
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Old 05-06-21, 07:01 PM
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You typically need a racing license for most events. Depending on your location, you may be able to sign up for a race and get a one day license...Or you may need a USAC license. You would start out as a Cat 5.

Find races here.

Beyond that, you'll just need some humility, as you will probably have your ass handed to you.
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Old 05-06-21, 07:44 PM
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Do they still have weeknight club races or has liability priced them out of existence? They were low-key and friendly back in the day and a great way to learn the crit game.
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Old 05-06-21, 11:39 PM
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An amateur license, entry fee, and riding in the practice crit is all you need. Health insurance highly recommended.
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Old 05-07-21, 05:19 AM
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As far as local stuff, I think the only race going is the weekly Sunday morning crit at wells ave in Newton. They’ve done 3 weeks of it so far this year. I haven’t been out there to get my butt kicked but hopefully at some point I’ll make it.
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Old 05-07-21, 06:06 AM
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It's easy to show up for a club or shop ride, quickly learn if you have potential as a racer.
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Old 05-07-21, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Elvo View Post
An amateur license, entry fee, and riding in the practice crit is all you need. Health insurance highly recommended.
USAC allows one day licenses too, I believe.

OP, have you done any fast group rides? Find one that has some racers in it. They'll be able to tell you what the local scene is like better than any of us. Plus, IMO, you should not show up to a race unless you're comfortable in a friendly group ride.
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Old 05-08-21, 04:34 AM
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Originally Posted by hubcyclist View Post
As far as local stuff, I think the only race going is the weekly Sunday morning crit at wells ave in Newton. They致e done 3 weeks of it so far this year. I haven稚 been out there to get my butt kicked but hopefully at some point I値l make it.
This sounds interesting. How do these work? For the various levels...what would I need to be looking at from a speed perspective? I am guessing I would get crushed, but don't want to look completely foolish!
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Old 05-08-21, 05:37 AM
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Originally Posted by kosmo886 View Post
This sounds interesting. How do these work? For the various levels...what would I need to be looking at from a speed perspective? I am guessing I would get crushed, but don't want to look completely foolish!
Speed can be a bad metric to go with because I can average 22 when I知 going hard alone but can average 26-27 in a crit when drafting and various people are pulling in front. You壇 of course be in the C race but I壇 imagine it would similar speed wise. So I壇 second the advice and hook up with local group rides to get more comfortable riding in a group, a lot of success in crits is conserving energy in a pack.
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Old 05-11-21, 08:03 AM
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Cat-5 races are sketchy as hell. It'd been years since I'd done any crits. I've been racing mtn bikes for years; decided to do some road racing... decided against it after one race (a 40-mile road race). I was amazed at how bad the back of the pack was. Lots of yelling - BRAKING!!! SLOWING!!! HOLD YOUR LINE!!! At one point I yelled: "Guys, relax... it's just like your Saturday group ride."

I have to believe the Cat-5s are just more nervous - hence the reason they need (usually) 10 mass starts to cat up.

Like any fast group ride, try to start and stay in the front half, don't get squeezed back... and relax ;-)

Last edited by Zaskar; 05-11-21 at 08:21 AM.
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Old 05-11-21, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Zaskar View Post
Cat-5 races are sketchy as hell. It'd been years since I'd done any crits. I've been racing mtn bikes for years; decided to do some road racing... decided against it after one race (a 40-mile road race). I was amazed at how bad the back of the pack was. Lots of yelling - BRAKING!!! SLOWING!!! HOLD YOUR LINE!!! At one point I yelled: "Guys, relax... it's just like your Saturday group ride."

I have to believe the Cat-5s are just more nervous - hence the reason they need (usually) 10 mass starts to cat up.

Like any fast group ride, try to start and stay in front half, don't get squeezed back... and relax ;-)
That pretty much sums up a Cat 5 road race. Crits are even worse.

I like your screen name. The GT Zaskar was my first real race bike that I bought back in 1995. Still have it but never ride it.
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Old 05-11-21, 08:29 AM
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There are weekly club races around here (east of Sacramento) but they are cross country in the spring and cyclocross in the autumn. Too hot in the midsummer. I know there's roadie stuff but I haven't looked into it. https://www.clippedinraces.com/
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Old 05-11-21, 08:35 AM
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You might post this in the road racing subforum. There are a few northeastern folks who could point you in the right direction as far as events. There’s also a sticky thread you should read.
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Old 05-11-21, 10:37 AM
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I am not familiar with what's in Boston, but here in Chicago there are a few local race teams that run "practice crit" series during the spring that are far less formal than the big weekend races and perfect for people just looking to try it out. The entry fees are very cheap and there are usually just a few short heats. These do still require a license, but you can buy a single-day USAC race license for like $10.

As others have mentioned, a full-field Cat-5 crit can be a sketchy place to learn. Lots of inexperienced 20 somethings with poor bike handling skills racing shoulder to shoulder at max HR around tight turns.

Also, cyclocross is a really fun and low-key way to dip your toe into bike racing. The crashing hurts less than road or crit racing, the vibe is generally far less aggressive.
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Old 05-11-21, 02:02 PM
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Start with the fast local group rides. Prepare to get yelled at. Get used to safely riding close with other riders. Prepare a large dose of humility. You'll get your ass handed to you for a while.
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Old 05-12-21, 05:46 PM
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Cue the botto thread, so you want to go racing
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Old 05-12-21, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
Cue the botto thread, so you want to go racing
New to Racing? Here's a tip or two
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Old 05-12-21, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
You just beat me to it!
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Old 05-12-21, 06:00 PM
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Thanks, I was searching for the link
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