Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Quick guide to cats?

Old 02-23-06, 03:01 PM
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HiYoSilver
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Quick guide to cats?

Not dog enemies, but cat categories.

What do they mean?
Which is harder cat 1 or cat 4?
What are the typical flat land speed ranges for
-- cat 1
-- cat 2
-- cat 3
-- cat 4

Afraid a riding group may be too difficult for me. I haven't done 60 miles in a while and they are all fired up about cat categories.
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Old 02-23-06, 03:08 PM
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You start out as a Cat 5 (or Cat 4 if you are a woman) and work your way up. There are certian criteria that must be met before you can upgrade to the next cat. Average speeds are difficult to say, but I've heard that you should be a able to maintain a pace of 20 - 22mph for Cat 5 racing. That speed would be solo since you can go a bit faster in a paceline with the same effort. Most Cat 5 races tend to be fairly short, like around 15 miles, but they may get longer later in the season.
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Old 02-23-06, 03:11 PM
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Generally the categories are only used racing. Some may refer to their category as a relative measure of fitness. The worst thing that can happen in a group ride is that you get dropped and have to ride home on your own. We've all been there at one time or another.
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Old 02-23-06, 03:16 PM
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Speeds
Cat5 -meh
Cat4 -feh.
Cat3 -eh?
Cat2 -woh?!
Cat1 -ahhh!!!

note: meh is fast, ahhh!!! is faster.
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Old 02-23-06, 03:23 PM
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Generally Cat 5 (where you will enter) should be able to maintain 20 MPH or greater for 10 miles. Understand however that there are different requirements for the three (main) types of racing. Crits tend to be fast and will have speeds (in the same race varying from 17 mph to 27 mph, with the final sprint being easily upwards of 35mph and race length being from 25-60 mins in length. Road Races tend to be quite a bit slower and steadier with speeds usually 23-26 mph (but that is in the peloton so figure about 20mph by yourself) until the last mile or two. These tend to run longer (usually around an hour) and are easier to participate in. Time Trials have exptremely variable average speeds and course layouts. If you wish to be competitave you will have to be a strong rider. But to enjoy yourself (and little worry of crashes) this might be a good place to start and measure your fitness against other cat 5 riders.

One other thing is that many times cats are combined in a race (cat4/5 means both category 4s and 5s are in the same racing group). Obviously these run faster than a pure cat 5 or even a cat 5/citizen (citizen doe snot have a racing license). Perhaps you should think about doing a partial club ride to build up some fitness and learn about riding in groups. Most clubs have rides dubbed A, B, or C with my personal recommendation that you be fit enough to do a "B" ride prior to racing in a group.

Lastly, Bike Racing 101 is probably the best book out there for anyone thinking of racing. find it in your library or purchase it for a wonderful home resource.

Hope this helps, and have fun!
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Old 02-23-06, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by PenguinDeD
Speeds
Cat5 -meh
Cat4 -feh.
Cat3 -eh?
Cat2 -woh?!
Cat1 -ahhh!!!
thats a nice guide ...
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Old 02-23-06, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by PenguinDeD
Speeds
Cat5 -meh
Cat4 -feh.
Cat3 -eh?
Cat2 -woh?!
Cat1 -ahhh!!!

note: meh is fast, ahhh!!! is faster.
good one, i was gonna say

Cat5 - you bite
Cat4 - you still bite, but at least you finished 10 races without getting dropped
Cat3 - you are able to wear team colors without feeling inwardly unworthy; you break middle aged lawyers on Colnagos for sport
Cat2 - you are definitely one of the local studs and no longer feel the need to break lawyers
Cat1 - you may be even a national stud

After that, it's a massive game of "Highlander" - there can be only one.
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Old 02-23-06, 03:53 PM
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Citizen Cat? I'm quite comfortable remaining there.

I was originally attracted to this thread thinking it might be about Arizona basketball.
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Old 02-23-06, 03:54 PM
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Ok, thanks. Not actually thinking of racing, just group riding so it's harder to not ride.
I'm thinking of trying out one riding group this Sat and there pace is supposed to be about 18 -20 mph for the first hour and "they try not to drop riders". I presume drop is get so far ahead the rider is now a solo rider.
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Old 02-23-06, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by HiYoSilver
Ok, thanks. Not actually thinking of racing, just group riding so it's harder to not ride.
I'm thinking of trying out one riding group this Sat and there pace is supposed to be about 18 -20 mph for the first hour and "they try not to drop riders". I presume drop is get so far ahead the rider is now a solo rider.
I think group rides don't really correspond to Cat levels to well (unless they specifically say so). Around here they use letter (A, B, C...) to designate ave speed and distance for rides. I also found that my avg speed on a large group ride was about 2mph faster than ridings solo. Presumably this was due to drafting.

My big mistake was riding too hard in the beginning and being a bit spent at the end.
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Old 02-23-06, 04:05 PM
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thanks for the warning dark side
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Old 02-23-06, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by HiYoSilver
Ok, thanks. Not actually thinking of racing, just group riding so it's harder to not ride.
I'm thinking of trying out one riding group this Sat and there pace is supposed to be about 18 -20 mph for the first hour and "they try not to drop riders". I presume drop is get so far ahead the rider is now a solo rider.
Group rides really help your fitness and bike-handling. Just hang out at the back drafting the whole time and see how it goes. Great way to practice spinning form and soft-pedaling too. Depending upon the area, there may be several groups, pick the slowest one to start. When you can finish the whole ride without getting dropped, then start contesting the hills and sprints. That'll be great training! You'll improve much, much faster than riding by yourself.
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Old 02-23-06, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by webist
I was originally attracted to this thread thinking it might be about Arizona basketball.
Baseball has got to be one of the most pointless sports on the face of the Earth. And I thought the word "sport" ment that you had to be physically fit... It's the true definition of a lazy-man's "sport".
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Old 02-23-06, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by webist

I was originally attracted to this thread thinking it might be about Arizona basketball.
Not a particularly good year for the usually strong Wildcats (AZ and KY). I'm sure that it is just a "blip" for both programs.
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Old 02-23-06, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by HiYoSilver
thanks for the warning dark side



i'm kind of freaking out now.
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Old 02-23-06, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by mollusk
Not a particularly good year for the usually strong Wildcats (AZ and KY). I'm sure that it is just a "blip" for both programs.
Pro cycling races have started already, baseball is just a column in the newspaper.
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Old 02-23-06, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Warblade
Pro cycling races have started already, baseball is just a column in the newspaper.
And if you could read you would notice they are talking about basketball not baseball, now hush up and run along.
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Old 02-23-06, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Jaye
And if you could read you would notice they are talking about basketball not baseball, now hush up and run along.
Good point, ciao
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