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I'm in the best shape of my life!

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

I'm in the best shape of my life!

Old 04-08-09, 01:01 AM
  #1  
Tapeworm21
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I'm in the best shape of my life!

I'm a thin lad, always have been. Always will be. I've ridden a bike almost all my life, but ever since I had my eye on racing my road bike, I've been riding like an animal. My legs feel like iron, rarely getting passed on the road these days, and the bike rides like a champ. I want to be a super prepared Cat5 next year.

Question, would I be in better shape with a heavier bike? Or better question. Would I even enjoy riding a heavier bike? Could I put in the distance I am now with a 22+ lbs. bike? Would I ride one 70 mile ride one day and not bother the next? Something I always ponder on my rides. Does weight matter? My gut says "yes."
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Old 04-08-09, 01:19 AM
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Out of curiosity why aren't you racing this season? We're just getting started, you should jump into some crits! I got dropped on my first road race but I had great luck with crits, only been dropped on a crit that was a stage III race. I'm sure you're strong enough to hang on in crits, if I could do it anyone could.

I'm still new to all this stuff but I would say train on what you race on and don't worry about the weight, when I line up for a crit my bike typically is weighing in at about 19 lbs. Anywho crits are amazing training, I just finished my 10th race in the 5's and I'd personally say don't take 5's too seriously don't worry about being a super strong 5 just get out there while you're motivated.

That's my 2 cents.
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Old 04-08-09, 01:34 AM
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Why do you want to ride a heavier bike? And at the level you are now weight isn't going to play a factor. Weight really only factors in for the pros. The engine right now is what matters. Focus on that, and then focus on pounds. Once you are able to sustain 27-30mph on flats, it's time to start getting that bike as light as possible.
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Old 04-08-09, 01:35 AM
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I'm ordering a Caad9 on Thursday for crits. I already have some Ksyriums for it (I hate that wheel but they're stiff as hell) and am waiting to save some funds for Rival shifters and a rear derailleur. I've always wanted a built up aluminum bike anyways. I learned a couple days ago they won't be made in America after this year so I better jump on board.

I raced a crit in January. Took 6th place after a full year of hard training. I'll just train harder this year and go from there. And honestly, I don't have a car to drive myself to races so I have to hit the very local ones.

I think my main problem is I'm riding right now for no reason. I need a goal. Racing is really the only goal I can think of.
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Old 04-08-09, 01:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Tapeworm21 View Post
I'm ordering a Caad9 on Thursday for crits. I already have some Ksyriums for it (I hate that wheel but they're stiff as hell) and am waiting to save some funds for Rival shifters and a rear derailleur. I've always wanted a built up aluminum bike anyways. I learned a couple days ago they won't be made in America after this year so I better jump on board.

I raced a crit in January. Took 6th place after a full year of hard training. I'll just train harder this year and go from there. And honestly, I don't have a car to drive myself to races so I have to hit the very local ones.

I think my main problem is I'm riding right now for no reason. I need a goal. Racing is really the only goal I can think of.
I'd just start racing now man, at this point i think of my races as intervals training for almost. If racing is your goal race. If you took 6th a your first crit you're obviously strong, I've done 10 races and haven't got anywhere close to 6th. Last race I might have but I working for other team members, anywho I'd say get your CAAD and race as much as possible. Then you'll know better what you need to do for next year.
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Old 04-08-09, 01:39 AM
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Good luck, and that's a great goal. Competition is what will propel you to be the best rider you can be.
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Old 04-08-09, 06:44 AM
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You should look into setting up a training plan.

Find out what the local crit schedule will be, and then set up your plan accordingly.

You can map out your week with the proper balance of duration and intensity so that you have some training goals that will help you to improve your limiters, and also to boost your strengths.

A properly balanced training plan will also help you to be fresh on race day, and also maintain the proper workload to continuously improve fitness while allowing proper time for recovery.

=)
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Old 04-08-09, 07:51 AM
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If you want some success next year, best thing would be to get into it now. Fitness only gets you so far. There is much to learn. I'm going through it right now. Getting dropped is not my problem, it's the final sprint. It's going to take some time, but why wait a year? You'll regret it. Get your bike set up, and race it - even if it's mid-season when you start. Hey maybe the strong 5's will upgrade by then.
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Old 04-08-09, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by rydaddy View Post
If you want some success next year, best thing would be to get into it now. Fitness only gets you so far. There is much to learn. I'm going through it right now. Getting dropped is not my problem, it's the final sprint. It's going to take some time, but why wait a year? You'll regret it. Get your bike set up, and race it - even if it's mid-season when you start. Hey maybe the strong 5's will upgrade by then.
I agree I'm only now starting to see what I need to train for, I'm almost glad last season I didn't try and do some exact training, I just rode base.
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Old 04-08-09, 09:43 AM
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Seriously, don't try to be "super-prepared", just make sure you have some group riding experience and then race. There is no preparation like it.
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Old 04-08-09, 09:49 AM
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Nothing gets you "race ready" like racing.
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Old 04-08-09, 10:15 AM
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there is no training that can replicate racing... even long-time pros say this

if you've never raced (and doing one race leaves you in this category) then you probably won't know enough about racing to focus on the right stuff.
Do enough group rides to get decent enough where you won't kill anyone else with your handling... and to work on the engine... race!

I don't have a car either- I ride my bike 15-20 miles to races... call it a good warm-up.
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Old 04-08-09, 10:21 AM
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^what they said...you can pass people all day on the road...nothing tells you what you are made of like a race.
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Old 04-08-09, 11:22 AM
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The accordion effect seems to throw even the strongest riders I've noticed.
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Old 04-08-09, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by TarmacDude View Post
Why do you want to ride a heavier bike? And at the level you are now weight isn't going to play a factor. Weight really only factors in for the pros. The engine right now is what matters. Focus on that, and then focus on pounds. Once you are able to sustain 27-30mph on flats, it's time to start getting that bike as light as possible.
At those speeds you need to get aero not lightweight.
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Old 04-08-09, 01:58 PM
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here we go.
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Old 04-08-09, 01:59 PM
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to race cat 5's... learn how to fall. Save your money for when you do.

Last Sunday:


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Old 04-08-09, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by captnfantastic View Post
to race cat 5's... learn how to fall. Save your money for when you do.
With good handling, fast reflexes, and a little bit of luck, I made it from 5 > 3 without any damage or injury from racing.

Cars and other road hazards are different story...
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Old 04-08-09, 02:16 PM
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Captnfantastic is a great draft, but I missed crashing into his crash on my 3rd race lol. No one can say you don't put it all out there for the win man.
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Old 04-08-09, 02:47 PM
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it's been said. race. you're probably stronger than i am.
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Old 04-08-09, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Tapeworm21 View Post
I'm a thin lad, always have been. Always will be. I've ridden a bike almost all my life, but ever since I had my eye on racing my road bike, I've been riding like an animal. My legs feel like iron, rarely getting passed on the road these days, and the bike rides like a champ.
It's easy to ride like an animal when you are young and in shape. You need to HTFU, hang that bike up for 20 years, gain 50 lbs. and then hammer.
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Old 04-08-09, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by captnfantastic View Post

Give blood: Race CAT-5
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Old 04-08-09, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by umd View Post
With good handling, fast reflexes, and a little bit of luck, I made it from 5 > 3 without any damage or injury from racing.

Cars and other road hazards are different story...
I'm a 4 now, made it through almost an entire collegiate season (still got conference champs coming up), and haven't wrecked in a race.

I've wrecked outside of races, I've wrecked in the parking lot before a race, but never in the race itself.

Cat 5 really isn't that bad. Many of my Cat 5 races had large fields and no crashes at all. Some collegiate weekends (some of the sketchiest riding there is, we're all fearless) we don't have any crashes at all, in any categories.
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Old 04-08-09, 05:00 PM
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Race your bicycle. You will not regret it if you live.
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Old 04-08-09, 05:09 PM
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Well.... I guess it's that easy, huh?
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