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How do I know when I'm ready to start racing and do a CAT 5?

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How do I know when I'm ready to start racing and do a CAT 5?

Old 02-01-14, 07:10 PM
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j814wong
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How do I know when I'm ready to start racing and do a CAT 5?

A year ago, I caught the cycling bike and got a cheapo road bike after having used a crappy Toys R Us mountain bike. I've been cycling comparatively frequently since but I don't consider myself too great a cyclist. The longest ride I've ever done was 39 miles with an average speed of 19.6 mph on a very flat route with 17 minutes of stopped time and 1:16 hours of moving time. I've also never ridden with a group but I think that my bike handling skills are decent.
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Old 02-01-14, 07:12 PM
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Join a local club and ride with them. You will learn group riding skills and get a good sense of how strong you are.

P.S. "never ridden in a group" and "start racing" do not go together. See above.
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Old 02-01-14, 07:17 PM
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^^ Yes, get some good fast group riding experience. Call around to local shops to see what's available. They are often involved or can point you in the right direction for your area.

A little reading:

https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...s-a-tip-or-two
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Old 02-01-14, 07:22 PM
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Well, I too am a cat5, and I don't think you are ready yet. See the above posts. I'm also glad my area code is not 814.
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Old 02-01-14, 07:27 PM
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ditto the above. get some group ride experience. As far as physique, I think you'll be fine.
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Old 02-01-14, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Silvercivic27 View Post
Well, I too am a cat5, and I don't think you are ready yet. See the above posts. I'm also glad my area code is not 814.
What do you mean by your last sentence about area code 814? That's in Penn. I think.
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Old 02-01-14, 07:38 PM
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Thanks for the advice everyone.
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Old 02-01-14, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by j814wong View Post
What do you mean by your last sentence about area code 814? That's in Penn. I think.
It's a snarky comment stating he does not want to be in a race with you. Ignore.
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Old 02-01-14, 07:52 PM
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Uh... My area code is not 814
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Old 02-01-14, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by j814wong View Post
Uh... My area code is not 814
We figured. Your screen name is suggestive. Get it?
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Old 02-01-14, 09:29 PM
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I'm in the same boat like you but I do lots of club rides and intervals. Our rides are 40 - 55 miles every Saturday. Weekdays I do intervals on a bike trainer.
Example Sprint Workout: 4 sets of 4 x 15 secs ON 30 secs OFF Full Gas (as hard as you can) between > 160% of your threshold powerExample Anaerobic Workout: Zone 6: 2 sets of 3 x 1 min On 1 min OFF Full Gas (as hard as you can) between 121 - 160% of your threshold

https://www.fascatcoaching.com/racesp...intervals.html
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Old 02-01-14, 09:31 PM
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Originally Posted by datlas View Post
We figured. Your screen name is suggestive. Get it?
Well yes, now I get it. But when I see numbers in a person's name, I'd usually think it relates to something like a birthday.
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Old 02-01-14, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by TexMac View Post
I'm in the same boat like you but I do lots of club rides and intervals. Our rides are 40 - 55 miles every Saturday. Weekdays I do intervals on a bike trainer.
Example Sprint Workout: 4 sets of 4 x 15 secs ON 30 secs OFF Full Gas (as hard as you can) between > 160% of your threshold powerExample Anaerobic Workout: Zone 6: 2 sets of 3 x 1 min On 1 min OFF Full Gas (as hard as you can) between 121 - 160% of your threshold

https://www.fascatcoaching.com/racesp...intervals.html
Thanks for sharing the link. It looks very helpful: I'll read it in depth soon.
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Old 02-01-14, 09:47 PM
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I average about 17mph on solo rides and will be doing cat 5 Crits in a month. Going to try a few group rides in the coming month. So try racing and see if you can keep up. I'm scared of crashing so I'll probably be too passive but I'm looking forward to it. If you are averaging about 20mph I'd say that is pretty damn fast to keep up in a cat 5 race. Just don't make sudden movements in a pack.
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Old 02-01-14, 09:54 PM
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For your safety and that of every other rider in your first race, please get some group riding experience before you enter a mass start race.
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Old 02-02-14, 01:37 AM
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Originally Posted by j814wong View Post
A year ago, I caught the cycling bike and got a cheapo road bike after having used a crappy Toys R Us mountain bike. I've been cycling comparatively frequently since but I don't consider myself too great a cyclist. The longest ride I've ever done was 39 miles with an average speed of 19.6 mph on a very flat route with 17 minutes of stopped time and 1:16 hours of moving time. I've also never ridden with a group but I think that my bike handling skills are decent.
If you can do 39 miles in 1:16 of moving time you'll have no problem in Cat 5, 4, 3, 2 or 1. The bike handling skills you need to race are different than the skills required to ride solo. Get some practice with group riding before you start racing.
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Old 02-02-14, 01:49 AM
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Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
If you can do 39 miles in 1:16 of moving time you'll have no problem in Cat 5, 4, 3, 2 or 1. The bike handling skills you need to race are different than the skills required to ride solo. Get some practice with group riding before you start racing.
His math is wrong. 39mi @ 19.6mph is 2 hr moving time.
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Old 02-02-14, 07:24 AM
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Pin on the numbers, you are ready.
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Old 02-02-14, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by pdedes View Post
Pin on the numbers, you are ready.
Are you referring to the OP that has never done any group rides ?
Have you ever been in a criterium with someone that has no idea how to corner, especially with other riders a few inches away ?
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Old 02-02-14, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by f4rrest View Post
His math is wrong. 39mi @ 19.6mph is 2 hr moving time.
I figured. However, those are the numbers I get from RideWithGPS. But yes, I do recall my ride being around 2 hours and not 1:16.

Sorry for that.
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Old 02-02-14, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
Are you referring to the OP that has never done any group rides ?
Have you ever been in a criterium with someone that has no idea how to corner, especially with other riders a few inches away ?
I will delay my attempts at racing for the sake of my fellow cyclists!
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Old 02-02-14, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
Are you referring to the OP that has never done any group rides ?
Have you ever been in a criterium with someone that has no idea how to corner, especially with other riders a few inches away ?
Sorry for neglecting to post the sarcasm alert
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Old 02-02-14, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by pdedes View Post
Pin on the numbers, you are ready.
Exactly. He should make sure he uses exactly 4 pins right through the holes so we all know he's ready too.
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Old 02-02-14, 12:39 PM
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Hey OP, many cycling clubs have what they call the Tuesday night Worlds, unless it's on a Wednesday, at which time they call it, ironically, the Friday night Worlds.

Never made a damn bit of sense to me.

These often aren't races in the strictest sense, although my bike club turned it into informal racing on a mostly closed course because so many people were getting hurt and/or ticking off motorists.

Find out when yours are. Try one. Stay near the back. Get spit out after two minutes. Do a lot more group rides and get used to the whole thing.

When you feel comfortable, pin them numbers on.
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Old 02-02-14, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
If you can do 39 miles in 1:16 of moving time you'll have no problem in Cat 5, 4, 3, 2 or 1. The bike handling skills you need to race are different than the skills required to ride solo. Get some practice with group riding before you start racing.
A good way for the OP to accomplish this would be to investigate whether any clubs near him have "rocket rides" or something similar. Lots of clubs in the NY area have something like this, which are essentially group rides that draw a lot of hard-core cyclists who get a kick out of the competition. Some in NJ, like the Rocket Ride, have gotten so big the cops have busted participants for disobeying traffic signals, etc.

OP, what the other folks are trying to say, some nicer than others, is that handling a bike in a group is entirely different from riding on your own. Handling a bike in a group that's racing is another level up still. You need to get to grow your skills to the point where you can anticipate others' actions, how to avoid situations caused by others when you can, etc.
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