56 and going to try a road race

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by odb, Jun 30, 2005.

  1. odb

    odb New Member

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    im 56 and want to do a road race in mid july . For a couple of years i've been riding and always wanted to try a race . First i wanted to do time trials but i wasn't able to do them due to family comitments . Then i went to a couple of training races and got lapped. after being lapped a few times i knew i wasn' very good . For the last 5 mos. i've lost 25 pounds practiced bike handling drills and do various intervals 3times aweek along with recovery rides and power lifting for my legs. i do a weekly tt. of 10 miles on a flat but verry windy course . my 1st goal was to do 17 mph in the large ring and the smallest cog it took a couple of weeks now im inthe large ring and small cog and avg 20 mph for the 10 miles. my question is what gears do i use for this race ? because ikill my self in the hardest gears and im hopeing by using different gears i will be faster and less beat. help:p
     
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  2. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    Hi There, odb. I am a former bike racer who is training to get back in the game myself. Based on my former experience and my anticipation of pace and fitness of today's racers, I can offer a couple of suggestions. First, you might be better off riding in Cat 5 rather than masters because I think you'll find masters a bit quicker. Masters is probably safer because the Cat 5 racers are often less experienced and crash more. Second, in either category I think you'll find race pace ~25mph, sometimes faster, sometimes slower. Of course, riding 25mph in a peleton requires significantly less power than solo. Third, it's just very difficult to train almost exclusively solo and stay with the front group when it surges or bridges. Most people learn to handle the pace changes by training with a group of fast riders. I encourage you to define your objectives very conservatively -- specifically, (1) don't crash and (2) be with the front group at the finish. See the thread here entitled "Help -- first race ..." for some suggestions on how to avoid being a crash statistic. As to gearing, try to avoid getting trapped in the outside of the cluster, especially with the small chainring and the small cog. If the group accelerates, you'll lose time getting into the big ring. You're better off staying in the middle cogs of the cluster. Good luck and be safe.
     
  3. JohnO

    JohnO New Member

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    I have noticed that my speed and endurance have taken a big leap since I started riding with a group, rather than just riding by myself. There's nothing like someone in front of you to get you to push just a little bit harder, or keep you from wimping out halfway up a steep climb.

    Been giving the Masters a bit of thought myself, but that's a couple of years off. Need to shed 15 pounds and train a lot harder before I can even think about just staying in the peloton with that group. Those guys are fast!
     
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