Racing cat 5

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Jcyclist, Oct 15, 2006.

  1. Jcyclist

    Jcyclist New Member

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    Im going to start racing some cat 5 races farely soon and was wondering there average speed during a flat race.
     
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  2. CDAKIAHONDA

    CDAKIAHONDA New Member

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    No, the speed is dependant on the riders. Have fun, hold your line and learn to race aggressively, not recklessly. Sitting in, just makes you good at "sitting in." Not a bad idea for a few races to get a feel for it, learning how to race the bicycle and all. You're in for a lot of fun. Enjoy it! Hook up with a team if you can, you can benefit from more experienced riders right away. Ask your LBS or the race organizers if you don't know of any.


    Good luck, join USA Cycling if you haven't already.

    www.usacycling.org
     
  3. Eden

    Eden New Member

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    Yeah - average speed doesn't really have much to do with how hard a road race really is. I'm not the stongest rider out there, but I understand enough of the physics of a pack that I often hang on when folks that are technically stronger than I am get dropped. What you have to be able to do is deal with surges - if you go shooting off the back when the pack surges you probably won't catch back on. If you are timid and hang out at the back for fear of getting too close to other riders you'll probably get dropped too. You'll get stuck behind someone who is falling off, a gap will form and you'll get dropped also. Until you get a little experience it is not uncommon to fall behind, so don't get discouraged if it happens. Even some strong people can have trouble at first. (but, don't get big headed if you keep up in your first race either)
     
  4. mtnbkdave68

    mtnbkdave68 New Member

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    After doing ten Cat 5 races this year I can say the average speed varied from 24mph to near 26mph. I would heed the advice from the two posts before me. Also, draft as much as possible to save energy. And, try and take the inside line on the turns, since in some races you might have 3 or 4 abreast racing, it's usually safer. One thing I do know is that you will learn something new every race. Good luck and have fun!!!
     
  5. BikerScott

    BikerScott New Member

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    I am far from an expert as this past year was my first year riding and racing (Cat 5) but I quickly found out that average speed means very little in a race. My first race had horrid weather conditions (rain and nasty wind) so everyone was slower. I also hadn't done a lot of group rides so I had no idea how nice of an impact drafting would have. :) Even with it being a flat ride there are still a lot of things that would impact speed (headwind/tailwind, are you in group or riding by yourself, is the group working together or against each other,etc...)

    My suggestion would be to just go out and have fun. Try to watch what others are doing and learn from them.
     
  6. Bobby Lex

    Bobby Lex New Member

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    If you spend half your time doing 18 mph and half your time doing 28 mph, your average speed will be 23 mph, but that would be a completely different 23 mph average than, for example, a ride that held a steady 23 mph pace from start to finish. The first instance would be exhausting. The second would be easy.

    As has been pointed out, bike racing is characterized by surging, especially in a criterium because of the constant cornering.

    The physical hardship doesn't come from the average speed, it comes from the repeated accelerations which have the cumulative effect of wearing you out.

    Ways to deal with that are to do interval training, stay up near (but not at) the front so that the "yo-yo" effect is lessened, and learn to corner as fast as possible without touching the brakes.

    There's a huge learning curve in bike racing. So the sooner you start, the sooner you'll get better at it. Bike racing is a rush!

    Bob
     
  7. Jcyclist

    Jcyclist New Member

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    Thanks
     
  8. jrstevens

    jrstevens New Member

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    great advice obviously from a seasoned racer
     
  9. helmutRoole2

    helmutRoole2 New Member

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    You have to wait thirty seconds between posts.

    I didn't.

    Yes

    Here it goes.
     
  10. andrello

    andrello New Member

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    Just attack!! Don't sit in.
     
  11. CDAKIAHONDA

    CDAKIAHONDA New Member

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    Yes!!! Attack and Get up the road, and help keep a team member up the road when you're not there. Never chase a team member, don't drag the whole group back up to the break unless your team is not represented and you have no other choice. Attack as soon as your team member is caught. It's better to try and bridge to a break, or send multiple riders on flyers in order to further split the group. Try to limit the number of riders with whom you or your team will be competing with at the sprint, not increase them.

    Learn to race the bicycle, don't lock your elbows, and relax your shoulders for better control. Learn to look through your legs, under your arms etc... so you can be aware of what's going on around you, and where other riders are w/o swerving all over the place. Stay in the front, take your pull, but don't camp at the front and do all the work.

    Don't let gaps form. It's okay to talk to other riders. Race like you're there to win, not just survive. It's better to attack, get stronger and learn (and even get dropped) than to just sit and save energy for a bunch sprint you may not even be in!

    Some riders win a race once in a while by just sitting in, others win races and earn respect.
     
  12. bikedude40k

    bikedude40k New Member

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    Umm... my first 5s race was around 26mph on a circuit race, but i was 13, so that was harder than it should be for you. what everyone else said is right. it is really important to be agressive, but not reckless, tentative, and foolish. in my first race, i was all of the above, and spent all of my energy on 5 solo breakaways, came in 6th or tenth, i think, but could have won the sprint. don't do that!
     
  13. Jcyclist

    Jcyclist New Member

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  14. CDAKIAHONDA

    CDAKIAHONDA New Member

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    Update after your racing begins, let us know how it's going. :)


    Tip: The race OFTEN doesn't really begin until at least halfway (make sure you warm-up well though, because an inital aceleration can sometimes knock you right out before the race settles in, especially in shorter races and crits), and even more often, some climb, or corner or other road feature will be the catalyst for the winning move, so, if you can ride (or drive) the course first.....


    Gosh, my heart rate acelerates just remembering...:D
     
  15. azdroptop

    azdroptop New Member

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    Around here as I'm sure many other places a lot of Non-Cat 5 guys race Cat 5 for whatever reason.
     
  16. Eden

    Eden New Member

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    How so? Around here it goes by what your license says - if its a USCF race, which most are, you don't get to race down and they do check your license. You can request to be downgraded, but not for just one race and masters get some leeway. If you are over a certain age you can race masters D's no matter what your cat is.
     
  17. azdroptop

    azdroptop New Member

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    Stuff like, Ah, I forgot my license so they go with a one day pass and there you go.
     
  18. Eden

    Eden New Member

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    Hmmm - hard to get away with that around here. They've always got a list of all of the WA registered riders so if you forget your license they look you up. Sure you can fudge it and say you don't have a license or a WSBA #, but we mostly all know one another, maybe not really personally, but by sight at least so it would be hard to cheat ;)
     
  19. tonyzackery

    tonyzackery Well-Known Member

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    Eden, you race crits at Seward Park?? Just wondering...
     
  20. CDAKIAHONDA

    CDAKIAHONDA New Member

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    So...everyone bring your WSBA numbers and licence to Mason Lake, Okay?:)
     
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