Racing for Beginners



tvaughn

New Member
Dec 1, 2005
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I just began riding about 2 months ago and would like to try out some beginners races in the spring. Any advice or tips on what kind of individual goals I can set to prepare? It looks like most of the local races for Cat 5's will be about 40k. If I'm doing training rides of that same distance what kind of times should be aiming for, while riding solo? I would be obliged for any advice or anything you wished you would have known to prepare for riding competitively.
 

frenchyge

New Member
Apr 3, 2005
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I'd say you should be able to ride 19-20 mph solo for 1-2 hours in order to hang in a Cat 5 pack. There are so many variables that it's not even funny, but that's my rough estimation of an answer to your question.

More important than your fitness is riding safely in the close quarters that you'll experience in a race. It's okay to train solo, but you should get experience in some casual group rides before entering your first race. Participate in some of the local clubs rides, and learn to draft, paceline, and corner safely around other riders so that you're not a hazard when it comes time to race. Worry about completing your first races without crashing before you worry about where you'll finish.
 

RapDaddyo

Well-Known Member
May 17, 2005
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Mass start RRs are all about surge, recover, surge, recover, .... Ride your training rides that way. It'll prepare you for the surges. If you get dropped in a surge, it doesn't matter what your sustainable power is -- they'll be gone. Start with RRs. Crits are more dangerous.
 

artmichalek

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Sep 15, 2004
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frenchyge said:
More important than your fitness is riding safely in the close quarters that you'll experience in a race. It's okay to train solo, but you should get experience in some casual group rides before entering your first race. Participate in some of the local clubs rides, and learn to draft, paceline, and corner safely around other riders so that you're not a hazard when it comes time to race.
I agree. There are a lot of lessons about riding in a pack that are best learned under less stressful conditions than a race. Not just about safety, but also positioning.
 

cyclingheroes

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Sep 9, 2005
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frenchyge said:
I'd say you should be able to ride 19-20 mph solo for 1-2 hours in order to hang in a Cat 5 pack. There are so many variables that it's not even funny, but that's my rough estimation of an answer to your question.

More important than your fitness is riding safely in the close quarters that you'll experience in a race. It's okay to train solo, but you should get experience in some casual group rides before entering your first race. Participate in some of the local clubs rides, and learn to draft, paceline, and corner safely around other riders so that you're not a hazard when it comes time to race. Worry about completing your first races without crashing before you worry about where you'll finish.
I agree, especially about riding in a group BEFORE your first race and about completing the first race...