Women's Racing - do you- why? why not?

Discussion in 'Women's Cycling' started by Eden, Aug 9, 2005.

  1. Eden

    Eden New Member

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    Hi
    The women's part of the forum hasn't been getting much traffic recently so I thought I'd try to jump start things a bit.

    I'm interested in knowing how many of you out there are thinking about getting into racing. If so why have you or why haven't you started yet?

    If you race now tell me about it and how it was to get started.

    Thanks!
    Eden
     
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  2. Mellic

    Mellic New Member

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    I started mountain biking a little over two years ago when I stuffed my knee up playing hockey. Shortly after I started racing XC as I just love challenging myself. At first it was very difficult to make the transition from a power to endurance sport. I constantly stuggled to make the distance and I hit the wall all the time.

    Gradually over time I have adapted to the demands of this sport and racing. I am now able to race at a high intensity for over 2 hours which is a huge achievement for me. Sure I am not the best in my state, but I'm getting there slowly.

    Anyway, starting racing isn't easy, particularly if you have had very little experience doing it. Most people think that they need to get themselves fit before they even think about racing. Honestly, the best thing to do is just get out there and race because you will gain fitness, confidence, and develop skills as you go a long.
     
  3. Eden

    Eden New Member

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    Thank you for your reply!
    I've been considering entering my first real race later this month and I don't know why but I am still hesitant. It's a hillclimb timetrial so I don't have to worry about anyone but me. I guess I just have no clue as to where I stand, but the catch 22 is if I don't do it I'll never know. I understand all of this, but still I am hesitant. I guess I just have to psych myself into doing it.

    I ride most of the time with my husband (who does race) and other men. I also ride with a women's group once a week, but either way my husband and the guys will always be stronger than I am and the women's group is not fast enough to be a serious indicator of my own fitness.

    I get the feeling that I am not the only one to be hesitant. Up here in the Pacific NW we have a pretty big bike culture, but there is still a problem attracting enough women to racing to have decent fields. I am curious to see how many women out there have been considering racing and what's been stopping them. Conversly I'd like to hear from women who do race and how they got started. Give us fence sitters a little boot in the rear as it were.
     
  4. nanook08

    nanook08 New Member

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    Well I started biking last year and within a few weeks I was doing training races with the GVCC here in Rochester. Twice a week, alternating time trials and longer road rides. The first few I was dropped pretty much imediately, but I was getting better and stronger. This year I started training indoors in January and did a few races. I'm doing my first duathlon in a month. I'm a little nervous about that, seeing as how it is my first multi sport race ever, but I'm really just psyched to get out there again.

    Even if it seems intimidating, just go and race. You can't expect really good results in your first race just because it is in fact your first and you don't know what to expect yet. I was in way over my head in the first training races, but it was great experience for my later races. Find a friend or someone who want's a trianing ride or recovery ride to go with you to your first race and just keep you going. Nothing can replace the experience you get from actually racing. You can prepare and train all you want, but just going out and doing it is where you'll really get a feel for racing.

    Good Luck!

    Diana
     
  5. Eden

    Eden New Member

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    Well I went to the regular Monday women's ride yesterday and only one other person showed up! Strangely enough this made me make up my mind to enter the race I've been thinking about. I mean come on - we have a relatively large bike community up here and a women's ride only gets two takers!!!! I figure that I won't have the right to complain that more women aren't involved if I don't get more involved myself.
     
  6. kaian

    kaian New Member

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    I've been thinking about racing next season. I think most of the time trials and such are done for the most part for this season. I've just been doing group rides this year and getting in anywhere from 60-100 miles a week (depending on the week) to build my endurance. My goal for this year was to do a century - and I might still accomplish that (there are 2 organized rides coming up in Sept & Oct), but I think I'd like to try doing some more fast-paced stuff. I am nervous about it, but who knows - I might be a good at it.

    Anyone know what a good race pace would be for a female beginner?
     
  7. jessmcph

    jessmcph New Member

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    i've never really considered racing. in part i suppose because i ride a road bike and i rarely see women out but more that i think that women are raised to not compete, we are much more a team oriented sex until you figure in men. what i would like to do is one of the team tri's i think that sounds like fun; however, i have no idea how to get involved withthat and i need far more training.
     
  8. Capt. Jack

    Capt. Jack New Member

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    I started mountain biking last year and progressed to downhilling the next month... a few months later I started racing. I'm not that good, it's just that I wanted to really push myself, and I did. I really enjoy racing. I'm a total newbie, though, and the hardest part is that I get annoyed at myself if I don't race as fast as the other racers in my class. But they've been mountain biking for years. I have to remind myself of that. I think racing is a good way to help one set goals. My goal is to race really well next year instead of not training enough and then whining to myself about it.
    BTW, this is a reminder that the mid-Atlantic area (VA, MD, DC, DE, PA) needs a lot more female downhill racers!!!! If you can race XC, why not try DH? You might like it!!!!
     
  9. Eden

    Eden New Member

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    I think that you are not alone. I would bet that there are a lot of women out there who just don't know how to get into racing. How to get started is reallly very unclear even if you attempt to research it. My husband has been racing for about a year now so he was able to walk me through everything from signing up to how to properly start a time trial and that was a real help. Joining a club with experienced racers is a good way to get an intro too.
    I think my hang up has been a doubt about my ability to keep up, but I broke down and did it. I raced in my very first race today. It was a hillclimb time trial, 6 miles 1,600 feet elevation gain. I'm quite happy with the results. I was 6th in a field of 14 with a time of 34m17s.
     
  10. wackydeirdre

    wackydeirdre New Member

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    :cool:
    I actually want to begin racing fairly soon. Why do I want to race? a) I'm sort of getting tired of cycling the neighborhood alone. b) I get the distinct feeling people around here fear for the lives of their children when they see me coming though I always am very careful to watch for children and animals (not to mention cars) and would intentionally fall and hurt myself before hurting another person but how can they possibly know that? c) I feel trained enough to begin at least at a low level and see how it goes from there. Why have I not begun racing yet? Ive had a bit of a busy summer.
     
  11. wackydeirdre

    wackydeirdre New Member

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    How funny! I drive my kids nuts singing that Queen song. :D
     
  12. alaskan_roy

    alaskan_roy New Member

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    INFORMATION! I don't race yet, but am going to be training for my first race starting this winter. I figured I'd give it a try. For me the there are a couple of hangups do doing this, but most of them seem to fall into ......1)Information- how to train, picking the right bike, basic biking skills (i've rode recreationally since I was a kid, but what new skills do I need for competition ie. riding in a pack and where to find that info and what old skills do I need to hone) and the list goes on and on.... I figure I can give it a try and set my goal at just finishing. (its a 100 mile race). The other thing I am finding about info is most of the websites I have found seem to be geared towards the seasoned racer.
     
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