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My brother and I were watching the tour and my brother actually said, "I think if we train hard enough, we could do that tour". I reminded him that even if we did train hard, we don't have the genes for it. Plus we're both 30 yrs old! But it did bring up a good point: We WOULD like to race, maybe local, but even so, is there a way we could find out our bodies full potential? Maybe a VO2 test? How do you race guys know what you're capable of? We want to hire a coach but we don't know how we would stack up against the pros in our neighborhood
 

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If you want to race, sign up for your local Cat 5 race. A lot of the Cat 5 guys are people just like you that wondered if they could race and wanted to try it out. No better test to see what you are capable of then getting out there and doing it. Try it and see how you do, and then address whatever needs to be addressed from there.
 

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The way to find your racing potential is to race. Any physiological testing would only show what you have now, not what you could get after years of training. Even then it's just numbers. They are only part of the equation. There's also tactical sense and the willingness to suffer. The only test for those is racing.

The "pros" in your neighborhood are most likely just amateurs. Chances are that if you trained enough you can beat some of them.
 

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The Flash said:
Are you dominating the local group rides at more than 24mph? If not, then save your money....
Ignore this mentality and simply go find a race and get a one day licence.

I decided to race after riding for just a few months I was not "dominating local group rides at 24 mph" but I simply enter races and got better. For training I rode my bike as much as I could and saw improvement and in my first season I won a couple cat 5 races and it went from there.

Ignore the people that tell you have to achive this and that before you can race if you can go on some group rides and not crash people and accept that you might get dropped and not freak out about it you can race its suppose to be fun.
 

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The short answer is yes anybody can race

now how well you do and how long it takes to get there is the real question. Even at 30, you can still do national championships or state.

The are so many factors that is almost better not to think about it, just ride go on group rides and race when you get a chance. If you like it you will keep at it and see where it takes you.
 

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flankwood said:
My brother and I were watching the tour and my brother actually said, "I think if we train hard enough, we could do that tour". I reminded him that even if we did train hard, we don't have the genes for it. Plus we're both 30 yrs old! But it did bring up a good point: We WOULD like to race, maybe local, but even so, is there a way we could find out our bodies full potential? Maybe a VO2 test? How do you race guys know what you're capable of? We want to hire a coach but we don't know how we would stack up against the pros in our neighborhood
Do a fair amount of group riding before you decide to race. You need to develop handling/pack skills before you start to risk other's safety in a race. As for fitness, it makes little difference. Just do it. People get dropped all the time, especially in Cat 5 races. Just go out there, try your best, suffer, and see what happens.
 

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Well, you may never race in the "Tour" starting at the age of 30....but that doesn't mean you can't be any good. There is always Masters level racing at the national level...or even Pro racing if you became good enough fast enough.

However, don't let what you see lull you into believing you can ride in the "Tour" one day. Those guys average speeds that are as fast as a lot of people can sprint.

In the end, as others have mentioned, the only way to find out if you can be any good is to get out there and race. Join a club and start riding with them to get some group riding experience and find others that may be racing....many local clubs have a race team as well that you can join.

Once you get some time on the bike, enter a race and find out what it's all about. Pretty much every state has races that take place and a series or two you can enter...look up your states sanctioning body and see when, where and what type of races they have going on.

Race as many different types of races as you can to see what you like and what best suits your abilities: Mass start road races, Crits, Circuit races, Hill climbs, Time Trials, Track racing (if you have a velodrome)...maybe MTB racing (short track, XC, Downhill, Super D)?

Once you find out what type of racing you either enjoy or are best (if any because it can be very painful) at then you can focus your training more toward that type of racing and see how far you can go.

Anyway...get a bike if you don't already...then get out there and race.

P.S. you don't need to dominate your group rides at 24 mph to race...but if you want to race in the tour, you will need to average that or more....those guys are very, very, very fast (all of them!!!)
 

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32and3cross said:
Ignore this mentality and simply go find a race and get a one day licence.

I decided to race after riding for just a few months I was not "dominating local group rides at 24 mph" but I simply enter races and got better. For training I rode my bike as much as I could and saw improvement and in my first season I won a couple cat 5 races and it went from there.

Ignore the people that tell you have to achive this and that before you can race if you can go on some group rides and not crash people and accept that you might get dropped and not freak out about it you can race its suppose to be fun.

So your saying that if he can hold 17mph and can't handle his bike that he should show up for his local crit? If he wants to get a gauge of where he is then do it in a group ride, but lets be serious...speeds at most CAT 5 events are easily above 22mph with a lot of surging. Showing up for a race without the minimal aerobic capacity and handling skill is just placing that person in danger. Why place yourself or others at risk by getting in over one's head.

Try a time trial...less risk and you can measure your improvement easily....
 

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If you want to try racing try it. Go to some local group rides and see how you like it. Talk up some riders and enter a cat. 5 race. The first one will be a hard, humbling experience. You'll either love it and want more, or hate it. It's that easy.
 

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The Flash said:
So your saying that if he can hold 17mph and can't handle his bike that he should show up for his local crit? If he wants to get a gauge of where he is then do it in a group ride, but lets be serious...speeds at most CAT 5 events are easily above 22mph with a lot of surging. Showing up for a race without the minimal aerobic capacity and handling skill is just placing that person in danger. Why place yourself or others at risk by getting in over one's head.

Try a time trial...less risk and you can measure your improvement easily....
Valid points, but if you want to race, you gotta start sometime.

In my opinion, it's be cheaper and safer to start out with some quasi-competitive group rides before doing a true race.
 

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The Flash said:
So your saying that if he can hold 17mph and can't handle his bike that he should show up for his local crit? If he wants to get a gauge of where he is then do it in a group ride, but lets be serious...speeds at most CAT 5 events are easily above 22mph with a lot of surging. Showing up for a race without the minimal aerobic capacity and handling skill is just placing that person in danger. Why place yourself or others at risk by getting in over one's head.

Try a time trial...less risk and you can measure your improvement easily....
Go read what I wrote I said if you can do a group ride and not crash people your good to go.

As far as holding a certian speed it not relavant I think I could maybe hold 17 when I started and not much more, amazingly I managed to finish some races and then I started placing then I won then I became a cat 4. Your assement that one must must hole certian avg speed before they race is very limiting if you want to place those guide lines on your self fine but they really don't matter.
 

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32and3cross said:
Go read what I wrote I said if you can do a group ride and not crash people your good to go.

As far as holding a certian speed it not relavant I think I could maybe hold 17 when I started and not much more, amazingly I managed to finish some races and then I started placing then I won then I became a cat 4. Your assement that one must must hole certian avg speed before they race is very limiting if you want to place those guide lines on your self fine but they really don't matter.
Sorry, that's not good enough. I am a USCF official and the majority of crashes I see are people in over there head. It can be in any CAT and at any speed, but lack of experience is the limiter. Knowing that one has been in a position of handling these speeds and group dynamics is crucial to the person having a safe race. I am completely unconcerned in what place the person comes in, but I like to see them finish in the same condition they started.

How many times have you seen people get erratic during a race and your wondering what they're even doing there? That lack of experience not only affect the rider, but everyone else around and is why we all call it CRASH 5.

Anyone who wants to undertake racing should be at least somewhat comfortable with what racing requires. Whether it is taking high speed corners in a crit or riding aerobars in a TT, telling someone to go give it a shot without knowing whether they can handle it is just doing them and the people they race with a disservice that greatly increases the risk for all involved.
 

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agreed; the path to racing should start with joining a local club, going on group rides, talking to racers, learning about the etiquette of group riding etc. It doesn't make much sense just to jump into a cat 5 race without some experience of group riding--cycling is a dangerous sport even among experienced racers. Tossing in people who don't know what they're doing endangers everyone and its likely going to be a bad experience for a first-time racer.
 

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The Flash said:
Sorry, that's not good enough. I am a USCF official and the majority of crashes I see are people in over there head. It can be in any CAT and at any speed, but lack of experience is the limiter. Knowing that one has been in a position of handling these speeds and group dynamics is crucial to the person having a safe race. I am completely unconcerned in what place the person comes in, but I like to see them finish in the same condition they started.

How many times have you seen people get erratic during a race and your wondering what they're even doing there? That lack of experience not only affect the rider, but everyone else around and is why we all call it CRASH 5.

Anyone who wants to undertake racing should be at least somewhat comfortable with what racing requires. Whether it is taking high speed corners in a crit or riding aerobars in a TT, telling someone to go give it a shot without knowing whether they can handle it is just doing them and the people they race with a disservice that greatly increases the risk for all involved.
Dude what ever

Hell people do dumb ass **** in my cat 1,2 races all the time and I wonder what they are doing there, yet there they are. If the guy wants to race and pays his money he should get to race that the whole point of a cat 5 race if you wanna make everyone do a speed test and a handling course your welcome to put those rules forth to be voted one my guess if you won't get anywhere.

Im guessing form you attitude I would not have passed you "test" for where i should have started racing Im glad that mostly you can skip right over "officales" like you and continue enjoying the sport.

To the roginal post if you can do group rides and not fall donw and wanna race GO RACE ignore people like flash they suck all the fun out of life.
 

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If you want to do a race without killing yourself or others, enter a Time trial.
If you want to enter a mass start race, do some group rides first (fast group rides)
Yesterday, I posted about an incident that happened in a crit that I did yesterday AM. Two "noob" riders showed up, along with a rider that wasn't very fit. The race hit it hard from the gun. By the second lap, these riders were gassed. Before the second lap was over, these three were break dancing on the pavement. It's a good thing that these riders were at the back of the pack. The sound of crashing is always sweeter when it's behind you.
 

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32and3cross said:
Dude what ever

Hell people do dumb ass **** in my cat 1,2 races all the time and I wonder what they are doing there, yet there they are. If the guy wants to race and pays his money he should get to race that the whole point of a cat 5 race if you wanna make everyone do a speed test and a handling course your welcome to put those rules forth to be voted one my guess if you won't get anywhere.

Im guessing form you attitude I would not have passed you "test" for where i should have started racing Im glad that mostly you can skip right over "officales" like you and continue enjoying the sport.

To the roginal post if you can do group rides and not fall donw and wanna race GO RACE ignore people like flash they suck all the fun out of life.

People can do whatever they want until it presents a danger to others. At that point it becomes everyone's issue. While there is no "test" to enter Cat 5, some areas require that racers take a class to get their licenses. This is by no means an effort to keep people out of racing, but to make it available to everyone while minimizing the risk.

You seriously need to go back and re-read what you have posted. You are suggesting to a total stranger that they should forget common sense to pursue something because they saw it on TV. Would that still be your advice when that person should not be out there and then causes injury to you or your teammates or someone you know? You would be screaming for all Cat 5's to be DQ'd for life!

This is racing and while bad stuff does and WILL happen, we have to at least minimize what we can.

To the OP....if you think you can handle it, have at it. If you can't do it now, racing will still be here next month and next year. Just come to the race when YOU are comfortable with it, not because someone on an internet site said you should...

(p.s - don't ask for medical advice here, either....go see a doctor....)
 

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The Flash said:
People can do whatever they want until it presents a danger to others. At that point it becomes everyone's issue. While there is no "test" to enter Cat 5, some areas require that racers take a class to get their licenses. This is by no means an effort to keep people out of racing, but to make it available to everyone while minimizing the risk.

You seriously need to go back and re-read what you have posted. You are suggesting to a total stranger that they should forget common sense to pursue something because they saw it on TV. Would that still be your advice when that person should not be out there and then causes injury to you or your teammates or someone you know? You would be screaming for all Cat 5's to be DQ'd for life!

This is racing and while bad stuff does and WILL happen, we have to at least minimize what we can.

To the OP....if you think you can handle it, have at it. If you can't do it now, racing will still be here next month and next year. Just come to the race when YOU are comfortable with it, not because someone on an internet site said you should...

(p.s - don't ask for medical advice here, either....go see a doctor....)
Actually go read what I wrote I said he should try racing once he had done group rides and was comfortable withe them you are suggesting some stupid speed test.
 

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32and3cross said:
Actually go read what I wrote I said he should try racing once he had done group rides and was comfortable withe them you are suggesting some stupid speed test.
That's in your mind only....I am suggesting that he should be doing "well" at his group rides. Sorry if this concept was apparent the first time...
 

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Join a road club......learn.......race.

Road clubs are a great place to learn etiquette and pack skills.

I rode with large group rides two years prior to entering a Cat 5 race, and I was glad I did.

Even with that experience, it still didn't quite prepare me for riding with 100 Cat 5's shoulder to shoulder, butt to butt, handlebars into butt, etc. etc. Being completely surrounded by riders on all 8 sides really freaked me out.......still does as a seasoned Cat 4 (people still called us the "Crash 4's; "crash 3's" anyone??).

Now that I have much better pack and handling skills (and many races under my belt), I really enjoy crits because they string out a lot more and are not so crowded. I really like the emphasis on sprint power rather than climbing. I win occasional preems and place decent, and really have fun. Crits are a blast.

Also, riding with club people is also a good place to compare yourself to others. When I first started club riding, I was getting dropped by the girls in the club , then I said "maybe I'm not that great at this" (learned later they were Cat 1/2/3 girls!!).

But I kept cycling anyway because I love it. Too late for me to make the tour......but I'm 41, look great, and in the best shape of my life, and in my little world, that makes me a winner.
 
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