Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Newbie
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
All:

I am 40+ and want to start racing.

Where to begin?

I am asking in this forum because (1) I live in the DC area (Maryland, specifically), and (2) I did not find any good threads on the subject elsewhere.

Any constructive advice is appreciated!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,808 Posts
RayWhitney said:
All:

I am 40+ and want to start racing.

Where to begin?

I am asking in this forum because (1) I live in the DC area (Maryland, specifically), and (2) I did not find any good threads on the subject elsewhere.

Any constructive advice is appreciated!
Have you checked out racing/training/nutition forum? lots of threads there.

Anyways - I guess you haven't raced before?

Are you any good? In shape? Have power? Can ride in a group? Can hold max HR -10-20 beats a minute for 30-60 minutes in a group?

You need to do 10 cat 5 races before you get in the 35+.. There was something about 40+/50+..but even in these races the old veterans are always out.

goto http://www.bikereg.com for race listings. most cat 5's fill up in hours of open.

You can race without a team.

Here is a recent race video of a Cat 5 race in VA that I made: http://www.vimeo.com/4233274

To get group experience, check out bikepptc.org .


Does this help?
 

·
Loves to Suffer
Joined
·
998 Posts
I have been doing a crit training series in Trexlertown. Something like that is probably a good place to start, if you know how to ride in a fast group, and are in race shape.
 

·
Game on, b*tches!
Joined
·
13,467 Posts
It's doable. I'm (aaaaarrrgggghhhh!) 50 now and just started racing about 4 yrs ago; 1st cross then I started to do some crits. It took me a while but I finally got enough starts to upgrade to cat 4. Now I get my azz kicked by guys my own age:p
Find a club with some fast road rides and see how you hang. Really, you don't necessarily need to do well to upgrade; you just need the experience.
There are lots of races in the Balt/Wash areas. Start as a cat5 (you have to) and take your lumps with guys 1/2 your age. Beat some of them and grin from ear-to-ear:thumbsup: Even if you don't have a USCF license you can usually get 1 day passes to allow you to race. Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,185 Posts
RayWhitney said:
All:

I am 40+ and want to start racing.

Where to begin?

I am asking in this forum because (1) I live in the DC area (Maryland, specifically), and (2) I did not find any good threads on the subject elsewhere.

Any constructive advice is appreciated!
Find a team and start riding with them during their training rides. Of course, I'll suggest my team, Latitude, which is in Annapolis, but we have riders all over Maryland and DC. I live in Germantown, which is an hour away from Annapolis, but I make some of the team rides. Having teammates to ask these types of questions, and all the other ones you are going to have along the way, is a good thing. By the way, I think we got 1st and 2nd in the 50+ BAR last year and those guys are great guys to race/ride with.

Don't think that racing in the "Masters" category with 35+ or 50+ guys is any slower than racing a cat 4 race. I've done the Cat 4 races and can place in the top 10 without even training. I've put in 300 miles so far this year and got 4th at Syn Fit in the Master 35+ 4/5 and got 3rd in the straight Cat 4/5 at Carl Dolan. When you race an open (i.e., no category limitation other than 5's) Masters race, there can be Cat 1's and 2's in it, and some of the open Masters races I have done have been way faster than anything I have done in the 4's. For example, I did the Masters 35+ Crystal City Classic 2 years ago when I was a 5 (i.e., there was no Cat 5 restriction on this race), and there were guys like Dave Osbourne, Ramon Benitez, etc. in it who were national champions. It was smoking fast, I was hurting like hell, and I was just able to finish in 21st place. FYI - I used to be a Cat 3 before I went to law school and stopped renewing my license. They stuck me back in the 5's when I started racing again, but I was given an early upgrade before I had my 10 races in.

Don't hesitate to stay in the 5's as long as you like until you are confident with your fitness level and your bike handling skills. Being in a group of 50 riders (i.e., the maximum allowed in a cat 5 race) is a lot different than being in a group of 100 or 125 riders in a cat 4 race, most of whom have no idea what half wheeling and holding a line mean. If doing the Masters races wasn't so painful, I would race them all the time because those guys know how to ride/race. The Silver Spring Grand Prix was my second Cat 4 race in 2007, and I personally saw 6 wrecks around me. People trying to shove themselves through a corner to gain a spot, people striking their pedals and losing control of the bike, and guys just doing plain stupid stuff. How I made it through that race and got 4th out of 90 guys, I have no idea. It was like dodging grenades.

Anyway, try to get on some fast group rides and see if anybody in them races. If so, ask a million questions until they get so tired of you that they decide to drop you or die trying.

Good luck and don't beat me too bad.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
13,010 Posts
Kram said:
It's doable. I'm (aaaaarrrgggghhhh!) 50 now
50! Did your Grandkids log you on to the Internet?

:D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,185 Posts
lucer0 said:
300 whole miles? :p Assuming you meant 3000?
Nope, you got it right. I have put in an entire 300 miles so far this season. I put in just over 2,000 miles last year and got a couple of podiums and several top 10's last year.

I raced Fort Ritchie today in the Cat 4 race and was in the 5th/6th position for about the first 10 laps and feeling really good until I struck my pedal in the last turn, got sideways, blew out my tire, rolled the tubular, and slid sideways on my Zipp 404 thereby destroying it, all the while not touching the pavement with my skin. I walked back to the start/finish line where my 9 1/2 month pregnant wife and 2 year old daughter were sitting right across from the pit/line, told my wife I was okay and that I was going to jump back into the race with a neutral support wheel, and while I was putting the wheel on the head ref, Jim Patton, decided to tell me that I couldn't get back into the race because I didn't come directly to the pit after flatting. What a pile of poo, especially when he saw how I was racing, saw how I saved it, and saw how I walked back up. Days like today really make me remember why I quit racing 20+ years ago.

What really pisses me off is that the refs treat this stuff like its the Tour de France, yet they get into no trouble when they screw up. In 2007 they left an ambulance right around the corner of the last turn at Murad where it is 1,000 meters from the finish line once you come around that turn. It was there because somebody that had crashed in the Cat 5 race needed assistance, which I am fine with. What I have a problem with is that they didn't neutralize our race because we were coming around that corner on our last lap. Guess what, we came around that corner extremely hot since everybody was gearing up for the sprint. Luckily I was in the top 10 and was able to duck around the ambulance, but I heard the bangs of other riders as they hit the ambulance and each other. Two of the guys that went down were my teammates. I wonder if the refs got into any trouble for that boneheaded manuever.

A couple of weeks ago, at Syn Fit, the refs got the lap cards all screwed up and the moto ref was telling the riders the correct number of laps even though the lap cards were wrong. One of my teammates sprinted for what was the last lap according to the lap cards, but it turned out that the race was actually over one lap before that. I wonder if the refs got penalized for that.

When I screw up as a racer, they don't hesitate to penalize me, and when I screw up at work, I get into trouble. However, these refs seem to run everything with complete impunity.

As you can tell, I am pretty hot about today. My wife is pretty fired up too, but nowhere near as much as I am.
 

·
Game on, b*tches!
Joined
·
13,467 Posts
There's a speshul place in h&ll for you, my friend.:p
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top