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Hey Everyone,

I am moving to West Hollywood for the summer. I am in the process of upgrading from a Cat 5 to a Cat 4, but I'm not sure how big the difference is in California. Where I'm from, the Cat 4 races aren't much faster, but they are longer- which isn't an issue. Do a lot of the big road races have separate cat 4 races? I don't want to have to race 3/4 races all summer.

What are the big races in Southern California? Are there any particularly good/bad road races or crits?

Also, for anyone near Hollywood- are the roads ok to train on? Or do you need to drive somewhere to ride?

Thanks.
 

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Sorry, since I'm not a racer I can't help you on the road racing questions.

I don't live in the area, but I am more or less familiar with WH and the surrounding area. From West Hollywood you can head out north on your bike and hit some good climbs. You're going to have problems heading out on your bike in any other direction - there's just too much traffic within and and around WH. A fews miles drive in any direction other than east and you should be okay. I'm sure someone from the area will chime in and give you a better idea of what you're looking at.
 

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" What are the big races in Southern California? "
Here you go:
SCNCA - 2013 Calendar

Every race I've seen has separate cat4. Sometimes 30+ 4-5, if you're over age 30. Also the usual 35+, 45+, etc. At most events, the 35+ and 45+ are the two hardest and fastest of the day, except for the bonafide Pro races.

cat4 races frequently fill up. There are a LOT of SoCal racers, upgrade to cat4 is automatic after 10 cat5 finishes, and then it's pretty hard to upgrade to cat3 ... you have to place high enough to score cumulative points ... not easy when there 100+ racers in an event.

As result, there are many strong cat4 racers ... avg speeds are higher than cat5.

Most of the road races are in the 1st half of season. Second half gets too hot in the typically remote areas the RR are located. 2nd half season has mostly criteriums and circuit races.

There are some "oddball" RR in second half of season, in the eastern Sierras, with insane amounts of climbing. Eg, "Everest Challenge": 29,000 ft climbing in a 2 day stage race.

IIRC, Nor Calif has a lot more RR throughout the year, if you're willing to make a weekend trip out of it -- but NorCal points don't count in So Calif, if that's your goal.

IMO, particularly good summer criteriums are :

-- Manhattan Beach Grand Prix, only cat4 & up. Also an NCC event, so the Pro/1 race will feature many of the best domestic pro teams.

-- Brentwood Grand Prix. Also the elite category championships, so the very best cat4, cat3, etc, racers will be out in force.

Both courses are fun and quite challenging, with rolling terrain and technically demanding corners. Better have good bike handling skills and be confident in high speed packs.
 

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" What are the big races in Southern California? "
IIRC, Nor Calif has a lot more RR throughout the year, if you're willing to make a weekend trip out of it -- but NorCal points don't count in So Calif, if that's your goal.
I agree NorCal has lots of great racing, and usually I do a couple weekend trips for them. Arizona is also an option but the season starts even earlier. Not sure what you mean by points not counting though. Any USA Cycling sanctioned race will count towards upgrades, etc. There are local series like SoCal cup, etc which take place within a district, but if you go race in Arizona or NorCal and pick up some placings those points count.
 

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... Not sure what you mean by points not counting though. Any USA Cycling sanctioned race will count towards upgrades, etc. ....
I specifically meant that points in other districts, eg NorCal , do not count toward So Cal Cup rider standings.

eg, see the cat4 rider standings:
SCNCA

208 racers have scored at least 1 point, => 12th place or higher, which is pretty hard to accomplish in races often having 75-100 or more entrants. (TTs only go 6 places deep).
 

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There are lots of races in SoCal that don't count towards the SoCal cup series so I'm still not sure what it has to do with anything here?

I specifically meant that points in other districts, eg NorCal , do not count toward So Cal Cup rider standings.

eg, see the cat4 rider standings:
SCNCA

208 racers have scored at least 1 point, => 12th place or higher, which is pretty hard to accomplish in races often having 75-100 or more entrants. (TTs only go 6 places deep).
 

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So. Calif.
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There are lots of races in SoCal that don't count towards the SoCal cup series so I'm still not sure what it has to do with anything here?
Like what :confused:

There are a few TT series that are off doing their own thing, but if it's a mass start race (crit/circuit/RR), it's almost certainly a USAC/SCNCA sanctioned race.

Unless you're referring to "hipster/outlaw" races at 2 AM on fixed gear bikes thru downtown LA ... I wouldnt know anything about that ;-)
 

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M30+ 4/5 ...

Ahh, OK, of course you're correct. I mistakenly thought you meant the entire "event" as opposed to individual race categories.

And yes,that's also my understanding: races in other districts, eg NCNCA, would count toward upgrades in SCNCA.
 

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kam94 - a couple later season road races to consider if you're willing to drive to NorCal are:

San Ardo RR - usually in August, around King City area. Rolling 25 mile course with an uphill finish. It's a good race - not the most interesting course but safe and fun.

Panoche Valley RR - this one is coming up next month I think (look at NCNCA.org for the calendar) - a little farther north than San Ardo.

Fort Ord Central Coast series - about once a month or so there's a RR in around the Monterey area in the central coast series. They are good events, different courses the Ft. Ord one is one I like.

There's a RR in Bakersfield but I haven't done that one - maybe someone on the forums can comment. I've always been worried that it would be too hot there, I don't like to race in 90+ degree weather!

Next year you should plan on coming down to San Diego to race Boulevard RR and San Luis Rey - both excellent road races in rural parts of SD county.

good luck with the move and I recommend finding a local team in LA so you can have teammates to train with and go to the races - that'll make it a lot more fun of a transition.
 

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If you are not crit racer than road racing is done for the year if do not travel to the Sierras or to Nor Cal as the one or two circuit races left are mostly flat so a big group tends to stick together. Last road race for non pure climbers in SoCal is district champs in Bakersfield the weekend in June. Then it is over unless you like crits. San Marcous crit is the odd one out with a short steep climb followed by false flat to start/finish. Just go the SCNCA website for more info as posted above.

Even the centuries or whatever they are called stop after mid June till mid Fall due do the heat. Last summer it was 100+ degrees inland SoCal for two weeks straight. rest of summer the it was in the 90s pushing 100. We just had first high 90/low 100 degree day this past Sunday. Coastal belt can be 10 to 15 degree cooler than inland.

As for teams is important to get on one. There are a few big teams in that area of LA/Hollywood. The only that comes to mind is La Grange I can think of now. They put on the Brentwoond Crit. It is a huge team. Look for the mostly blue kits with some red and white if I recall their kits right.

I am one the local race photographers. Most crits is at two series of IP crits one being in Carson close to the indoor velodrome in south LA or out in Ontario just north of the 60 close to the airport. Thoes two series fill about half calander up from late Jan. to end of Aug. Wide streets flat and fast loops.
 
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