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Discussion Starter #1
i plan on having my first race sometime very soon (next few weeks), if i can get my back pain sorted out. I was wondering, what i should expect. I am 16 and can get an average of 18.5 miles when just riding with my friend and not pushing "too" hard. I must say that i am not the best at drafting or keeping the bike straight yet. Any advice at what i should expect, or even practice doing?
thanks
 

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runnerboy16 said:
i plan on having my first race sometime very soon (next few weeks), if i can get my back pain sorted out. I was wondering, what i should expect. I am 16 and can get an average of 18.5 miles when just riding with my friend and not pushing "too" hard. I must say that i am not the best at drafting or keeping the bike straight yet. Any advice at what i should expect, or even practice doing?
thanks
How about instead of racing you try some group rides first. If you have trouble drafting and riding striaght you are asking to crash in a race which will make you back pain even worse (most likly).

I am not trying to discourage you from racing but a group ride is a much better place to learn the pack skills that you will need in a race. Learning them in a race enviroment will be dangerous, not only for you but others as they will expect you to be able to handle your bike at least to some degree and will give you much less room than you might be comfortable with. After you get to where you feel comfortable in the pack on a group ride find a race and try it out.
 

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32and3cross said:
How about instead of racing you try some group rides first. If you have trouble drafting and riding striaght you are asking to crash in a race which will make you back pain even worse (most likly).

I am not trying to discourage you from racing but a group ride is a much better place to learn the pack skills that you will need in a race. Learning them in a race enviroment will be dangerous, not only for you but others as they will expect you to be able to handle your bike at least to some degree and will give you much less room than you might be comfortable with. After you get to where you feel comfortable in the pack on a group ride find a race and try it out.
Agreed. check out race results from any race other than, although sometimes including, multi-stage races: the top 10, 15, 20, whatever riders will be seconds apart. it's not speed or kick, especially at a young age of 16, and probably noodly little legs, that will help you. you're not as fast as you think you are yet, but it'll come. group rides will let you push yourself, allow you to compare your skills to other riders/racers, and provide a safer, lower-pressure environment to learn about drafting and pacelines. you have lots of time to race in your lifetime, don't rush into it and get discouraged before you're comfortable with your abilities in all aspects of riding.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
ok, i have been meaning to ride with the team that i am planning to be joining, but just havent been able to make it yet. I probably wont race until i ride with them (and join).
Thanks for the advice.
 
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