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Hello,
I am a female mountain bike racer and am considering entering a local practice Crit series and racing in the men's 4s for the following reasons:
1) there is only one "open womens" cat for women which will have top national pros (I live in CO) right along with beginners so I think that the men's 4 will be a more homogenous group closer to my ability level - plus it will be a wayyyyy bigger group
2) my BF will be racing in this class and it would be more convenient cuz the men's 4 and women's race are separated by a few hrs

A lot of the local TOP women (like Alison Dunlop) routinely race w/ the mens 3s but I am by no stretch of the imagination on the level of AD so I was wondering if it was cool for a non world class woman to race w/ the guys?
Thanks.
 

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gastarbeiter
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If you can handle the pace - he!! yes.



mtber said:
I was wondering if it was cool for a non world class woman to race w/ the guys?
 

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You may be a strong mountain biker, but that doesn't give you any skills on the road. I'd be more than pissed if a woman sketched and took me down during a crit that she really didn't belong in. Race with the women.
 

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gastarbeiter
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asgelle said:
As usual, these things are more or less open to interpretation by the local USCF official. Elizabeth Emery rode in one of her first races in one of my first races. She turned out to be US TT Champ.


merckx56 said:
You may be a strong mountain biker, but that doesn't give you any skills on the road. I'd be more than pissed if a woman sketched and took me down during a crit that she really didn't belong in. Race with the women.
Do your knuckles get sore dragging on the ground? :)
 

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merckx56 said:
You may be a strong mountain biker, but that doesn't give you any skills on the road. I'd be more than pissed if a woman sketched and took me down during a crit that she really didn't belong in. Race with the women.
...First be sure that she is even racing in USCF. Perhaps she's racing an ACA crit which may not even have a cat 5.
 

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botto said:
As usual, these things are more or less open to interpretation by the local USCF official. Elizabeth Emery rode in one of her first races in one of my first races. She turned out to be US TT Champ.
I'm not sure what you're saying. If it was one of her first races, she couldn't have been beyond a Cat 3 or 4 and so eligible for a men's 4 race. If she was already national champion, it would have hardly been one of her first races since she was on the national team at least one year previous. So is your point that she rode a Cat 4 men's race as a 3 or 4 and went on to be national champion? I don't see how that contradicts the rules.
 

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merckx56 said:
You may be a strong mountain biker, but that doesn't give you any skills on the road. I'd be more than pissed if a woman sketched and took me down during a crit that she really didn't belong in. Race with the women.

On the one hand, I agree that a new racer should develop some good group riding skills before jumping into a mass start race.

On the other hand, you seem to be implying that somehow men lower category men racers have more skill than women racers, so that a woman "didn't belong" in a men's race. From my experience, cat. 4 men's races demonstrate some of the sketchiest riding you'll ever see, and the basic riding skills are higher in women's open category racing (assuming a high percentage of cat. 1/2/3 women).

As a general rule, women on average aren't as strong and fast as men (there are plenty of exceptions, of course - on both directions). Women who are strong enough to stay with a men's cat. 3 or 4 race typically got that fast by riding/racing longer and have more experience than the men in that pack, so if anything, the men are more of a danger to the woman than the other way around, in lower category men's races.

In other words, if mtber has competent group riding skills, there is no reason not join the men's race, as long as she understands the risk that some bone-headed cat. 4 man might cause a crash.
 

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I've raced with AD in the 3s

She's cool and can handle her bike. There have been other Cat 2 women that have jumped in the 3s that don't know how to take corners and are generally squirrley. Last year we raced with a lot of the tmobile girls, that was cool.

I guess what I'm saying here is if you can sit on your BFs wheel through corners at speed you'll probably be ok. I'm guess your talking about Stazio, not a very technical course.
 

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I think it's fine for you to ride with the men. And turn-about is also fair play. Would it be all right if men rode in the women's races? And won prizes?
 

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I'm not sure why you're asking this question. Of course it's fine and it is fairly common. According to the USCF rulebook, women are allowed to ride in their own category or 1 below. Just be aware that men's Cat 3 and 4 races have many more bad bike handlers compared to open women's races.
 

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Mr. Versatile said:
I think it's fine for you to ride with the men. And turn-about is also fair play. Would it be all right if men rode in the women's races? And won prizes?
Exactly! I'd be more than happy to line up against pro women instead of against a masters 35 field...

They have women's races for a reason...and no my knuckles are fine. It's my shoulders that get stiff when I have to re-trace the route to look for the "fast women" that couldn't hang...
 

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tobu said:
I'm not sure why you're asking this question. Of course it's fine and it is fairly common. According to the USCF rulebook, women are allowed to ride in their own category or 1 below. Just be aware that men's Cat 3 and 4 races have many more bad bike handlers compared to open women's races.
Cat 1 women can ride down 2 categories.
 

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botto said:
Elizabeth Emery rode in one of her first races in one of my first races.

She later turned out to be US TT Champ.
Maybe I should have put it in a seperate paragraph, or added 'later - as in a couple of years later', like i've just done. I don't think it was that unclear. She was a 4 at the time.


asgelle said:
I'm not sure what you're saying. If it was one of her first races, she couldn't have been beyond a Cat 3 or 4 and so eligible for a men's 4 race. If she was already national champion, it would have hardly been one of her first races since she was on the national team at least one year previous. So is your point that she rode a Cat 4 men's race as a 3 or 4 and went on to be national champion? I don't see how that contradicts the rules.
 

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Train, Learn, Race

Mark McM said:
...In other words, if mtber has competent group riding skills, there is no reason not join the men's race, as long as she understands the risk that some bone-headed cat. 4 man might cause a crash.
Have you been training on the road and riding in fast groups? So long as you have the group skills and understand the subtle nuances within the pack join in. If there is not an appropriate womens group (size and experience) then join in with the mens beginners group. If you were not supposed to be there the rules would prohibit it. All the old grumpy guys should be racing masters anyway.
 

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botto said:
Maybe I should have put it in a seperate paragraph, or added 'later - as in a couple of years later', like i've just done. I don't think it was that unclear. She was a 4 at the time.
If she was a 4 racing with the men's 4's, then where does discretion on the part of the official come in? That's exactly within the wording of the rules.
 

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asgelle said:
If she was a 4 racing with the men's 4's, then where does discretion on the part of the official come in? That's exactly within the wording of the rules.
OK. you win. i only skimmed the rules. happy? :D
 

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Mtber, ignore the baffoons above (they are the tight asses you wouldn't solicit advice or friendship from anyway), if the race ref allows it and it is what you are comfortable with then GREAT!!! and let us know how you did and what you thought =))

Good luck and be safe out there! I have seen alot of wmen race in eveyr cat. and many cat 1,2s on RBR that I know have been ""girled" meaning that they were beat by a girl, and beat BAAAAD~!

By the way I think it's the sh!t you race with your BF, just getting my last 2 gf to ride was tough much less race - heeey forget about it ah!
 

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mtber said:
Hello,
I am a female mountain bike racer and am considering entering a local practice Crit series and racing in the men's 4s for the following reasons:
1) there is only one "open womens" cat for women which will have top national pros (I live in CO) right along with beginners so I think that the men's 4 will be a more homogenous group closer to my ability level - plus it will be a wayyyyy bigger group
2) my BF will be racing in this class and it would be more convenient cuz the men's 4 and women's race are separated by a few hrs

A lot of the local TOP women (like Alison Dunlop) routinely race w/ the mens 3s but I am by no stretch of the imagination on the level of AD so I was wondering if it was cool for a non world class woman to race w/ the guys?
Thanks.

Do it! Do it! Reason number 1 is reason enough!

If you can keep up and feel safe with people 6 inches to any side, go for it! (I'm assuming you've been in a RR before... right?)

DOOO ITTT!!!
 

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There's no reason for you not to race with the men. Even if you're relatively unskilled I don't see why it would be OK for you to endanger other women rather than men :) It's not uncommon at all for some women to race with the men.
 
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