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Keep going or give it up as a bad job?

DavidBelcherDavidBelcher Posts: 2,684
edited November 2008 in The bottom bracket
This autumn/winter looks, due to work and other commitments, to be a serious damp squib in terms of my cyclo-cross ambitions. I've only managed to find room to do one race so far - which didn't go that well due to a lack of training time - and can't see myself being free to do any more until the end of January(!). Much as I love the sport, I'm starting to wonder if it's worth bothering with 'cross any more and just sticking to doing the odd TT in the summer on my road bike, as I can't find enough time to train or race off-road on a regular enough basis, hence I don't do that well in the very few races I do manage to ride. Last season was a similar state of affairs, too. :(
I did spend a fair bit of time and money in the summer getting my bike sorted out, but don't feel I can do such a high-spec piece of kit real justice, and maybe the money from selling it would be of more use to me. Any advice you're able to offer to a very frustrated forum regular would be much appreciated!

Thanks in advance,
David
"It is not enough merely to win; others must lose." - Gore Vidal

Posts

  • Commute to work is the simple answer. I have a 10mile commute each way, with a big hill in the middle. That is 100miles a week commuting, which is a good start.
    Also, find a club. The most important thing is to keep motivated. Agreeing to go out with someone is a good start. You don't want to let them down.
    You spent the money on the bike, now get some winter clothes and go for it. If your worried about your bike, get a cheap second hand bike (with mudguards etc) and use that. If you ride through winter, you'll see the benifit next summer.
    jedster wrote:
    Just off to contemplate my own mortality and inevitable descent into decrepedness.
    FCN 3 or 4 on road depending on clothing
    FCN 8 off road because I'm too old to go racing around.
  • DaSyDaSy Posts: 599
    Do you enjoy the few cross races that you manage to enter?

    If the answer is yes, I'd say carry on training when you can, and enter just for the fun with reduced expectations of your performance.

    If no, and you just get stressed by a lack of performance then I'd say either lower expectations as above or give it up and focus on road riding.

    I'd never advocate selling a bike! You never get as much as they are worth to you, and the money is much easier to spend than it is to come by when you want another bike. Having it there is good motivation to have a spin in the mud every now and then, and maybe when time is less constrained you could find yourself back into it.

    Si.
    Complicating matters since 1965
  • DavidBelcherDavidBelcher Posts: 2,684
    Thanks to all who replied so far. I do actually commute to work and back on the bike almost every day, which amounts to 40-45 miles a week (not bad going, I suppose) as I work a 5 1/2 day week - this includes a late finish 3 days a week and working most of Saturday, hence I'm a bit limited as to what I can fit in at evenings/weekends. Though I don't do many 'cross races, I do enjoy them, which is why (a) not being able to do more and (b) not getting better results is a bit frustrating - it's often said that the best training for competitive cycling is regular competition itself! I guess I'll just have to aim a bit lower for a couple more seasons and then see how things are.

    David
    "It is not enough merely to win; others must lose." - Gore Vidal
  • Ash_Ash_ Posts: 385
    Firstly, the bike - DO NOT sell it! You will only regret it, especially if you put time and effort into building it up in the first place. You probably won't get your money back, and who's to say that cicumstances might not change in your favour for the next season - if you got the time back with which to train, but didn't have the dedicated bike, you'd be pretty annoyed.

    Also, you should keep the bike because 'cross bikes are so versatile. I recently acquired one that I use for my commute and I love it. Plus, you can use it as a light tourer (with p-clips or a beam rack). It'd be a bad bike to give up.

    Furthermore, given the amount of postings on here from you, I'd guess you're pretty keen on cycling - selling a bike sure won't make you feel good.

    Secondly, the racing - As someone who could only be described as a dismal 'cross racer (I tried a few times many years ago), I can fully understand your reticence to compete if not fully trained / fit. There's no hiding in the bunch, the fields are small so you could quite likely be the last and there's nothing more depressing than being lapped, possibly multiple times, by the leaders.

    Maybe you need to ask yourself why you like 'cross. If it's for the off-road riding, then why not consider marathon mountain bike events next year (where larger fields and more beginners ensure you can still be reasonably competitive even if not on top form). If it's for the mix of running and cycling, then why not try duathlons or even a tri event? Again there are beginner's ones of these so the new challenge could keep you motivated and you would still be 'in the mix' competition-wise.

    Fitting serious cycling round increasing work / life commitments is tough to do, you get 'found out' too easily if you don't train enough, but it's not impossible. Maybe competitive aspects of your riding have got to take a back seat this year, but you can still keep your hand in. Could you plan a commute that you could do on your cyclo cross bike that emulates conditions in 'cross events? Could you join a club which organises cyclo-cross training events? Have you got a few mates who also ride 'cross that you could do more informal rides with (it could be race preparation for them and the main focus of your riding)?

    Good luck with finding a solution...
  • David, I think that the answer comes in re-arranging the thread title. It goes a little something like "Give up the bad job and keep going (at the cyclo-crossing)."
    Find yourself a job where you don't have to work a five and a half day week. You really would regret selling the bike.

    Can we fix it?
    Yes we can!
  • downfaderdownfader Posts: 3,686
    David, slightly off topic - how do you train for cyclocross? Is there any sort of dedicated facility in hampshire?

    I have liked the look of CC but dont know much about it. :oops:

    ..and yes, keep the bike and enjoy the sport. :wink:
  • jpembrokejpembroke Posts: 2,569
    As Kate Bush sang to Peter Gabriel - don't give up!

    I'm in the same boat mate. We had a baby this year and I've had no time to ride (my road bike's saddle has mould on it and hasn't been ridden in over 4 months). I've pretty much committed myself to hill running this year as it's the only way I can get a big workout in a small amount of time. Still, last weekend I entered a 'cross race just for the hell of it and came 10th. You don't need to do much to stay fit for 'cross. One ride at fast pace once a week and maybe some hard running will see you right.

    Don't sell that bike mate. You'll regret it. 'Cross is a great sport. Hang on in there.
    I'm only concerned with looking concerned
  • downfader wrote:
    David, slightly off topic - how do you train for cyclocross? Is there any sort of dedicated facility in hampshire?

    I have liked the look of CC but dont know much about it. :oops:

    ..and yes, keep the bike and enjoy the sport. :wink:

    I'll hang on to the bike after all; last week was a week off work so managed a nice long off-road ride on the local bridle paths with plenty of peace and quiet which was very enjoyable - Autumn seems the best time of year for that sort of thing. There isn't anything in the way of dedicated training provision around Winchester, just some decent off-road trails, but nothing technical enough to allow for practicing dismounts, remounts, running with the bike, etc. - much of the local woodland which would be just the job (Crab Wood, West Wood and Farley Mount) is out of bounds for bikes. :(

    David
    "It is not enough merely to win; others must lose." - Gore Vidal
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