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Could I race??

fenazfenaz Posts: 14
edited July 2009 in Road beginners
Hi guys, have been browsing this forum for a while now but this is my first post! Id really like to take part in a race or two before the season finishes however Ive only been cycling 3-4 weeks and Im not sure if im at a decent enough standard yet or whether id have time to learn the group etiquette! Im coming from a background where ive competed to a decent standard in athletics and so have run 40-70 miles a week for a few years. Ive cycled around 170miles a week on the bike for 3weeks now (taken off garmin). Some recent rides have been a 55 mile hilly route in 3 hours 20 with avg hr in the low 140s and a flat 49 mile route in 2hours 51 with a avg hr of 132. I did a local ten mile time trial course on my own on tuesday in 26.03 with an avg hr of 172 which according to my triathlon mate meant that I hadnt gone hard enough as being 20 he suggested my hr should have been in the 180s. I would like to try some races but am not sure if id be straight off the back and so would be better off training this winter and having a crack next year? Im aware that id need to join a club first and so how long does it normally take after joining a club to reach the standard of group riding required to take part in a race? Thanks in advance for any advice!
Jamie

Posts

  • kilokilo Posts: 174
    It's difficult to answer the question of how soon you'll be up to group riding with no idea how good your bike handling skills are, my advice would be research your club and find one which has the activities, tt's road races, club runs you need and get stuck in asap. Given your speed you'll have no problem with 10's and 25's. A few weeks of club runs and chain gangs will give you a better idea of where you stand re road racing. Any road race development is going to require more group riding so get stuck in :D
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    Jamie, Welcome to the forum.

    Only one way to find out!

    You appear to be at a higher level than me and I won a race today. (Not that my 5 year old knew I was actually racing her...)
  • MettanMettan Posts: 2,103
    edited July 2009
    Hi Jamie -

    You could join a club, and start off competing via club TT's - get some Winter training done, and then consider racing next year - sounds like a good option - With the 55 and 49 figures you've given you'll possibly be out the back at some point (just imho - you'll gain good experience though so it could be worth it) - your 10 mile TT time's very good though (assumes road bike? and new-ish rider). Personally, I'd try and get a ~ 2:35-2:40 ~ 50 miler done before racing - you're 2:49 for 49 is Excellent for a new-ish rider but that's really on the borderline (time-wise - for racing) - however, it shows you're doing very well, and in the mix though - (especially considering you've been on the bike for 3 - 4 weeks).

    Having said that - if you want to try a race, just get a BC Silver mem. and a Race licence - you'll learn alot in your first few races at any rate and it'll be good experience. With racing, you very quickly learn what the demands are, pace-wise (and re. group riding "hectic-ness") - gives you something to aim/train for after your first couple of races.
  • BeaconRuthBeaconRuth Posts: 2,086
    fenaz wrote:
    Hi guys, have been browsing this forum for a while now but this is my first post! Id really like to take part in a race or two before the season finishes however Ive only been cycling 3-4 weeks and Im not sure if im at a decent enough standard yet or whether id have time to learn the group etiquette! Im coming from a background where ive competed to a decent standard in athletics and so have run 40-70 miles a week for a few years. Ive cycled around 170miles a week on the bike for 3weeks now (taken off garmin). Some recent rides have been a 55 mile hilly route in 3 hours 20 with avg hr in the low 140s and a flat 49 mile route in 2hours 51 with a avg hr of 132. I did a local ten mile time trial course on my own on tuesday in 26.03 with an avg hr of 172 which according to my triathlon mate meant that I hadnt gone hard enough as being 20 he suggested my hr should have been in the 180s.
    Your mate doesn't know what he's talking about. You can't predict what your HR should be in a race from your age.
    I would like to try some races but am not sure if id be straight off the back and so would be better off training this winter and having a crack next year?
    Don't leave it until next year. There's vital experience to be gained this year and even if it just helps you understand what you face and what you've got to work on for next year you will have benefited. You sound like you're fit enough to cope with some 4th cat races.
    Im aware that id need to join a club first and so how long does it normally take after joining a club to reach the standard of group riding required to take part in a race?
    That's a 'how long is a piece of string' question. Some people join a club and never reach the standard needed to make a success of road racing. Others can handle the pace and the technical demands virtually from the day they start. You sound like you might be in the latter group. If you're keen then get yourself in a club pronto and enter some races.

    Just a word of caution - not all clubs specialise in road racing. Some are much more focused on time trialling, or sportives or even cyclocross. So try to find a club that has a good number of road racers if that's what you especially want to do. Otherwise you'll be going off to do the road races on your own and there might not be any hard training bashes run by the club. Whereabouts are you based? - often someone on here can recommend local clubs and/or races.

    Ruth
  • fenazfenaz Posts: 14
    Thanks for your replys everyone!

    Mettan - I have a road bike yes, not a great one, just a basic entry level bike, the fuji newest 2.0, just has a sora groupset etc. Tbh I dont now a lot about bikes and basically bought it off looks! I dont think im experienced enough to now any differences at the moment but it seems to be fine! The times I gave you were just some of the rides Ive done in the last 2 weeks picked randomly, they wernt all out but steady on my own keeping the hr in the 130-140s though I have no idea if I could ride 2.30-2.40 If I went harder.

    Ruth - Ive been doing a bit of research on the clubs in my area! Im from South Wales and go to university at Cardiff and from looking at the rankings on Brittish Cycling and some club websites it seems the choice is Cardiff Jiff or Cardiff Ajax so if anybody from those clubs is on here and wants to give me any info that would be appreciated.

    Think I will look at getting joined up to a club in the next week or so and see where I go from there. When does a cycling season actually finish, im used to running an athletics season between april/may - august/september, is cycling the same?

    Again thanks for the advice everyone, much appreciated!
  • Jamie,

    I'm in that same boat as you. Ive been cycling for slightly longer (my 1st season) but never given a TT a go, only sportives. I'm a member of Ajax and cycle with the JIF lot quite a bit too.

    I'm about to enter my 1st TT on Thursday at cwmcarn (10mile), organised by Ajax.

    I will PM you someone's email from Ajax you might want to chat to (he is organising teams to race from Ajax).

    Have a look at the clubs websites if you haven't already:

    http://www.cardiffajaxcycling.co.uk/index.html

    http://www.cardiffjif.com/front.html

    (The Ajax site has a forum you might want to post on).

    Hope this helps.

    Rob
    Ca roule ma poule?
  • Best way to decide what you want to do is turn up for a club ride.

    There are weekend rides from cyclopaedia shop at 9:30am, and Sundays from maindy cycle track (nr swim pool) also at 9:30am. Rides usually 2-4hrs ish, sure you'd fit in ok. Different groups tend to leave from there, i reckon you'd be OK to tag on to the faster groups with those times, you can always hang out at the back if you find it a bit too rapid...

    There are also mid week rides, wed 6.30 maindy and some other faster chaingang rides on other nights. See websites for details.

    Rob
    Ca roule ma poule?
  • fenazfenaz Posts: 14
    Hi Rob! Thank you very much for your reply and the pm with the details! Im doing a time trial this thursday evening at Resolven, the Port Talbot wheelers one, as they said you can do it without being a club member! Im not in Cardiff atm as I live in Glynneath (if you know where that is) but I get the keys for my house for next year this week so I think I will come up on the weekend and give the club rides a go! Hope to see yout there, thanks again!

    Jamie
  • volvinevolvine Posts: 409
    i believe the club chain gangs are at quite a racey pace would give you a good indication also improve your skills at riding in a group
  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    fenaz wrote:
    When does a cycling season actually finish, im used to running an athletics season between april/may - august/september, is cycling the same?
    The road racing season is March to September typically. There are events on outside of this, but generally few and far between.

    Have a look at the British Cycling Events Calendar:
    http://www.britishcycling.org.uk/web/si ... future.asp
  • If you live in Glynneath you should be good at hills.... ;-)
    Ca roule ma poule?
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