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Thread: Have you fallen in/out of love with road racing?

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Have you fallen in/out of love with road racing?

    Quote Originally Posted by hmai18 View Post
    I've discovered over the past few months that I crave the structure of training. The race bug bit me again a little bit while at the Gorge Roubaix this past weekend. I'll probably throw my hat into at least a few of the weekly crits this summer.
    This is incredibly interesting to read since I actually popped in here just to say the opposite -

    in August of last year, I moved from Chicago, IL to Marseille, France having just finished my 5th consecutive year of very aggressive training/racing. I wasn't sure what exactly I was going to do here, but figured I would take the fall to make a decision, potentially find a team, figure out licensing...etc. Before I knew it, it was mid-winter and I found myself increasingly just enjoying the hell out of riding structure-less. Then, as the weather warmed up I found that I wanted to get racing again - out here, I can easily race every week or two doing 120-180km races with 2000+ vertical meters and never have to set my foot down on the start-line of a crit again (Chicago is mostly a crit scene, with very few, sparse road races). Even though the race bug came back, the training bug didn't - but looking at my numbers in Golden Cheetah I noticed that most of my relevant values for road racing were significantly above where they were a year prior (i.e. everything longer than my 60 sec power, all the way up to 90 min power was increased over the same time last year, while the sprinting efforts like 1, 5, 30 sec max were all about 5% down).

    Interestingly, I had my first race two weeks ago and absolutely nailed it. Aside from missing the break (which was about 12 former pro riders) I held my own with the height of the group, finished in the chase group about 2 minutes ahead of the peloton. While I didn't have much in the way of legs when it came down to the sprint, I finished 10th in my category. For my first true mountain road-race I was beyond pleased, and in the end felt like I could have pushed a bit harder if I'd understood my limits in that setting a bit better. This weekend I'm heading to Saint Tropez for a 160km killer with 2400 vertical meters, similar turnout (about two dozen former pros I can recognize, plus plenty of local talent) and we'll see how it goes but the bottom line is this: I haven't fallen out of love with racing, but I've fallen out of love with training. I still ride 17-21hr per week, with a mix of long rides, hard rides, slow rides, fast rides, and I keep a sacred recovery day to do an easy spin and a little hiking (or yoga, when the weather doesn't permit the latter) with my wife but I haven't done more than a couple of interval sessions since last August and I'm fit, fast and happy.
    "Do you want ants? Because that's how you get ants."


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  2. #22
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    Default Re: Have you fallen in/out of love with road racing?

    Any of you guys switched to MTB racing? If so, what did you think? Buying my first MTB in 22 years. Not racing road this year for many of the reasons others elaborated above (pleasure/pain ratio, work-life balance, I'm 56 and don't want to race cat 4 with the kids and can't be competitive in the younger masters fields) but I'll always race cross until they pluck my corpse out of the mud. Getting the MTB for a little variety/fun/solitude in the woods/build technical skills for cross. Given that there are categories where I could potentially be competitive in MTB (cat 3 ie noob 50+) I was thinking of throwing my hat in the ring. Fitness is acceptable to give it a go and there are a few races nearby this spring. What's the vibe from the perspective of the assembled wisdom here?
    Lou D'Amelio
    Bucks County PA

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    Default Re: Have you fallen in/out of love with road racing?

    Quote Originally Posted by mjbabcock View Post
    If races were $20-30 and 2-3 hours a weekend, as opposed to $150-200 and 5-8 hours, I'd love to race. Given the cash and time investment required I'm out.
    $150-200?! Egads. I wouldn't race either if that's what it cost. I mostly race local crits. $20-30 and I can usually ride to the race, race, and ride home. Makes for just as long a day as I would have done if I hadn't raced.
     

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    Default Re: Have you fallen in/out of love with road racing?

    I go through a period of stopping racing for a number of years and then starting fully motivated again and just repeat that. raced cross in jan which was my first race since 09 and am now looking forward to racing a full cross season this year with a few summer road races in between being on the road. no one likes crashing but thats all part of the game as is the training whih im enjoying doing at the moment with my power metre and lots of intervals on the rollers.
    Savine Cycles
    Daniel-Savine.blogspot.com

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    Default Re: Have you fallen in/out of love with road racing?

    Quote Originally Posted by ldamelio View Post
    Any of you guys switched to MTB racing? If so, what did you think? Buying my first MTB in 22 years. Not racing road this year for many of the reasons others elaborated above (pleasure/pain ratio, work-life balance, I'm 56 and don't want to race cat 4 with the kids and can't be competitive in the younger masters fields) but I'll always race cross until they pluck my corpse out of the mud. Getting the MTB for a little variety/fun/solitude in the woods/build technical skills for cross. Given that there are categories where I could potentially be competitive in MTB (cat 3 ie noob 50+) I was thinking of throwing my hat in the ring. Fitness is acceptable to give it a go and there are a few races nearby this spring. What's the vibe from the perspective of the assembled wisdom here?
    That's what I did mixed with cx and I enjoy it a lot. I still do a sportive or race once in a while, the former to meet people I haven't seen for a long time and for really special events (such as the pro classics courses), the later to regain intensity and test myself before the first mtb races.

    Off the road there is no peloton to drop you. The whole field get stretched out and you eventually end up in the middle of racers with a similar level as you. Nobody can just hide in the wheels. And the technical courses + scenery make it more fun to enjoy even if you end up on your own.

    Relay MTB races are a lot of fun too. Basically any stint feel like a cyclocross first lap but without the traffic jam in the first narrow corner.
    --
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    Default Re: Have you fallen in/out of love with road racing?

    Follow up.

    Sometimes I miss the adrenaline of the road racing bunch sprints but to be honest it cannot really get much better than that in term of racing:






    You've got speed, great sceneries, technical courses, no traffic, nature and it is great both for the lower and upper part of your body.
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    Default Re: Have you fallen in/out of love with road racing?

    Quote Originally Posted by ldamelio View Post
    Any of you guys switched to MTB racing? If so, what did you think? Buying my first MTB in 22 years. Not racing road this year for many of the reasons others elaborated above (pleasure/pain ratio, work-life balance, I'm 56 and don't want to race cat 4 with the kids and can't be competitive in the younger masters fields) but I'll always race cross until they pluck my corpse out of the mud. Getting the MTB for a little variety/fun/solitude in the woods/build technical skills for cross. Given that there are categories where I could potentially be competitive in MTB (cat 3 ie noob 50+) I was thinking of throwing my hat in the ring. Fitness is acceptable to give it a go and there are a few races nearby this spring. What's the vibe from the perspective of the assembled wisdom here?
    If you like CX you'll like mtb racing. Your result is very much more based off your individual skills and ability in mtb rather than whether you were in the right place when the decisions gets made in a RR or can sprint to win a crit. MTB racing atmosphere is much more laid back until you get up to Cat1, then it becomes a little bit more intense until the race is over.
     

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    Default Re: Have you fallen in/out of love with road racing?

    This will be my third season racing and I personally love it. Luckily for me there are lots of races locally and if you expand the range to an hours drive, even more. We also have club races every week as well, so it's nice to be able to try to ride out to a race, race, and not care if you blow up or get dropped and ride back. The only part of my "scene" that I do not like would be that there is a lot of drama in it, but I guess you get that everywhere. If you over heard conversations after rides or races, you would think that all these people have signed contracts with teams. If you're on Team A and seen riding with Team B everybody thinks your jumping ship. Doesn't matter that the guy you rode with is your friend, helped you completely redo your kitchen, or is your long lost cousin who you haven't seen in ages. There have been times that I have been asked what happened with myself and my team because I was riding (not racing, just a group ride) in a jersey from a different shop. That different shop a friend owns and is located 1,200 miles away. Racing is big business, man. I find that very funny.

    However, racing cross is by far some of the most fun I have had in a while. It's great riding/training with different people all the time and then trying to rip each others legs off on the weekends. No drama, and seems to be a lot more beer drinking. But at the same time, man do we take that $hit serious, which I love. Don't know why, but cross has a totally different atmosphere. An LBS actually puts on a cross clinic every Thursday in the park in the city. It's about 8 weeks and they go over skills and drills and even set up a mock race EVERY Thursday.

    Racing does make me push myself, helps with structured workouts and I have actually been seeing gains after paying attention to what I'm doing. At the same time, I'll skip a road race for a long ride with a good group of people every time. Skip a cross race...meh, probably not, but most of the people that would try to get me to skip a road race would probably be making me chase them in cross anyway! As much as I get down on the "scene" I have met some seriously cool people and made great friends who I have the pleasure of racing against every week. They push me and I like to say that I push them. I think I have made more friends riding bikes that I have since High School. Most of them I met racing though, not just riding along. If I hadn't started racing there are few people very close to me now that I probably never would have met.

    Plus to my parents, every time I talk to them after a ride with anybody, whether its out to get coffee, bar hopping on a saturday afternoon, or 60 miles they always ask, "How was the race? Did you win?" Yes Mom, I won. I ate all of the cookies and drank all of the coffee before everybody else.
     

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    Default Re: Have you fallen in/out of love with road racing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trevor View Post
    This will be my third season racing and I personally love it. Luckily for me there are lots of races locally and if you expand the range to an hours drive, even more. We also have club races every week as well, so it's nice to be able to try to ride out to a race, race, and not care if you blow up or get dropped and ride back. The only part of my "scene" that I do not like would be that there is a lot of drama in it, but I guess you get that everywhere. If you over heard conversations after rides or races, you would think that all these people have signed contracts with teams. If you're on Team A and seen riding with Team B everybody thinks your jumping ship. Doesn't matter that the guy you rode with is your friend, helped you completely redo your kitchen, or is your long lost cousin who you haven't seen in ages. There have been times that I have been asked what happened with myself and my team because I was riding (not racing, just a group ride) in a jersey from a different shop. That different shop a friend owns and is located 1,200 miles away. Racing is big business, man. I find that very funny.

    However, racing cross is by far some of the most fun I have had in a while. It's great riding/training with different people all the time and then trying to rip each others legs off on the weekends. No drama, and seems to be a lot more beer drinking. But at the same time, man do we take that $hit serious, which I love. Don't know why, but cross has a totally different atmosphere. An LBS actually puts on a cross clinic every Thursday in the park in the city. It's about 8 weeks and they go over skills and drills and even set up a mock race EVERY Thursday.

    Racing does make me push myself, helps with structured workouts and I have actually been seeing gains after paying attention to what I'm doing. At the same time, I'll skip a road race for a long ride with a good group of people every time. Skip a cross race...meh, probably not, but most of the people that would try to get me to skip a road race would probably be making me chase them in cross anyway! As much as I get down on the "scene" I have met some seriously cool people and made great friends who I have the pleasure of racing against every week. They push me and I like to say that I push them. I think I have made more friends riding bikes that I have since High School. Most of them I met racing though, not just riding along. If I hadn't started racing there are few people very close to me now that I probably never would have met.

    Plus to my parents, every time I talk to them after a ride with anybody, whether its out to get coffee, bar hopping on a saturday afternoon, or 60 miles they always ask, "How was the race? Did you win?" Yes Mom, I won. I ate all of the cookies and drank all of the coffee before everybody else.
    Whatever you're doing is working. You looked strong out there yesterday my friend.
    Keep up the good work. Great seeing you.
     

  10. #30
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    Default Re: Have you fallen in/out of love with road racing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Artie View Post
    Whatever you're doing is working. You looked strong out there yesterday my friend.
    Keep up the good work. Great seeing you.
    Ha! Far, far too kind Artie! Thanks for the kind words. I would say that the original group was looking very strong as well!
     

  11. #31
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    Default Re: Have you fallen in/out of love with road racing?

    I just saw the results from the MN State Championship Road Race over the weekend. In the men's 1/2/3 race only 17 started, and 12 finished. I only recognize two or three of the names from 5-7 years ago, the rest are all new. I can't seem to find results for the 50+ field at all, and I'm wondering if nobody showed. Sure seems like the USCF stuff is at a low ebb around here.
     

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    Default Re: Have you fallen in/out of love with road racing?

    Quote Originally Posted by caleb View Post
    I just saw the results from the MN State Championship Road Race over the weekend. In the men's 1/2/3 race only 17 started, and 12 finished. I only recognize two or three of the names from 5-7 years ago, the rest are all new. I can't seem to find results for the 50+ field at all, and I'm wondering if nobody showed. Sure seems like the USCF stuff is at a low ebb around here.
    That's sad indeed. The one year I did the MN district road race (all other years were in WI) was 1990 and I think there were at least 75 riders and possibly more.
     

  13. #33
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    Default Re: Have you fallen in/out of love with road racing?

    I think that there are 10 x more pretty serious riders out there than 30 or 40 years ago and about 1/3 as many road racers. The mtb trails are packed on weekends, Wed cross fields are around 100 riders, and I don't even think Montana has a road and/or TT championship event this year. Not too sure why, but I am guessing just having fun riding has taken over the racing scene in a lot of places. Either way it is all good in my book.
     

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    Default Re: Have you fallen in/out of love with road racing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Moke View Post
    Not too sure why, but I am guessing just having fun riding has taken over the racing scene in a lot of places.
    I think that's true here, too. More people riding than ever at all sorts of levels. Road racing seems to be about the only area shrinking.
     

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    Default Re: Have you fallen in/out of love with road racing?

    While I have been out of racing of any type for ~15 years, I look at result every once and while.
    Geolocation...I am in the North East. When I was racing a bunch I was in Maine which is my point of historical reference.

    A couple of observations:
    - Road racing is sparse - from the perspective of the number of events. Participation may not be the same but I don't think that is far off mostly because there are not many opportunities to road race on the longer courses that we used to have.
    - There are plenty of crits and the field sizes appear to be similar to what they were 20 years ago...but more masters.
    - Comparatively speaking there are many less MTB races. And the number of participants is significantly less.
    - There are plenty of cross races and plenty of participants. What I think is funny about this is that the new-ish people that have gotten into cross in the NE think that the large crowds are a new phenomenon. Somebody will tell me how there were 100 people in the category...to which I inform them that 20 years ago there were 100 people in that category as well. This is not to say that cross has not grown but what they don't understand is that 20 years ago cross was full blown in NE also...this is not new.

    I am tempted to say that there are more strong recreational riders around. While this is true, it is hard for me to judge because I am must slower then years gone by...
    Brian McLaughlin

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