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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Back to riding after a 15or so yr layoff. Want to start racing in the local series (Root 66). They have a First Timer category. Being my first race ever, it of course makes sense. After that though, do you move to CAT3 the next race, stay in First Timer for a while?

What's the typical progression?
 

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root 66 series is a lot of fun. the first timer category really is only for your very first race only. you will notice the caliber of people are pretty mellow. plus they to a pretty short version of the course. if you have been riding a couple times a week I would just do the cat 3. most of the classes for cat 3 have a fair amount of riders and you get to ride a little longer to make it worth the drive to the race. what race do you plan on hitting for your first?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well, I'm truly JUST getting back to riding :) Picked up a near-new Jamis Dragon Comp yesterday and it's in the shop getting a final freebie tune from the last owner. I should have it Fri/Sat. Will probably ride it about 3-4 times before I do the Hop Brook race on the 13th, LOL!
I'm 43y/o, but in better shape than when I rode in my 20's. My cardio is pretty good and I love lung-busting workouts (they just haven't been on a bike recently), so I think I'll enjoy racing. I used to ride some fairly gnarly technical stuff yrs back, so I don't think there'll be much on an XC course that will be over my head.
But I was thinking the same about moving up... If nothing else, getting more seat time for my $. I think the first-timer class will define where I am, though. Either solidly ready to move to CAT3 or not in as good a shape as I thought, LOL!
 

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I would just hop right into CAT 3. It is the beginner class and it sounds like you have more than enough fitness to compete there.
 

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Do the Cat 3. I was in the same position a couple of years ago. Hadn't ridden a mountain bike in years. Put one together, rode for a week, and then entered and won my first race in Cat 3. I can't imagine there being any benefit to a first timer category if you are fit and have ridden technical trails in the past. It won't tell you where you stand any more than just doing the Cat 3 race. Good luck.
 

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I rode beginner my first year riding. Had good results and moved up to sport (your cat 3 i guess) and proceeded to suffer on the extra lap :). But I like a challenge.

Try the beginner as others have said, if you feel like it was to easy make the move up.

Have fun and let us know how it went!
 

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In the US, Cat 3 is beginner. Sport is Cat 2. The OP was asking about an even easier class than beginner: first timer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I've decided to go with Cat3 this Sunday. Primary reason being that I'm not going to be able to pre-ride the course... So I can go moderate on lap 1 and know where to turn it up on lap 2. Along those same lines... I'm not a fast starter, regardless of warmup. After a 20-30min lap is when I'll just start feeling good.
Not sure how smart of a strategy that is, but I tend to think that in Cat3 40-49 yr old, there should be a much better oppurtunity to reel in people at the end. In Cat1/Pro, I Could see where you'd want to keep the leaders in sight.
 
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