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renaissance cyclist
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, I love riding, and I'm a natural endurance athlete. I was a search and rescue swimmer in the Navy, and I have been an avid runner all my life. In running events I have participated in, there have only been a small minority of people who are in it to win it, most are doing it so they can say they did it, having fun, or they have set personal time goals, but are not really competing (this is the category I have always been in). Last spring, I began to notice that the running was beginning to take a toll on my knees and hips. I've replaced my 4-day/week running regiment with bicycle-commuting to work (about 15 miles each way with a 700 foot elevation difference). Most of the riding I have done has just been up to the top of some local hill, and back down for a few hours on weekends.

My last bike was an all-mountain type (Giant AC), but when it was stolen I ended up replacing it with a Jamis Dakar XC. Which is an XC bike in that it has 4 inches of travel and climbs well (compared to the AC), but it isn't light. When I used to run, I liked to participate in an annual organized run just to give myself some added motivation, and something to train for. I'm thinking about signing up for this race: http://www.roundandround.com/RoundTheClock/RoundTheClock.php

I know I can ride much faster and longer than the average recreational rider, but I'm worried that when my 30-year-old butt gets out on the track with my 34-pound bike, I'll only anger competitors by getting in the way, and disappoint prospective teammates, who may claim not to be competitive, but might be expecting a much more hard-core XC rider than myself.
 

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debusama said:
OK, I love riding, and I'm a natural endurance athlete. I was a search and rescue swimmer in the Navy, and I have been an avid runner all my life. In running events I have participated in, there have only been a small minority of people who are in it to win it, most are doing it so they can say they did it, having fun, or they have set personal time goals, but are not really competing (this is the category I have always been in). Last spring, I began to notice that the running was beginning to take a toll on my knees and hips. I've replaced my 4-day/week running regiment with bicycle-commuting to work (about 15 miles each way with a 700 foot elevation difference). Most of the riding I have done has just been up to the top of some local hill, and back down for a few hours on weekends.

My last bike was an all-mountain type (Giant AC), but when it was stolen I ended up replacing it with a Jamis Dakar XC. Which is an XC bike in that it has 4 inches of travel and climbs well (compared to the AC), but it isn't light. When I used to run, I liked to participate in an annual organized run just to give myself some added motivation, and something to train for. I'm thinking about signing up for this race: http://www.roundandround.com/RoundTheClock/RoundTheClock.php

I know I can ride much faster and longer than the average recreational rider, but I'm worried that when my 30-year-old butt gets out on the track with my 34-pound bike, I'll only anger competitors by getting in the way, and disappoint prospective teammates, who may claim not to be competitive, but might be expecting a much more hard-core XC rider than myself.
You need to find some local races and actually try one. The ones I have done in Northern California are great!

First, all mountain bike races are individual events unless you are doing a 12 or 24hr endurance relay. You won't have to worry about team mates.

Second, there is a wide variety of people that show up at races; everywhere from super fit and blazing fast to out of shape and riding a 90's rigid bike with cantilever brakes.

Third, most people at mountain bike races are awesome. This fall I tried my racing on an SS for the first time and I was very slow and sucking wind most of the time, but everyone around me yelled "Go singlespeed!" as they passed me. The atmosphere is great at races.

Edit: I thought of a fourth thing: The races I've done were divided by age group and by category (Pro, Expert, Sport, Beginner). I could enter any category I wanted and at least feel competitive within some group
 

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renaissance cyclist
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309 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I’ve got no plans for a new bike, never having been to this kind of race, I’m just wondering how welcoming they are for a noncompetitive type. Good advice though, I might just do that.
 

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Definitely try it! Pick up some teammates for the 24 hours (long day for solo) and go have fun. I think that endurance races are much more fun than XC races. Not that there is a bad attitude at an XC race, but the endurance scene seems to me at least like a more chill time.

don't worry about people who are coming up behind you, just say "hey, You can get by up here when I have room to move right". It's fun DO it!!!

BS
 

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renaissance cyclist
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309 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It is a local 24-hour endurance relay. I’m glad to know that the atmosphere is generally laid back. I think I’ll join a riding club at my LBS and start looking for like-minded teammates.
 

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i'd expect a lot of people who do it (most) do it to say they did it... our club does a 50mile epic... no prizes or anything... heck it's free... its mostly just something for the club to do... more for bragging rights then anything...i wasn't in the area... but i 100% plan on doing it next year... and thats comming from a near 300# fat dood :)... also plan to do my own little road century ride this year... just to do it...

club also puts on a time trial... again just bragging rights... even us slow guys head out... our fast guy is under 40 min on the 9 mile loop... my goal is an offical sub 1hr loop come feb...

even races i think in the lower levels at least they are more of a "i did it" then go out to do it to win type thing...

so go do it :)
 
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