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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
:rolleyes:
The end of my first race season is slowly coming to an end. I have been racing the local Mountain States Cup races in beginner and have faired pretty well. Beginner 30-34, I have finished 4, 9, 3, 2, 2, (Nathrop, Battle at the Bear, Angel Fire, Butte, Snowmass) with 2 more MSC's to go and NORBA Nationals at Snowmass next week. I will pretty much have the yellow jersey locked up for the year, so now I guess I have to contemplate moving to Sport. Then again, according to my time from Snowmass, I would barely finsih 3rd from last in Sport and that's only because the last 2 were DNF. Even worse, I know I'll have to race against Bockman. ( by the way Bockamn this is Ocky from Mojo's)
So the questions are... Would my times be faster racing in Sport, or were us Beginners that bad? Is it the general experience to move up and get hammered for a season, or could I expect to fair in the middle pack somewhere.?
I'm sure I know the answers as I've bben told form several people ie Hofer from Team Canyon Cycles, Chuck B my mentor, Timmy from Dean and others, just wanted to see what others on the board thought.
-O :cool:
 

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Alright, let's ride!
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Do what you want but here is what I did. Last year I raced six races in beginner. I won all six. I was fine at the short courses but was in no way ready to move up to the longer sport races. This year I moved up to sport. My first race I finished about 17 out of 22. My next two races I finished last other than a couple of dnf's and my last race I finished 18 out of 23. There is a big difference between sport and beginner, however I wish I would have made the move earlier. This season I am definately learning how to be a good loser.
 

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"I have finished 4, 9, 3, 2, 2,"

OdaNelli said:
:rolleyes:
The end of my first race season is slowly coming to an end. I have been racing the local Mountain States Cup races in beginner and have faired pretty well. Beginner 30-34, I have finished 4, 9, 3, 2, 2, (Nathrop, Battle at the Bear, Angel Fire, Butte, Snowmass) with 2 more MSC's to go and NORBA Nationals at Snowmass next week. I will pretty much have the yellow jersey locked up for the year, so now I guess I have to contemplate moving to Sport. Then again, according to my time from Snowmass, I would barely finsih 3rd from last in Sport and that's only because the last 2 were DNF. Even worse, I know I'll have to race against Bockman. ( by the way Bockamn this is Ocky from Mojo's)
So the questions are... Would my times be faster racing in Sport, or were us Beginners that bad? Is it the general experience to move up and get hammered for a season, or could I expect to fair in the middle pack somewhere.?
I'm sure I know the answers as I've bben told form several people ie Hofer from Team Canyon Cycles, Chuck B my mentor, Timmy from Dean and others, just wanted to see what others on the board thought.
-O :cool:
I thought 3 top three finishes meant you were bumped up regardless if in any NORBA sactioned race seires. But then i could be wrong...
 

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Complete Bastard
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If you have to ask, then it's time to go. My performance this year in the beginner class was dismal, pretty much had second to last locked up in every race except 2, but I'm moving up anyhow for a few reasons. 1, you get to ride longer. Beginner races are short. I am not dead when I get done and I like to ride. 2. you never get faster if you stay in the lower classes. Faster classes sort of suck you along and force you to be better and faster. I'd rather be better and faster in sport than first place in beginner. 3. I got 3rd overall in the series because I came to all the races and almost everyone else didn't. Getting third in the series, regardless of the fact that I came in second to last in 5/7 races (4th in the other 2) means I look like a sandbagger if I stay in beginner. 4. it's an impetus to train harder and loser more weight. And how cool is it to keep winning against 'beginners'? Oh and my fiance is moving up to sport. How cool would I be staying in beginner when she moved up to sport and she's only been mountain biking for less than a year?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
According to NORBA

jrm said:
I thought 3 top three finishes meant you were bumped up regardless if in any NORBA sactioned race seires. But then i could be wrong...
According to NORBA the rule is placing 5 of 5 in NORBA sanctioned events requires a move up.
 

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Regardless of your finishes... it seems like you're experienced enough with racing that you don't consider yourself a "beginner" anymore, anyhow. Now it's a matter of getting your fitness up to do the longer races at a faster pace.

I'd move on up to Sport, but go into it with the idea like you're kind of starting over. Don't go in with too-high expectations - go in looking at it like, you're going to start at the bottom, and improve.

A few years ago I took 2nd in the Beginner/vet for the Oregon series. I was planning to go Sport the next season. That winter I moved down to the Denver area. So when I tried racing down here, not only was going from Beginner to Sport a bump, but going from Oregon to Colorado was a bump - it seems people here, class-to-class, are just a bit faster/better than Oregon. So naturally I was frustrated as hell, and my racing suffered - ended up taking two biffs in two different races, gouging up a different knee in each and busting a brake lever in one of'em. Those events, plus my generally poorer-than-before performance, just got to me and I quit racing. Don't let it get to you when you move up - stick with it!
 

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I love Pisgah
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Move up dude. With those results, you know what racing is all about now. The speeds of the top Beginners are close the fastest Sport riders. Its the fitness thats the difference once you take your knocks, so to speak. That is of course, after you learn all the little things that one must know, ie. fitness stuff, food intake, pacing, passing, warming up correctly, bike setup, the mental games for you as well as your comp, etc, etc.

I started mid season last year in Sport here in N Ga. 6th, 7th, 11th, and then 3 friggin DNFs. This year the classes have really gotten bigger and faster. 25+ is normal for the 40-49 dudes like me. 7th, 7th, 5th, 13th, 11th. As you can see, I'm in a mid season funk ATM tho. Never trained harder the last few months....so I'm revamping things. Less intensity for now, and my legs are coming back slowly.

Sport is calling your name....
 

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Duck, did you get you kit from the bike shop?

Duckman,
Hadn't seen you since Conyers. Did you get your kit from the bike shop? There was only a couple left when I got mine. Call Mike to reserve one if there not already gone. Also,
P.A. CO is taking over sponsorship of the team next season. Think you might be interested in riding with us?
MTBXC
 

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OdaNelli said:
Even worse, I know I'll have to race against Bockmann.
Ha, ha, bring it on! :D

Well, I think you know the answer to this one. You've already got the series win locked up (congratulations, btw), so there's no reason to stay in Beginner. If you move up now, think of it as getting a head start on next season.

For some reason (ignorance?) I skipped Beginner and went straight to Sport class. I had to fight like hell just to get 38th place, but it still felt good because I gave it my all. I expect to fight even harder next season just to stay out of last place when I move up to Expert. But I am looking forward to the personal satisfaction I will have from competing against better athletes. And my overall goal is really to become fitter and faster, not just to win a race (something which has still eluded me, dammit!).

Anyway, I think if you adjust your expectations, you will find yourself competing respectably in Sport class. I, for one, will give you respect for moving up even if you finish last (which I doubt). Also, it may help to remember that competition is really tough here in Colorado. Many of these guys would probably be Experts elsewhere in the country.

See you on the starting line at Eldora...?

bock
 

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OdaNelli said:
:rolleyes:
The end of my first race season is slowly coming to an end. I have been racing the local Mountain States Cup races in beginner and have faired pretty well. Beginner 30-34, I have finished 4, 9, 3, 2, 2, (Nathrop, Battle at the Bear, Angel Fire, Butte, Snowmass) with 2 more MSC's to go and NORBA Nationals at Snowmass next week. I will pretty much have the yellow jersey locked up for the year, so now I guess I have to contemplate moving to Sport. Then again, according to my time from Snowmass, I would barely finsih 3rd from last in Sport and that's only because the last 2 were DNF. Even worse, I know I'll have to race against Bockman. ( by the way Bockamn this is Ocky from Mojo's)
So the questions are... Would my times be faster racing in Sport, or were us Beginners that bad? Is it the general experience to move up and get hammered for a season, or could I expect to fair in the middle pack somewhere.?
I'm sure I know the answers as I've bben told form several people ie Hofer from Team Canyon Cycles, Chuck B my mentor, Timmy from Dean and others, just wanted to see what others on the board thought.
-O :cool:
Hell yes!

The challenge is against yourself, not everyone else... if you're consisting placing that well, in a VERY competitive series (I know, do a search for threads started by me & see all the MTN states cup race-reports!) it is time to move up. Racing "Beginner" all season seems a bit weird, but I suppose it's good to fully get your feet wet.... Last year, my first ever mtbike race, I entered sport at Angel Fire. Got stomped.... but HOOKED! This past winter, trained moderately hard and at Moab in April, I won the sport class race (Bock got 2nd, and I consider him a pal FWIW!) and after another out-and-out 1st place in a NM Off Road Series race, figured I ought to move up and start the learning curve all over again in Expert (BRUTAL!!!).

If you like competing for the personal challenge/acheivement - move up.

If you like the podium aspect - don't!
 

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DOH!
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glenzx said:
If you like competing for the personal challenge/acheivement - move up.

If you like the podium aspect - don't!
...And aspect #1 above is, IMHO, really the only good reason anyone should race. Unless you're so good that you're getting paid with sponsorship $$$ to podium regularly, being on the boxes shouldn't be an important variable in the equation.

I won the Utah DH Series sport 30-39 class last year (by a point), and so moved up to expert this year. I get my arse handed to me most races but, usually, I'm riding faster and better than I did as a Sport, and that's what's important (to me). It's nice to podium, but being top five and having fun racing aren't necessarily multually exclusive concepts.

Have fun! :D
 

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bock said:
Ha, ha, bring it on! :D

Well, I think you know the answer to this one. You've already got the series win locked up (congratulations, btw), so there's no reason to stay in Beginner. If you move up now, think of it as getting a head start on next season.
Awww, you'll whoop him! :D Excellent advice though....

bock said:
For some reason (ignorance?) I skipped Beginner and went straight to Sport class. I had to fight like hell just to get 38th place, but it still felt good because I gave it my all. I expect to fight even harder next season just to stay out of last place when I move up to Expert. But I am looking forward to the personal satisfaction I will have from competing against better athletes. And my overall goal is really to become fitter and faster, not just to win a race (something which has still eluded me, dammit!).
Ditto on the beginner class skip, don't know what I was thinking! But sure made me WORK! You'll have no problem staying out of last place next year Bock, I can just about guarantee it! Expert has been lot's of things, but most of all, rewarding.

I predict a win in one of the last 2 races coming up.... you're ready & fast!

bock said:
Anyway, I think if you adjust your expectations, you will find yourself competing respectably in Sport class. I, for one, will give you respect for moving up even if you finish last (which I doubt). Also, it may help to remember that competition is really tough here in Colorado. Many of these guys would probably be Experts elsewhere in the country.

See you on the starting line at Eldora...?

bock
That's a good idea, if points-wise you've locked up the overall, definately move up and get a few "preview" races under your belt. The expierience is invaluable!
 

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I love Pisgah
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Naw. After talking to Shey, and he said the stuff was pretty much picked over and they didn't even have the right size jersey for him....I just forgot about it all. But, who's P.A. Co? Forgive me if its otherwise real obvious. I'm not too quick sometimes. But yeah! PM me.

Been training harder the ever(hence everyones saying I'm over training). The Tues after Conyers, I did 30 miles of LT work and intervals on the Comet...then loaded up and drove over to Blankets and did 20 frantic paced miles that same afternoon. Same thing the following Thur, and so on. Did 5 laps at Blankets today as well. Rode at the Ag Center "last ride" deal Sat. That was a blast, and turned into some frantic paces. A bunch of racers can never just "ride" I guess. ;)
 

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like some others said, move up, the challenge is against yourself, not others. i raced in colorado many moons ago and did the progression, beginner (won a race), moved up to sport (first year got stomped, second all top 10's) to expert (actually did decent first year, a couple top 20's, and then a couple top 10's the next) and then retirement,but thinking about coming back now that i can race with the older men (35+). one of the finest things i learned as i moved up is that with the demands of life i actually had to ride less to be faster, trying to ride 20hrs per week with a full time job was too much, when i toned it down to 12-15 hrs a week i was actually faster...just make sure you get one big ass ride every week (4-6 hrs) that did it for me. good luck...oh yeah... race a few end of the season races (even the smaller ones, banana belt in salida is great) in the sport class to get a taste of it and race as long into the fall as you can, it helps next year, check out races in nm, utah, ariz, texas if you can.
 

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I already rode that
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I would move up myself and go for the challenge in sport. Maybe you will do just as good or do as you said and end up near the back of the pack. Going to sport maybe you'll learn to go faster too. One of the reasons I went from sport to expert.

Also I dont know how the times range for starting down there but up here in Ontario sport is in the afternoon ( used to be?) I havent raced in a few years but I do keep up with my friend and even give him a good workout and he races expert. Not getting up so early for a race is a lil nice thing too though the traffic on the way back to the city sucks!
 

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last year was my first year racing. First couple of races finished close to last. Then I got going and ended first overall in my class for tha cal state series and second overall in another race series. I moved up to sport and consistly finish in the back of the class, but it motivates me to rethink my training and try harder, I am now slowly becoming faster. Some others that finished close to me last year elected to stay in the beginer class I feel they are just cheating themselves as they will not become a better rider without competion.

Move up and good luck!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hey Glen

I was hopin to get a post from you as I've been lurking in here for months and reading your race reports when they came in. Ahh, the memories! I even saw your ambulance at Snowmass. Scary, but glad to see that you are back at it again.
Raced Beginner all season for a couple of reasons. 1st-I really did kinda want the elusive 1rst place. 2nd- I race for a local shop-MOJO Wheels- and was hoping to lock in the yellow jersey for the team, to help get more sponsors for next season. 3rd- It truly has been a learning experience. I'm about to post an overall response to "Personal Challenge/Acheivement" Give it a read and let me know your thoughts.
Thanks for the words of advice. I'll have to try and catch up with you at Snowmass if you are going back. Which you should defiantely do!
-Catch ya later,
Ocky :D

glenzx said:
Hell yes!

The challenge is against yourself, not everyone else... if you're consisting placing that well, in a VERY competitive series (I know, do a search for threads started by me & see all the MTN states cup race-reports!) it is time to move up. Racing "Beginner" all season seems a bit weird, but I suppose it's good to fully get your feet wet.... Last year, my first ever mtbike race, I entered sport at Angel Fire. Got stomped.... but HOOKED! This past winter, trained moderately hard and at Moab in April, I won the sport class race (Bock got 2nd, and I consider him a pal FWIW!) and after another out-and-out 1st place in a NM Off Road Series race, figured I ought to move up and start the learning curve all over again in Expert (BRUTAL!!!).

If you like competing for the personal challenge/acheivement - move up.

If you like the podium aspect - don't!
 

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Move up. You get more race for your money as well as better competition and you will become faster. My last race was expert and then I didn't race for 4 years. This year I raced one beginner race and the rest sport. I'm getting my ass beaten every race but I'm having more fun than ever. Remember that's what really counts. That's why I stopped racing before. It just wasn't fun anymore. I doubt I'll be racing expert for awhile, I'm not really planning on it anyway. As long as I'm having fun racing I'll continue to do it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks to all, Mini Race Report, and thoughts of why we do it!

:cool:
Thanks to all for the advice. I think I knew the answers, and needed the confirmation. Now I need to let the ego get out of the way for the Eldo race, and concede the yellow jersey by a few points and race Sport. As for that, we will see what happens.

So that being said, yesterday I went for the "Learning experience" I raced my first Short Track race last night in Boulder. Very interesting learning experience. At most MSC races, I've come to recognize my competitors, size them up, and work out my plan. At this race, i was way green. I raced in the C Flight (kinda like Sport Class) I knew that it would be a 25 minute trial of suffering, but I didn't know how fast, fast is! Crits/Short Track turned out to be a blast. It's a shame that I didn't do my first until the 8th out of 9 races, but I had a blast, and would really like to do the last one next week. Kinda depends on my schedule and training before Nationals next weekend.
Things that I learned-
I--After watching the C Flight and A Flight, I'm much better off to lock out my suspension to get a boost on the short/fast climbs. II- I really can run my heart rate around 180 for over 20 minutes. III-Don't underestimate the guy on the fully rigid, 29 inch wheeled Surly who's not wearing Lycra, that stomped me! IV--- Travis Brown is super smooth and hecka fast. Awesome when the big pros come out to do the small local races. www.boulderracing.com
Final Results for me- 20th out of 25. Not too bad for the first time. 6.23 miles in 25 minutes, Avg Speed 14.9, Avg Hr 179---Considering during a XC race I can pace it and avg around 155... that was a new experience. Hopefully that will help me push the envelope into a zone I didn't know I could sustain!

Fianlly, as Mark B and Glen pointed out, it should be and inevitably is more about personal achievement and fitness than hitting the podium. I remember talking with my wife on the way to the Butte and commenting on "...exactly why is it that we do the sports that involve mental and physical suffering..." rhetorical question that she answered with a grin and chuckle. I'm not buddhist, but there are tenants of Buddhism that have helped me in climbing and life that I need to bring to Biking. Chris Sharma put it like this..."I see how I can be obsessed with accomplishments, numbers, image, and the whole bag of worms. Attachement to these things can bring much greed, jealousy, anger and blindness to the needs and feelings of others..."
More that naything I enjoy this sport because it is a lot like chess, climbing and even life. There is strategy, there is suffering, there is enjoyment, and their is passion. I think as far as this place, time, and ego, accomplishments mean something to everyone, otherwise why would we all talk about how we place in X class in comparison to how we place in X class last year. But the fact of the matter is, we do it cuz it's fun. Too simplistic perhaps, but I can't eplain it any other way.
Thanks again for the adice. Feel free to keep it coming. Glen and Mark, I'll see you out there!
-Ocky :cool:
 
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