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The Riddler
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This is going to be my first season of racing and i was wondering what you remember from your first season of racing???
 

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ha ha thats funny thinking way back. I was in not bad condition, but the stoopid crashes and stuff from lack of technical ability and trying too hard. Like everything, if I'd known then what I know now............
 

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Rollin' a fatty
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What can I say

At the begining of my short racing carreer the goal was to have fun and finish every race which I was successfull on doing. Afterwards the group that I was hangin' with decided to organize, look for sponsors, etc and that was the end of the fun, riding became stressfull for me and eventully stopped racing. I was a below average rider but enjoyed going to the races, hangin' with the guys and racing.

My recomendation to you will be to determine your racing goals before starting and try to achieve them without getting frustrated and always remember that should be fun first and racing second, this way you'll really enjoy it.
 
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suffering, confusion and bad decisions

Kaparzo said:
This is going to be my first season of racing and i was wondering what you remember from your first season of racing???
i was in decent shape (or so i thought) and rode with a bunch of guys where were pretty much my level. i threw my chain behind the rear cogset during the first hundred yards of dirt at the sea otter, then i crashed at the bottom of the first hill. my legs cramped so badly during the last quarter mile of the race, i had to pedal with one leg. i finished something like 210th out of 240. this is in 1996, and i was 36 years old. i had been riding for six years, and rode a kona fire mountain with a marzocchi xc 400 fork.

the next race at boggs mountain, i was not prepared to actually race in some sections of moderately technical singletrack, and ended up walking in some places. i also did'nt realize it was ok to ask slower riders to get out of the way. placing 21st out of 29 or something like that was nothing to brag about.

downieville was next, with its long fire road climb and million mile descent. i was lucky not to ride over the edge of a cliff and was in no way ready to deal with the butcher ranch trail. 40th out of sixty something, i think.

the california state championship series race at briones regional park near orinda, california was my last attempt at racing that summer of 1996. we got to the race something like fifty seconds before my start time, and i had stayed up really late the night before. oh boy, was i fifth from last or third from last? i can't remember!

i hope that my recollections bring you enormous encouragement. mountain bike racing is hard and you've got to have a steady determination to finish the races to do well at it. have fun, and don't quit!
 

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A wheelist
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Kaparzo said:
This is going to be my first season of racing and i was wondering what you remember from your first season of racing???

Well seeing as it was only back in 1962 I remember it like it was yesterday. I was too young to drive so we had to ride out to all the races. This one was about 25 miles away.
Remember to have fun and not take it too seriously and maybe you'll still get a thrill everytime you ride in another 42 years.


 

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Heavy Metal
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Kaparzo said:
This is going to be my first season of racing and i was wondering what you remember from your first season of racing???
1991 - I rode in 3 mountain bike races. My goal was to enter, ride, have fun and finish all of them. I succeeded at my goals. I finished Dead Freaking Last in all three races, but I had a great time.

I've gone to more races as a spectator than as a racer since then, but I still have fun at races. Too many people take local races way too seriously. It's not the World Cup, and the possibility of becoming the next John Tomac or Julie Furtado is next to zero.

Go, have fun, do your best and then try to improve in your next race. Don't try to enter too many events, and make a point to meet new people at every race.

A story from my first race that still makes me very happy with racing was that I had reached the last mile of the course and was still doggedly fighting to keep pedalling even though I knew that I was going to finish last. A couple of expert riders who had lapped me earlier came back and rode with me encouraging me to keep going. When I crossed the finish line they and some of the other riders who had already finished cheered me as I came to the line. They all knew I was a beginner, and that I was the last finisher, but it made me feel like I was one of them, a racer. I met a dozen good people that day, and as the years have gone by many of them became friends.

I still race beginner because I'm slow. I usually finish the races I enter, and I still meet new people. I also make a point to cheer every beginner who crosses the line at races I don't enter. They've done more than sit on their butts and whine about how racing has no soul, they've loaned it a bit of theirs.

tachyon
 

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Trail rider and racer
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4,691 Posts
Fun, learning and generally a great time.

I am actually just coming close to the end of my first season.

For me it has been a great learning experience but most importantly it has been a big lot of fun. I don't know where you live but here in Australia everyone from support crew supporting riders, organisers to the elite competitors really get into the events and make it fun for us competing.

I think the memory's you'll have will resonate with the same most of us have. Instead of going on and on here are a few words that spring to mind:
  • Fun
  • Great time
  • Memory of that unexpected fall, when you went flying around the corner at break neck speed
  • Learning heaps from mistakes, good moves etc
  • Getting a good insight into racing from other riders.
  • Meeting new people.

Cheers
Trevor!
 
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i've met good people too

tachyon said:
1991 - I rode in 3 mountain bike races. My goal was to enter, ride, have fun and finish all of them. I succeeded at my goals. I finished Dead Freaking Last in all three races, but I had a great time.

I've gone to more races as a spectator than as a racer since then, but I still have fun at races. Too many people take local races way too seriously. It's not the World Cup, and the possibility of becoming the next John Tomac or Julie Furtado is next to zero.

Go, have fun, do your best and then try to improve in your next race. Don't try to enter too many events, and make a point to meet new people at every race.

A story from my first race that still makes me very happy with racing was that I had reached the last mile of the course and was still doggedly fighting to keep pedalling even though I knew that I was going to finish last. A couple of expert riders who had lapped me earlier came back and rode with me encouraging me to keep going. When I crossed the finish line they and some of the other riders who had already finished cheered me as I came to the line. They all knew I was a beginner, and that I was the last finisher, but it made me feel like I was one of them, a racer. I met a dozen good people that day, and as the years have gone by many of them became friends.

I still race beginner because I'm slow. I usually finish the races I enter, and I still meet new people. I also make a point to cheer every beginner who crosses the line at races I don't enter. They've done more than sit on their butts and whine about how racing has no soul, they've loaned it a bit of theirs.

tachyon
i met one of my best friends at one of the boggs mountain races. we always had cool people around us at the races. i'm glad i spent the time doing it!
 

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a dad
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try to have fun, i agree. no matter how fit you are it is very hard at first, the first 15 minutes ofa race is the hardest thing i have ever done. i started as a beginner in colorado and within 5 years worked my way up to a top ten expert before i decided to stop. some of my favorite memories are: high speed descents behind someone who is faster and challenges you to go faster, getting drunk in steamboat night before the race (bad idea, but the girls were cute and worth it), some of the great people i met along the way. the great feeling of being in the zone and riding better than you could have imagined, almost like an out of body experience, leading a race for extended periods of time, the pain when its not going right, seeing and riding in places i would not have gone otherwise. have fun
 

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210? I think I was behind you

mikeb said:
i was in decent shape (or so i thought) and rode with a bunch of guys where were pretty much my level. i threw my chain behind the rear cogset during the first hundred yards of dirt at the sea otter, then i crashed at the bottom of the first hill. my legs cramped so badly during the last quarter mile of the race, i had to pedal with one leg. i finished something like 210th out of 240. this is in 1996, and i was 36 years old. i had been riding for six years, and rode a kona fire mountain with a marzocchi xc 400 fork.

That year at Seat Otter I bonked before the first lap sooooooooo hard that I ended up seeking out used Gu wrappers to suck any energy from. Yeah, that bad. And on the dirt crit, my contact lens flew out before the first lap got to the halfway point. My girlfriend just shook her head.

The other posters had good advice. Looking back on my first season I took it way too seriously. It's your first year. No amount of magazine reading or xtr parts or beating your admittedly slow buddies on the Tuesday night ride is gonna prepare you for getting hammered in the beginning in every aspect.

You will get beat. You will have fun. You might even win. Today, in my 15th year of racing bicycles, it's still relatively the same. You compete with yourself to have fun with others. If that makes sense, your first season is gonna be one to remember.
 

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I love Pisgah
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Yeah, what he said.

And I thought it was just me at first...meaning that first 15 minutes. I was amazed at how fast the pace is from the start, even for my 5th and 6th races late in the year. 45yrs old, a touch less then 6' at 160lbs at the moment, raced mx and rracing(mtr) most of my life, even winning some national titles. Put it all down 7-8yrs ago in every form. Been whitewater kayaking and backpacking since, most weekends year round. I THOUGHT I was in decent shape back then. Mid 01 I tried my buds new 01 NRS1 and kinda got me looking, but nothng more. Had a HT but wasn't core at all.
Course I almost died on July 9th 02 from years of alcohol abuse having an accute Pancreitus attack, which put me in ICU for 2 weeks, and even longer in the hopsital(which SUCKS if anyones been there lately knows)to recover. Fisrt time I've ever been not in control. Humbling for sure, and had a reality ck big time. Bought a race prep'd nrs the next month and started training soon after. I've been hardcore ever since.
Have 2 of the mofos for Gods sake now. Been on a severants "Package" for over a year(bigass package:))now so i'd been training the whole time. Started racing last May here in n Ga in the GAP series in Sport class no less. Lots of pain after that. Much pain. 6th from 12 in a mud fest in Helen Ga. Then 7th from 19 at the Ag Center. Raced 4 more and fell back 1-2 places each time(and even blowing bad once)then mechanicals that were my fault. Agree on the taking it waaay too serious up front. Wanted to do better, so I started diff stuff...each time I did worse. Was trying to force it. The fact is, theres just some fast mofos out there, that have been around just as long as i have. Like anything, once you get into it, you see how much there is to it. This is no exception. Hardest thing I've ever done. But, its also the most satisfying.
Also, about meeting good people. I've noticed over the years, if its a pursuit worth doing, you always will find a much higher percentage of exceptional people as well. The subject at hand may be diff, and so are the names, but the quality of people has always rung true for the most part. Gives one hope even. I've said it before, but at 45yrs old, I've never been this fit, and have never loved riding my bike more. Its also prob saved my life since its given me new direction and fulfillment in several ways, where otherwiser...well, I haven't had a drink since July 9th 02 and mtn biking has no less then been at least a big part of the reason way.

Duck
 

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Lets See

Kaparzo said:
This is going to be my first season of racing and i was wondering what you remember from your first season of racing???
IN my first race i finished DFL as they were breaking down the timing equipment due to flatting. I had to beg to get my time official.

My second race was OK i finished middle of the pack and felt OK with it. Then i did my race at big bear in so. cal @ Am cup. I focking suffered so bad due to the altitude. At the end of the race i was breathing so hard i didnt know if i was going to cough a lung, pass out of puke.

2nd year went better but man that learning curve was HARSH.
 

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XCdude
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I dont have to go that far back, since it was last year

Kaparzo said:
This is going to be my first season of racing and i was wondering what you remember from your first season of racing???
I had so much fun, I enjoy the competion and the training for it, my wife started to race too,and also my son. The whole family goes out to train and race and now my 7 year old gilr started.
I started with what I call some know how, about what I was getting into I did race track and field so I understood pain. I did a total of 11 races and finished on the box 4 times top 6 or better in each race, and also 3rd place in a team 12hr endurance race.

This year Im hoping to do better, I know the training is going much better. Just dont put to much pressure on yourself, there will be bad days, things break and so on just enjoy it and you will come back for more and more. :)
 

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Kaparzo said:
This is going to be my first season of racing and i was wondering what you remember from your first season of racing???
My first season of racing was running track in Jr High (1969?)
 

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Well, I'm not really much of a racer (yet) since I just got into it at the very tip end of last season and (kind of) got to two races. It was truly a terrible season, I don't know why I still have any desire to race a mountain, but I do! So, I'm planning to hit my first race course, but my friend has to fix his bike before we leave. He ended up screwing his bike up more and having to run to the lbs before the race. So he gets it fixed, we drive to the race course, and we pull up in the parking lot right as our age group is starting. That made me a very angry person. So, for my second race, I had to drive past Atlanta from upstate SC. Also, this was going to be my first experience with tubeless tires (and my last with specialized tires. So, I get up to the start line, nervous as heck, but then actually get off to a good start. I got into the singletrack third out of twelve or so, which I didn't expect. I was doing fairly well, only losing one place in the first of three laps, but then at the very end of the first lap, over perfectly groomed singletrack, my tire decides to blow out! I get down with a pump thinking I had not seated the new tire correctly, and all of the air I pump in goes right out. So I look over the tire, and there is a gaping hole right in the middle of it. So, I had wasted all of my CO2, and I didn't have a spare tube. And by the time I got back to the starting area, I was so far behind that I didn't even bother trying to find someone in the crowd willing to give up a tube. And the day got even worse. First of all, I had to drive back home through a classic Atlanta traffic jam. And when I got home, FedEx delivered my new guitar... with the neck cracked in half. Truly one of the worst days in recent memory, and great way to top off the racing season. I truly hope that your first season will not be as bad as mine, so good luck.
 

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No Shades of Gray
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I remember mine vividly.

First race season, hmmmm, let me think.....Oh yeah, the year I met that tree!
Well I actually just started racing last August and made one race before the season ended. I rode it on my new Trek 8000 which I had only one week before I raced. Not terribly smart but I lucked out since everything went well with it.
Based only on information gathered on this site (from many helpful and encouraging people) I figured out what to eat and drink, when to do it, starting techniques... you name it. I trained for much less than I should have but I did what I could at 10pm on the weekdays after putting the kids to bed.

Weather was good and I got out of the gates with the best of them. Kept up for about 15 minutes until, you know, the hallucinations and urges to stop and lay down in the brush were so strong I could barely see straight when I clipped a big root on a downhill and bit the dirt. While on the ground I could hear the other riders zooming past me as if I was standing still on a highway and cars were racing by at 80 mph...pretty discouraging sound actually. Miraculously I got back on my bike in what appeared to be just seconds (who knows how long it really was) and headed on now winded AND hurt (mostly ego). I went strong and managed to keep a decent spot for a while. To make a long story even longer I banged into this huge Pine tree with my left shoulder (lost my breath and definitely moved some internal organs) as I took another downhill turn too fast, then a smaller tree shortly there after with my right one, finished 5th in my category (30-39 beginners) and 10th overall out of 27 or so, can't remember for sure. Considering I felt like I was running three from the back (that's all I could see behind me) I felt great when it all ended. Can't wait to do it again this year...I think.

Good luck with your racing. It's a blast.

PS. Watch out for those downhill turns, they're a bich!
 

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1st mountain bike race.......

I raced my first Mountain Bike race last july. My friend wanted to know if I wanted to race with him. I was racing road bikes at the time and was pretty fast according to other people, I raced in Cat. 3. I was never in a mountain bike race so I decided to give it a whirl. I've messed around on mountain bikes but was never serious with it. I borrowed mt friends bike and entered in the begining class which is one class above the lowest according to the officials. I thought I was going to get my butt beaten really bad since I knew these guys were good on mountain bikes and I was only good on road bikes. It was such an easy race and it was only 14 miles long too. I lapped the whole beginner class. I was passing some Sport and expert racers too. At the end of teh race everyone was calling me a sandbagger and cheater. One guy there in the expert class knew who I was and told the officials that I raced road bikes. The officials had some discussion whether to drop me from the race but since I they had no record of me in a mountain bike race they had to award me the prize which was a set of tires, $50 gift certificate to some bike shop, a jersey which was ugly and setting the fastest lap of the day which I got a set of Chris King Wheels. I sold those for $400 after the race. I have not raced mountain bikes since then but it was fun.
 

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Ride what you want!!
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Don't race seasons

I usually can't make it through a whole season. There are points series but I've never focus on a series, and instead individual races that look fun.

I'm racing more road this year and I've done 3 crits and one RR but then last week riding dirt I crashed and my rips STILL hurt and my leg just got better. I've already paid for my RR in 2 weeks and i'm going to do really really really poorly. Hopefully it's cold rainy and miserable so it becomes a sufer-fest and can at least come away from it with a good story.

george
 

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Let's see, I finished in the bottom 10 for the races I finished (I DNFed I think 3 I entered), hated pretty much every minute of it, even when I was done, and felt like a total mt biking **** (like that was my only passion). My second race season...well, I'll let you know if I ever do it again.

Actually, I gave it up because it was not for me (although I did do one race this season to see if I had my legs back). I found that it was hard for me to ride specifically for the purpose of beating somebody to the finish line. However, I did start doing 24 hour and endurance races, and I find these really fun. It's more a test of heart, desire, and stamina versus a you vs. him mentality.
 

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Last year was my first season. I had ridden casually for years and never paid much attention to training or fitness. I raced 5 out of 6 races in the Winter Park (Colorado) series. I was surprised at how fast and competitive the 40-49 beginner class was. Everyone was friendly but very fast. My finishes ranged from 11th to 13th, and although I had no top ten finishes I got 9th overall in the points competition. After each race I was completely fried, and sometimes a little discouraged by placing poorly despite an intense effort. Overall however it was very fun and very motivating and I will be back this year. I highly recommend it. My only question now is whether to stay in Beginner or move up to Sport. Seems like most people in this series stay in beginner until they start placing well. After reading the sandbagger thread I wonder, though....don't want everybody to think I'm a douchebag for not moving up.
 
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