What Club or Team to join?
I am 37 and just started riding. I want to race Grand Fondos and such eventually and would like people to get advice and guidance from. I found a TON of clubs and teams on line and saw this cool series on youtube about a team but these guys seem really advanced:
RACE DAY EP_1_PART_1
Race Day Episode 1-Part 1 - YouTube
RACE DAY - PART 2
Race Day Episode 1-Part 2 - YouTube
first of all, where do you live?
If you want to ride Grand Fondos, that's fine, but remember that they are only "pretend" races for 95% of the people who ride them.
If you want to race, find some Tour de Industrial Park Crits. and learn how to race there. While you're there, you'll see many different teams. You might want to start a conversation with some of them. If you don't seem too dorky, they might talk to you.
That's how you make contacts, and learn about different training rides. After a while, you can decide what team you like most, and see if they'll have you as a member.
If your opinion differs from mine, ..........Too bad.
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Buying parts to hang on your bike is always easier than getting fit.
If you feel wimpy and weak, get out and train more, ya wee lassie!
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Thanks. I do know there are races every now and then around here. I will go check one out.
The big thing is to find a team with people you would enjoy riding with. No use of joining a team if your don't like the people. So go on some training rides or do some races, you'll naturally gravitate towards people the fit your personality and riding.
Edit: Also, look for a club that fits your goals, no use of joining a team that focuses on crits if you don't plan to do any. Find a team with the same goals you have.
Note also that for amateurs like me, one of the aspects of the team goals that's important is their attitude about life balance. I ended up joining the "nice" team in my area, and they have room for anybody who makes it to some races. I like it because I'm not in the right place in my life to train seriously right now, and that's okay - I still have people to train with and who I see at races, support to help me keep my bikes rolling and train better, and there's very little static about not making it to more training rides and races. I'd be pretty unhappy on a team that wanted more of its members. Conversely, we sometimes get riders poached because that's what they're looking for. It's all about finding a good fit.
The best place to joina cllub or group is to go to the local bike shops and just start talking to them.
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The glaringly obvious first thing to decide is team or club – there is a big difference. Are you ready to join a team or would some more reasonably paced club rides be your speed (so to speak) right now?
Not that you shouldn't race and I don’t mean to discourage but if you have no experience (or little experience) riding in a tight group at speed you may want to get some before diving in. And, it can make for a pretty sucky day if you pay an entry fee, get all psyched up with a pound of pasta the night before, start the race then almost cause a crash after .5 miles and then get dropped after 1 mile and are finally pulled because you’ve been lapped thrice.
If you’re not sure, you can observe races and talk to people on teams there (you’ll recognize them because they’ll be wearing their kits) and get a feel for their philosophy – more intense or more easy going. And, they may allow you to come on a couple training rides before deciding to join – but will you be able to hang on their rides?
In terms of which club to join, most clubs let guests tag along on a couple rides before deciding if they want to join, so consider doing some club hoping to get their different flavors. And if you find that you can somewhat hang with the A groups on club rides, you are ready to consider joining a team.
You can also consider going on shop rides with their A group. Again, if you survive that, or are able to hang with them after the warm up and for a good portion of the ride, your ready to join a team. Being on a team is a lot more fun if you have a base level of fitness that allows you to at least hang for a while (I mean it’s not really fun to go on a 50 mile training ride and be dropped after 10). The rest you can build towards.
Edit: forgot to say that a Grand Fondo is much more like a pageant or parade or a century plus ride than a race.
Last edited by BostonG; 05-03-2012 at 10:07 AM.
I ride mostly in the honorable pursuit of being kissed on both cheeks at the same time by one blond and one brunette. But not redheads, they scare me.