some easy questions on racing
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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    some easy questions on racing

    Ive been recreational riding for years and years, but Im interesting is racing this year. I found a racing team that is part of the club I ride with. I'd like to join, but I don't know the system. A few direct questions...

    Sould I get a USCF license? I did a couple criteriums with a one day licenses a few years ago. What would a USCF racing license do for me? Waive the racing fee?

    As far as joining the team, how do I approach the racing team (is it by invitation only??) and what are the group dynamics? I know at least one of the team members from doing group rides and such.

    Will I be fixed to a racing schedule? What is expected of me in terms of participation? What are the expectations as far as performance?

    Lots o' questions, I know. Im sure a few folks here will be more than happy to unmystify racing for me. Thanks in advance!!

    Andy

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Racin'

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy C
    Ive been recreational riding for years and years, but Im interesting is racing this year. I found a racing team that is part of the club I ride with. I'd like to join, but I don't know the system. A few direct questions...

    Sould I get a USCF license? I did a couple criteriums with a one day licenses a few years ago. What would a USCF racing license do for me? Waive the racing fee?

    As far as joining the team, how do I approach the racing team (is it by invitation only??) and what are the group dynamics? I know at least one of the team members from doing group rides and such.

    Will I be fixed to a racing schedule? What is expected of me in terms of participation? What are the expectations as far as performance?

    Lots o' questions, I know. Im sure a few folks here will be more than happy to unmystify racing for me. Thanks in advance!!

    Andy
    First of all, you don't have to be a member of any club to race. Probably a third of all cat 5's I see at races are riding unattached. Team tactics very rarely come into play in a "5" race and frequently do not in a "4" race. That being said, if you have a team/club to ride for, by all means do it if for no other reason than the camaraderie.

    Contact the president of the club you ride with or the sponsoring bike shop and ask. I almost guarantee they would love to have you. The only small hang up might be a uniform which most teams do as a pre-paid bulk order in November - January, but if you already have a jersey, you're set to go. Some teams are select in who they will take but there are PLENTY out ther who will take anyone (to prove it, I found a club that would take me!!).

    If you're going to race more than a couple of times a year, apply for a license. The advantage being that after you get some experience, you can "cat up" to "4" and ride with guys who handle their bikes a little better. As a "5," you only have to START 10 mass start races to upgrade, but you have to have a license first...racing under a "one-day" does not count. As an added benefit USA Cycling provides rankings on their web site. It's kinda like a golf handicap, and the results are a little screwy sometimes, but it's still cool to see.

    Have fun and keep the rubber side down!!

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