Is it wrong to start road racing?

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Is it wrong to start road racing?

Postby Herbsman » Thu Aug 26, 2010 7:39 pm

I feel I may be too old and drank too much booze when I was younger. But I've been doing about 140 miles a week training (two 30's with interval training, basically riding so hard i almost cry, and a comparatively easy 80, which is fast but with no serious sprinting) for the last few months and have just bought a turbo trainer. I've done a few sportives this year and was planning on getting a British Cycling license next year to try my hand at racing. Is this a bad idea? I heard that racing is so hard that it's like having your legs set on fire and your heart and lungs ripped out. Will I regret it when I feel the pain of pushing myself that hard?
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Re: Is it wrong to start road racing?

Postby Mr. Cleetus » Thu Aug 26, 2010 8:00 pm

It sooo right to start road racing!! You definitely should; sounds like you are more than ready. Are there any categories there you can do before springing for a license in case you don't find much joy?
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Re: Is it wrong to start road racing?

Postby fredrikw » Thu Aug 26, 2010 8:04 pm

Of course it's not a bad idea, it's an excellent idea. You'll learn to appreciate the pain 8)

But be prepared that sportives and road racing are two completely different things, with almost only the bike in common.
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Re: Is it wrong to start road racing?

Postby JohnBarleycorn » Thu Aug 26, 2010 8:08 pm

Do it !

It'll be the hardest thing you've ever done, and you're legs will be ripped off, brutally, and stuffed down your throat.

But you'll become a proper bike rider, my boy !

You'll learn how hard you can really ride. harder than you ever dreamt possible. I was once told, by a guy who wore the Yellow Jersey in the Tour, that it takes four years of road racing to really learn how to suffer. Only then can you tell how deep you can truly dig !

Become a Rouleur !

A Convict of the Road

Do it !

And remember the great quote......

"There are days when the wind is against you, and there are days when you are strong"

Live for the strong days !

(I'm getting misty eyed now)
I eat to nourish my compassion, not my greed

I'm the man they couldn't kill ! I cannot be destroyed with conventional weapons !

And probably the former fastest British Vegan 10, 25 and 50 mile TT rider. Probably.
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Re: Is it wrong to start road racing?

Postby the crazyest vegan » Thu Aug 26, 2010 8:30 pm

What he said ^

Do it.

It's the most amazing and painfull experiance i can think of, Sitting in a bunch of 60 people is simply put, amazing, it's such a rush, and when your running on empty you find out just how hard you can push yourself and dig deeper than anything.

Try and up your mileage to 250-300 miles a week for a few weeks towards the start of the season, will make you a lot stronger and fitter.
Let's plunge ourselves into the roar of time, the whirl of accident, may pain and pleasure, success and failure, shift as they will - for it is only action that can make a man.
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Re: Is it wrong to start road racing?

Postby JohnBarleycorn » Thu Aug 26, 2010 8:55 pm

Agreed !

I sat on the back of a race for five hours once. Totally outclassed. Just hanging onto wheels, not even able to raise my head to look ahead. In the rain too. Never knew i could suffer so much, for so long. Getting yelled at by a rider who had won loads of big races, including the Milk Race, and who i now know was juiced up on rocket fuel, so wasn't feeling the pain i was experiencing. But so rewarding, as I finished 29th in a race i should never have been allowed to start. It was a pro race, with just a few local amateurs.

It changed the way i thought about myself as a cyclist. I realised no bastard could ever drop me, if I really wanted to hang on ! from then on, i may have missed moves, but I was never, ever dropped.

But don't get silly and contest any bunch sprints !

I did that once, in an eighty rider race. Bloody terrifying !
I eat to nourish my compassion, not my greed

I'm the man they couldn't kill ! I cannot be destroyed with conventional weapons !

And probably the former fastest British Vegan 10, 25 and 50 mile TT rider. Probably.
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Re: Is it wrong to start road racing?

Postby Herbsman » Thu Aug 26, 2010 9:55 pm

F--king hell im so scared.

I have made this decision because I am sick of merely existing. I want to start living my life!

I was thinking of Fredrikw's signature a while ago. "non-racers. the emptiness of those lives shocks me". It sounds very snobbish. But at the same time, I agree with it. When you race, you find out how hard you can really push yourself. You find out how much you can really do before you start to reach your limit. What's tjhe point of living if you're not going to push yourself as hard as you can sometimes?

So I've found motivation to do something with my body. Some purpose in life other than work, eat, sleep and repeat. Just need some motivation to start using my brain again. That fell asleep about 12 years ago.
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Re: Is it wrong to start road racing?

Postby fredrikw » Fri Aug 27, 2010 4:51 am

Herbsman wrote:I was thinking of Fredrikw's signature a while ago. "non-racers. the emptiness of those lives shocks me". It sounds very snobbish.

It's actually a quote from an excellent book called The Rider by Tim Krabbe, a book describing a bike race from start to finish. If you really want to get hooked on road racing that book is probably a must read. But yeah, it's a bit snobbish and a bit elitistic, but what can you do ;)


But at the same time, I agree with it. When you race, you find out how hard you can really push yourself. You find out how much you can really do before you start to reach your limit. What's tjhe point of living if you're not going to push yourself as hard as you can sometimes?

exactly, you're already sold on the concept, take the leap :D
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Re: Is it wrong to start road racing?

Postby Herbsman » Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:10 am

I actually started reading that book once, but I was already reading Put Me Back On My Bike by Will Fotheringham, so it got taken back to the library
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Re: Is it wrong to start road racing?

Postby xrodolfox » Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:31 pm

Do it!

Shit, now I want to do road racing too...
"The worker has the right to leave his boss, but can she do it? And if she does quit him, is it in order to lead a free life; where she will have no master but herself? No, she leaves to sell herself to another employer. She's driven by the same hunger. Thus the worker's liberty is only a theoretical freedom, lacking any means of realization; an utter falsehood."
-Bakunin
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Re: Is it wrong to start road racing?

Postby JohnBarleycorn » Fri Aug 27, 2010 3:30 pm

Herbsman wrote:F--king hell im so scared.

I have made this decision because I am sick of merely existing. I want to start living my life!

I was thinking of Fredrikw's signature a while ago. "non-racers. the emptiness of those lives shocks me". It sounds very snobbish. But at the same time, I agree with it. When you race, you find out how hard you can really push yourself. You find out how much you can really do before you start to reach your limit. What's tjhe point of living if you're not going to push yourself as hard as you can sometimes?

So I've found motivation to do something with my body. Some purpose in life other than work, eat, sleep and repeat. Just need some motivation to start using my brain again. That fell asleep about 12 years ago.


I like your thinking !

You'll discover a lot about yourself when you start road racing.

If you want to come out for a ride in North Worcestershire, we can see how your fitness is, and how hard you can ride. Let me know !
I eat to nourish my compassion, not my greed

I'm the man they couldn't kill ! I cannot be destroyed with conventional weapons !

And probably the former fastest British Vegan 10, 25 and 50 mile TT rider. Probably.
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Re: Is it wrong to start road racing?

Postby the crazyest vegan » Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:46 pm

Same if your in cornwall, i'll take you out for a spin if your down at any point.

AS your in the UK you'll start as a 4th cat, so i would say get off the front and move up to 3rd cat asap, crashes are quite common in 4th cat only races and that is the last thing you need!
Let's plunge ourselves into the roar of time, the whirl of accident, may pain and pleasure, success and failure, shift as they will - for it is only action that can make a man.
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Re: Is it wrong to start road racing?

Postby Herbsman » Fri Aug 27, 2010 10:44 pm

had a 30min turbo session today just to see what it was like. did a 10 min warm up then 30 second sprints every 3 minutes, 5 minutre warm down.

had to mop the floor afterwards. think i'm gonna buy a fan
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Re: Is it wrong to start road racing?

Postby bob_summers » Sat Aug 28, 2010 12:06 pm

fredrikw wrote:It's actually a quote from an excellent book called The Rider by Tim Krabbe,


finally! i knew i'd seen that quote before, but could never remember where!
"No se deja de pedalear cuando se envejece.
Se envejece cuando se deja de pedalear"
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Re: Is it wrong to start road racing?

Postby fredrikw » Sun Aug 29, 2010 7:43 am

Herbsman wrote:had a 30min turbo session today just to see what it was like. did a 10 min warm up then 30 second sprints every 3 minutes, 5 minutre warm down.

had to mop the floor afterwards. think i'm gonna buy a fan


yeah, a fan is essential for indoor cycling, pick the largest you can find, you're going to need it.

for 30s intervals I'd take a bit longer rest, the standard seems to be every five minute or so.
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