What would it take to get you to try racing (road/criterium or TT)?

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What would it take to get you to try racing (road/criterium or TT)?

Postby nickobec » Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:47 am

I am on the committee of the Peel District Cycling Club and like the other cycling clubs in Perth would like to see more people racing.

What would it take for you to have a try at racing, either road racing, criterium and/or time trial?

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Re: What would it take to get you to try racing (road/criterium or TT)?

Postby exadios » Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:00 am

nickobec wrote:I am on the committee of the Peel District Cycling Club and like the other cycling clubs in Perth would like to see more people racing.

What would it take for you to have a try at racing, either road racing, criterium and/or time trial?


A compelling reason to start.

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Re: What would it take to get you to try racing (road/criterium or TT)?

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:58 am

exadios wrote:
nickobec wrote:I am on the committee of the Peel District Cycling Club and like the other cycling clubs in Perth would like to see more people racing.

What would it take for you to have a try at racing, either road racing, criterium and/or time trial?


A compelling reason to start.

And what would compel you?

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Re: What would it take to get you to try racing (road/criterium or TT)?

Postby HappyHumber » Tue Mar 21, 2017 11:47 am

Something non competitive..... Quite frankly it's the "go hard, go fast" side of cycling which explicity doesn't appeal to me.

I think a number of traditional style clubs are suffering active membership & participation problems in amongst todays hectic lifestyles and short attention span media. It's the same for Audax locally & nationally I know, and we're more aimed at the non-competitive set.

Unless you get someone from the club to be pushing things 24/7 on the various social media platforms, I think you're pushing the brown slushy stuff up hill.
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Re: What would it take to get you to try racing (road/criterium or TT)?

Postby roller » Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:24 pm

nickobec wrote:What would it take for you to have a try at racing, either road racing, criterium and/or time trial?


Babysitting :lol:

I know newcomers are always welcomed but from the outside looking in an idea could be to have a well advertised "Open Day", where newcomers can come along and race, or at least watch & give it a go.

Perhaps a buddy system as well with a more experienced member of the club being a point of contact to answer any questions they might have about racing or on-the-day stuff.

Advertising/Social media presence - I know lots of cyclists who do BWA cyclo sportif events (the individual & team events), they do a number of these a year and always have good numbers (sometimes 3 teams of 10) - they love them and I can only conclude that they don't race in a club like PDCC simply because they aren't aware of it.
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Re: What would it take to get you to try racing (road/criterium or TT)?

Postby bianchi928 » Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:33 pm

Hi Nick,

Really good question.

I am a little different as I raced with the WCMCC so my question is, what would it take to get me back?

I think safety and rider education, which is why it is great to see the skill session by PDCC.

At the moment, the WCMCC is just too dangerous with uneducated riders who take stupid risk and cause accidents. I can only speak for D grade.

Accidents do happen, I get that, especially in crits but most of us have to go to work on a Monday and unfortunately, the dangerous behaviours of some people causing silly crashes others puts some people off.

The TT one is a good one. I do the ATTA TT's and they are a wonderfully organised, friendly and safe club. You just need to see the number of participants to confirm that.

Another positive is that their events don't take up most of your Sunday which is a real positive for riders with kids etc.

I hope these couple of thoughts help.

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Re: What would it take to get you to try racing (road/criterium or TT)?

Postby nickobec » Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:44 pm

exadios wrote:A compelling reason to start.


That in my view varies from person to person

However if you:
1. Like riding a bike
2. Are competitive, even if it is just beat your mate to the top of the hill
3. Like to push yourself, even if it is to the edge of your comfort zone
4. Happy to try something different

Then you should have a go at racing.

You don't need to be ultra fit, committed rider who rides 500km+ a week, etc to race.

There are riders, who are over 40, overweight who would be lucky to do 50km in week, who turn up most weeks, pin a number on and race. In the end they get beaten by an under 13, but the enjoy it.

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Re: What would it take to get you to try racing (road/criterium or TT)?

Postby Nobody » Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:30 pm

This post sums up what I believe is the main problem with crits and road racing.
viewtopic.php?f=12&t=75502&p=1395686#p1395686
Couldn't get me to race again. Once you get past 50 yo, the bones get more brittle.
Even group riding is more dangerous than solo riding IMO.

I think one general problem is a lot of young ones are becoming more indoor types. Probably a combination of overprotective parenting pushed by scary news articles, the love of tech and the hostile nature of people in cars towards cyclists on AU roads. My kids spend most of their time on computers these days. Just to get them on a bike would be an achievement.

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Re: What would it take to get you to try racing (road/criterium or TT)?

Postby nickobec » Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:18 pm

HappyHumber wrote:Something non competitive..... Quite frankly it's the "go hard, go fast" side of cycling which explicity doesn't appeal to me.


if you don't like competing (even only against yourself in a TT), then racing is not for you.

HappyHumber wrote:I think a number of traditional style clubs are suffering active membership & participation problems


As a club PDCC have been steadily growing membership, the population in the region is growing and we regular racing. Racing in the past few years has been limited, with WCMCC road races and criteriums, ATTA TTs, track and MCC junior program, That has really be it for the past few years in WA. Except the recent Ring series.

The reason for this post is to find what barriers, if any are stopping people from trying racing. Because getting a few more people trying it and liking it, makes pushing the brown gooey stuff up hill easier.

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Re: What would it take to get you to try racing (road/criterium or TT)?

Postby nickobec » Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:19 pm

roller wrote:
Babysitting :lol:

I know newcomers are always welcomed but from the outside looking in an idea could be to have a well advertised "Open Day", where newcomers can come along and race, or at least watch & give it a go.

Perhaps a buddy system as well with a more experienced member of the club being a point of contact to answer any questions they might have about racing or on-the-day stuff.


There are some good points there, I will talk to the fellow committee members, about setting something similar to a buddy system, a point of contact, people to take them round the course before the race and even somebody to ride with them in the race for a couple of laps.

As for an Open Day" only issue is the CA no licence no race policy. You can buy a three event licence, but you need to do it online before the day. Note anybody thinking of racing the cost of the three event licence will be credited against a full licence if you do want to continue. But will try to do that for the first road race of the season, as a road race is a much easier introduction to racing than a criterium.

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Re: What would it take to get you to try racing (road/criterium or TT)?

Postby nickobec » Wed Mar 22, 2017 12:02 am

bianchi928 wrote:At the moment, the WCMCC is just too dangerous with uneducated riders who take stupid risk and cause accidents. I can only speak for D grade.

Accidents do happen, I get that, especially in crits but most of us have to go to work on a Monday and unfortunately, the dangerous behaviours of some people causing silly crashes others puts some people off.


At first I was surprised that you found WCMCC D grade dangerous, I did a large number of road races in D grade with them last year. and they were very safe races. Usually a dozen or less riders and the most dangerous part of the race, the sprint I would do the lead out work (I am really a WCMCC C grader, but was racing Saturday afternoon with Peel and then backing up the next morning with WCMCC) So I used D grade as a training ride, then did the lead out. Then I found some old race reports from a few years ago and remembered how unpredictable WCMCC D grade was with 20 riders and why I was happy to get promoted to C. Mind you I find WCMCC C grade dangerous at times with some riders taking stupid risks, and not always in last part of the race.

If you want to have a go at road racing, would recommend D grade at PDCC on a Saturday afternoon. Only accident I ever saw in D grade, was a rider going into a corner too fast, losing the rear wheel, sliding on the gravel. He got up, a little embarrassed and rejoined the bunch who slowed for him.

C grade road racing at Peel, I also feel is safe, I am far more comfortable with 15 PDCC C riders than 25 WCMCC C riders.

B grade, with bigger bunches is another story.

bianchi928 wrote:The TT one is a good one. I do the ATTA TT's and they are a wonderfully organised, friendly and safe club. You just need to see the number of participants to confirm that.

Another positive is that their events don't take up most of your Sunday which is a real positive for riders with kids etc.


ATTA TTs are excellent, the PDCC crits at the motorplex, were most family friendly races I have been to. With the youngsters organising their own races, till the club started put races on for them.

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Re: What would it take to get you to try racing (road/criterium or TT)?

Postby Mububban » Fri Mar 24, 2017 3:22 pm

An average speed of 25kph :D Is there a Z grade? :D
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Re: What would it take to get you to try racing (road/criterium or TT)?

Postby HappyHumber » Fri Mar 24, 2017 3:35 pm

Mububban wrote:An average speed of 25kph :D Is there a Z grade? :D


far be it from me to threadjack once again... *ahem*... I should really start a thread "What would it take to get you to try Audax achievement rides?"
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Re: What would it take to get you to try racing (road/criterium or TT)?

Postby Derny Driver » Fri Mar 24, 2017 5:16 pm

Mububban wrote:An average speed of 25kph :D Is there a Z grade? :D

Average speed is not an indicator of anything. Ive said here many times, I used to train at 25-26kph every day. I started in C grade and eventually worked up to A grade. But I still trained at 25-26kph. Your grading and promotions have to do with lots of things, none of which are your training speeds. Its all about whether you can follow a wheel or make smart decisions in a race, not how strong you are.
I remember one race where this bloke had so much power he just got on the front of the group and stomped on the pedals at almost 50kph for about 10km. I was hurting so bad just struggling to hold his wheel, I was at 110% effort even in his slipstream and I just wanted to sit up. All the guys behind did but I disliked this guy and didnt want to give him the pleasure. So I suffered like a dog. I was just about to throw in the towel when he eased off. So there was 2 of us at the finish and I took great pleasure in beating him by about 15 lengths. My ability to suffer and hold a wheel trumped his 30-40% power advantage over me.

But I digress as usual. On the topic at hand, well if you are a bloke with low testosterone, well racing may not be for you. Just a coffee shop cruise or a Gran Fondo will be enough to excite you. Or a walk in the park with your poodle. For myself, I loved the racing for the same reason that guys like to bash into each other on a footy field, or punch each other in the head in a boxing ring. Its an assertion of the ego (which is not a dirty word) and a proving of ones masculinity. If you think bashing other blokes up on Strava and bragging about it on facebook is awesome, you should try a proper race. You can stand on the top step of a podium and smirk at the others drowning their sorrows in a lukewarm International Roast.
Racing a bicycle is also a thinking mans sport and not suited to the neanderthal types. Smart people do well in bike races. If you like a bit of intellectual stimulation and on-the-run problem solving, then bike racing is perfect. Make a bad decision, race over for you. Make all the right ones, you are there at the finish. Dopey people usually quit the sport in frustration after a few attempts.
So if you like a physical and mental challenge, maybe you should try it? :wink:
Last edited by Derny Driver on Fri Mar 24, 2017 5:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What would it take to get you to try racing (road/criterium or TT)?

Postby tcdev » Fri Mar 24, 2017 5:33 pm

HappyHumber wrote:far be it from me to threadjack once again... *ahem*... I should really start a thread "What would it take to get you to try Audax achievement rides?"

Time! Honestly, I was on the Audax site only 2 days ago reading up on it after seeing the post mentioning Bilpin here. If I had the time I'd be doing day and multi-day rides all the time but alas, it'll probably have to wait until my retirement (and the kids move out). :mrgreen:

I might sneak in an unofficial ride of the 50km permanent in Sydney just to get a taste for it though... :wink:
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Re: What would it take to get you to try racing (road/criterium or TT)?

Postby tcdev » Fri Mar 24, 2017 11:31 pm

Personally, I have zero interest in TT. As a layperson, it seems to me to be completely devoid of tactics or strategy; clinical, and mechanical. Find your threshold and ride right on it for the distance. The other competitors are almost irrelevant. I'm sure TT riders would have issue with my assessment and they're probably justified; it's just not obvious to me.

Crits: not overly interested in continually lapping a short course in what I understand to be the most likely race format for losing a layer or two of skin. My sister's hands once featured in a cookware catalogue so if genetics have anything to do with it, I still may have a career in modelling various body parts, so I can't afford to get them ripped open! ;)

Road racing. Now this does have some appeal, particularly tours. Tactics, strategy, endurance, teamwork, individual effort. Sprinting, climbing, grinding out half-days in the saddle. Mentally stimulating, physically challenging. If I was forced to race (road discipline) then this would appeal the most.

Will I ever? Unlikely, at least for road. At 50+ it's too late for this old dog to learn new tricks. Too many 'stomach bones' to have a decent kg/W; and little interest in developing a rider's physique and weighing 70kg anyway! I have zero interest in bunch rides through the National Park on Sunday mornings (I don't do mornings in any case)! I ride with flats. I don't even drink coffee!!!

Having said that, I do still harbour some competitive curiosity. I've recently joined Zwift and am interested in measuring and increasing my FTP. I would like to get out on a (real) MTB 'race' and see how I hold up at some point, but right now my life isn't amenable to anywhere near the time to train that it would require. I'll never be a Sagan but I feel that if I did have an interest when I was younger, I would have been better than the average mug. I've had some success at other physical pursuits (to allay Derny's suspicions of a low testosterone count, those include full-contact knock-down karate tournaments). But I do lack that 'killer instinct' and the desire to win that pushes you to 110%.

None of this is useful information to the OP though, sorry. I'm just rambling...
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Re: What would it take to get you to try racing (road/criterium or TT)?

Postby RobertFrith » Sat Mar 25, 2017 1:04 am

Racing has some appeal. I've watched a couple of mates take up riding and do really well with their racing. Obstacles for me are lack of time, lack of skill and fear of broken bones. I have no fear of losing, quite used to that! I'm on uphill side of 50 and a member of Audax. The personal challenge of endurance riding appeals to me more than group competition. The other nice thing about Audax is if you need a rest you just stop and have one :-) quite civilised really. With regard to time shortage I crew on a couple of sailing boats Oct through Apr and love it too much to give up.
To answer the original question it probably wouldn't take a lot to try racing. I mostly ride solo so I guess I'd have to get some group riding experience.
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Re: What would it take to get you to try racing (road/criterium or TT)?

Postby trailgumby » Sat Mar 25, 2017 9:00 am

Nobody wrote:This post sums up what I believe is the main problem with crits and road racing.
viewtopic.php?f=12&t=75502&p=1395686#p1395686
Couldn't get me to race again. Once you get past 50 yo, the bones get more brittle.
Even group riding is more dangerous than solo riding IMO.

The science from longitudinal studies is strongly suggesting that those who continue to race after 50 stay healthier for longer by some margin compared to those who don't. The difference is the intensity and its impact on cell mitochondria.

You may wish to read Joe Friel's Fast After Fifty. He has evidence-based cyclist-appropriate strategies such as free weights strength work that mitigate and even reverse the effects that concern you. Best read as a companion to one of his other Training Bible books (Cyclist's, Mountain Biker's, Triathlete's... depending on your addiction).

However, I hear you regarding bunch sprint finishes. For that reason I will probably stick with MTB race events only and I am very picky about the road bunch rides I join. Realistically, I will never be at the sharp end of those races, so the risk is considerably less.

Hope that helps.

To the OP:
The cost of CA insurance is a major hurdle for me. $400+ to do just a few events a year is poor value, and they do stuff all for grass-roots clubs anyway
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. -- Galatians 6:9 ESV

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Re: What would it take to get you to try racing (road/criterium or TT)?

Postby Nobody » Sat Mar 25, 2017 2:11 pm

trailgumby wrote:The science from longitudinal studies is strongly suggesting that those who continue to race after 50 stay healthier for longer by some margin compared to those who don't. The difference is the intensity and its impact on cell mitochondria.

Thanks for your post. I know you're trying to help. :)

Not a subject I wanted to get into on this thread, but I have and can do more for my health through diet than exercise. Diet is a more effective health lever.
http://nutritionfacts.org/video/arteries-of-vegans-vs-runners/
http://www.msn.com/en-au/entertainment/tv/biggest-loser-star-bob-harper-suffers-heart-attack-during-workout/ar-AAnzQeF?li=AAgfYrC
Video on The Biggest Loser Bob Harper's heart attack at 51 yo, from a professional diet educator

An author of running books of the '70s who died of a heart attack at age 52 in 1984.
An autopsy yesterday morning revealed that Mr. Fixx had died of a massive heart attack and that two of his coronary arteries were sufficiently blocked to warrant a bypass operation.
http://www.nytimes.com/1984/07/22/obituaries/james-f-fixx-dies-jogging-author-on-running-was-52.html

If someone has a genetic susceptibility to heart disease and/or stroke (like me) and doesn't address their diet, then exercise is only going to prolong the time to the inevitable.

Coming from a guy who most likely has Meniere's disease (base of skull neck/nerve damage) from the result of hitting a tree head first from a MTB in my 20s. I'm not looking for that next big crash that will take away my cycling permanently, or stop me effectively working. I push hard enough on my hill intervals to get most of the exercise benefits without racing. I won't be race fit, but I won't miss it since the potential risk is too high IMO.

Those studies you alluded to would be comparing those who were fortunate enough to make it through relatively uninjured to old age, compared with those who are sedentary. Those who quit because of injury wouldn't qualify for such studies, or likely be accounted for.

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Re: What would it take to get you to try racing (road/criterium or TT)?

Postby trailgumby » Sat Mar 25, 2017 4:53 pm

Nobody wrote:Those studies you alluded to would be comparing those who were fortunate enough to make it through relatively uninjured to old age, compared with those who are sedentary. Those who quit because of injury wouldn't qualify for such studies, or likely be accounted for.

Fair enough. :oops:
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. -- Galatians 6:9 ESV

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Re: What would it take to get you to try racing (road/criterium or TT)?

Postby 방구 똥 » Sun Mar 26, 2017 9:48 am

I'd try it if it wasn't on Sunday mornings :)

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Re: What would it take to get you to try racing (road/criterium or TT)?

Postby Thoglette » Sun Mar 26, 2017 11:17 am

<rant>I'd try it if it didn't involve the UCI. </rant> Or me sprinting, :-)
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Re: What would it take to get you to try racing (road/criterium or TT)?

Postby nickobec » Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:33 am

Mububban wrote:An average speed of 25kph :D Is there a Z grade? :D


If you are over 70 or obviously unfit (ie 130kg+) WCMCC do an E grade were the pace can be marginally faster than that. PDCC E grade is the domain of under 13s, so they are a little faster. TT nobody cares, except maybe the 160km TT, because the organisers will want to go home at some stage.

tcdev wrote:Will I ever? Unlikely, at least for road. At 50+ it's too late for this old dog to learn new tricks.


No it is not, I started racing at 51, which is a young pup compared to some I know. The rider who won the state AVCC 65 to 74 age group criterium championship, only started racing at 65, three seasons ago and beat guys who had been racing for over 50 years.

방구 똥 wrote:I'd try it if it wasn't on Sunday mornings :)


If you are south of Perth, you might be in luck PDCC road races are on Saturday afternoons.

The Perth CX races are usually Sunday afternoons

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Re: What would it take to get you to try racing (road/criterium or TT)?

Postby tcdev » Wed Mar 29, 2017 1:58 pm

nickobec wrote:
tcdev wrote:Will I ever? Unlikely, at least for road. At 50+ it's too late for this old dog to learn new tricks.

No it is not, I started racing at 51, which is a young pup compared to some I know. The rider who won the state AVCC 65 to 74 age group criterium championship, only started racing at 65, three seasons ago and beat guys who had been racing for over 50 years.

Oh wow, that's impressive! OK... now I need to come up with another excuse... :oops:
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Re: What would it take to get you to try racing (road/criterium or TT)?

Postby Thoglette » Wed Mar 29, 2017 4:04 pm

Mububban wrote:An average speed of 25kph :D Is there a Z grade? :D

While Derny's covered most of this, when you are in a group you'll find yourself ticking a long quite a bit quicker than your "normal" speed.

HappyHumber wrote:far be it from me to threadjack once again... *ahem*... I should really start a thread "What would it take to get you to try Audax achievement rides?"

Better advertising, particularly of the shorter runs. A three or four hour absence from home requires some notice and more than a bit of luck. Corollary: more short runs, more often. Do start that thread.

To give a serious answer to Nickobec, I get involved in organised events when someone else is paying for my entrance fee and uniform.

Given the rise in "end of trip" facilities in the CBD and that road racing is a team event, you might want to look at the tenant companies. Some may be interested in the publicity generated by sponsoring their staff. Others may have already provided kit (before the fall in oil and iron ore :-) ) and have staff who may be interested in forming a team. Especially with the demise of the freeway bike hike.
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