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  1. #1
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    Racing? Any Clydes out there rolling up to the starting line on Sundays? Why not?

    I've spent the better part of this year training and racing this year which has been a great source motivation to keep weight in check (250# to 206#) The handful of races that Iíve done have yield decent results. Highlights would be losing third place by 2 seconds or the guy who is the anchor for the back of the pack teasing the points leader in our catagory that he was coming for him. Racing is exciting and adds a dimension that wraps the whole mtb biking thing togetherÖ for me at least.

    Iím generally surprised that more members of the greater mtbing community donít race. So if you race what got you into it? And if you donít race why not? Thanks in advance. R

  2. #2
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    That horse left the barn a long time ago.

    Both of my kids race and many of my friends race. But, call me crazy, I want riding to be for fun, not to feel like every ride has to be a "training ride" NTTAWWT if that's your thing.

    But that's only part of it..... Picture a sweaty obese sloth riding a bicycle. I aspire to be that. I'm incredibly slow and nobody enjoys seeing me in lycra. I'm lucky there's not a law against it.

  3. #3
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    I started to try racing this year. Have done a few races in the area. I will admit that i did not realize that there was a clyde division up here in New England. The first race was as a veteran II and then the second race was in the clyde division. I am 5'6" and 210 before gear. I know that I am not all that much of a clyde, but i figure for my height I qualify. It has been lots of fun as our whole family has gotten into it this year, but at the same time I will admit that I tend to feel better riding in the same category as jeffj- slow and relaxed. I have ridden almost 500 miles this year so far, not a lot, but way more than last year. I still can't seem to get the weight down though.
    Keep having fun and enjoy the racing to get yourself into better shape, and when you know you're ready, you can move into a different category of riders. A little competition goes a long way.

  4. #4
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    I feel the same way as you.....

    I have been racing now for about 5-6 years. Started off in the Clyde category, but at 205lbs I am now racing expert or sport masters depending upon the distances offered. I definetely see myself racing as a Clyde again as the weight comes back on.

    I have also been racing a bunch of solo 12 hr events and just recently completed the Cascade Cream Puff 100. Cyclo-cross is also a blast. Its all good, especially if your attitude is to just compete and finish. Racing helps you push yourself past the edge of comfort and control, and your rewarded with adrenaline and endorphins that are unlike any drug I have ever tried.

  5. #5
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    Race? No way. Never.



    So far this year, I've got 2385 miles in 210 hours (a good portion of that is road). And I don't ride enough. I'm slow. I love to eat, thats why I weigh about 235lbs.

    Racing gives me a reason to get out and ride on those days when I don't really feel like it.
    Worked at Trek/Fisher dealer 2008-2013. Only a little biased.

  6. #6
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    I think either you have that gene or you don't. I'm just not interested in racing, not even a little bit. never have been.

    I'm just not competitive (although I will play some halo). I never even do the thing where you challenge your buddy to be first up the hill. ever. I find it really annoying. it's got nothing to do with winning or losing. the most annoying time I had with that was when a friend who is really competitive, but not an experienced cyclist, insisting on trying to race and compete on every part of a ride. she was completely out of her league so she ended up killing herself and ruining the ride for all of us. it would have been so much more fun if I could have just let her beat me on some of it, but she wasn't even a fit enough rider to make it plausible.

    nothing ruins a good ride like a race breaking out.

    I don't think there's anything wrong with competition, I'm just not into it. but I am interested in the question of why some people are so competitive and others aren't. one of the interesting things I notice, at least among people I know, is that the really competitive people have a hard time understanding, or even believing that other people don't feel that way. like they're just faking or something to screw with them.

    bb

  7. #7
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    I ride my bike because it makes me feel good. My work environment is pretty high tempo and at times competitive. My time on the wheels is for fun - which is not racing.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bongo_x
    I don't think there's anything wrong with competition, I'm just not into it. but I am interested in the question of why some people are so competitive and others aren't. one of the interesting things I notice, at least among people I know, is that the really competitive people have a hard time understanding, or even believing that other people don't feel that way. like they're just faking or something to screw with them.

    bb
    haha, that's totally true!

    Although i've noticed that the competitive people tend to be the ones that explore their boundaries and end up progressing faster.
    affect befect cefect defect effect fect

  9. #9
    I plead the fizif
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    Quote Originally Posted by bongo_x
    I don't think there's anything wrong with competition, I'm just not into it. but I am interested in the question of why some people are so competitive and others aren't. one of the interesting things I notice, at least among people I know, is that the really competitive people have a hard time understanding, or even believing that other people don't feel that way. like they're just faking or something to screw with them.
    I know exactly what you mean. Those are the friends that I usually don't ride with. I don't care who is the best, I just care about making myself better.

  10. #10
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    I want to just hit some single track next year, thats my goal. Around me is mostly paved bike paths, and I am getting where I can ride 15 miles or so. (Have only been riding a few weeks now) I Figure once I can do 30 miles paved, I might be able to last 5 miles dirt lol.

  11. #11
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    As my biking handling skills progress I view to organized racing as as an outlet to test speed and endurance in an appropriate setting. It is a fun way to challenge myself.

    As a clyde racing this has been helpful for maintaining an overall focus on health.

  12. #12
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    May I ask where to look into over weight racer classes in New England MA area??

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by TronCarter
    I know exactly what you mean. Those are the friends that I usually don't ride with. I don't care who is the best, I just care about making myself better.
    yeah, the part I don't get is; so what if I beat you? who the hell are you? you're just some guy! now if I beat lance armstrong that's impressive. what's so great about beating dave from down the street? I'll just let dave win because it's just easier.

    on the other hand I will kill myself to prove to myself that I can climb a hill. I just don't care about how fast I did it, and even less about how fast dave from down the street did it.

    different strokes.

    bb

  14. #14
    local trails rider
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    I have never been a very competition oriented person, although I know there are things in life I do (or have done) pretty well.

    I have some experiences with past hobbies/sports that suggest that when I start getting serious about it, I lose interest. I want to avoid that and think it is better to keep my riding casual: no schedules, no traveling with a bike, no pressure.

    A few group rides, now and then, is enough. There's a big annual ride coming on Saturday. I think I'll join if the weather is nice.

  15. #15
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    I'm Not Super Competitive Either

    I've finishing up my 2nd year of racing in XTERRA Tris and I have no intentions of stopping.

    When I'm out of the water and on the bike and a skinny 5'6" b@$t@rd gets overly anxious to pass me, I just figure, "you should have gotten out of the water quicker!"

    I rarely time-trial on the bike while training (maybe that's my problem on race-day). I only go out on nice long, enjoyable rides. I never miss an opportunity to stop and check out the scenery. I certainly never figure I have to eat while riding like on race-day. I'll always stop for that while "training."

    My main competitive urges come to better myself and not where I end up amongst the finishers. However, that urge seems to be growing as I'm racing more. I haven't done a strict MTB Race yet, maybe next year.

    I'm 6'3", 220lbs and the more I "train", the more I eat. As such, I've stayed 215-220lbs. I haven't figured that one out yet.

  16. #16
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    Any clydes out there that are interested with competing? What has prevented you from racing?

    As previous posters mentioned people bike for different reasons as they should but if you have ever considered it what were the things that have held you back from entering a race?

    I don't consider myself a competative person. After getting the engine tuned up, bike dialed in, the course down and taking into consideration hundreds of other variables I did my first competive anything in ten plus years. The goal for my first race this year was just to finish. Even if I had come in DFL I would still of had a good time. To my surprise I came in mid pack and was hooked on it.

    As we approach the end of this race season in this area I'm already thinking about next year. What about you?

  17. #17
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    When I first got into racing, I was kinda turned off by all the skinny dorks/racer boy types that you encounter at the races. You know what I mean... the little purple skinned flyweight with his skull cap on acting tough. It was laughable really. As a big guy, I played college football and all of the contact sports (I still play masters rugby) and just could not seem to relate to these guys. It's like you are in a different world.

    I got over it and glad that I did. Consequently, I have made some great friends for life. The love of biking can bring people together. But man, these skinny guys with their pre-race game faces still really crack me up!

    What would be great if there were more clydes at the races to chill with pre- and post. The kind of guys that would rather knock down a couple beers and bull**** instead of analyzing their gps while sipping a recovery drink.

    I really don't see it happening though

  18. #18
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    I too have seen the pre race face attached to the stick figure bodies. Its funny and unfortunate those people look the same after the race.

    After doing a few races in the same series with same people everyone seemed to lighten up at the starting line. As I mentioned in the original post one of my most memorable moments was at the starting line when anchor for the back of the pack was taunting the points leader in the friendliest of ways.

    My hope with this thread is to get the clyde population that has contemplated racing to give it a go and to support the clydes who already do.

  19. #19
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    I am 6ft 2in and 250 lbs w/o gear...

    and have done several races, xterra events and off-road duathlon's. Its weird competing in a sport where my size is a disadvantage. I am not used to this, but fortunately I learned to put my competitiveness in check long before I ever rode a mtb. In mtb racing the scrawny chicken little dude that couldnt hang in football, basketball or baseball is king of the hill, lol. Just goes to prove," everybody got their sumthin' !". I like the feeling that racing gives you, the rush of riding on the edge of your abilities. Feeling your heart in your throat, all the same things that made me compete in sports most of my life. Just in mtbking I have a snowball's chance in hell of winning. That is new for me, for sure.
    Last edited by edouble; 10-07-2007 at 08:25 AM.
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  20. #20
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    I enjoy the racing scene to test my biking abilities and for the process of identifiying ways to improve my game. Also enjoy riding on and pushing that edge. Making it to the podium is just icing on the cake.

    Somedays everything comes together. To the competative Clyde brethren the icing is obtainable.
    2007 MTB FP.jpg

  21. #21
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    I won't race clydesdale because I'm 201 and I don't feel that's enough over 200. The class should be 210 and over.
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  22. #22
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    I've been racing on and off for over 20 years. I've always been a clyde but this year I raced mostly Grand Masters. About 2/3 of the way thru the season, I noticed my time would have won or placed in the clydes. Last race I went back to clyde and got a 2nd. I love racing. I was talking to one of my buddies about not having a chance to win the Grand Masters and my response to him was that if he and I are racing for 15th place I'm going to try to kick his ass to not finish 16th.

    BTW, did you guys know that the guys at Dirt Rag were the first ones to get behind the clydesdale class to get it started. If you ever see them at a race be sure to thank them.

  23. #23
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    Cograts!...

    Quote Originally Posted by bike flyer
    I enjoy the racing scene to test my biking abilities and for the process of identifiying ways to improve my game. Also enjoy riding on and pushing that edge. Making it to the podium is just icing on the cake.

    Somedays everything comes together. To the competative Clyde brethren the icing is obtainable.
    2007 MTB FP.jpg
    I have gotten two 3rd place and one second place finish, just never won . I am usually middle of the pack, takes forever to warm up my 250 lbs .
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by edouble
    I have gotten two 3rd place and one second place finish, just never won . I am usually middle of the pack, takes forever to warm up my 250 lbs .
    After the first race this season it was apparent that the extra flab was seriously interfering with my ability to climb hills. I could hang with the skinny riders on the flats and down hills it was the up hills were I would always loose my position.

    I focused my training to long hills and gave a lot thought to my nutrition. After a few weeks of this routine I noticed that I was getting faster and able to push harder gears getting to the top this one monster hill. At some point along the way I enjoyed attacking the hill. It was a thrill to be able to accelerate up this one paved hill.

    On the race courses this is a huge boost of confidence. I am better able to deal with the lactate acid that builds up and work through my legs screaming to stop get off the bike and walk.

  25. #25
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    I don't race beacause at 5'10 1/2" and 285lbs I would end up looking like a beach ball with lips if I wore lycra

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by EDDIE JONES
    I don't race beacause at 5'10 1/2" and 285lbs I would end up looking like a beach ball with lips if I wore lycra
    Lycra is not mandatory. My overall race goal race is to simply finish in one piece with bike and body intact. If I look like an beach ball with lips (and perhaps I do) so be it.

  27. #27
    what nice teeth you have
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    Sitting at 225 now. 215 a month ago. Raced two DH and one XC races recently(and two more about a year ago). Loved the XC race and want to do it more. The one thing holding me back now is college and a lack of money. Its mostly the travel expenses. We have a club that helps keep expenses down but its not enough. As connerr said its all about beating that guy thats right next to you. Its kind of weird cause most of the people were either way off the front or way off the back (only a few). You end up doing most of the race with the same 2-3 people. Can't wait to get a decent salary.

  28. #28
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    Kinda dumb, but I have done running races. Never a bike race.

    I run like crap but can ride my bike OK. Don't ask me why I feel more comfortable running in a race than riding.

    I have run only a handful of races with around 600 or so runners. I usually come in somewhere between 5-10 in my age group. Today though I graduate to the 35-40 year old group, so perhaps I will get a medal next time.

  29. #29
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    Thanks for the info...

    Quote Originally Posted by bike flyer
    After the first race this season it was apparent that the extra flab was seriously interfering with my ability to climb hills. I could hang with the skinny riders on the flats and down hills it was the up hills were I would always loose my position.

    I focused my training to long hills and gave a lot thought to my nutrition. After a few weeks of this routine I noticed that I was getting faster and able to push harder gears getting to the top this one monster hill. At some point along the way I enjoyed attacking the hill. It was a thrill to be able to accelerate up this one paved hill.

    On the race courses this is a huge boost of confidence. I am better able to deal with the lactate acid that builds up and work through my legs screaming to stop get off the bike and walk.
    I actually thought of doing exactly what you did. Now I am definately going to do it . There ia a big hill that will serve my purpose well, thanks again.
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  30. #30
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    Good luck with your endeavors

    Quote Originally Posted by edouble
    I actually thought of doing exactly what you did. Now I am definately going to do it . There ia a big hill that will serve my purpose well, thanks again.
    I also suggest getting a copy of Joe Friel's "Mountain Bikers Training Bible" it has a wealth of knowledge to prepare yourself for competition. At first it might seem to be better suited for the hardcore racers - take what works for you. This past year I loosely followed the training plan and it made differance. Next season I will attempt to fine tune the trainning plan and stick with it.

  31. #31
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    I used to race in the early '90's. I kept getting injured, and it got to the point where riding my bike felt like a job.

    I've recently gotten into riding again, and just got a new bike to reward myself for a 37 lb. weightloss I achieved, in part, by mountain biking. Now that I'm into it again, I don't want to ruin my ride by racing.

  32. #32
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    I plan on racing a few times in the coming year. But I am basically looking to survive, not be terribly competitive. Generally, I will use it as a motivational factor to keep up my training.
    Let the market decide!

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  33. #33
    Recovering Weight Weenie
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    I don't race Sundays because I have obligations that day that are a priority. I race about 10 times a year...mostly endurance races. Over long distances (like 50-100) clydeness is less a factor in competition. Still a factor, but not as much.

  34. #34
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    I would think many clydes would like racing super D because it has some downhill in it. This is what I am considering getting into since it draws on my many years of bmx racing.

  35. #35
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    This is just another reason I decided to get back to racing.

    Quote Originally Posted by benlineberry
    I used to race in the early '90's. I kept getting injured, and it got to the point where riding my bike felt like a job.

    I've recently gotten into riding again, and just got a new bike to reward myself for a 37 lb. weightloss I achieved, in part, by mountain biking. Now that I'm into it again, I don't want to ruin my ride by racing.
    Congrats on the weightloss. Enjoying the ride is a good reason not to race - you should do what works for you.

    Aside from getting outside and a little exercise I realized that much of my riding was more for the adrenaline - jumps, drops, crazy lines and big logs. Not much in the way improving my fitness and working toward my weightloss goals. The final straw was snapping my c bone in a endo that led to a summer of no biking. So after I finally recovered I wanted to have some structure and an approach to my ride time.

    A longrange goal is to stay injury free. I'm hoping to get to 12 races in and with a one to three week gap minor injuries can get things sidetracked. I no longer ride off things that I can't ride up. Racing has helped me to ride with even more caution.

  36. #36
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    I did two local race series, one summer series and one fall series.
    The summer series was 12 races. I entered 8, finished 7 (broken chain). Best finish was fifth, in the last race, right in front of the series points winner. Finished 13th in points.
    The fall series was five races. I entered three, resulting in a third, a second and a first. Finished third in points.

    I literally started training one week before the first race. I had been on my bike for about two months. The first few races, I just sat back and tried to stay out of the way of other racers. I focused on finishing. That was my biggest goal, just making it to the end of the race. By the end of the first series, I had strategies figured out. I could sprint out in front of the pack at the start and wear every one out in the first lap. It was common for other racers to start yelling at me to slow down in the first 1/2 mile.
    This year, I am racing for the points total

    The races are so fun. And a great place to meet other riders. I have a real hard time keeping up with my club on more technical trails, but I realized that wide open, redline racing is really easy for me.

    http://www.racemtb.com/061307photos/pages/061307255.htm

    http://www.racemtb.com/062007photos/pages/062007262.htm

  37. #37
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    I'm coming back into biking after a few years off. Well, not really off but definitely not mtn. biking and no long distance stuff. I did the whole bike thing backasswards, I used to skateboard and ride MX, then got into Mtn. bikes and road bikes (due to cost of MX and no $$$), then started racing BMX at 27, then the skatepark revolution hit here and I got to have a happy childhood in my 30's . I got married and we have kiddos so the whole day rides got zilched and finally got back into moto's the last few years. So my biking has consisted of bike pathing with the trailer or going to the BMX track.
    Well a year ago I shattered my ankle doing SuperMoto and have spent seven of the last 12 months on crutches after 3 ankle surgeries and 1 knee surgery (blew my ACL also). Hopefully will be off the sticks by Jan. and just got a roadbike to stick on the trainer (I loathe pedaling w/o going anywhere but it's better than no pedaling at all, sort of...).
    Anyhoo, sorry that's a bit off topic, so back on target...my kids are getting big enough to start hitting some trails, I've ditched the moto's to make wifey happy and have managed to wrangle a couple of new (used) bikes (DMR Sidekick and Spec. P3) for me to play on and am going to try to hit some 4x races in 08 if I can get my ankle (and lungs, legs, etc.) back in shape.
    I want to do the "keep it fun" way though as I've been through what many others have said about getting serious about racing sucks the fun out of it. As I now have absolutely no delusions of getting a factory sponsor, that makes keeping the fun in racing a lot easier.
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