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Thread: why do it?

  1. #26
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    I think most people do it because they have a need to... Painters paint, writers write, and musicians compose not because it's their job or they want to go "pro" at it, they do it because they have to. Kinda the same thing for me atleast, I don't have to win but I have to ride and races are generally a good way to ride with a lot of like minded people. Although I'm fortunate and usually place well when I race, I think its a side effect of why I'm really there.

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    ^^^
    Did you never try to win?
    actually this is a really good answer...

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crosstown Stew View Post
    I think most people do it because they have a need to... Painters paint, writers write, and musicians compose not because it's their job or they want to go "pro" at it, they do it because they have to. Kinda the same thing for me atleast, I don't have to win but I have to ride and races are generally a good way to ride with a lot of like minded people. Although I'm fortunate and usually place well when I race, I think its a side effect of why I'm really there.
    This is brilliant too. I'm trying to get psyched up for the 2013 season. I'm mostly a roadie but my strongest discipline is Mtb.

  4. #29
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    Every man needs a quest!
    The drive towards achievement and success is the motive power of civilization.

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by sslos View Post
    Swedish Fish at an aide station.

    Los
    This.

    Normally from about mile 70 onwards if it's a hundie
    Rolling on 29", 650b, 8.3" and 23mm

  6. #31
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    A person just can't push as hard by themselves as they will in a race. Pushing like that is satisfying.

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    I think it's a completely individual thing, and it tends to evolve. Sometimes people evolve right out of it, others like me I think see the experience change for us.

    Early on for me, traditional XC, it was about seeing where I was at compared to other people who were racing. Right away found out that I sucked really bad, especially in that short, pinnit-for-ninety-minnit format. But I found it very interesting from the first one that I could push myself so hard that I thought I was doing physical damage and then feel fine 10 minutes after I stopped.

    Then when I moved to endurance, it was about experiencing it and testing my own ability to succeed. Finishing Leadville in 2005 was pivotal for me. It expanded my perception of what I was capable of. That lead me to a world of testing my limits--24 solo, vapor trail 125, etc.

    Now? For me now it's a lot about the social aspect of it. I've gotten to know a community of people in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Arizona who do these various events. Most of them are so much stronger and more talented than I that it's kind of silly for me to think of them as peers, but I enjoy being there lining up for the events they are doing and sharing experiences.

    I'm not competing with them. That would be absurd. If I felt that I had to have comparable results in order to consider my race a success, I would be totally wasting my time.

    I've been doing more of the free endurance series events in CO, NM, and AZ. A huge motivator is riding a course that takes me somewhere I would be unlikely to find on my own. And being out there with all these cool people I've been getting to know for the last 6 years.

    And of course, personal experience/vision quest. That's pretty much been a constant for me starting 15 years ago with my first 90-minute XC race.
    Well said!

    The 2nd mtb "race" that I ever completed was the Leadville 100 (the first was a relay of 24 hrs of Moab). I signed up for these mostly to see if I could do it. Turns out I can.

    I'll never win or even place in one of these races. Mid pack is cool with me. I set goals and those goals get me out on my bike when I might otherwise be lazy. I used to call it "scared training". Set a goal that is way beyond where you think you can go and the go see if you can do it. It forces you to get out and ride!!!

    Since that first Leadville, I've had the opportunity (and good fortune) to be able to complete several 100 miler (and shorter too) endurance type races with my wife on our mtb tandem and that is a whole new experience. We get to train together and suffer together and celebrate our successes together. It's pretty cool. Most people think we're crazy (maybe we are).

    Why do we do it? I guess because its there. Maybe it started for me because it was something that I was not sure if I (we) could do. Now I just hope I (we) can still be doing the endurance type events 10 years from now, or maybe 20?
    Last edited by ds2199; 01-16-2013 at 12:20 PM.

  8. #33
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    I race because I like to support the local race organizer and it gives me a goal to work towards. If I enter races I need to train so I can try to win or at the very least not come in last. Also racing the local races helps to support the local econemy and promotes cycling in my town. If I can talk my friends into entering a race and they have fun will most likely ride more.

  9. #34
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    There are those who live life and those who watch it go by. I choose to live life and live it to the full! Racing fulfills me heart, mind, body and soul! On the podium or DFL, I always have a big smile on my face...

  10. #35
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    I sure hope I don't bore anyone.

    I started racing in WA state. Had a blast, and made loads of friends. Never worried about position, although I did have a rivalry with a buddy of mine. There could be 150 riders and if I finished 149th, he better be 150th.

    Fast forward to my move to the Tahoe area. Did a few events (Pinenut Cracker, Northstar Thursday Night series). The big change came when I lost my 4yo daughter in February of 2003 (some of you may know/remember the story). My brother did a marathon in her honor, so I thought bike events would be my thing. My first was Granny Gear's 24 Hours of Tahoe. Even did the first and last laps with her seat on to take her for the ride. Oh, the comments/support shown that weekend.

    I've done a few other 24hr events (Old Pueblo, Coolest), Kirkwood's 9 to 5, Sea Otter, Mammoth when they had the National marathon, Downieville, and still riding in the Northstar Thursday Night series. This year, I have 2 road rides I want to do-- from the AZ/Mexico border to Rocky Point, Mexico (about 60mi), and from home to Mammoth (about 115mi).

    I've also been riding for many other angels I've "met" through the support group, Compassionate Friends. I've asked their parents, and have been told it's ok. I figure the more that help me pedal, maybe the better I'll do. I've also set up a facebook page, Team Alaina Sage, should anyone here want to check it out (yes, a shameless plug).

    Thanks for letting me share......

  11. #36
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    Question: why do most of the endurance races not have age groups? I find it odd that shorter races almost always have age groups, but these longer races often don't.

  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Golden_Monkey View Post
    Question: why do most of the endurance races not have age groups? I find it odd that shorter races almost always have age groups, but these longer races often don't.
    Because age is Not am issue on Endurance i am the youngest and slowest of my Team

  13. #38
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    I get asked this question a lot. Being over 50, racing keeps me sharp mentally, physically, and competitively. These qualities translate over quite well into my dog eat dog corporate job.

    My wife likes my training and racing habit because it gets me out of her hair around the house.....if you've been married over 25 years you will understand the value in that

  14. #39
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    To keep it interesting during lulls in the road race schedule.

  15. #40
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    I have asked myself why I race many times. I'm 50 now and raced a few times in the 80's then not again until last year. (Lots of rock climbing in between.) I have never been competitive in the sense that I need to win. I don't focus on results as much as my own performance. Besides mtb racing being fun because of all the cool people it gives some sort of measure of my improvement and sometimes a measure of my limits.

    I've always had the attitude that if I am going to do something to just go do it. I might as well just lay it all out there to see what I can do. It also seems to somehow legitimize the time I spend riding or whatever. In rock climbing it was the same. Hard scary trad routes and big walls seemed to be the real tests so I did them. There are lots of guys who are good riders and talk the talk but until they actually line up they are just talking. Racing can be humbling and that's a good thing.

    Racing also sets specific goals and makes me try harder than I would without a finish line.

    I'm not afraid to fail in fact, I find some sick pleasure in hitting my limit and pushing on. For some reason it doesn't really seem like I've done something real or worthwhile unless I suffer. Sometimes getting in over my head just makes the best story too but I don't go looking for it. When I see the guys around me starting to crack I get this feeling like, "Now it's for real." It doesn't even matter how crappy I feel I get a little psychological boost. I must have some "issues" I guess.

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by gila monster View Post
    ... I must have some "issues" I guess.
    Yeah. It's just you though. The rest of us are completely well-adjusted
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

    "I like my wimmen like I like my beer--cold and bitter!"

  17. #42
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    When I was racing, it was more about the people than the race itself. There's some sort of camaraderie that happens when you "suffer" through the same race/experience. For example, I probably don't know 90% of the racers at Silver Rush, but when I see someone in a shirt from that race, it's an immediate connection and we can joke about "that hill" at the beginning.

    I think racing also pushes you to that next level. You don't realize what you're capable of until you're actually forced to do it. I didn't think I could do Paris-Brest-Paris (okay sorry...not a mbt race, but a 1200km randonneuring event) until I actually finished it. And, I'm still friends with the folks I rode with - even though they live in France in Australia.

    I'm with Grinderz...it's all about the experience and the people you meet along the way.

  18. #43
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    Racing's all about the suffering.
    You only push yourself so far on a normal ride but when you're racing, especially in longer races, you need to push yourself harder than you normally would to see if you can succeed.
    It's all part of the enjoyment.

    I know it's a really well used cliché but it's not about the winning, it's about the taking part.

  19. #44
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    1. Gives me a purpose to ride (it's an excuse to ride).
    2. Go fast as you can on a closed course.
    3. Meet some really cool folks.
    Race Reports, PreRide Reports, and General Rambling:

    www.roostersbikersedge.com
    http://www.ENVEcomposites.com

  20. #45
    HTFU!
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    So many good reasons to race. The camraderie (mtb is a different monster than road races), the challenge, the motivation to keep fit...also, many events put money back into the trail systems for improvements and extensions of trails.
    I personally started riding in 2008 and did my first race in 2009 (beginner class) and won! Yeah, I was hooked. Have not won a legitimite race since, though I have made a podium here and there with a lot of effort and even more luck. Have also been DFL and back of the pack in some. Doesn't matter, I enjoy it, the wife supports it (literally, I as I am unemployed) and I look forward to 5-6 endurance events a year as well as numerous endurance rides in preparation.
    Now HTFU and do it!

  21. #46
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    Re: why do it?

    The people citing 'fun' are either confused about the meaning of the word, or aren't actually racing.

    I race a couple of events per year, probably to measure myself against the misguided souls who waste their lives training. We end up in the same place, generally. I just skip most of the suffering.

    The soul of MTBing cannot be found in a race. Don't lose yours turning a beautiful sport into a mere fitness sufferfest. Free yourself from the shackles of MTB endurance racing! :-)

  22. #47
    It's about showing up.
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    To get to the other side.
    I don't rattle.

  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Marshall View Post
    I wonder the same thing. I'm a long-time road racer just getting into mtb racing, and
    I can see why folks want to race on the road, because they can do something they
    can't do just going out and riding any day of the year, which is being able to ride in
    a large pack. It seems that running and mtb races look a lot like expensive training
    to me! I already said that I'm now just getting into mtb racing myself, so don't go hating
    on this roadie just quite yet :-)
    Well, I would say the big difference is that I can MTB race at whatever level of fitness I have since you're mostly racing yourself. Road Racing requires that you be able to hang with the pack and if you're not in shape to do that there's simply no point. For me, it's mostly about the training and having a goal. Signing up for a race puts a stake in the sand. I need that extra bit of motivation to stay in good enough shape to do all the other fun things I like.

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by AllMountin' View Post
    The people citing 'fun' are either confused about the meaning of the word, or aren't actually racing.

    I race a couple of events per year, probably to measure myself against the misguided souls who waste their lives training. We end up in the same place, generally. I just skip most of the suffering.

    The soul of MTBing cannot be found in a race. Don't lose yours turning a beautiful sport into a mere fitness sufferfest. Free yourself from the shackles of MTB endurance racing! :-)
    Now that sir is an opinion!

  25. #50
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    A little late but...

    I plan on racing this year because for 2 years I could not race. An unexpected illness taught me the fickle nature of life and health. I have been a bike rider and racer, both road and mountain, for 20+ years, and outside of my family, my greatest love is moving two wheels over a road or trail. It sounds cliche, but I learned the lesson that life is short, so do not waste any time. I look forward to racing this year to see how far I can push myself. Hoping to do a 100 miler mtn bike race for the first time this year, should be fun as I love a good suffer-fest!

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