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  1. #1
    That's gonna leave a mark
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    Painful move up to Sport

    Well, after a few off and on seasons of racing Beginner here in SoCal, I finally decided to take the racing/training seriously and set a personal goal to move up to Sport by the end of this season. Iíve never placed above 8th in XC until this year. I surprised myself right at the beginning of the season with a 4th place finish.

    Since the first race this year, Iíve won several 4th and 5th places, a few 3rdís, a 2nd and a 1st. My training is a little unconventional, though. Like many competitors, I train during the week on the road bike. On the weekends I ride on the dirt, but I only ride SS. Iíve only raced geared in my XC races because most SoCal races donít offer a Beginner SS class.

    Two weekends ago, our 4-man team competed in the Chamberlin Ranch 24 Hour Race. I figured Iíd try one of the 15-mile laps on the SS and see how I felt. Turned out I didnít suffer as much as I thought I would. So I stuck with the SS for the whole event. My lap times were consistent and I can actually say I enjoyed myself a lot more than when Iíve ridden geared in a 24-hour race.

    So yesterday I decided it was time to put up or shut up. I signed up for the Sport SS class at the Mt SAC Fat Tire Classic. Even though they offered a Beginner SS class, I figured I could kill two birds with one stone. ĎCept I was the bird getting hit with two stones. And just to make it interesting, I decided to race on a freshly built rig: an Independent Fabs Ti SS. Not quite her maiden voyage, but 7 miles clocked on the odometer wasnít exactly playing it smart.

    I warmed up on the trainer, downed some electrolytes to stave off the inevitable leg cramps, loaded my pockets with gel packets, and lined up for the mass start of the Sport racers. I glanced around and noticed several other SS racers in the group. I knew I wouldnít DNF, but I also didnít want to finish DFL. A fellow teammate of mine whoís been racing geared Sport class for 3-4 seasons sat right next to me at the start line grinning ear to ear. He knew I was in for a world of hurt.

    WHAAANK! The airhorn blasted and we were off! As we approached the bottleneck right turn off the paved road, a showboating racer on a DH bike came flying in from the right and almost careened into the group! And I mean flying. He launched off something and was almost shoulder height when he flew in for the kill.

    The herd grumbled nervously as we narrowed down to two abreast through the gates and onto the first fireroad climb. Somehow my buddy and I were pushed back in the pack before the climb. UghÖit seemed like I didnít even get my heart rate up and suddenly Iím gonna redline it up this short pitch. Luckily, it wasnít too loose. I bore down and hammered up past a few racers spinning in their granny.

    This climb led us to a narrow, off cambered, loose singletrack. Everybody Conga! Somebody up front decided it was safer to walk than ride. More grumbling from the herd. The pack finally started to spread out, making it easier to get into a rhythm. At least I knew well enough to give myself some breathing room between the next guy and me. If he faltered, I could end up walking up a steep climb. Only once did I ram into a gearieís rear tire. I apologized and hammered past him, only to be passed by another SS rider in an earth colored jersey.

    Throughout the whole race, I kept my teammate and the earth colored SSíer in site. I was always within striking distance, as they say. Iím not sure what that really means, but I felt like I was the one getting pummeled out there. Iíd fly down the hills and close the gap, sometimes passing Earth SSíer. Iíd draft behind a gearie on the flats to conserve energy and suck down fluids and gel. Then Iíd grind up the climbs and watch Earth SSíer cruise by. Hmmm. Wonder what gear ratio heís using. I might be geared a little high for this course.

    Itís amazing what one can do when given no other choice. There were several climbs when I would have snapped my gearie down into the granny ring and saved my legs for the final lap. But noooo. I grunted and lurched on the handlebars like an ape in a Samsonite commercial. Iím proud to say, I didnít have to resort to walking any of the hills except the hike-a-bike section. Ah yesÖthe dreaded hike-a-bike.

    It was the final lap. Earth SSíer seemed like he was beginning to fade. I took a chance and ploughed by on a gradual climb, hoping to put the hurt on him. He never came back. My teammate was steadily pulling away, but I wanted to let him know I was there every step of the way. I hit the bottom of the dreaded hike-a-bike as he was nearing the top. I called out to him; partly to cheer him on, but also to let him know I was still there. He glanced over his shoulder and whooped back to me.

    I tried to run up the hill after him, but both legs started to lock up in cramps. Oh no! Not now! I looked over my shoulder and saw several riders hiking up behind me. Keeping my knees bent to prevent them from locking up, I shuffled up the climb and clambered onto my bike at the top. The last descent was loose and off cambered. I did everything I could to stay on line and not go tumbling down into the brush. Made it to the bottom and hammered to the finish line only 40 seconds behind my teammate.

    He took 2nd in our age category for geared riders. I took 7th in the SS class. I found out later that the top 3 or 4 riders in our class normally raced Semi-Pro or Expert SS but since there wasnít a class for them at this race, they were grouped with the rest of us. That made me feel pretty good about my results. The best part though, my buddy knew I was right on his tail the whole time.
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  2. #2
    EGGROLL!!!
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    Nice recap, the title made it sound worse than it really was!

  3. #3
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    Beginner means.........

    ...............that it is the first season/time racing, not that you suck/don't train etc. - Once you've done one race, farless an entire season of beginner YOU ARE NO LONGER A BEGINNER! It absolutely amazes me how many DO NOT understand the term begginer - GEEZE

    Quote Originally Posted by Upchuck
    Well, after a few off and on seasons of racing Beginner here in SoCal, I finally decided to take the racing/training seriously and set a personal goal to move up to Sport by the end of this season. Iíve never placed above 8th in XC until this year. I surprised myself right at the beginning of the season with a 4th place finish...............................
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??

  4. #4
    No. Just No.
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    Nice work 'Chuck. Nothing like a little category upgrade to light the spark again.

  5. #5
    That's gonna leave a mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx
    ...............that it is the first season/time racing, not that you suck/don't train etc. - Once you've done one race, farless an entire season of beginner YOU ARE NO LONGER A BEGINNER! It absolutely amazes me how many DO NOT understand the term begginer - GEEZE
    Ease up, hotrod. First off, let me say this WAS my first full season of racing. Racing a few races every couple of years doesn't exactly constitute one as being a sandbagger. Your definition of a Beginner does not necessarily apply to all regions/states. I can say from experience that here in Southern California, the competition in every category is greater and deeper in field than say Southern Utah.

    I raced with a chest cold in one of the Inner Mountain Championship races there and won by at least 2 minutes. I honestly felt badly for entering as a Beginner. Now here in SoCal, the top 5 in the state series are fast enough to compete as a podium finisher in Sport. The top 5 in Sport are probably able to give the top 10 in Expert a run for their money, as well. That's not taking anything away from the top 10, it's just the state of competition here in California.

    Answer me this: Why would the Beginner class have a state series if you weren't allowed to compete in the category for the season? How would they determine who was the overall champion? Somebody has to win it.
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  6. #6
    You got any chocolate?
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    Upchuck,

    Nice write-up of the race. Keep up the great work. Before you know it, your bud will be running up the hill behind you.
    Tom G.
    Long Island, NY

  7. #7
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    I'm not talking from one series to another or coninent - I am talking what it actually means anywhere in the world

    from Cambridge American Dictionary.............
    beginner
    [Show phonetics]
    noun [C]
    a person who is just learning how to do an activity

    http://dictionary.cambridge.org/defi...gin*1+0&dict=A

    Are you just learning?? Answer = NO, you have raced before so hence you are not a beginner, you may not be fast but you definitely are not a beginner. You should be racing sport once you've done a whole season or just several races in a season. Maybe it's the lack of literacy in the world, I don't know

    Feed yourself whatever line you need to justify the fact that you stayed in beginner as long as you want, it's you that has to live with it AND as the old saying goes "If you're friend jumped off a mountain, would you jump behind him since he jumped??" Same applies to those who sandbag, not the sort of examples you want to use to defend yourself.

    Maybe they need another class between beginner and sport, maybe beginner sport/sport beginner


    Quote Originally Posted by Upchuck
    Ease up, hotrod. First off, let me say this WAS my first full season of racing. Racing a few races every couple of years doesn't exactly constitute one as being a sandbagger. Your definition of a Beginner does not necessarily apply to all regions/states. I can say from experience that here in Southern California, the competition in every category is greater and deeper in field than say Southern Utah.

    I raced with a chest cold in one of the Inner Mountain Championship races there and won by at least 2 minutes. I honestly felt badly for entering as a Beginner. Now here in SoCal, the top 5 in the state series are fast enough to compete as a podium finisher in Sport. The top 5 in Sport are probably able to give the top 10 in Expert a run for their money, as well. That's not taking anything away from the top 10, it's just the state of competition here in California.

    Answer me this: Why would the Beginner class have a state series if you weren't allowed to compete in the category for the season? How would they determine who was the overall champion? Somebody has to win it.
    Last edited by LyNx; 11-06-2006 at 04:36 PM.
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  8. #8
    rj2
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    I raced beginner all season

    according to NORBA rules:

    Beginner racers must move to the appropriate Sport category after placing in the top five in five races. Failure to do so may result in license suspension.

    http://www.usacycling.org/news/user/story.php?id=2239

    I placed 5th in the California State XC series, Men's Beg 40-44. One 2nd, 3rd, 4th, two 5th, and one 10th. Next year I'll race Sport.

    The class between beginner and sport is called ringginner or beringer.

  9. #9
    That's gonna leave a mark
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    Wow. I sense a lot of pent up hostility. You really should consider therapy, or sedatives, or a reality check.

    Here I was posting about how I finally had time to devote to training and race more than a couple times in a season. I actually placed within the top 10 and felt confident enough to bump up to the next category (and get my arse handed to me, mind you), and you get all aggro calling me out as a sandbagging trophy whore.

    Hmm...any chance you never won that spelling bee in school and now have misplaced anger towards anyone who is happy to be competitive within a group of their peers? Prior to this year, I couldn't have even ridden the Sport distance at race pace, let alone be competitive with the last place finisher.

    Again, I ask you: Why would the Beginner class have a state series championship if you weren't allowed to compete in the category for the season? How would they determine who was the overall champion? Or don't you understand what a state series is? Just in case, a state series champion is awarded to the rider with the highest number of placings at the end of the season or series.

    So by your logic: "Once you've done one race, farless an entire season of beginner YOU ARE NO LONGER A BEGINNER!", there could never be a Beginner state champion. Once he/she competed in one race, they'd have to bump up to Sport...hmmmm...I'll phone USA Cycling and let them know you said they can cancel the Beginner state championship series.


    I suggest you step away from the keyboard and go ride around your island a few times to cool your jets.
    (There, is that enough cutesy smilies for you?)
    Last edited by Upchuck; 11-06-2006 at 09:09 PM.
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  10. #10
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    Tell yourself what you want to

    You can justify this all you want, anyway you want. Just take a look at the guys at the back of the sport pack, they're there for a reason - they're honest people who know what beginner means. Some people just don't think that they should be last in anything, but guess what someone has to be.

    This is my last reply to this have fun feeling good about your move.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??

  11. #11
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    You're a braver man than I am Vince

    I too moved up to Sport during my first season of races. I had moderate success and went for a greater challenge. It didn't hurt to see that Sport started at 8:45 but Beginners started at 11:00 when it was certain to be hotter.

    Unlike you I took the easy route and rode geared. SS (my main ride) doesn't have age divisions so no way is this old body going up against someone in their prime who climbs like a spider monkey and probably weighs the same. I'd rather have races separated by age than the NORBA levels that are so debatable. I don't look at someone and worry if he's a sandbagger, I look and say "cr** he's XX years younger".

    Now I'm hooked, first in Sport 55+.

  12. #12
    That's gonna leave a mark
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    Doug, you should look into the Shasta Lemurian race
    held up in Redding. I'm going to try to do that one next year.
    It's divided up by distance and age. You decide which course (8 mile, 20 mi or 26 mi) and race against people in your own age category. The only class separation is for Pro vs Amateur.

    Take a look at the website, check out the reviews and pics from past competitors. It's no Vision Quest, but it's supposed to be a "real mountain bikers" race. FWIW

    edit: My comment was not intended to mean the VQ is not a real MTB race.
    Last edited by Upchuck; 11-07-2006 at 11:59 AM.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Upchuck
    Wow. I sense a lot of pent up hostility. You really should consider therapy, or sedatives, or a reality check.

    Here I was posting about how I finally had time to devote to training and race more than a couple times in a season. I actually placed within the top 10 and felt confident enough to bump up to the next category (and get my arse handed to me, mind you), and you get all aggro calling me out as a sandbagging trophy whore.

    Hmm...any chance you never won that spelling bee in school and now have misplaced anger towards anyone who is happy to be competitive within a group of their peers? Prior to this year, I couldn't have even ridden the Sport distance at race pace, let alone be competitive with the last place finisher.

    Again, I ask you: Why would the Beginner class have a state series championship if you weren't allowed to compete in the category for the season? How would they determine who was the overall champion? Or don't you understand what a state series is? Just in case, a state series champion is awarded to the rider with the highest number of placings at the end of the season or series.

    So by your logic: "Once you've done one race, farless an entire season of beginner YOU ARE NO LONGER A BEGINNER!", there could never be a Beginner state champion. Once he/she competed in one race, they'd have to bump up to Sport...hmmmm...I'll phone USA Cycling and let them know you said they can cancel the Beginner state championship series.


    I suggest you step away from the keyboard and go ride around your island a few times to cool your jets.
    (There, is that enough cutesy smilies for you?)
    Ignore LyNx, he's just being a horse's ass. Seems like quite a few of his posts come across that way.

    Good job on your race.
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  14. #14
    FleshwoundGravityResearch
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    Lynx, you need to chill out. There is nothing wrong with racing beginner in your first season of racing, even if you are winning. USA cycling has no problem with it, why do you?

    Maybe some of those bringing up the rear in sport want to feel like they are better than they actually are by racing in a catagory above where they should really be.

    The fact is, beginner class in more places than not, is not for actual mtb beginners. Ask the race organizers, they have no problem with riders remaining in the beginner class until they can place. Maybe it's different outside of the competitive states like CA, UT, and CO.

  15. #15
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    sandbaggers...

    I think you will find people camp out in the sport class longer than they should to. I recently did a race in Washington where the winner of the sport class (I found out from the 2nd place rider who was his friend) was a cat 3 road racer. He beat us (2nd and 3rd) by 5 MINUTES!!. Ridiculous...Dude move up to expert! Anyways, it was still a great race (me and the 2nd place guy sprinted for the finish...he nipped me by a bike length...I like those finishes!). But you will find sandbaggers more often in the sport class than in the beginner class methinks. California, I found has quite a few of them...

    Great finish Upchuck!

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    I agree with Upchuck...

    I agree with Upchucks decision to move to Sport. I just finished my first season of racing (I have been riding for 3-4 yrs now) and the one thing that hit me after the Sagebrush Safari race was that there is a BIG difference between trail riding and racing. I intended on doing a couple of races just to get my feet wet and see how things go, but after I realized that I was 3rd in class, I had to step it up! The guys ahead of me were definitely WAY better than me, but that is just motivation to get better. I ended up placing 3rd in the Cal Sate series Beginner 35-39 , so I feel that I should honorably move up even though USA Cycling says that I do not have to. I may look into an endurance racing, but I have not decided yet.

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    I raced my first Sport class race last weekend and placed 17th out of 26.

    I hadn't raced in 15 years, but 15 years ago I raced alot, therefore I was definately no beginner, several of my friends thought I was a fool for riding sport and pointed out that my finish time would have put me in first place in the beginner class.

    Do I feel bad, NO, I did the right thing!

  18. #18
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    ....allow me to throw a log on the fire. This past race season (06) was my first race season even though I have been riding for 20 years. I entered my first race last April as a beginner. I won that race by 15 minutes over the second place guy and 50 minutes over the last place rider. I did it on a 5 inch trail bike no less. Anyway, decided that it was time to move up to Sport...figured what the hell, at worse I will know where I really stand as a racer. Next race, 8 out of 20, then 7 out of 20 then 4th, 4th, and 3rd was my best. I had a horrible showing at the Nationals though...25 out 35...it was hot plus those guys were fast.
    Anyway, a week ago I got my new Anthem race bike. No more trail bike. I am now training with a pro rider and coach and looking to move to expert sometime next season. The point of all this is I agree with the other posts. Move up quickly. If one is finishing in the top third of their category they will not get totally killed by moving up...no dfl here. Moving up will make one train harder and smarter which is what it's all about. Plus once in the Expert cat there is usually some prize money on the line....enough to buy a cheap pack of post race beer

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx
    You can justify this all you want, anyway you want. Just take a look at the guys at the back of the sport pack, they're there for a reason - they're honest people who know what beginner means. Some people just don't think that they should be last in anything, but guess what someone has to be.

    This is my last reply to this have fun feeling good about your move.
    Or you could let the guy enter in the category he sees fit. I kinda agree with you I see beginner as a basic platform to move up to sport. However if he didn't feel comfortable moving up to sport until now who's business is it of ours? That's the thing I don't like about XC racing, sandbaggers, but it's part of the format.

    I say cheers upchuck, especially doing the race on a ss. I ride ss but have yet to race it. I'm dying to try it out. And I have a feeling that you're onto something about level of competition in different regions. again, kudos.

  20. #20
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    oh, and I beleive there are way more sandbaggers in the sport class than the begginers. I'll be racing expert just for the sake of getting in more saddle time.

    If you're going to race with people on that level might as well make it official. I've seen people camp out in sport for years. IMO sport is still a development program to make it to the real racing ie, expert and up, not to beat up on people who just moved up from beginner.

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    NORBA, or IMBA must have specific definitions for the different race categories. That would be the definative answer, if it exists.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by plume
    oh, and I beleive there are way more sandbaggers in the sport class than the begginers. I'll be racing expert just for the sake of getting in more saddle time.

    If you're going to race with people on that level might as well make it official. I've seen people camp out in sport for years. IMO sport is still a development program to make it to the real racing ie, expert and up, not to beat up on people who just moved up from beginner.
    Yea I think that statement is true. There probably are more sandbaggers in sport because it's one of the worst transitions(so I've heard) to move up to expert. Sport is really a mix of those that are starting to get that really competitive edge and those that have it already and are training to tackle expert class. This year I raced my first season ever in sport category. I started out at the middle to back of the pack and I was dying towards the end of the race. I thought that it was hard but that I felt good that I wasn't successful right from the get go and had to really work to get better. As the season went on I placed a little better until the end of the season where I took 4 podium spots. I think I was right where I needed to be for this season. I worked my way up from the back of the pack to finish very well at the end. Towards the end I was called a sandbagger by a few fellow racers but they said it with a smile...lol. I knew that since I was finishing well consistently that it was time to move up, and I'm excited about that. I want to have the motivation from others kicking my butt to really excel and push myself that much harder. I don't want to win easily, I want to work and earn those podium spots. I know I've got a lot of work ahead of me for expert next year but I think the fun is just starting. I didn't even really train for this past year, so now the training starts and hopefully only good results to come in a harder, more demanding and mentally grueling class. That's the way it should be, always striving to work harder to improve.

    Ryan H.

  23. #23
    the train keeps rollin
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    Move up to Expert as soon as possible.. Beginner (lmao at beringer) and Sport is full of Sandbaggers, not too mention sport is usually packed,, Expert you go off first, not as much traffic to fight through.. I remember my first race, raced beginner, thought I was in the top 3-4, came in 9th out of 50-60 heads, the 1st place beginner would have placed 17th in Expert.

    I'm with you Lynx, race beginner 1 or 2 races than move on, if you are hurting, race it for a season.

    Beginner Class should be to get a sample of racing. Do you like it? Want to race again? Gr8 you are into the Sport, NOW GO RACE SPORT CLASS!!

    Props to TolleyMan.. I plan on racing a full season next year... It's been a long time since I raced, but I will train for 18-25 mile races, and go straight to Sport..

  24. #24
    rj2
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    NORBA Upgrade rules

    http://www.usacycling.org/news/user/story.php?id=2239

    Riders may advance as quickly as they wish up to Sport. However, once a rider has upgraded, he or she will not be permitted to downgrade to a less difficult category without making a formal request to NORBA.

    This is a big change in philosophy. Until 2006, a rider could always upgrade as quickly as they wished to expert. However, we believe that the term expert implies a level of ability that must be proven. The old rule led to possible legal exposure should a rider enter the expert category in his first race. What follows are the changes that then stem from this basic change where a rider can go up to Sport instead of Expert.

    Sport riders may move up to the expert category after two top five finishes by presenting an upgrade request and a resume to a NORBA official or to NORBA.

    The NORBA board and USAC staff made the upgrade requirements fairly easy. The main point was to prohibit total novices from moving themselves to sport.

    Beginner racers must move to the appropriate Sport category after placing in the top five in five races. Failure to do so may result in license suspension.

    Sport riders must advance to the appropriate Expert category after placing in the top five in five races. Failure to do so may result in license suspension.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by rj2
    http://www.usacycling.org/news/user/story.php?id=2239

    Riders may advance as quickly as they wish up to Sport. However, once a rider has upgraded, he or she will not be permitted to downgrade to a less difficult category without making a formal request to NORBA.

    This is a big change in philosophy. Until 2006, a rider could always upgrade as quickly as they wished to expert. However, we believe that the term expert implies a level of ability that must be proven. The old rule led to possible legal exposure should a rider enter the expert category in his first race. What follows are the changes that then stem from this basic change where a rider can go up to Sport instead of Expert.

    Sport riders may move up to the expert category after two top five finishes by presenting an upgrade request and a resume to a NORBA official or to NORBA.

    The NORBA board and USAC staff made the upgrade requirements fairly easy. The main point was to prohibit total novices from moving themselves to sport.

    Beginner racers must move to the appropriate Sport category after placing in the top five in five races. Failure to do so may result in license suspension.

    Sport riders must advance to the appropriate Expert category after placing in the top five in five races. Failure to do so may result in license suspension.

    Nowhere in these rules does it say that beginner is only for getting a taste of racing.

    The take home from the rules should be that you CAN choose to move to sport if you want to, but you don't HAVE TO until you have 5 top 5 finishes.

    All of you who think you should move up to sport before the top 5 finishes, go for it; no one is stopping you. But get off the guy who doesn't because he is placing in beginner but hasn't yet reached the 5 placings limit.

    And how many of you who moved to expert to avoid the 'traffic' of sport class actually had 2 top 5 finishes?

    If everyone followed these NORBA rules, I am guessing the classes would look pretty much exactly how they already do.
    Beginner => packed full of sport level guys trying to get to the 5 top 5 level, and a whole bunch of guys b!tching about not being able to keep up
    Sport => packed full of borderline sport/expert guys trying to qualify up and a ton of slower guys b!tching because they can't keep up with them
    Expert => Full of real fast guys and a few that probably shouldn't be there, who eventually hold up the top 5-10 sport guys
    Last edited by mtn hack; 11-16-2006 at 11:52 AM.

  26. #26
    rj2
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    I was one of those b!tchy beginners

    until I did more training and racing and became one of those riders everyone else b!tched about. Now that I have my 5 top 5 placings, I'll become one of those b!tchy Sport riders next year.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtn hack
    Nowhere in these rules does it say that beginner is only for getting a taste of racing.

    The take home from the rules should be that you CAN choose to move to sport if you want to, but you don't HAVE TO until you have 5 top 5 finishes.

    All of you who think you should move up to sport before the top 5 finishes, go for it; no one is stopping you. But get off the guy who doesn't because he is placing in beginner but hasn't yet reached the 5 placings limit.
    Exactly my point, mtn hack. I'll gladly disclose my NORBA license # so everyone who's miffed can see that I only have 4 top 5 placings in NORBA events. Gee, maybe I should wait until I get one more top 5 before committing to Sport...
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    It usually takes me a few miles to get the blood pumping. I don't know why anyone would want to race a 10 mile (beginner) race when they are capable of riding twice that. The pack hasn't even split up yet. I think beginner should be for beginners with limited stamina and bike handling skills. Anyone who is in shape and sandbags to stay in beginner should get boo'd at the finish line.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by yater
    I think beginner should be for beginners with limited stamina and bike handling skills.
    There's the key; you think it should be that way. The reality is that is not how racing works; at least not in CO, UT, and CA.

    BTW, at least half of the races I race here in CO are the exact same courses for beginner as sport. And if the field is still together after 10 miles, your course is what should be examined for being too easy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtn hack
    There's the key; you think it should be that way. The reality is that is not how racing works; at least not in CO, UT, and CA.

    BTW, at least half of the races I race here in CO are the exact same courses for beginner as sport. And if the field is still together after 10 miles, your course is what should be examined for being too easy.
    I know what I said. Beginner was named beginner because it was intended for beginners. Maybe there should be a class for guys who just aren't very good or are too lazy to get themselves into shape? Our beginner races are always beginner distances (usually about 10 miles).

  31. #31
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    Just out of curiousity, what category do you race XC?
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    great story!...

    I really enjoyed reading it. I hope to do some race's myself next year. Never had time to train (and still dont ) but I cant wait for circumstance's to be perfect. That will never happen, so I am going for it no matter what .
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  33. #33
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    - beginner should be for folks that are just getting their feet wet in mtn bike racing. this class should be fun and supporting with minimal sandbagging. There is no need for newbie's to the sport to frustrated by higher level folks.
    - sport should be for folks that are still developing their racing skills, technical skills and stamina.
    - expert is where the serious fun really starts. the pack is fast and good bike handling and fitness is key.

    No matter what group you race in remember this is suppose to be fun. There is no need to sandbag, racing is about pushing yourself to the limit.

    Yes i have and do race expert xc. i have no problem being mid pack. it is always humbling. I have now moved on to racing 24hr solo. that is my next big challenge...

    just don't forget we ride these bikes to have fun.
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by EBG 18T
    - beginner should be for folks that are just getting their feet wet in mtn bike racing. this class should be fun and supporting with minimal sandbagging. There is no need for newbie's to the sport to frustrated by higher level folks.
    Well I hate to burst your bubble, but your opinion and NORBA's definition of the classes don't exactly meet eye to eye. This might surprise you, but I agree with your point about the Beginner class. But that just ain't dealing with reality.

    Quote Originally Posted by EBG 18T
    Yes i have and do race expert xc. i have no problem being mid pack. it is always humbling. I have now moved on to racing 24hr solo. that is my next big challenge...
    First off, if you're placing mid pack in Expert and moving onto solo 24hr racing, you don't exactly compare to the average racer. I don't know what the competition is like in Colorado, but if you were placing mid pack Expert here in SoCal, you'd be stomping the Sport category. The jump from Sport to Expert is rather substantial, not only in terms of mileage and level of competition, but also the dedication to training and nutrition.

    Quote Originally Posted by EBG 18T
    - sport should be for folks that are still developing their racing skills, technical skills and stamina.
    I can guarantee you, if a Sport rider is still developing their racing skills, technical skills and stamina, they're off the back of the pack. They still belong in the Beginner class.
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  35. #35
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    UpChuck - Obviously now that you are seasoned you know how everything works.
    Good luck in sport and hopefully some day we will see you in expert. My opinion really doesn't matter anyways, and there are many variences between reality and rulebooks. Most people beleive what they want, so good luck and have fun.

    If you are ever in CO and want to hit up a race, drop me an e-mail and i will be glad to come out and support my peers.
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