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  1. #1
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    question about moving up in class and sponsorships/teams

    Well its been an interesting season which leaves me with a few decisions for next year. Not really sure what to do so i figured i'd ask you guys for your input.
    I race single speed expert at the moment and i am doing fairly well. My lap times are within a minute or 3 of the top expert geared guys, and since i'm about 5% faster with gears, i think i'd probably be able to beat most of them if i raced geared. However, i'm about 5-10 minutes slower than the top group of geared Semi-Pros (when i'm on the single speed) and i dont think i can come close enough to do very well right now, which makes me unsure about moving up. Also, if i decide to continue racing SS, there is almost noone in the Semi Pro class which would be fairly boring. Basically i'd end up switching to geared which frankly doesnt excite me too much.
    On the other hand, rumor has it that a few of the faster Semi Pros are moving up to Pro (since they're putting out the same lap times anyways) and a bunch of the top Experts will be moving up to Semi Pro. This would give me some decently close competition but i would still most likely get hosed by a few of the guys who are staying in Semi Pro.
    To add even more confusion on my part, i've only been riding for a year and i am clueless how i am going to perform next year. I would really like to start training with a real schedule and stick to it instead of just doing some group rides with friends but i'm not sure if i have the dicipline. Hell, i dont even know if i'll continue to ride as often as i do now.

    My other question is about teams and sponsorships. I am currently sponsored by a small local shop and he takes care of me well. I really dont have any complaints other than i dont have any teamates nor do i really have someone to hand off bottles at all times. A team would be cool because it would be fun to be part of something but should i just stick with my sponsor? Not sure if being with a team would help me down the road if i go pro or if it doesnt really matter at all.
    Thanks in advance!
    Dan

  2. #2
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    Reputation: SScheetz's Avatar
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    Dan Ö thatís a lot to digest.

    If you raced geared expert in your age class this weekend, you would have scored second riding on your SS. Gears would have likely clinched a fist place. If you were racing geared Semi Pro you would have needed to gain about 10% for a top 5 finish. Thereís no doubt, youíre with the top experts and youíre still getting faster. Winning is fun, but stepping up to a challenge as a Semi Pro could be more rewarding (and attract more sponsorship).

    I agree with you about the Pro/Semi Pro SS class, most of those races might just be you and Denton. Thatís too bad, there are plenty out there who could fill the Semi Pro SS class if they would just show up for more races: Ed Dinger, Daniel Stromborg, Jon Nist, Todd Stephenson, Eric Bierman, just to name the few I know of.

    Regarding sponsorship Ö shop sponsorships are often better than separate company sponsorships. At the expert level, company sponsorships arenít much and itís probably worse for us SSíers. Companies do seem to be attracted to the high visibility teams. Just their shear numbers become a good marketing vehicle. Joining or starting a shop team could attract the attention of additional sponsorship. Itís also nice to have a team for race support, training and camaraderie.

  3. #3
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    I'm stunned......

    .... you've only been riding for a year or riding SS for a year? WIther way that's pretty good to be riding expert after only a year. I say go for a challenge, it's the only way you'll get better/faster. As for the shop sponsorship I think the suggestions to try and get more people onboard with the current shop and form a Team would be a great idea, prob be able to get a few eatery ro such places to come on board if you had a team.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??

  4. #4
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    Hey Dan

    You a fast son of a biscuit eater. For a first year racer you are rocking. It takes years to get as fast as the top guys in pro. Your potential is awesome. You should look at getting a coach. Someone who has been there and done that. A full off season of structured training and nutrition would yield great gains for you. As far as sponsorship's go. All that comes in time. Since there is virtually no money in MTB at the time what you need help with is race fees and equipment. Your local shop is the right way to go. Sometimes being locked into a certain Sponsor can hurt your riding. It can oftem be easier riding where you want and when you want. Heather and I are in the process of sponsorship deals right now and believe me I am ready to just say screw it lets just ride. But anyway you are a good talent and I am excited to see what you do for next year!
    Jason
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  5. #5
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    Mark, thanks for the reply.
    I agree it would take quite a bit to get a top 5 finish in Semi-Pro. If i was on gears i think i would have finished about 1:22, judging by my usual 5% increase in lap times at 12 and 24 hour races and training rides between the 2 bikes. Of course this is only 1 race but i have really changed my training regemine which seems to yield a consistant gradual improvement and i expect to do even better at Castaic. Weirdly enough, my training has consisted of mostly geared rides, not SS. It seems that training primarily on the SS hurts more than it helps me (as evidenced by my mid-season slump).
    I really like racing with you guys because not to many of us take this thing to heart and we can all have a good time on the course and off. I'm not so sure if Semi Pro geared will be as fun. I'm not as competetive or serious as those guys. If i dont have fun i dont do well unfortunately.
    As for sponsorship, I really havent considered starting a shop team but thats not a bad idea. As it stands, i am the only one who races for Action but i'm sure i can get a few people on board. I was looking more at teams that already exist but as you mentioned, it may be hard to get a team to meet or beat my current deal at my level.
    BTW, keep doing whatever you've been doing man. You did awesome this past weekend. You have 3rd nailed for sure, and most likely a podium position for the last race. BTW, are you camping out at Castaic Sat. night? I think i may go up and preride saturday and just sleep there.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx
    .... you've only been riding for a year or riding SS for a year? WIther way that's pretty good to be riding expert after only a year. I say go for a challenge, it's the only way you'll get better/faster. As for the shop sponsorship I think the suggestions to try and get more people onboard with the current shop and form a Team would be a great idea, prob be able to get a few eatery ro such places to come on board if you had a team.
    I picked up a bike around this time 2005 and i started riding SS around february 2006. I always prefered riding out of saddle when i started riding so single speeding came fairly easy. I think you guys are right about sticking with the shop and maybe forming a team. There are alot of decent local riders who i think i could enroll.
    Quote Originally Posted by RANOACLAN
    You a fast son of a biscuit eater. For a first year racer you are rocking. It takes years to get as fast as the top guys in pro. Your potential is awesome. You should look at getting a coach. Someone who has been there and done that. A full off season of structured training and nutrition would yield great gains for you. As far as sponsorship's go. All that comes in time. Since there is virtually no money in MTB at the time what you need help with is race fees and equipment. Your local shop is the right way to go. Sometimes being locked into a certain Sponsor can hurt your riding. It can oftem be easier riding where you want and when you want. Heather and I are in the process of sponsorship deals right now and believe me I am ready to just say screw it lets just ride. But anyway you are a good talent and I am excited to see what you do for next year!
    Jason
    Haha thanks Jason. Both Heather and yourself are kicking some serious ass this year as well. I'm not sure how you people with lives and families can do so well with a fraction of the time to train.
    A coach would really help me but my love for pizza and beer would deffinately scare them away. Not sure if i'm really willing to give that up (hell, i'm not really willing to cook at all). Also i really cant afford a coach at this point in the game. I'm just banking on that my eventual experience will guide me in the right direction as long as i pay attention to what works and what doesnt. Trial and error basically.

  7. #7
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    That was one short race yesterday. It was a freakin' drag race.
    There was a 3 minute gap from the winning pro and semi pro time. There is a 5 minute gap between the expert-semi pro time. The fastest sport time was 4 minutes from the fastest expert. The fastest sport time was 4 minutes faster than the winning beginner time.
    Some food for thought.
    paz afuera

    Quote Originally Posted by ISuckAtRiding
    Well its been an interesting season which leaves me with a few decisions for next year. Not really sure what to do so i figured i'd ask you guys for your input.
    I race single speed expert at the moment and i am doing fairly well. My lap times are within a minute or 3 of the top expert geared guys, and since i'm about 5% faster with gears, i think i'd probably be able to beat most of them if i raced geared. However, i'm about 5-10 minutes slower than the top group of geared Semi-Pros (when i'm on the single speed) and i dont think i can come close enough to do very well right now, which makes me unsure about moving up. Also, if i decide to continue racing SS, there is almost noone in the Semi Pro class which would be fairly boring. Basically i'd end up switching to geared which frankly doesnt excite me too much.
    On the other hand, rumor has it that a few of the faster Semi Pros are moving up to Pro (since they're putting out the same lap times anyways) and a bunch of the top Experts will be moving up to Semi Pro. This would give me some decently close competition but i would still most likely get hosed by a few of the guys who are staying in Semi Pro.
    To add even more confusion on my part, i've only been riding for a year and i am clueless how i am going to perform next year. I would really like to start training with a real schedule and stick to it instead of just doing some group rides with friends but i'm not sure if i have the dicipline. Hell, i dont even know if i'll continue to ride as often as i do now.

    My other question is about teams and sponsorships. I am currently sponsored by a small local shop and he takes care of me well. I really dont have any complaints other than i dont have any teamates nor do i really have someone to hand off bottles at all times. A team would be cool because it would be fun to be part of something but should i just stick with my sponsor? Not sure if being with a team would help me down the road if i go pro or if it doesnt really matter at all.
    Thanks in advance!
    Dan

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by papisimo11
    That was one short race yesterday. It was a freakin' drag race.
    There was a 3 minute gap from the winning pro and semi pro time. There is a 5 minute gap between the expert-semi pro time. The fastest sport time was 4 minutes from the fastest expert. The fastest sport time was 4 minutes faster than the winning beginner time.
    Some food for thought.
    paz afuera
    I always thought that was fairly standard, except normally we cant compare beginner or sport times due to the different course lengths. There are always a few people in those catagories that should be one or 2 catagories up anyways.

  9. #9
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    Man, good for you for getting fast, fast. There's a couple of guys I know and ride ss who are fast as hell and don't train, have a coach, or any of that. They just go out and ride and they're brothers and both work at the same shop I do. I am fortunate to work with them. One of them is sponsored by fisher and the other is kind of too, but not really tied down by the sponsorship, he was the ss world champ from last year. I guess if you can be sponsored but still kinda do your own thing, that would be awesome.
    Bare Knuckle Brigade

    Killing Dreams One At A Time

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