Motorcycle racer to try XC bicycle racing- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Motorcycle racer to try XC bicycle racing

    Subject lines says it all. I am 6'3" 225 35 years old in decent shape. I've been racing hare scrambles, enuros, and motocross since I was 15. I raced BMX bikes in the amateur class when I was young and did ok. I am an expert level woods racer and an amateur motocross racer. I have been logging some road miles on a bicycle and do an 11 mile loop with hills in about 40-45 mins. Don't k ow if that's good or bad.
    I just got a large 2001 GT Avalanche with low miles for free. The forks are Rock Shocks Judy XC, the rear derailer is LX quality, Sram cassette with Shimano Deore drive train. Front brakes are Avid manual disk. I dropped the bike off at the shop for a tuneup, I have good quality flat pedals going on it, a new rear rim with hub and a complete rear disc setup to replace the old style rear brake. Tires are stock and look decent.
    Sooooo.... what class do I ride? I'm thinking novice or cyldesdale but. Clydesdale says can be beginners or experts. Any thoughts on using this bike for this New England XC race? The race is a round of the NECS series and is being held in Clarenont,NH. I have a bell bicycle helmet with a tiny visor, motocross gloves, drink system, and will prob just run sneakers on the flat pedals till I get clipless and get used to riding with them. I'm not wearing spandex (not happening). What should I wear without looking like a goon and out of place. I was gonna wear padded bicycle shorts underneath basketball style shorts and an under armor shirt under a t-shirt. Will sneakers be ok? Should I wear eye protection? I will bring sunglasses to wear but not sure if I can wear tgem in the woods (I get migraines if my eyes are exposed to too much bright sunlight). How do the organizers put racing numbers on your bike and you? Any thoughts on what I should do to the bike or gear before the race.

  2. #2
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    I am a Ex MC racer ,enduro and hs.I also done a lot of cross country mountain biking racing. Don't over think things to much. One of the first things that you need to know is how long is the race ,if you enter a race that is going to take you 2 or three hours to do ,you need to start doing longer rides. As far as not wearing spandex you are not doing yourself any favors,the right equipment for job. You could wear sneakers ,depending on the course your feet might not feel too good afterwards,again good equipment makes a diference. Some races have a beginner class, the thing with the class you line up with a "beginner' at rides 4 or 5 days a week,and has raced in the past.You might try tinted glass if its very wooded ,dust and shade can be a problem. The organizers will give you either a number plate to zip tie on your bars and or a paper plate to pins to your shirt.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodsknight View Post
    Sooooo.... what class do I ride? I'm thinking novice or cyldesdale but. Clydesdale says can be beginners or experts. Any thoughts on using this bike for this New England XC race?
    bike should work just fine assuming its in decent condition. i'd start in whatever beginner cat they offer. then compare times with the other cats and move around for the next race.or ride the course a few times and compare against last year but i find im faster if im chasing someone.

    Quote Originally Posted by Woodsknight View Post
    The race is a round of the NECS series and is being held in Clarenont,NH. I have a bell bicycle helmet with a tiny visor, motocross gloves, drink system, and will prob just run sneakers on the flat pedals till I get clipless and get used to riding with them. I'm not wearing spandex (not happening). What should I wear without looking like a goon and out of place. I was gonna wear padded bicycle shorts underneath basketball style shorts and an under armor shirt under a t-shirt. Will sneakers be ok? Should I wear eye protection?
    that should be fine. perhaps swap the basketball shorts with some cargo shorts. BBall shorts tend to rip more often.
    moto gloves mean alot of things to me. but for the most part they are alot heavier material than most bike gloves. no need for a full gauntlet, and leather will get stinky/wet quick.might just invest in a $10 pair of workout gloves.

    Quote Originally Posted by Woodsknight View Post
    I will bring sunglasses to wear but not sure if I can wear tgem in the woods (I get migraines if my eyes are exposed to too much bright sunlight). How do the organizers put racing numbers on your bike and you? Any thoughts on what I should do to the bike or gear before the race.
    eye protection is good. i ride with the same shades i wear on my motorcycle. depending on tint you may want something lighter.

    safety pins and zip ties for attachment.

    the best recommendation i can offer is find people that ride the area and ask them about tires. for the most part you just want the bike dialed in before the race. i tend to give the chain/crank/derailuer a good cleaning/lube before and after a hard ride ( like a race), and if you need to change anything about the brakes give them a nice ride or 2 before racing on them ( time for everything settle in and verified working and just a minor adjustment needed on/just before race day.
    Last edited by Slozomby; 07-03-2012 at 12:40 PM.

  4. #4
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    Thanks Dave. I didn't think about how my feet would feel I was thinking more about getting grip on pedals. Good point. I will pick up some mtb shoes. I could do the bike shorts I guess but I'm not tge shirt, it wouldn't be fair to the spectators lol. The course is 4.5 miles long and I have to do 2 laps. I'm assuming it will be typical new england snot with some single track mileage thrown in with some dirt roads and maybe a few field cut threws. Ya, I'm kinda expecting the novice class to be in better shape than I am! But as lng as I can finish, I will feel good about it.

  5. #5
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    The Bostroms have started racing bicycles, and they are fairly good at it. Team SHO-AIR 2012

    There is a zillion tips for your first bike race, but absolutely your bike has to be in 100% working order. I crashed once in a road race because some guy was reaching back to fiddle with his rear brake and he fell in front of me.

    The first lap will be a hammerfest with a huge rush to the first singletrack. I dont't know the course, but I would hope there is a nice wide fireroad for the first several hundred yards so the field can form from a pack to a manageable line.

    I don't know if Beginner or Clydesdale is a better class for you. Some races they group them together, so while your finish time may be better in one group than another, the actual race is exactly the same.

    I think the most important thing is to not go so hard you are out-of-control. Keep your head on a swivel and make sure no one is going to take you down (and you don't take anyone else down as well).

    Don't blow up on the first lap and focus on settling into your pace as soon as possible.

  6. #6
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    One more thing, don't be surprised that your handling will be vastly better than almost every other beginner.

    And if you haven't done so already, you will probably want to switch the brake levers so the front is on the right. Almost all moto riders make that switch on their bicycles.

  7. #7
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    Sanjuro- I was thinking of doing the same thing about switching the side the front brake is on. It is extremely awkward having a front brake on the left side of the handlebars! Yeah it looks like novice and clydesdale do race together. I'm gonna do some more research on results vs times to see where I belong for the first time out.

  8. #8
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    Sidetrack....
    Speaking of pedaling motorcycle racers: Frankie Chilli, James Toseland, Guy Martin (this guy does downhill even) and most of the guys on the grids rides bicycle.

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