Racing? Racing? Racing? Does everybody race?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New question here. Racing? Racing? Racing? Does everybody race?

    It seems that everyone I meet that finds that I ride a mountain bike asks me if I race or if I want to race. I do meet people that ride and race. I like to ride. I think if I try to race, it would take the fun out of riding. What do you folks think?

  2. #2
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    I don't race and haven't raced but I think it would be fun to do at least once. Although, I wouldn't put myself in a situation where I'd guatrantee myself last place since I'm so turtley slow. But, its in the back of my mind to give it a shot someday.

    Yeah, I know what you mean, though. It seems like the natural progression is to go from just riding to either racing or even freeriding. Ahhh, there's so many possibilities

  3. #3
    I HUCK WITH CHUCK
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    Did it once, it was the least fun I have had riding mountain. Needless to say its not for me. I just dont do the whole hardcore XC thing.

  4. #4
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    I race about 15 or so races a year. I love it.

    My first couple of beginner races (96-97) were very painful. It seems as the better shape I've gotten into the less painful races are. I'm currently expert and am having a blast being pack fodder. Some people don't care to race for some reason or another, but other get the race bug and can't get enough of it.

    One thing I have noticed over the years is the mtbers with less fitness tend go out for weekend hammer sessions with their buddys. They're basically racing their buddys out on normal rides. These people ride extremely hard for 45 minutes or so and are totally exhausted afterward. I was once one of those bozos. I have since learned that to become faster I need to ride slower. Slower and longer that is. Riding this way also makes riding much more enjoyable.

    If you're not sure about racing give it a couple trys then decide after that.

  5. #5
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    I've raced on and off in my riding, it's fun but it's not the most fun I have on the bike. The most fun I have on a bike is long full day trail rides and camping/riding in new places etc.

    However, as others have said, try a couple races see what you think. It's really hard to say if you will like it or not till then. I always used to say I wouldn't like racing and that it wasen't why I rode my bike. So about 5 years ago I decided I would race a season and see what I thought. It was more fun than I figured, as I said it's still not my main motivation for riding, but it's a fun aspect. I'm still not a hardcore racer, but I do a few every year, it's also better motivation to train on the bike if you can use it as something you want to get in better shape for.

    I've found as I've gotten in better shape over the years I enjoy riding more, it's kinda of a cycle, you ride harder cause you enjoy riding more as you get in better shape. You don't need racing to do that, but it does help.

  6. #6
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    24 hours only

    24 hour races have lots of fun. And sometimes lots of pain.
    I go for the fun.

    I bonked on my third lap, had to push the bike a little, hallucinated a bit and we got fourth place.

  7. #7
    Still chuggin' along
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    So, how does riding slower help with racing? Does it build up your endurance? It sounds like an oxymoron. You'd think one would try to ride faster to get used to the speed.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by XCBob
    It seems that everyone I meet that finds that I ride a mountain bike asks me if I race or if I want to race. I do meet people that ride and race. I like to ride. I think if I try to race, it would take the fun out of riding. What do you folks think?
    I am always challenging myself, even when I ride alone. Faster harder longer, I think the natural progression is to want to pit yourself against others, just as a test. I think: why would anyone not race?

  9. #9
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    How times have changed!

    If this message board existed in 1990 everyone on here would be saying they raced XC every singe weekend and it was the best feeling in the world... how times have changed!

  10. #10
    XCdude
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    I ride(train) to race, I started to race last year

    Quote Originally Posted by XCBob
    It seems that everyone I meet that finds that I ride a mountain bike asks me if I race or if I want to race. I do meet people that ride and race. I like to ride. I think if I try to race, it would take the fun out of riding. What do you folks think?
    and after Im done with a race I start to think about the next race. To me it gives purpose to all the riding also is a goal, a challenge, something to talk about, love the fun I have with my teammates. Also doing a 12hr endurance race was so much fun. But racing is not for everyone, so I never tell anyone they should race but if you ask me and have a interest I will help.
    Short bucket list.
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  11. #11
    just along for the ride
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    I race the digits on my planet bike computer, it works well watching the seconds tick off as I sweat along my local 16 mile ride. I win if I keep at 9 mph pace while getting my 1600 ft of climbing in (hey I'm 45). At mile 9 the visions begin, over by 14 then its time to chase the finish line and the golden gobblet full of IPA!

  12. #12
    I already rode that
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    Quote Originally Posted by XCBob
    It seems that everyone I meet that finds that I ride a mountain bike asks me if I race or if I want to race. I do meet people that ride and race. I like to ride. I think if I try to race, it would take the fun out of riding. What do you folks think?
    I used to race but up till I started I never cared to race till one day I booting along my local trail and someone asked if I raced I said no and he suggested I race cause I was going pretty fast. So I did and ended up winning my first race in the sport class but that was like 6 years ago or so now. I dont race anymore budget and costs to race are a lil too much for me and plus I havent ridden my bike in over 6 months *rubs belly*
    If you like a lil competitiveness then go for it. They also have enduros you can try out which are just as fun as racing but doesnt cost as much to enter and such.

  13. #13
    Trail rider and racer
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    I race, but not all my riding buddies race.

    Racing to me isn't just about winning, in fact for me, even though I race Elite, getting on the podium is the last thing on my mind. I am just in it for the fun and the challenge both on the race course and off. When I race, I feel the same way I do when I go for a casual ride, all being it a little more tired. All that said I have goals and aims, but it doesn't take away from the fun/enjoyment/pleasure I get out of riding.

    I am racing all types of events, short/long course, endurance events, road TTs and whatever.

    Just out for fun and a challenge, thats all!
    Trevor!

  14. #14
    paintbucket
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    No racing for me. I'm way too competitive, and if I started racing I'd be too focused on winning (or more likely not winning) to have fun.
    When the going gets weird its bedtime.

  15. #15
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    I know what you mean, Kpicha!

    Quote Originally Posted by kpicha
    I don't race and haven't raced but I think it would be fun to do at least once. Although, I wouldn't put myself in a situation where I'd guatrantee myself last place since I'm so turtley slow. But, its in the back of my mind to give it a shot someday.

    Yeah, I know what you mean, though. It seems like the natural progression is to go from just riding to either racing or even freeriding. Ahhh, there's so many possibilities
    I started riding only a year and a half ago to try to get back into shape and drop a few pounds. I'm an "older" fart that works 65-70 hour work weeks. My time on the bike gets me away from the hospital, the phones, and all that. I do ride at a "turtley slow" pace on my own, but I can keep up with the youngsters when I have too. I know I don't have the TIME or the energy to properly train for racing. I played competitive sports(mainly ice hockey and lacrosse) since I was 9 years old, and I have seen to competitive spirit bring out the very worst in people.

  16. #16
    Still chuggin' along
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    Quote Originally Posted by XCBob
    I started riding only a year and a half ago to try to get back into shape and drop a few pounds. I'm an "older" fart that works 65-70 hour work weeks. My time on the bike gets me away from the hospital, the phones, and all that. I do ride at a "turtley slow" pace on my own, but I can keep up with the youngsters when I have too. I know I don't have the TIME or the energy to properly train for racing. I played competitive sports(mainly ice hockey and lacrosse) since I was 9 years old, and I have seen to competitive spirit bring out the very worst in people.
    Yep, same here. Competitive soccer and basketball and its amazing how people behave sometimes. I'll never forget one girl I stuffed once in a game, she turned around hocked a major lung biscuit on the basketball floor b/c she was so mad. Ironically, we ended up working together 10 yrs later and now we go to the same mom's meetings on occasion. So, think about your actions b/c you never know who you'll run into later in life!

    Anyway, I ride for the enjoyment of nature and getting out of the house and I like to take my time. Always interesting when you round a corner and find yourself staring face to face with a deer not more than 10 ft away

  17. #17
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    Racing is great, the $$$ and cents of it Suck

    I race occasionally and I LOVE to see how I rank up with the locals. Turns out I am a pretty fair sport rider. I can place occasinally and I am always competitive in the trees. I really hate the initial scramble to the trees. I usually am not aggressive enough at the begining and end up passing dozens of chumps in the trees. That takes alot of energy, but it is really satisfying to claw my way back to a fine palce.

    The thing about racing around here that I hate is how much it costs. Each race costs like $25 dollars and if you want a NORBA license thats like $75 or some stupid thing. The worst part is all the entry fee money is funneled up to the Experts for pay out. The Beginers pay like $17 and the winner gets a medal if he's lucky. Thats a load of sh&t! The Sport guys aren't much better off with small merchandise or small cash prizes. The experts hardly pay but $2 more and their pay outs are PHAT! Don't get me wrong; I'm not in it for the money. I just think it's crap the way the promoters rape the base of the sport. Racing would be far more popular in this country, or at least where I live, if the promoters didn't take a big old dook on the beginners.

  18. #18
    suck it trebeK
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    I just raced for my first season last year. It was alot of fun, you just have to remember to have fun. Don't beat yourself up over doing poorly or whatever, there will always be people who have more endurance, are faster, etc etc. And you will only get better!

    In the racing I did (which I plan to do again this summer) it was several classes racing at once so everything feels a little more balanced. I think it was veteran, adult, youth,.. and I can't remember what else.

    You should at least give it a try!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by noslogan
    24 hour races have lots of fun. And sometimes lots of pain.
    I go for the fun.

    I bonked on my third lap, had to push the bike a little, hallucinated a bit and we got fourth place.
    Ditto. I tried doing the single race series and hated it. Now, I typically only do 24 hour races, although I'd like to try a 100 miler this Fall.

  20. #20
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    Slower==Faster

    Quote Originally Posted by kpicha
    So, how does riding slower help with racing? Does it build up your endurance? It sounds like an oxymoron. You'd think one would try to ride faster to get used to the speed.
    Actually, in order to race your fastest, you need to train at speeds both faster and slower than race pace.

    Many, many years ago, before people really began to study the physiology ($2 word bonus!) behind aerobic sports, athletes generally trained for their event by doing the same distance in practice. In other words, to train for a mile race, you'd go out and run a mile as hard as you could, every day.

    I could bore you with a long history of racing and training, but let's cut to the chase and say that that the athletes using that sort of training started loosing out to those using better methods. Note that my racing experience comes from running cross country and track in high school and about a decade of triathlons, and *not* mountain biking (yet). Here's my personal take on what a serious training schedule should look like:

    After a racing season, you should take at least a month off to let all those minor injuries heal, and just prepare your body for the grind ahead. Personally, I find the holiday season usually messes up my training schedule enough to rest me.

    Next comes a period off gaining the base conditioning. This is where the slow comes in. The idea is to build up your long-period endurance without the wear and tear that comes from hammering. It's hard to give distances and schedules, but if you are not getting sore or exhausted (next day), you are probably not overdoing it. That is what you are aiming for. Probably 5 hours of workouts in the offseason are plenty. If you are planning on doing longer races, try to do a once per week long workout, maybe 1.5-2 hours. Most endurance (more than 2 min. sustained effort) athletes can benefit from this kind of training year round, including during the racing season.

    Off season weight training can be very beneficial, but my knowledge on the subject is sketchy at best.

    Faster: As the racing season approaches, you need to build anaerobic strength. The most efficient way to acheive this is through interval training. This is a deep subject, but a quick and dirty summary: the idea is to push past the point where you can take in enough oxygen to keep going at that pace. Intervals are usually short, and have a defined rest period inbetween (Ideally to a target recovery heart rate) Done properly, they hurt. Done too hard or with too many reps, and they will break you down and hurt your performance. Again, next-day soreness is a fairly reliable guide to whether you are pushing hard enough or too hard. During the racing season, the long, slow miles get de-emphasized, (something's got to give!) but not eliminated.

    Oh yes, here's the part that took me years to learn. In order to get a peak effort on the race course, you have to set some priorities. If you want to race lots, you will give up your maximum effort. If you want to hit a peak, you have to rest some before the race, usually referred to as a "taper". In other words, the week before an important race you do less and less of the usual, culminating in 1-2 days of complete rest before the big day. Note that this assumes you are engaged in a pretty demanding workout schedule.

    Final disclaimer: I was never a great racer, even at my peak. I do believe that I achieved what my genes allowed. Also, others can speak better to the demands particular to mountain bike racing. For instance, I'm not sure how one ballances skill building with aerobics (pun intended).

    Walt

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by manitou916
    If this message board existed in 1990 everyone on here would be saying they raced XC every singe weekend and it was the best feeling in the world... how times have changed!
    Uh, nope, and nope.

  22. #22

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    Not Me!

    Quote Originally Posted by XCBob
    It seems that everyone I meet that finds that I ride a mountain bike asks me if I race or if I want to race. I do meet people that ride and race. I like to ride. I think if I try to race, it would take the fun out of riding. What do you folks think?
    I'll try almost anything once, but racing just doesn't really interest me.

    Maybe I'll ride a beginner-class race sometime in the next year or ten, just for the heck of it. Then again, maybe I won't.

  23. #23
    formerly Giantxc
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    Depends on you...

    What racing does for you really depends on who you are. I used to run competitively and in that sport, racing was what it was all about for me. I gave that up about 8 years ago and took up mountain biking about 7. What I loved about it was how it felt like a combination of XC running and skiing - my two primary sports previously. However, like you I didn't want to corrupt the enjoyment of my riding by making it primarily a competitive endeavor as running used to be for me so at first I didn't race.

    Nonetheless after a while I broke down and went to a race with some friends. I had a blast. Then I tried an endurance races(100 miler) and loved that even more. Now I do a couple of each a year (hopefully 4 or 5 XC and 2 to 3 endurance races this year).

    However, I don't ride to train for races. I ride to ride and race to ride a little differently now and then. Approaching it this way hasn't changed the enjoyment I get out of an good weekend ride with friends, but that's just me.

  24. #24
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    I am trying a race, just as a trial with my friend.

    My husband is totally against racing. He "doesn't believe" in racing for some superficial like a time, or even paying to race, when you could ride that trail for free with out sharing with yahoo meatheads. He asks "how could that be fun?" Biking is all about fun.

    The funny thing is he could probably win a category, he's really strong and fast.

  25. #25

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    I think you're right

    Quote Originally Posted by XCBob
    It seems that everyone I meet that finds that I ride a mountain bike asks me if I race or if I want to race. I do meet people that ride and race. I like to ride. I think if I try to race, it would take the fun out of riding. What do you folks think?
    You think there's a lot of anger on the road, check out a typical sport class MTB race.

  26. #26
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    Occasional races are fun if you want to do it

    I don't race much and certainly do not consider myself a racer but it is fun to do it now and then. If you don't want to race, no big deal. It is just another part of the sport.

    I find the other racers to be friendly and a race lets me ride as fast as I can on trails I normally have to watch out for hikers and slower riders on so it is a form or release, I guess. Whatever, I enjoy it when I do it but not to the point that racing takes away from the whole mountain biking experience.

  27. #27
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    I don't race, never have. I just ride to enjoy, and sometimes get a little competitive with my buddies. I think that if I ever do race, it will be a 12 or 24 hour (prolly solo) event. This way, I am still competing to meet my own goals. If I raced to place, I would never get anywhere, so my philosophy is why pay good money to beat myself up on a course that I can go back to next weekend, ride with my buddies, enjoy the scenery, redo the drops or techy sections if I want, and all for free. As said, I do want to do an endurance race, just to see how far and long I can go, and to experience the sunrise after riding through the dead of the night, I just think that would be an awesome experience.

    Nothing against racing, just not my bag.


    Quote Originally Posted by kpicha
    So, how does riding slower help with racing? Does it build up your endurance? It sounds like an oxymoron. You'd think one would try to ride faster to get used to the speed.
    I think this is a case of the tortoise and the hare. I know that even when I ride solo, if I time myself on a lap, and especially on multiple laps, that my overall time is better if I just tone it back to about 90%, and focus on clean, efficient lines.

    Edit below:

    Quote Originally Posted by MrXC
    However, I don't ride to train for races. I ride to ride and race to ride a little differently now and then. Approaching it this way hasn't changed the enjoyment I get out of an good weekend ride with friends, but that's just me.
    But if I ever do race an XC race, I think this is a pretty damn good philosophy...

  28. #28
    robust, yet smooth
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    2 follow up questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Walt Dizzy
    Next comes a period off gaining the base conditioning. This is where the slow comes in. The idea is to build up your long-period endurance without the wear and tear that comes from hammering. ...hours. Most endurance (more than 2 min. sustained effort) athletes can benefit from this kind of training year round, including during the racing season.

    Are you saying to keep the long run/ride in the program straight thru racing season?


    Faster: As the racing season approaches, you need to build anaerobic strength. The most efficient way to acheive this is through interval training. This is a deep subject, but a quick and dirty summary: the idea is to push past the point where you can take in enough oxygen to keep going at that pace. Intervals are usually short, and have a defined rest period inbetween (Ideally to a target recovery heart rate) Done properly, they hurt. Done too hard or with too many reps, and they will break you down and hurt your performance. Again, next-day soreness is a fairly reliable guide to whether you are pushing hard enough or too hard.
    Umm, I thought you WERE suppose to hurt post-interval training.


    Thanks,

    -capt p

  29. #29
    The Riddler
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    plainly put...

    Racing isn't for everyone. Try one at the sport level. If you like it a lot, you know you are hooked for life. If you hate it, you'll probably not want to do another one. If you are in between do another one. I was hooked after the first ten minutes. Its just such a rush, and i love competing. You don't have to race to be a good, or fast mountain biker, you just have to ride your bike.

  30. #30
    Team
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    I hope to start DH racing this year at tenney, Plattekill, or ragged

  31. #31
    Riding free's the mind
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    Nope but maybe

    I really ride because it's great excersise and personal challenge. The challenge of trying to make that big hill without stopping, then doing the big climb in one shot, and eventually increasing speed. In fact I love riding solo after work- it's the perfect form of meditation and a great way of taking my mind off of daily stress. The beauty of it is that after a good aerobic workout, you feel like a million bucks!

    In doing my riding for recreation & personal challenge, I've also gotten stronger because I've actually been training without really intending to train, and now considering a race or two.

  32. #32
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    I don't mean to be rude, but if you aren't racing to win, or to try to get as high a place as you can, then what is the challenge?

  33. #33
    Complete Bastard
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    Sometimes the challenge is within yourself. To see how deep you can dig and then if there is anything there to give. Racing is everything that is exhalted in hideous about mountain biking. And like Tyler Durden said, "How much can you know about yourself if you've never been in a fight?"

  34. #34
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    Well yeah, but if the challenge is only within yourself and not with others, then why are you at a race instead of just on a ride?

  35. #35
    Complete Bastard
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    I think for a few reasons. #1, the race gives you structure in which to challenge yourself. #2, I won't push myself as hard if I'm not racing. This is me personally. I always will cut myself some slack except in a race. And finally, I like the social aspect of racing, meeting new people, talking to old friends I only see at races, talking about the race and bikes with tons of people obsessed about the same thing.

    People are funny, what is great for one person sucks for another. To question why someone would do something, you might as well ask if a tree falls in the forest and nobody is around to hear it, does anyone care? This is a constant on this board. People asking what on earth would motivate someone to do something they themselves cannot understand. Who cares? Is it not enough to just ride, must we all ride the same way and under the same motivation? If you're genuinely curious try to word your posts differently. Any time someone starts with "I don't mean to be rude" they are being rude, and probably if you have to preface your post that way, you'd probably be better off keeping it to yourself. And if you are truly curious, how come you just don't go give it a shot instead of talking about it all day? This verbal masturbation leads nowhere. Talking about bikes is one thing, questioning another person's motives when your only (apparent) goal is to poke holes in their motives is lame.

  36. #36
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    Yeah...I know the question sounded a little rude. No need to remind me. But I couldn't think of another way to word it, and being rude wasn't my intention so I added the preface. I thought the challenge in a race WAS the competition with other riders over a course, so I just didn't get it. Competition with other riders for the best time is what makes a race a race rather than just a fast group ride.

  37. #37
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    For some people it is the domination of other riders. I'm slow, most times I am battling for second to last these days, so 'dominating' is not really in my vocabulary. But it's still a race, and I ride harder racing than I can just out riding with my friends.

    And yeah it's competition with other riders, and my time against theirs, and when I pass someone that's cool, because it means I'm not last, but that's not why I do it. If doing it to win or beat other people were my motivation I'd have quit a while back.

    There is something about pushing yourself all the way and not just for a stretch but for 10 or 15 miles, without resting, that is an amazing test of inner strength, and I just like to see myself do it.

    Yeah I could ride really hard with my friends, and see which parts I could ride without dabbing, but it's not the same. And I don't think my friends would consider it enjoyable for a fun trailride to go balls to the wall for 15 miles with no stops. They'd strangle me.

    I'm not a hucker, I don't have the ganas for it. I'm not a dhiller, there really isn't much downhilling here in missouri. I don't like riding on the road, so it's xc for me.

    And all this crap that I've just typed is sort of dancing around my motivation, which I myself don't even really understand. I just like finishing the race, the achievement of it.

    Humans are complicated creatures. Many times they are not completely aware of their own motivations. They think they know why they do things, but really they just know the conscious reasons for them, while all along something else is motivating them that they're completely unaware of.

    All this stuff, it only pertains to me. Nobody else. I have no idea why anyone else races, but I assume we all enjoy it, because we keep coming back for it. It's everything I love and everything I hate about mountain biking all rolled into one.

    Sorry I was hard on you about being rude. Many many times I write a whole post and then read it and think, "What are you accomplishing with this?" and just close the window to avoid bad vibes. But I let that one fly because there is a lot of direct dialogue on the internet without sometimes considering how the post will read. We're responding to text on a page without consider that there are people on the other end who read it and absorb it so sometimes a little courtesy is a great thing. I think I was trying to convey that to you in a backhanded sort of way.

    I hope all this makes sense. It's far more of myself than I am usually comfortable sharing with total strangers.

  38. #38
    XCdude
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    I personally started to ride so I could train to race, all

    Quote Originally Posted by XCBob
    It seems that everyone I meet that finds that I ride a mountain bike asks me if I race or if I want to race. I do meet people that ride and race. I like to ride. I think if I try to race, it would take the fun out of riding. What do you folks think?
    my rides now are training rides. Is very fun if you like it, but super hard to do if yoy want to place well. As you go up in classes the more time you to spend training. Is not for the faint at heart. But I love it.
    Short bucket list.
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  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by XCBob
    It seems that everyone I meet that finds that I ride a mountain bike asks me if I race or if I want to race. I do meet people that ride and race. I like to ride. I think if I try to race, it would take the fun out of riding. What do you folks think?
    Dang I wrote all that and never answered Bob's question. Bob, for some people it takes the fun out of riding because they can't view training as enjoyable. I couldn't when I was younger and it's one of the reasons I quit riding. Now that I'm older I can do that. I don't know if it takes age or just different perspective. You might try racing once and see how you like it.

  40. #40
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    All right- I think I understand. Thanks.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by mward
    For some people it is the domination of other riders. I'm slow, most times I am battling for second to last these days, so 'dominating' is not really in my vocabulary. But it's still a race, and I ride harder racing than I can just out riding with my friends.

    And yeah it's competition with other riders, and my time against theirs, and when I pass someone that's cool, because it means I'm not last, but that's not why I do it. If doing it to win or beat other people were my motivation I'd have quit a while back.

    There is something about pushing yourself all the way and not just for a stretch but for 10 or 15 miles, without resting, that is an amazing test of inner strength, and I just like to see myself do it.

    Yeah I could ride really hard with my friends, and see which parts I could ride without dabbing, but it's not the same. And I don't think my friends would consider it enjoyable for a fun trailride to go balls to the wall for 15 miles with no stops. They'd strangle me.

    I'm not a hucker, I don't have the ganas for it. I'm not a dhiller, there really isn't much downhilling here in missouri. I don't like riding on the road, so it's xc for me.

    And all this crap that I've just typed is sort of dancing around my motivation, which I myself don't even really understand. I just like finishing the race, the achievement of it.

    Humans are complicated creatures. Many times they are not completely aware of their own motivations. They think they know why they do things, but really they just know the conscious reasons for them, while all along something else is motivating them that they're completely unaware of.

    All this stuff, it only pertains to me. Nobody else. I have no idea why anyone else races, but I assume we all enjoy it, because we keep coming back for it. It's everything I love and everything I hate about mountain biking all rolled into one.

    Sorry I was hard on you about being rude. Many many times I write a whole post and then read it and think, "What are you accomplishing with this?" and just close the window to avoid bad vibes. But I let that one fly because there is a lot of direct dialogue on the internet without sometimes considering how the post will read. We're responding to text on a page without consider that there are people on the other end who read it and absorb it so sometimes a little courtesy is a great thing. I think I was trying to convey that to you in a backhanded sort of way.

    I hope all this makes sense. It's far more of myself than I am usually comfortable sharing with total strangers.
    Mward,
    I totally agree with you. I think why we race is pretty much the same. I haven't raced in 5 years, used to race expert at the back of the pack. I just did my first sport race and finished 2nd to last with a killer quad cramp. Somehow the cramp made the race better, maybe it's more of a challenge. I love to compete against myself. I'm a sous chef at a really busy high end steak house. My record on the grill is 210 steaks in one night. Over 6 hours of service that's an average of one every 58 seconds and I don't think I had one come back. That's a hell of a lot of $28+ steaks to be slinging and I truly loved every minute of it because it's an oppurtunity to focus and dig down deep and push with all you've got and when you're done you think holy sh!t that was great. I get the same feeling after a race, it doesn't really matter how I place. I guess with work it does matter how you place because if you "sh!t the bed" too much you get 86ed. Anyway, my next race is the day after tomorrow and I have to work from 10am to 1am and get up at 7am to get to the race in time and when I get home tomorrow afternoon I'm going to think holy sh!t that was great. And I'll tell everyone at work how great it was even though I finished second to last again (hopefully I'll do better) and they'll think I'm nuts and ask me why I do it if it's so painfull and I'm so slow and I'll say it's fun. And that's all that matters, do what is fun, but you need to actually do it to see if it's fun.
    I like to ride bikes.

  42. #42
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    Thanks for the many replys !!!

    There are a few things in this world that tend to bring out the VERY BEST in people AND there are a few things that bring out the VERY WORST in people.

    Competition is one of those things that can bring out the very best in some people and the very worst in others(and maybe both at various times in some).

    For me, it's the RIDE and the TRAIL. Riding with a PURPOSE(ie. training) would take a great deal of the enjoyment out of it. Me vs. the Trail. Ride to have fun. Ride to enjoy being out-of-doors. Ride to get some good exercise. Ride to enjoy the scenery. Ride to ride a trail clean. Leave the stopwatch and the timeclock at home.

  43. #43
    Riding free's the mind
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    Couldn't have put it better!

    Nice put! I couldn't agree more.

    I think we should all be given cudo's for just being on our bikes and on the trails, versus the millions of couch potatoes with their mountain bikes gathering dust in garages around the country. Anyone threading on this forum are "cool" in my view- whether you race or not.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by bulC
    You think there's a lot of anger on the road, check out a typical sport class MTB race.
    ...or the beginner class,

    or the expert class,

    or the semi-pros.....

    BUT there are lots of cool people on the course too!

    one quote i will never forget is some asshat in an expert race in morrison CO years ago screaming at the top of his lungs, 'what the fack are you doin this isnt a sport class race...' i giggle to this day when i think about K- saying that. as if.....

    racing can be fun. riding is always fun.
    To air is human, to dig is divine.

  45. #45

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    I race for one reason

    it's great training for me to keep up with the local boyz!

    None of them race but they sure ride hard...

  46. #46
    I'm feeling dirty, you?
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    I race but I suck at XC 'sprints' so those 1-2 hour XC races.

    Give me 12 or 24 hours and I'll be a happy camper, I actually ride (or should I say race) better at my own pace. In XC sprint I end up killing myself by pushing too hard.

    To 'race' mainly to check out trails that I wouldn't get the chance to normally get to ride and I get to ride with other MTBikers.

  47. #47
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    Everyone races

    Quote Originally Posted by XCBob
    It seems that everyone I meet that finds that I ride a mountain bike asks me if I race or if I want to race. I do meet people that ride and race. I like to ride. I think if I try to race, it would take the fun out of riding. What do you folks think?
    Even if it's just a fun ride with the buds, it is in our nature to compete, we can't help ourselves.
    Racing at any/every level is a good thing though, being that most the time we are living/riding at half speed, racing makes and keeps us strong and healthy.

  48. #48
    XCdude
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    I think that is 1t least 80-20

    Quote Originally Posted by XCBob
    It seems that everyone I meet that finds that I ride a mountain bike asks me if I race or if I want to race. I do meet people that ride and race. I like to ride. I think if I try to race, it would take the fun out of riding. What do you folks think?
    non racers to racers, I know a whole lots of people that ride a lot but never race or care to do it. I go riding with them when ever I can, when we do fun rides thats when you see lots of non racers. I love to race, my son too. But is not required to have fun riding.
    Short bucket list.
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  49. #49
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    When people ask I tell them, "I've raced but I'm not a racer".
    There's only one race around here that I've done 3 years in a row. At first I did it to learn the trails but now I do it to see how my lap times have dropped, even going from beginner to sport.
    I'm very competitive but lack the time and fundage for proper training for racing an entire series so I race against the clock now. I have to keep it competitive.

    Lou.
    Niner Jet 9 RDO, Scalpel 29, XTC 650b, 04 Stumpjumper FSR Pro, Trek Rigid SS - No suspension, no gears....no problem

  50. #50
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    I have just started riding about 6 months ago and I love it so far! I see some "racers" on the local trails and it seems to me that some of them take things WAY too seriously. They are usually the fastest though. They seem to get a little bit more friendly, the farther back in the pack you go. Then there is that last guy, just trying to keep from having a stroke.
    I would like race someday. When I have time and inclination to take MTB way too seriously!

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by kpicha
    So, how does riding slower help with racing? Does it build up your endurance? It sounds like an oxymoron. You'd think one would try to ride faster to get used to the speed.
    riding at slower paces increases your bloodflow to your muscles by forming new capillaries. This in turn will allow you to ride harder without working harder(HR)

  52. #52
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    I race sometimes

    It is not the reason I ride though. When I do race its fun. I used to have the same thoughts as you on how racing would take the fun out of riding but it didn't. So, if you don't want to race, don't. No big deal if you do or do not.

  53. #53
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    I personally haven't met a MTB racer or rider that was one of those training-obsessed and must-win-or-die junkies, and I'm absolutely glad I haven't. The riders/racers I meet... well... we're all cool man, we met, we "race" and we all have a great time.

    But I've a few roadies and training triatheletes that well... are a bit... you know... uptight. Don't say Hi or a simply nod, don't have time to listen, lost in their own little world. Scary, thank god it's only a few.
    (No offence if you have one but...) the way to spot one is their HRM, since when did riding become about maintain your 'perfect' heartrate? You push too hard, you hurt yourself, you don't need a HRM, you don't push, you go nowhere, don't need a HRM to tell you that.

  54. #54
    inner peace to make peace
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    race to ride

    Quote Originally Posted by XCBob
    It seems that everyone I meet that finds that I ride a mountain bike asks me if I race or if I want to race. I do meet people that ride and race. I like to ride. I think if I try to race, it would take the fun out of riding. What do you folks think?
    unless you're a paid pro
    race to ride
    racing makes you a better rider
    racing's fun
    “Everyday is a good day,” from the Blue Cliff Records, Yun-men (864-949 AD).

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonowee
    (No offence if you have one but...) the way to spot one is their HRM, since when did riding become about maintain your 'perfect' heartrate? You push too hard, you hurt yourself, you don't need a HRM, you don't push, you go nowhere, don't need a HRM to tell you that.
    Funny over simplification, but OK...

    I use a HR minitor, I race, I ride, I have fun - I love it all. The HR monitor was an affordable way to know a few things while riding and racing - which were (are) important after a season like I had last year - 7400 miles +/- and 600 hours or so on the bike (road + mountain). During LONG races 3-5 hours) it was helpful to see where I was at - had nothing to do with your so called "perfect heart rate" as there is no such thing. HR is especially useful when you know the wattage your cranking out at a given HR and you know your Lactate Threshold - 2 very important things when you combine intense output (racing) over longer durations (races I prefer). During races adrenaline creates such a rush that it's way too easy to go hard and blow up - I learned that many times the hard way. A tool like a HR monitor helps by giving back info. real time - and it's neat-o! So I'm a dork, I admit it....

    That said, I ride, race, "train", work on my bikes, build wheels, commute on a bike, shop on a bike, used to messenger in NYC, and so on - because I enjoy cycling and most everything about it. It's about experiencing all sorts of different things - whether it's a high altitude 5 hour "soul ride" with a buddy, an intense grind like the Firecracker 50 miler (12K feet in mtbike climbing!), or the crazy fast twitch NORBA Championships in Mammoth!
    "It's better to regret something you HAVE done, than something you haven't..." -

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