Is the sandbagger population growin?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Is the sandbagger population growin?

    or am I just that slow. I am a long time rider, beginning racer. I am a 33 year old fit triathlete and adventure racer. Last year I started to mountain bike race. I had been doing it for about ten years recreationally. I joined a team and they advised me to enter as a begginner. I could always upgrade, but you can't go back.
    I trained and trained, but come race season I got smoked by the other beginners. Maybe one season wasn't enough time but man, some of these "begginners were inhuman. They were beating me by nine or more minutes in a 16 mile race. I know at 6' 192 pounds i'm not exactly built to race, but something feels wrong.
    Long story short...Am I be sandbagged to death or is a larger guy like myself destined to get the doors blown off by 145, 155 , and 165 pound guys.?

    Help........Tim from massachusetts

  2. #2
    I HUCK WITH CHUCK
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    Quit racing and buy a heavy bike. Thats what I would do. Somehow I doubt thats what you were looking for though! I tried racing once, and it was horrible, I was super nervous, and I was sick the day of the race, I could hardly breathe on the climbs. It really left a bad taste in my mouth about racing. I ended up taking a completely different route in my riding and am more into super technical trails and jumping. I just have more fun when I am worrying about doing just that, not about winning races.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmccrohon
    or am I just that slow. I am a long time rider, beginning racer. I am a 33 year old fit triathlete and adventure racer. Last year I started to mountain bike race. I had been doing it for about ten years recreationally. I joined a team and they advised me to enter as a begginner. I could always upgrade, but you can't go back.
    I trained and trained, but come race season I got smoked by the other beginners. Maybe one season wasn't enough time but man, some of these "begginners were inhuman. They were beating me by nine or more minutes in a 16 mile race. I know at 6' 192 pounds i'm not exactly built to race, but something feels wrong.
    Long story short...Am I be sandbagged to death or is a larger guy like myself destined to get the doors blown off by 145, 155 , and 165 pound guys.?

    Help........Tim from massachusetts
    I think there are plenty of Sandbaggers in the most beginner classes. Take a look at the race results of the begginer and the sport class that you raced in and see where you would have fell out in the next catergory. Also see what the top guys in the beginner catergory did comparied to the sport class. I saw one race where the beginner winner would have been 2nd in Sport. What a bagger. Anyway they are out there, I would say if anyone is doing significant training they should try sport.

    My 2

  4. #4
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    From what I gather, in NORBA races, riders can pick their own category. Here in BC, there's a points system. Everybody starts racing in Beginner, and you get points for every top 10 finish. After you get enough points, you get booted into the next higher category.

    http://www.cycling.bc.ca/index.php?id=114

    Pretty much the most fair system I know of, as beginner is pretty wide open, but the faster riders get sorted out and pushed out pretty quickly. I think you guys south of 49 should push NORBA into something similar. Might keep people in the racing scene who might otherwise drop out if sandbaggers get kicked out of the lower cats.

    Kn.
    I used to be with it. Then, they changed what "it" is, and now what I'm with is no longer "it". And whatever "it" is, is strange and confusing.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by K'Endo
    From what I gather, in NORBA races, riders can pick their own category. Here in BC, there's a points system. Everybody starts racing in Beginner, and you get points for every top 10 finish. After you get enough points, you get booted into the next higher category.

    http://www.cycling.bc.ca/index.php?id=114

    Pretty much the most fair system I know of, as beginner is pretty wide open, but the faster riders get sorted out and pushed out pretty quickly. I think you guys south of 49 should push NORBA into something similar. Might keep people in the racing scene who might otherwise drop out if sandbaggers get kicked out of the lower cats.

    Kn.
    I think that would be great and it makes sense. I'm sure it has been proposed before, I don't understand why NORBA would not do something like that. Of course it is probably money related.

    Bill Porter

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbbill
    I think that would be great and it makes sense. I'm sure it has been proposed before, I don't understand why NORBA would not do something like that. Of course it is probably money related.

    Bill Porter
    I think you should have the chance to win a beginner race before you move up. I spent several years in beginner until I was finally able to win a race (the super sandbagger raced sport finally). Same with sport. I'll win one if the current sandbagger doesn't show up Of course that will make me the sandbagger but I'm ok with that considering I've never won a sport race. Why should riders be forced to move up to expert where they'll likely never win a race?

    As for the 6' 192lb issue, unless you're overweight for your size then you should be able to place higher in races. Maybe you're just not a fierce enough competitor.

  7. #7
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    Tim,

    Don't despair. If you enjoy racing, just set your mind to beat those sandbaggers, Train harder than they do and pretty soon the superhuman will become human. My early races were a sobering experience too, but I didnt quit. It made me mad, so I trained harder and before I knew it, I was on the podium. Racing isnt for everybody. It isnt like just riding around for 10 years. You could ride for 20 years, and still not be prepared for a beginner class race. Racing takes mountainbiking to a whole different level. It is much more intense than riding. If you enjoy racing, go train, train at anaerobic levels, aerobic levels, and sub-aerobic levels. Train on the road, train off-road, do long rides on the weekend. Have fun and good luck.

    Quote Originally Posted by tmccrohon
    or am I just that slow. I am a long time rider, beginning racer. I am a 33 year old fit triathlete and adventure racer. Last year I started to mountain bike race. I had been doing it for about ten years recreationally. I joined a team and they advised me to enter as a begginner. I could always upgrade, but you can't go back.
    I trained and trained, but come race season I got smoked by the other beginners. Maybe one season wasn't enough time but man, some of these "begginners were inhuman. They were beating me by nine or more minutes in a 16 mile race. I know at 6' 192 pounds i'm not exactly built to race, but something feels wrong.
    Long story short...Am I be sandbagged to death or is a larger guy like myself destined to get the doors blown off by 145, 155 , and 165 pound guys.?

    Help........Tim from massachusetts

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Topaz
    I think you should have the chance to win a beginner race before you move up. I spent several years in beginner until I was finally able to win a race (the super sandbagger raced sport finally). Same with sport. I'll win one if the current sandbagger doesn't show up Of course that will make me the sandbagger but I'm ok with that considering I've never won a sport race. Why should riders be forced to move up to expert where they'll likely never win a race?

    As for the 6' 192lb issue, unless you're overweight for your size then you should be able to place higher in races. Maybe you're just not a fierce enough competitor.
    What I was trying to get at (and failed at) is that in some races that the beginner catergory is so packed with sandbaggers that you could actually place higher in the sport catergory.

    Bill Porter

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbbill
    What I was trying to get at (and failed at) is that in some races that the beginner catergory is so packed with sandbaggers that you could actually place higher in the sport catergory.

    Bill Porter
    So move up to Sport. The "official" NORBA rules read that you can enter any class Expert or lower. They also insist that you will be made to upgrade with 5 top 5s or 3 top 3s, but it seems to not be enforced too much. Are you racing for the competition or do you want to have a high placing? If you think you can finish mid pack or so in Sport (and you didn't buy a 1 year beginner license), move up. Racing a higher class will make you a better racer. When you move up, competition increases and racers race smarter. The "Beginner" class is more for someone that is "beginning" to race, regardless of riding history. Ride a few beginner races until you figure what it's all about, then move up. The riders that don't will be worse off in the long run. Let them sandbag.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmccrohon
    Long story short...Am I be sandbagged to death or is a larger guy like myself destined to get the doors blown off by 145, 155 , and 165 pound guys.?

    Help........Tim from massachusetts
    You know how you beat a sandbagger? Upgrade. Showing up at the starting line for sport, deserves more respect than finishing first beginners.

    I think you should have the chance to win a beginner race before you move up. I spent several years in beginner until I was finally able to win a race (the super sandbagger raced sport finally).
    Beginner means beginner. If you've done something for years, how can you claim you're a beginner at it?

    I came a local rider a lot of **** last year because he had been racing beginner for 4 years and in the last year he had placed top 3 a handful of times this last year. This season's first race will be in a week and I'm really interested to see if he upgrades.

    I was in a discussion today with a guy I ride with once in a while. We were talking about races this next year. He rides a few times a month and races maybe once or twice a year. He was talking about how frustrating it was last year when he actually trained a bit, and thought he was in good shape for a local race. The 3 or 4 sandbaggers in beginners were so far ahead of most of the field that it was obvious they were not where they belonged. If not for the sandbaggers he would have finished in the top 10 of the secondary group.

    Sandbaggers kill the sport for many real beginners who get turned off from racing. They are vile creatures.

    george
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  11. #11
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    Don't bet on it. The Sport class has its

    ..share of Sandbaggers, prob more so. I'd venture to say, that most Sport class podium quality racers, prob around 60% have professional coaching/advice to some degree. Maybe even the top Beginner class for that matter. I started racing this past Spring doing so in the Sport class (Master40-49)instead of Bgnr. No give aways there, I can promise you that one. Ended up racing 6 times, being more then i planned on doing. Got hooked right off.Yes indeedy.

  12. #12

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    Ha

    Amateur racing is a joke. Thanks for spotlighting one aspect of why this is. Paying money to ride a mountain bike trail in a crowd is ridiculous.

  13. #13
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    last season the top 3-4 beginner women in the local race series would have also won the sport category, as well as given some of the experts a run for the money had they entered that division. did they ever upgrade? nope! stayed in beginner the whole season b/c they were "looking for sponsers". i know several true beginner women who stopped racing last season b/c they didn't want to be in a beginner race that had more sport level racers than the actual sport class did.

    i race sport... have for a few years. and the races i win are the ones where no one else shows up.
    Some days you're the dog, some days you're the hydrant.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.D.
    Amateur racing is a joke. Thanks for spotlighting one aspect of why this is. Paying money to ride a mountain bike trail in a crowd is ridiculous.

    Whoah, I'll admit that the parts of the amateur racing experience, like oh, the expense, are a drag. But after racing a solid season (in beginner where my best finish was sixth), I can't think of another way to ride and get the same intensity of experience that you get from a race. The adrenaline surge and the feeling of being buoyed along by everyone elses energy, it's just great. You have to admit, it's like nothing else. I'll pay for that, and I never expect I'll win one of these things.
    Sandbaggers are there, and though winning would no doubt be cool, it's not my primary reason for showing up. Call me a dirty hippy, whatever, I'm just there for the experience.

  15. #15
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    Tim,

    Another thing or two here.

    With your triathlon experience, you would probably fare better in a longer race than the guys you raced against in beginner. I wonder at the ability of the blazing fast beginner guys to hold that pace for the extra length of a Sport race. I think it might be easy for the fast twitch types to kill in beginner whereas the steady effort types start coming to the fore in sport and higher. Also, in keeping with the complaint that it stinks to pay money to ride in the woods with a bunch of other dudes, as posited above, you get more pain for your buck if you sign on for the sport race. All around winning proposition. How long until your season in Mass.?

  16. #16
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    go to longer races

    I've noticed similar situations on the few races I've attended or witnessed. Go do a long marathon type MTB race such as a Wilderness 101 or Shenandoah 100. It quickly seperates abilities. Based on your previous riding, Tri's and Adv. you would love a 100 mile struggle up and down ridges on a cool September day.

    You now see races called XXC or extreme x crountry. I'm entering on in April which is 38 miles. I don't even think about actually competing to win, but it is nice to see other folks riding hard and having a relatively safe course to push myself on.
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    Here's what I did...

    When I first started racing I would get killed in the beginner class and never uderstood why, afterall I did train and when I would ride with my friends I had fun and was fast. I realized that I was getting too nervous and had to stop feeling like I had to impress somebody or even myself. The next race I set my goal to to start of easy and just not finish last ( I had finished mid pack before), before I knew it I was moving up through the field and found myself in 3rd place. The next time I used this approach I won. That is just 1 suggestion that might throw out there this may not be your problem but it seemed to be mine. Relax, forget about the sandbaggers, race to have fun not to win, and you might surprise yourself.

  18. #18
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    Some good thoughts to my original post!

    My race season here in Massachusetts starts in early April. I am now thinking of upgrading to sport after hearing the advice. This year will be tough as I suffered a broken leg in three places riding on Thanksgiving. I will enter some of the late season races for fun. It will be good training for my August and September Xterra Triathlons. I think my endurance racing experience will pay off in longer races. Even though I never got above middle pack beginner, I think racing sport will help me get faster. I am usually top 10% in offroad trithlons, so I know I can improve. This may because i'm a blazing fast swimmer and gain 4 or more minutes in the swim. Ever try to catch a buddy with a 4 minute lead at race pace? Big advantadge.
    I guess I am going to run into sandbaggers everywhere I go. I guess I'll just have tio get faster or be content with mid pack. And as someone said earlier, they are not beginning riders, they are beginning racers. I guess I am trying to say is that I am moving to sport because even though I never place, ten years as a rider does not make me a beginner. I'm afraid i was just a slow sandbagger. My being in begginer races probably discouraged a true beginner from placing in their goal position. I will get kiled in sport, but I will feel better about myself. Great posts people, MTBR rocks!!
    Quote Originally Posted by GrantB
    Tim,

    Another thing or two here.

    With your triathlon experience, you would probably fare better in a longer race than the guys you raced against in beginner. I wonder at the ability of the blazing fast beginner guys to hold that pace for the extra length of a Sport race. I think it might be easy for the fast twitch types to kill in beginner whereas the steady effort types start coming to the fore in sport and higher. Also, in keeping with the complaint that it stinks to pay money to ride in the woods with a bunch of other dudes, as posited above, you get more pain for your buck if you sign on for the sport race. All around winning proposition. How long until your season in Mass.?

  19. #19
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    Tim, NORBA has rules in place to handle sandbaggers. 5 top 5 finishes in qualiying races requires an upgrade at the end of the series, period. That is the rule. It is largely enforced by the racers that would mostly benefit by a sandbagger being forced to upgrade. That means you. If you know the rule, and also know of a racer that is not complying with the rule, go to your local NORBA rep, and report the offender. That is the way the system works. It is so easy to be discouraged after your first few races and call everybody else a sandbagger, but unless you know for sure that they are violating the NORBA rule, then you cannot call them a sandbagger, and if in fact they are violating the NORBA rule, then it is up to you to do the right thing, and contact your local NORBA rep. It is not the right thing to just sit back and blindly acuse everyone that finished in front of you a sandbagger. This is a self-regulating sport, so go forth and regulate, just make sure you have your facts together.

    PS, I have been racing many years. Currently in Masters Experts.



    Quote Originally Posted by tmccrohon
    My race season here in Massachusetts starts in early April. I am now thinking of upgrading to sport after hearing the advice. This year will be tough as I suffered a broken leg in three places riding on Thanksgiving. I will enter some of the late season races for fun. It will be good training for my August and September Xterra Triathlons. I think my endurance racing experience will pay off in longer races. Even though I never got above middle pack beginner, I think racing sport will help me get faster. I am usually top 10% in offroad trithlons, so I know I can improve. This may because i'm a blazing fast swimmer and gain 4 or more minutes in the swim. Ever try to catch a buddy with a 4 minute lead at race pace? Big advantadge.
    I guess I am going to run into sandbaggers everywhere I go. I guess I'll just have tio get faster or be content with mid pack. And as someone said earlier, they are not beginning riders, they are beginning racers. I guess I am trying to say is that I am moving to sport because even though I never place, ten years as a rider does not make me a beginner. I'm afraid i was just a slow sandbagger. My being in begginer races probably discouraged a true beginner from placing in their goal position. I will get kiled in sport, but I will feel better about myself. Great posts people, MTBR rocks!!

  20. #20
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    Not every winner is a sandbagger

    I did a race in Conn. this fall. It was the first race I had done in 5 years. I came in second, I was talking to the wife of the who won guy and she said it was his first MTB race. He was a tri-racer. We finished 5+ minutes ahead of the field as I recall. While checking the posted results I overhead some of the other guys bitc*ing about the winners sandbagging and should move up to sport. I assume sandbagging means spending time on both my raod and MTB bikes. I think you'll find that if you put in the miles sandbaggers are not much an issue.
    Chris

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    Get used to it

    Sandbagging is just part of the way things are done in most races. I've raced the Sea Otter XC twice now. I was somewhere around 72 place the first year.....and 42 place the second year. I couldn't figure our why I couldn't place top 10.

    Then I checked the race times for Sport class. THe winners in both catagories finished less than a minute apart (in a 1.5 hour race). The top 10 riders in both classes had virtually the same times.

    I'll probably switch to Sport next year. I'd hate to get a top 10 in Beginners when I could get a top 10 in Sport with the same time.

    It would be nice if Norba could do something about it, but until then Beginner and Sport are virtually the same....except that 50% - 75% of the field in Beginnners really are beginners. There are many Sport riders in Beginners, but for some reason, the times don't reflect that there are many Elite riders in Sport.

    I guess until there are strict and fair rules enacted, you'll always have sandbaggers that believe it's better to have 1st place in Beginnners than a 10th place in a higher catagory, regardless of whether its "fair" or not.

    I used to get very upset over this issue, but have since decided that since it won't likely change...than I'd just accept it and move on. I now race for fun and to beat my time from the previous year...and also to beat my friends times as we race against each other.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by WarrGuru
    I guess until there are strict and fair rules enacted, you'll always have sandbaggers that believe it's better to have 1st place in Beginnners than a 10th place in a higher catagory, regardless of whether its "fair" or not.

    Threre are already fair rules enacted. Instead of blaming NORBA, help them, by reporting sandbaggers. Get the facts. Read the NORBA rules.

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    Snitch

    Quote Originally Posted by rickm
    Threre are already fair rules enacted. Instead of blaming NORBA, help them, by reporting sandbaggers. Get the facts. Read the NORBA rules.
    That's one heck of a position to put someone in. Why make riders snitch on each other?

    Norba can easily tell Sandbaggers simply by checking the finish times. Norba charges license fees. They need to enforce their own rules.

    You would think that simple pride in one's own accomplishments would keep sandbagging from happening...but everyone justifies the sandbagging by pointing to others. They sandbag because others do it and it's now the only way to be competitive.

  24. #24
    And if not, why not?
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    It's a good idea for you to move to sport if you're used to longer events, but you should also alter some of your traing. Youv'e probably got a great aerobic base conditioning thing going on, but you'll need to incorporate more interval and lactate threshold training to compete in xc races. By now you most lilkely have a natural rythm that you ride/run/swim at that you can maintain over a long event, and you will need to retrain your head and phisiology to be faster for less time. If you don't feel like you've been beaten and left for dead at the end of the race, then you went to easy.

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    Think outside the box

    Quote Originally Posted by GrantB
    I can't think of another way to ride and get the same intensity of experience that you get from a race. The adrenaline surge and the feeling of being buoyed along by everyone elses energy, it's just great. You have to admit, it's like nothing else.
    No, I don't have to admit anything, other than it's a joke. If you don't know how to self-motivate, that's your problem.

  26. #26
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    Licenses..

    Quote Originally Posted by rickm
    Threre are already fair rules enacted. Instead of blaming NORBA, help them, by reporting sandbaggers. Get the facts. Read the NORBA rules.
    I have not raced in years (sandbaggers was one of the reasons), but when I was racing most sandbaggers were on one day licenses (oh, I forgot mine...) or non-NORBA events thus there was no tracking of race winners. It should not have to be up to us. The NORBA numbers are correct, but they need a system that flags entrants an absolutely prohibits the top guys from racing beginner year after year.

    BTW, I have reported folks for sandbagging, the sponsor and the NORBA officials did not want to deal with it so nothing was done.

    Sandbagging needs to be fixed, the sponsoring organization needs to do it. There are lots of other organizations that pull this off.

    Geoff

  27. #27
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    When I started racing...

    Quote Originally Posted by striker
    You now see races called XXC or extreme x crountry. I'm entering on in April which is 38 miles..
    ... back in the early 90's, 38 miles was long for an XC race, but not unheard of. I feel that the current race format of 2 or 3 laps on a 8-mile groomed loop is silly.
    I can see race promoter's reasoning behind shorter loops: 1) they are easier to set up, mark, and clean up after 2) less chance of someone getting really lost, injured, or stranded 20 miles from nowhere 3) Spectators can see more of the race.

    To me, a true cross-country race should not be a 1 hour sprint on a course that caters to roadies with seimi-slicks. They should require endurance, bike handling skills, a few manditory hike-a-bike sections, and a bit of common sense to stay on course. O - and feed zones - what a joke - if you need more water or some carbs you should have to carry it with you.

    OK, rant over.

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    keep at it...

    Tim:

    Nine minutes back over a course of 16 miles doesn't sound that bad to me, especially for someone just getting into it. Think back on the races you did last year and where you could have made up some time and then the gap is even smaller.

    You should keep at it - having fitness is big in mountain bike racing but it definitely isn't everything.

    Later
    T

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    roadies might be doin crossover sandbagging

    I haven't raced for some 10 years now, but in my day the high-cat roadies would often try to enter MTB races in Beginner or Sport, when they should have been in Expert or Elite. Back then, there were more ppl into MTB for fun, and the roadie scene was wayy more serious. Besides, any MTBr must ride mostly road to get any kind of competitive fitness, and roadies do just exactly that - so they're bred in a more competitive culture and achieve better fitness that carries over perfectly into MTB racing. Of course some roadies are very strong, but can't do the technical stuff so well, so they sort of need to start off in the lower cat.s - it's a catch-22 for them.

    BTW, the last MTB race I was in was a Senior Sport race, and I finished 2nd to the guy who had just claimed the Ontario Provincial Championship in XC skiing. Another kind of crossover sandbagging? Didn't really bother me - he had to start somewhere, and at least didn't do it in beginner. I agree that there should be a mechanism to keep them from 'one-day' beginner licences after multiple placing - but kinda hard to do with ppl traveling across borders to race, and having to consult huge databases of placings for each race registration, etc.

  30. #30
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    Last year I was listening to one sandbagger lamenting to another over the grief he was getting from other riders after the race. His attitude was that if other riders wanted to compete on the same level, they should just get out and ride more; he (yeah, the single guy with no other life) was training 300 miles a week. The other guy had just barely moved up to sport, but reassured him that it was just fine to stay in beginner as long as he felt like he needed to to get over the 'mental hump' of competing in a higher class.

    I'm sorry, but someone who's training 300 miles per week doesn't qualify as a beginner in my book. Guys that have been in the beginner class for over a decade (and finishing on the podium) don't belong there, either. There's no level of enforcement evident and plenty of real beginners who are discouraged from getting out to try their hand at becoming the next generation of racers.
    A man is only a man, but a good bicycle is a ride.

  31. #31
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    there are lots in Boulder

    I did some wednesday night short track races in Boulder in the lowest class (C) and got killed every night. Several times I came in near to last. This would be the "beginner" class as there were 3 categories, A, B, C. I ride as much as I can but have a job, wife, kid and do volunteer work in the community, help coach my kid's soccer team, etc. A big week of training for me would be 10 hours in the saddle, road/mtb combined. Some of the "C" riders were sponsored. Give me a break--a beginner type who is sponsored???

  32. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by J.D.
    No, I don't have to admit anything, other than it's a joke. If you don't know how to self-motivate, that's your problem.

    Competition is fun for some of us, JD. Different strokes for different folks.
    I never really thought I'd race, but I started racing DH last season and I am addicted. I still love to just go ride just about anything with anyone, and I don't really do anything for training besides spending time on my bikes, but when it comes time to race, its on.
    It gives you a different perspective of the trail and the sport itself.
    You may not like racing, but don't try to tell me I'm wasting my time and money, its an amazing experience.
    Racing is also the source of many innovations in the sport...which I know you don't use personally, but a hell of a lot of people do.

  33. #33

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    ...and for Tim...

    Quote Originally Posted by tmccrohon
    or am I just that slow. I am a long time rider, beginning racer. I am a 33 year old fit triathlete and adventure racer. Last year I started to mountain bike race. I had been doing it for about ten years recreationally. I joined a team and they advised me to enter as a begginner. I could always upgrade, but you can't go back.
    I trained and trained, but come race season I got smoked by the other beginners. Maybe one season wasn't enough time but man, some of these "begginners were inhuman. They were beating me by nine or more minutes in a 16 mile race. I know at 6' 192 pounds i'm not exactly built to race, but something feels wrong.
    Long story short...Am I be sandbagged to death or is a larger guy like myself destined to get the doors blown off by 145, 155 , and 165 pound guys.?

    Help........Tim from massachusetts
    Tim, another benefit to upgrading your racing class will be longer races. If Beg. does one lap, sport may do two. The increased distances may work to your advantages and training. Many people can go out and blow through a 10 mile race in one big anaerobic push, but as distances get longer, training, nutrition, pacing and strategy will actually begin to pay off.
    Definitely upgrade. I won my first DH race in Sport by 30 seconds, I upgraded to Ex. and placed in top tens but got no wins, and only 2 podiums for the rest of the season. It feels way better to do ok in a more challenging cat. than it does to crush an easier one.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by gstahl
    It should not have to be up to us..

    BTW, I have reported folks for sandbagging, the sponsor and the NORBA officials did not want to deal with it so nothing was done.

    Sandbagging needs to be fixed, the sponsoring organization needs to do it. There are lots of other organizations that pull this off.

    Geoff
    Why is it that we are always looking for someone else to deal with a problem? Just like the cops cant be everywhere all the time, so they solicite help from citizens, NORBA cant be everywhere at all times, and they could use a little help. We dont have to do it all, just help out, instead of sitting back and blindly accusing everyone that beats you of being a sandbagger, and saying someone else should do something about it. Do something about it yourself. Get the number of top 5 finishes of the suspected sandbagger, and give the information to your NORBA rep. My guess is that you will find out that they are not in violation of the rule. They just train harder and are better prepared.

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    misconstrued thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by shabadu
    You may not like racing, but don't try to tell me I'm wasting my time and money
    I never said I didn't like it, I just said that amateur racing is a joke. Jokes are a source of amusement to me.

    I never told anyone that they were wasting their money either. If they want to throw money at it, that's their decision, I'm not their banker or financial advisor.

    Opinions are like backsides, everyone has one and in the USA, one is entitled to their own. Isn't it great?
    Last edited by J.D.; 02-03-2004 at 11:23 AM.

  36. #36
    Jed Peters
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.D.

    I never said I didn't like it, I just said that amateur racing is a joke. Jokes are a source of amusement to me.

    I never told anyone that they were wasting their money either. If they want to throw money at it, that's their decision, I'm not their banker or financial advisor.

    Opinions are like backsides, everyone has one and in the USA, one is entitled to their own. Isn't it great?
    Just curious why am. racing is any different that professional racing in the US?

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.D.
    I never said I didn't like it, I just said that amateur racing is a joke. Jokes are a source of amusement to me.
    pros need to start somewhere... not a lot of folks out there who begin at the pro level.
    Some days you're the dog, some days you're the hydrant.

  38. #38
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    After each of the two race series in Texas, the Texas MTB Racing Association sends an upgrade letter to all that qualify. They sometimes post the upgrades on the web. At one race they announced the upgrades over the PA before the race. There were more than a few surprised racers that day who HAD to go change their registration after being called out.

    IF you know someone should have upgraded, tell the NORBA official AT THE RACE! Even if you only suspect it, you can question it.

  39. #39
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    hey i resemble that remark....

    A few years ago when I was in better shape than I am in now I did a few races in Sport and got completely spanked. This year I did my first race as a beginner and took first. Karma got me back in the second race as I DNF'd due to mech. probs. I've since switched my focus to more epic races = more bang for my buck
    This is just need to know information: Am i supposed to enjoy the irony or pity the sincerity?

  40. #40
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    Define "ridiculous"

    Quote Originally Posted by J.D.
    Amateur racing is a joke. Thanks for spotlighting one aspect of why this is. Paying money to ride a mountain bike trail in a crowd is ridiculous.
    For the most part, I totally agree. However, I've recently gotten into 24 hour racing. While I still hate to open my wallet to ride my bike, the endurance races do offer something more than just riding.

  41. #41
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    Reading test...

    Quote Originally Posted by rickm
    Why is it that we are always looking for someone else to deal with a problem? Just like the cops cant be everywhere all the time, so they solicite help from citizens, NORBA cant be everywhere at all times, and they could use a little help. We dont have to do it all, just help out, instead of sitting back and blindly accusing everyone that beats you of being a sandbagger, and saying someone else should do something about it. Do something about it yourself. Get the number of top 5 finishes of the suspected sandbagger, and give the information to your NORBA rep. My guess is that you will find out that they are not in violation of the rule. They just train harder and are better prepared.
    Wow, you sure read a lot into my post, and... oh yeah, you were not even there so please don't tell me what was or was not going on. Where did you get that I "blindly accusing everyone that beats you of being a sandbagger, and saying someone else should do something about it". You likely need read a bit more carefully and not make grand assumptions. I never said or implied anything like that. Heck, if I accused everyone who beat me of sandbagging the list would be rather long. =) This is not about winning or finishing top 5 or anything like that, this is about a group of folks who want to bend the rules to pad there medal count so they can feel good about themselves (i.e., has nothing to do with me because removing the sandbaggers would not have me winning in any case).

    Specifically, at the time there were a couple guys who for at least two years bought one day licenses and won or finished top 5 in beginner races at every Snow Summit event and finished at a faster pace than top 5 sport riders were finishing (tons of folks noticed). I spoke to the NORBA official and was told flat out that since they were on one day licenses there was little he could do (as he could not associate them with a NORBA number, etc.). I approached the race sponsor and they also declined to take any action as NORBA was not doing anything about it. So, exactly what more would you have me do???

    The problem is not our problem in the general sense, sure we can help, but it is a problem that needs better rules at the base of it and better enforcement at the race level, then individual action can assist (to follow your example, police are not asking folks to arrest criminals, citizens can help but we cannot replace the laws and police). So my suggestions (which I have sent to NORBA years ago, BTW)...

    - Require NORBA license/photo id that will be tracked to a NORBA number, no one day licenses which do not ever get entered in NORBA's data base. You have to have a NORBA number to race a NORBA race. Motorcycle Enduro racing does this, no AMA license, no race.
    - All race results must be submitted in spread sheet form to NORBA. NORBA in turn accumulates results to enforce the clauses that cause upward movement in class.
    - Since everyone requires a license it is much easier to handle individual issues at races, like racer complaints.
    - If a race is not sanctioned by NORBA (or other body) then there is obviously no enforcement thus folks are on there own.

    BTW, will I still get my butt kicked? Sure, but do I care? No. Will there still be sandbaggers? Sure, but hopefully less and they can be dealt with individually.

  42. #42
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    There should be a 3 race maximum for Beginner Class, those who don't want to move up to Sport will be automatically placed in Vainglorious Self-loathing Cherrypicker Class.

    There is little to NO honor or glory winning in Beginner class, and an apology should be issued from the podium upon receipt of medal. A fluke is a fluke, but the wankers who prey on the Beginner Class should be excoriated (not sure what that means, i must admit).

    Sport Class is where the competition lies and people need to follow the rules there as well.

    Racing in Expert Class is in itself Honorable and Glorious, where I will wallow at the rear
    for a few years..............looking for small local races with weak fields to get a top 5 in, so that I might brag and posture....it comes full-circle....human nature.

    Addicted to DH and bringing home the tin to the wife!

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    What's to stop...

    Quote Originally Posted by skinny-tire
    For the most part, I totally agree. However, I've recently gotten into 24 hour racing. While I still hate to open my wallet to ride my bike, the endurance races do offer something more than just riding.
    What's to stop you from riding somewhere for 24 hours on your own, or with a few friends? Why did the chicken cross the road?

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    huh?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zonic Man
    Just curious why am. racing is any different that professional racing in the US?
    You have to ask? It's pretty obvious on many levels.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.D.
    What's to stop you from riding somewhere for 24 hours on your own, or with a few friends? Why did the chicken cross the road?
    To get to the other side. What do you get when you cross a rhino and an elephant.

    What's to stop me from riding for 245 straight hours on my own, or with some friends? Absolutely nothing. But show me where I can ride for 24 straight hours with 1000 other riders, with another 1000 hanging out, drinking beer, having a good time, etc., and it won't cost me a cent. Reminds me of the old hockey joke (went to a boxing match and a hockey game broke out): Went to a 24 hour race, and a party broke out.

    So, it cost me a few bucks to spend a weekend with hundreds, nay thousands, who for the most part have the same interests, likes, dislikes, etc. as me. Has absolutely nothing to do with competition, a drive to achieve, to win, and so on. Sure, somebody could go through all the effort to do this and figure out a way to not charge anybody (good luck). But for $25 bucks a day, who's counting. 24 races have nothing--for the most part--to do with racing.

  46. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by skinny-tire
    But show me where I can ride for 24 straight hours with 1000 other riders, with another 1000 hanging out, drinking beer, having a good time, etc., and it won't cost me a cent.
    If that's your idea of what mountain biking is, I truly feel sorry for you. I'm sure you fit in well with your like-minded herd.

  47. #47
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    gstahl, I didnt mean to single out your particular incident with the NORBA rep. BTW, there is no NORBA rule that says that the racer must be on an annual license to be tracked, and if that is what the NORBA rep told you, then he was just blowing smoke. If the racer had a NAME, he can be tracked. Check the NORBA site. There are many, many racers on day licenses that are rated and tracked. But you did the right thing by reporting it.



    What I was trying to get across was the general tone of the entire thread, that "someone needs to fix the system". The rules of the system have already been established, it just requires a little help from the racers, to enforce the rules.

  48. #48
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    Dude, get over yourself. Not another one of these, I'm a true mt biker, and I don't need some organizer to tell me what is and is not mt biking!

    So, explan to me where did I say that's my idea of mountain biking? No, that's my idea of fun. And I get just as much enjoyment going on a 30 mile epic ALONE without spending a DAMN PENNY. Let me guess, all your entertainment comes free of charge. (That's okay, J.D. you can admit that you open your ****ing mouth before thinking.)

    I'm sure I'm 180 degrees wrong, but you sound like a jealous outsider who was not invited to the birthday party. You feel sorry for me? From your response to this thread, I actually take that as a compliment.

  49. #49
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    I think yer onto something there!

    Quote Originally Posted by DH40
    There should be a 3 race maximum for Beginner Class, those who don't want to move up to Sport will be automatically placed in Vainglorious Self-loathing Cherrypicker Class.

    There is little to NO honor or glory winning in Beginner class, and an apology should be issued from the podium upon receipt of medal. A fluke is a fluke, but the wankers who prey on the Beginner Class should be excoriated (not sure what that means, i must admit).

    Sport Class is where the competition lies and people need to follow the rules there as well.

    Racing in Expert Class is in itself Honorable and Glorious, where I will wallow at the rear
    for a few years..............looking for small local races with weak fields to get a top 5 in, so that I might brag and posture....it comes full-circle....human nature.

    Addicted to DH and bringing home the tin to the wife!
    Why not put a max. of 3 races in beginner? After 3, your definately not a beginner. I raced for the first time last year in the mtn. states cup and had a blast! I entered sport class even though I had NEVER raced mtbikes in my life. The top beginners were not beginners IMO, as they smoked their fields and would have done quite well in sport. I got SPANKED in 30-35 sport, big time, and still had a good time. Racing brings out a whole new set of feelings, expieriences, and level of energy that is impossible replicate on your own or in a group ride, outside the race environment. I love to go on long solitary epic rides, I enjoy riding with a buddy or two, and enjoy group rides. What's the big deal? (JD)

    I plan to cut my teeth this year in Sport Class, and if I don't burn out plan on moving to expert for some extra torture next year. The more bang for yer buck definately applies there.....

    Is JD the person who posted on the old board as "club" I wonder? I must admit the attitude is worse than 'club' postings of past though.... I mean, come on: "If that's your idea of what mountain biking is, I truly feel sorry for you. I'm sure you fit in well with your like-minded herd." That's as much of an offensive load of [email protected] as I've heard in a while. No one appears to be judging JD's version of "real mountain biking" so I don't get the bitterness. JD may have crossed the road 'cause someone may have been friendly or something on his side! Yikes! Run! Hide!
    "It's better to regret something you HAVE done, than something you haven't..." -

  50. #50
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    Let me guess, you think promoting the sport of mt biking is a bad thing? Sad. Truely sad!!!!!!

  51. #51
    Jed Peters
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.D.
    You have to ask? It's pretty obvious on many levels.
    Actually, it's not really obvious at all.

    Many "in the know" consider US "pros" to be, in fact, amateurs, and US pro racing to be nothing more than amateur racing.

    If you think about it, it's pretty obvious on many levels.

  52. #52

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    How does it feel...

    Quote Originally Posted by skinny-tire
    Let me guess, you think promoting the sport of mt biking is a bad thing? Sad. Truely sad!!!!!!
    How does it feel to be "one of the gang"? I bet it makes you feel really "big" and "wanted". What you seem to promote and participate in is not mountain biking. It's herding on a bicycle.

  53. #53

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    yeah, I'm an outsider

    Quote Originally Posted by skinny-tire
    Dude, get over yourself. Not another one of these, I'm a true mt biker, and I don't need some organizer to tell me what is and is not mt biking!

    So, explan to me where did I say that's my idea of mountain biking? No, that's my idea of fun. And I get just as much enjoyment going on a 30 mile epic ALONE without spending a DAMN PENNY. Let me guess, all your entertainment comes free of charge. (That's okay, J.D. you can admit that you open your ****ing mouth before thinking.)

    I'm sure I'm 180 degrees wrong, but you sound like a jealous outsider who was not invited to the birthday party. You feel sorry for me? From your response to this thread, I actually take that as a compliment.
    Thank you for proving my point. If it makes you feel better, I still feel sorry for you. Maybe someday you'll grow a soul, then again, maybe not.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.D.
    How does it feel to be "one of the gang"? I bet it makes you feel really "big" and "wanted". What you seem to promote and participate in is not mountain biking. It's herding on a bicycle.
    Man, who pissed in your Cheerios? I'll take that as a "No." I get it, you were old school, before Old School was old school.

    P.S. I participate in ONE race a year, for probably the same reasons you feel the NEED to bad mouth organized racings. Unlike you, I don't feel the DESIRE poo-poo those who do race though. Let me guess, you caught Pete's bug.

  55. #55
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    How can I prove your point when you don't have one. Does it make me feel better? Who said I was feeling bad? Soul? Thanks again for the laugh.

  56. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by DH40
    snip
    I was just waiting for someone to use that pierced, bloated by silicone, nastinesss as their avatar.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete
    I was just waiting for someone to use that pierced, bloated by silicone, nastinesss as their avatar.
    Thanks, Pete I knew you'd get it.
    Is that silicone grease on your avatar?

  58. #58
    Ride what you want!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete
    pierced, bloated by silicone, nastinesss.
    I can't get that image out of my mind. It's like being binded by the sun, I look away but I can still see it. Then again, I've been known to look for midget porn.

    george
    Trogs: Too Tough for Carbon Fiber

  59. #59

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    hahaha

    Quote Originally Posted by skinny-tire, Year started riding:
    99
    Man, who pissed in your Cheerios? I'll take that as a "No." I get it, you were old school, before Old School was old school.

    P.S. I participate in ONE race a year, for probably the same reasons you feel the NEED to bad mouth organized racings. Unlike you, I don't feel the DESIRE poo-poo those who do race though. Let me guess, you caught Pete's bug.
    You don't know anything about me and since we'll never meet, you never will. You don't know where I came from, nor what I have done with my life, so keep guessing. It only makes you look more the fool.

  60. #60

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    point

    Quote Originally Posted by skinny-tire, Year started riding:
    99
    How can I prove your point when you don't have one. Does it make me feel better? Who said I was feeling bad? Soul? Thanks again for the laugh.
    Coming from a nameless internet entity who lives nowhere, all one has to really do is consider the source.

  61. #61

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    club is from Durango

    Quote Originally Posted by glenzx, Year started riding:
    2000
    Is JD the person who posted on the old board as "club" I wonder? I must admit the attitude is worse than 'club' postings of past though.... I mean, come on: "If that's your idea of what mountain biking is, I truly feel sorry for you. I'm sure you fit in well with your like-minded herd." That's as much of an offensive load of [email protected] as I've heard in a while. No one appears to be judging JD's version of "real mountain biking" so I don't get the bitterness. JD may have crossed the road 'cause someone may have been friendly or something on his side! Yikes! Run! Hide!
    Idiocy comes in many forms, thanks for showing another.

  62. #62
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    The only thing I wonder at this point is why people keep feeding JD-the-Troll. No, I don't know him personally, but his actions in this thread are proving that's what he is.
    A man is only a man, but a good bicycle is a ride.

  63. #63
    New project, TBA shortly
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    bear in mind

    this is all coming from a DH racing perspective...

    1) Talk to the organizers? At Plattekill Lazlo (the owner, runs the races, etc) will haze and pretty much rag the hell out of sandbaggers. When they do the announcements at the end they state the times and gleefully point out those people who are sandbagging and should move up. If you show up once and race in a class beneath where you should be he'll probably let it slide, but if he sees you again and again he'll get on you pretty quick. Public humiliation in front of a crowd does wonders.

    2) Maybe the organizers should have a "first-timers race" or something of the sort.

    Lastly, go out and have fun. Get a few friends into it and compete against them for time. If you race a good race, no crashes, and are totally spent at the end of it, GREAT!! I'd rather have a good/perfect run, no crashes, be totally "on" for the whole race and get middle of the pack, than to have a crappy run, crash, and still get podium because I was racing in a lower class.

    Dunno, I race for the adrenaline of it all. No, I don't have the willpower to practice all weekend for one run, and then to really go out and almost kill myself trying to shave off a few seconds here or there. Maybe i'm the product of a lazy american culture, the land of do-overs and reset-buttons, but racing is the one thing that has enabled me to force myself to go faster. Racing isn't pushing me, it's allowing me to push myself. You see terrain in a totally different perspective, from the standpoint of "how can I get across this just a bit faster" or "if I take this line as opposed to that it'll set me up better for the corner."

    I'd say move up to sport (longer courses), make friends with some of the guys who are just a bit faster, and ride with them whenever possible. It might be a bit about technique instead of raw fitness level.

    Whatever you do, have fun. Go into it with the mindset of having fun, or using it as cross-training for your tri stuff, and you'll have a blast.

    dante

  64. #64
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    Too ****ing funny. You feel the absolutely NEED to attack me because I mention I enjoy endurance races, and they you ****ing make this kind of comment. I can only chuckle at the hypocrasy.

    Don't have you another photo or POSE for>

  65. #65
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    Nameless internet entity who live nowhere? Fine, if you want to go through life with blinders on, I ain't going to stop you. Not my problem you appear to have self-esteem problems (feel free to ignore this). Not only do you feel the strong NEED to attack somebody from out of no where, it's obvious you have this strong desire to be LIKED. Why else would you have a web site posing for pictures? Do you think we care if you ride? No offense, but I don't have to PROVE anything, like some.

    Let me help. Your original point was that amateur racing was "ridiculous." Okay, prove it. See, Mr High and Mighty, you can't actually prove somethign is ridiculous. Ridiculous is an opinion, and you can't "prove" and opinion, you can only argue its vailidy.

    We're never going to meet? Gosh, now I know my life will be complete, and I can guarantee I won't lose any sleep over it.

    Thanks again for the laughs.

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    hahaha

    Quote Originally Posted by bhutata
    The only thing I wonder at this point is why people keep feeding JD-the-Troll. No, I don't know him personally, but his actions in this thread are proving that's what he is.
    Hypocrisy at its finest. That's right, you don't know me.

  67. #67

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    hahaha

    Quote Originally Posted by skinny-tire, riding since 1999
    Nameless internet entity who live nowhere? Fine, if you want to go through life with blinders on, I ain't going to stop you. Not my problem you appear to have self-esteem problems (feel free to ignore this). Not only do you feel the strong NEED to attack somebody from out of no where, it's obvious you have this strong desire to be LIKED. Why else would you have a web site posing for pictures? Do you think we care if you ride? No offense, but I don't have to PROVE anything, like some.

    Let me help. Your original point was that amateur racing was "ridiculous." Okay, prove it. See, Mr High and Mighty, you can't actually prove somethign is ridiculous. Ridiculous is an opinion, and you can't "prove" and opinion, you can only argue its vailidy.

    We're never going to meet? Gosh, now I know my life will be complete, and I can guarantee I won't lose any sleep over it.

    Thanks again for the laughs.
    Thank you for your ANALysis Dr Dimestore. I feel much better now. My self-esteem has been restored since you have been paying so much negative attention to me. Now you may go ride your santa crud and hope it doesn't break.

  68. #68
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    One word: Entertainment.

    JD might disagree, but he's a very entertaining little fellow. Maybe he should change his name to FruitaKen.

  69. #69
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    LOL, now you're critizing what I RIDE. Thanks for proving MY point!

    Sorry, negative attention would be telling somebody to get a Soul and calling them part of the herd. But if you feel I'm wasting hard feeling on you, you're sadly mistaken. See above, I find this rather entertaining.

  70. #70

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    hahaha

    Quote Originally Posted by skinny-tire
    Too ****ing funny. You feel the absolutely NEED to attack me because I mention I enjoy endurance races, and they you ****ing make this kind of comment. I can only chuckle at the hypocrasy.

    Don't have you another photo or POSE for>
    Resorting to faux-profanity, how predictable. Go look back in the thread, humpy. It was you who latched onto my leg like some hard-up hound dog and started humping away. The frequency of either typos and/or misspellings and your lame faux-profanity in this last post by you indicates that your cage has been properly rattled. Go hump someone else's leg, junior.

  71. #71
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    Yikes, I assume you're referring to this:
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.ph...27514#poststop

    If you refer this as "latching on and "dry humping" your post, so be it. You're correct. I was just waiting for you to post, and than jumped in with both feet. You'd like to think that, huh?

    I love how you also mention my typos/missellings. Gosh, now who else has done that recently? Ah, another Pete-wannabe. No offense, but it does not make you appear smarter, despite what you might think.

    You honestly think you "rattled" my cage? What every floats your boat, Shorty.

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by DH40
    There should be a 3 race maximum for Beginner Class, those who don't want to move up to Sport will be automatically placed in Vainglorious Self-loathing Cherrypicker Class.

    There is little to NO honor or glory winning in Beginner class, and an apology should be issued from the podium upon receipt of medal. A fluke is a fluke, but the wankers who prey on the Beginner Class should be excoriated (not sure what that means, i must admit).
    BS. When I started racing I was almost 190lbs and a fairly poor rider (27th/33). It took me about 1.5yrs and lots of races to figure it all out and get my weight down to the point that I could make it to the top 10. Even after all my training a 1.5hr race was still hard to finish (probably due to the extra weight).

    I could do a beginner race at a high intensity because of the shorter distance and it felt like racing. But becaue of the extra distance of a sport race I would of had to pace myself by riding slower. That would have been much more like a training ride. Boring! The last 30min of a sport race would have been pain management becaue of back pain.

    After 2yrs of riding, training, dieting, etc. I think a top 5 place in Beginner would be very honorable. I have a friend that went from beginner to expert in 1 year without losing a race. We're not all built that way.

    So there's other reasons to stay in beginner and IMHO you're not sandbagging.

  73. #73
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    p.s. My skills suck too. Does that not make me a true Mt. Biker?

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Topaz
    BS. When I started racing I was almost 190lbs and a fairly poor rider (27th/33). It took me about 1.5yrs and lots of races to figure it all out and get my weight down to the point that I could make it to the top 10. Even after all my training a 1.5hr race was still hard to finish (probably due to the extra weight).

    I could do a beginner race at a high intensity because of the shorter distance and it felt like racing. But becaue of the extra distance of a sport race I would of had to pace myself by riding slower. That would have been much more like a training ride. Boring! The last 30min of a sport race would have been pain management becaue of back pain.

    After 2yrs of riding, training, dieting, etc. I think a top 5 place in Beginner would be very honorable. I have a friend that went from beginner to expert in 1 year without losing a race. We're not all built that way.

    So there's other reasons to stay in beginner and IMHO you're not sandbagging.

    OK, I am coming from more of a DH race perspective where a 'true' Beginner will often get blown away by serial 'Beginner' racers looking for medals. I know the same occurs in XC as well. Building endurance in XC takes more time....I guess. In the DH realm racing Beiginner should be a phase passed through quickly...Beginners and Sport racers run the same course, whereas, as you point out, Sport XC courses can be longer or even 2 laps depending on race.

  75. #75

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    Quote Originally Posted by Topaz
    BS. When I started racing I was almost 190lbs and a fairly poor rider (27th/33). It took me about 1.5yrs and lots of races to figure it all out and get my weight down to the point that I could make it to the top 10. Even after all my training a 1.5hr race was still hard to finish (probably due to the extra weight).
    That's sandbagging pure and simple.

    I think that there are many folks that justify staying in the beginner class because they don't understand the classification system.

    If you're "training" for beginner class races you're in the wrong class.
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  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete
    That's sandbagging pure and simple.

    I think that there are many folks that justify staying in the beginner class because they don't understand the classification system.

    If you're "training" for beginner class races you're in the wrong class.
    Ummm, it depends on how fast you are and how fast the class is. If you're naturally a slower rider, you might very well train or try to get faster while staying in beginner. It doesn't make sense to tell a slow rider to move up just b/c he/she has raced in a bunch of beginner races and never makes it to the top 5. Force the people who podium to move up, and that will cycle the faster racers out of the class...

    dante

  77. #77
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    Why your welcome!

    Quote Originally Posted by J.D.
    Idiocy comes in many forms, thanks for showing another.
    Years riding 26" wheeled bikes = 3 1/2 (used to think they were for losers!)

    Years riding two wheeled contraptions = 29 Including (but hardly limited to):


    Racing BMX competively (and having fun) in the North East for about 10 years; thought mtbiking was silly...

    Competing in Freestyle Competions in the late 80's while on a factory team, traveling all over the eastern US meeting all kinds of great folks, some of whom are still good friends and competing (and placing) at the national level competitions; mtbiking still looked really retarded to me at this point...

    Rode "street" before it was x-anything or called "street"; tried mtbiking on a Cannondale, was doing wall rides on trees and 360's any chance there was a jump to be hit, still thought the wheels were too big though...

    Spending 6 years putting my lame [email protected]@ through Architecture School by Bike Messengering in NYC on a fixed-gear-macho-no-brakes-track-bike year 'round, including winters and summers...., never had the chance to mtbike, thought them new fangled suspension forks were the dumbest thing in the world...

    Finally after moving out west (in 2000) got hooked on mtbiking, ummm, because there are mountains I can ride out my back door to.

    So, I'd definately agree with you about being an idiot, J.D., for not having spent MORE time on my bike, getting stronger and fitter instead of toiling in bars in NYC for a few years before moving out west.
    Last edited by glenzx; 02-04-2004 at 12:10 PM.
    "It's better to regret something you HAVE done, than something you haven't..." -

  78. #78

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    Quote Originally Posted by dante
    Ummm, it depends on how fast you are and how fast the class is.
    It has nothing to do with who your competition is.

    Training for a year and a half is not a "casual" competitor.

    The beginner class is for folks to get their feet wet and see if they like the racing gig.

  79. #79
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    Actually, here in AZ, they have a "First Time" class. I'm not sure if that means you can only race once in this class before moving up.

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    JD a troll? hah. wrong on both counts.

    Quote Originally Posted by bhutata
    The only thing I wonder at this point is why people keep feeding JD-the-Troll. No, I don't know him personally, but his actions in this thread are proving that's what he is.
    1) He's quite tall, and wouldn't be found living under a bridge.

    2) He's a serious rider who is making a serious point about riding. MTB racing is silly because there are no real categories as long as Beginner is open to everyone. Yet Beginner is supposed to be where someone gets a "taste" of racing. Anyone who's ever raced Beginner for the purpose of sampling racing, yet has encountered one of the numerous sandbaggers populating the Beginner class, is likely to tell you he/she found that racing "just isn't for me."

    3) Racing per se isn't bad, but a race where the concept of "winning" is both fraudulent and illusory (Beginner class) is not much of a competition.

    4) Sandbaggers and weak egos are the downfall of MTB racing.

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete
    It has nothing to do with who your competition is.

    Training for a year and a half is not a "casual" competitor.

    The beginner class is for folks to get their feet wet and see if they like the racing gig.
    So the natural athlete/cross trainer who races once or twice a year but is blisteringly fast should stay in beginner (by your definition, a "casual competitor"), but the person who's slow and even with training never finishes in the top of the pack should move up to an even faster class. Yeah that makes sense, silly me for basing whether to move up on actual finishes and overal speed...

    now if you train for a year and a half *and* are getting top 5 finishes then no, you're not a beginner anymore. But if you race once a year, don't train and still get top 3 (or 5), then you're not a beginner either.

    dante

  82. #82
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    Anybody want some popcorn?

    Well, this has been fun to watch!

    I race because I enjoy the competition. I find that I push myself harder in a race than I ever do riding solo or in a group. Sometimes I place, sometimes I don't. Sometimes people racing in my class are sandbaggers, sometimes they're just faster than me. I try not to worry about sandbaggers, because maybe their egos need a lot more stroking than mine does.

    I also race in New Mexico where the race series is pretty small and most everyone knows each other. I don't think we get too much sandbagging, because the same group of folks is at each race and they'll happily call each other on it.

    Frankly, I think sandbagging in Beginner class is rather silly. But, then again I think caucasian hippy kids with dreadlocks are pretty silly too!

    Hasta,
    Dr.(Sport class cannon fodder)F.

  83. #83

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    Quote Originally Posted by dante
    So the natural athlete/cross trainer who races once or twice a year but is blisteringly fast should stay in beginner (by your definition, a "casual competitor"), but the person who's slow and even with training never finishes in the top of the pack should move up to an even faster class. Yeah that makes sense, silly me for basing whether to move up on actual finishes and overal speed...
    Nope.

    That's a construction of your own making.

    If they've raced, and dig it, they should move up. Whether they are a natural athlete or a slow poke.
    Last edited by Pete; 02-04-2004 at 12:48 PM. Reason: deleted lameass smiley

  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete
    Nope.

    That's a construction of your own making.

    If they've raced, and dig it, they should move up. Whether they are a natural athlete or a slow poke.
    Ha, must be my DH background coming through... you DON'T want slow people in a higher class, b/c that means you have to try to pass them on the way down. Usually start at beginner (or Sport if you're confident), race till you podium a couple of times, move up to sport, race till you podium a few times (or consistantly), move up to expert. All based on actual time for the race or in comparison to the competition. If you consistantly win in a class, you move up. If you're middle of the pack/rarely win or even podium, what's the point in moving up to a FASTER class so you can be DFL every single race? If you force the top finishers to move up, the mediocre people now become the fast ones who will move up, and so on. If the beginner field is still too crazy, then you should have a first-timer's race for the people who've never raced before.

    I've seen people train like crazy and still be middle-of-the-pack sport racers, and had a friend show up and decide on a whim to race for the first time and came in 2nd in Expert.

    dante

  85. #85
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    racing in New England

    Quote Originally Posted by tmccrohon
    My race season here in Massachusetts starts in early April. I am now thinking of upgrading to sport after hearing the advice. This year will be tough as I suffered a broken leg in three places riding on Thanksgiving. I will enter some of the late season races for fun. It will be good training for my August and September Xterra Triathlons. I think my endurance racing experience will pay off in longer races. Even though I never got above middle pack beginner, I think racing sport will help me get faster. I am usually top 10% in offroad trithlons, so I know I can improve. This may because i'm a blazing fast swimmer and gain 4 or more minutes in the swim. Ever try to catch a buddy with a 4 minute lead at race pace? Big advantadge.
    I guess I am going to run into sandbaggers everywhere I go. I guess I'll just have tio get faster or be content with mid pack. And as someone said earlier, they are not beginning riders, they are beginning racers. I guess I am trying to say is that I am moving to sport because even though I never place, ten years as a rider does not make me a beginner. I'm afraid i was just a slow sandbagger. My being in begginer races probably discouraged a true beginner from placing in their goal position. I will get kiled in sport, but I will feel better about myself. Great posts people, MTBR rocks!!

    Hi. I only read to this post, becuase it got too long! But I just wanted to let you know that I went through the same thing in Massachusetts. I am not sure if it's the same everywhere, but the sandbagging in New England is ridiculous. I did a few races, but only the first was Beginner. I noticed that sport riders got to ride longer, which I wanted to do. Looking at the times, I figured I would finish about the same, which I did: midpack in both sport and beginner. Eventually I concluded that driving some distance, paying money, and then waiting around to do a bunch of laps with no chance of doing well, I stopped racing. Well, I will only do a race where there is one lap, and it's a long one. So check out the Vermont 50. It's a great ride, and you are basically racing against yourself for the first 30 miles, then you get in a pace with some riders, and race them, regardless of their class. I might try some of the other long races like the Wilderness 101 or Shenandoah 100. And to the sandbaggers out there: when you are on the podium in beginner, people are lauging at you. Really. And you are getting lots of people to give up on racing. If I am going to drive an hour and pay some money, I just go someplace and ride now and buy myself some lunch.
    Only boring people get bored.

  86. #86
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    "ability and racing proficiency."

    your racing class isn't based on the amount of time you've been racing, nor the amount of time you train, although it is related to both. classes are based on ability -- "pure and simple." and how do we measure ability? i'd guess results are a good start.

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    So?

    Write a book, Hemmingway.

  88. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by gonzostrike
    1) He's quite tall, and wouldn't be found living under a bridge.

    2) He's a serious rider who is making a serious point about riding. MTB racing is silly because there are no real categories as long as Beginner is open to everyone. Yet Beginner is supposed to be where someone gets a "taste" of racing. Anyone who's ever raced Beginner for the purpose of sampling racing, yet has encountered one of the numerous sandbaggers populating the Beginner class, is likely to tell you he/she found that racing "just isn't for me."

    3) Racing per se isn't bad, but a race where the concept of "winning" is both fraudulent and illusory (Beginner class) is not much of a competition.

    4) Sandbaggers and weak egos are the downfall of MTB racing.
    Whatever he is elsewhere, on the forums he's chosen to take on the role of troll. If he has some kind of life elsewhere, then goody for him.

    BTW, I'm right behind you on #4. Of course, I've seen overblown egos that don't do the sport much good either, especially when it comes to everyday attitude on the trails and common courtesy for other riders and trail users.
    A man is only a man, but a good bicycle is a ride.

  89. #89
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    According to my standards, you (the original poster) should be racing sport, however, according to the standards of most folks out there you will be accepted as a beginner. And that angers me to no end. This attitude is harming the sport of mountain bike racing and riding in the USA but keeping the true beginners from fitting in.

    Beginner races should be true to the name, people who have just started riding seriously within the last year or have never done races before. Anyone that has been racing for more than a year and chooses a beginner race because of the level of competition is a lame sandbagger that hurts our sport. All they do is chase away the true beginners and make them go back to their couch, air-conditioned gym or golf cart. No one should ever ride more than 5 beginner races in their life and if they do they are nothing but a coward and/or glory hound. The only legitimate excuses I know of to stay in beginner are if there are not age classes AND you are over 45 or if you have a medical condition that limits your endurance. I think everyone should start in beginner so they learn the things mentioned by the other posters that are different in races from just normal riding.

    It sickens me when you see the ripped guys and gals on $3000 dialed-in bikes in the beginner field, some with shop sponsorship setups. They think it is OK since they are afraid of moving to sport or want to make sure they can finish in the top five all the time. Or they claim they are just there to have fun and not looking to do well, of course these are usually the folks finishing in the top five. That is insane. Last year in the series I did, the Mid-Atlantic Super series, it was usually one lap for the beginners, two for the sports, and three for the experts. I got my ass kicked in the sport class last year (best 21/100 worst 42/44) and would never consider going to beginner. The lap times for the beginner winners usually beat the lap splits for the sport winners and were not far behind the split times for the experts. Yes maybe they would have blow up on a second lap, but I doubt it. I am sorry but if you can do one lap ending up not far behind Jeremy Bishop even though he is pacing himself for three on that lap, you are not beginner you are just a POC.

  90. #90

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    yeah buddy, crowded trails and "turn here" signs?

    Quote Originally Posted by J.D.
    Amateur racing is a joke. Thanks for spotlighting one aspect of why this is. Paying money to ride a mountain bike trail in a crowd is ridiculous.
    Exactly what I decided on my last XC race, the Vegetarian in 2001. Ain't worth it. Hope your Spring's shaping up nicely JD!

  91. #91
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    New question here. Ok, so lemme get this straight...

    If a guy races only once a year, and he does so purely for fun (never a podium contention), would he still be considered a sandbagger? I mean, technically he's been "racing" for over ten years -- but it's not like he ever trains.

    K-Zero
    "It's not how good you are, it's how good you want to be"

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    If you finish in the top 20% of your class it should be classified as a transfer.
    5 transfer rides moves you to sport
    10 sport transfer rides sends you to expert

  93. #93
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    Tis the season when sandbag posts start showing up. I think the number of sandbaggers in any given race is only exceeded by the number of whiners. The general rule seems to be: anyone who finishes ahead of me is a sandbagger.

    I'm sure you have plenty of scientific and anecdotal evidence that says that you should win the race, or at least not get your ass kicked. But it's entirely possible that despite all your training and worldly experience, there are people out there better than you. There may be lots of people out there who can kick your ass, and some of them could be riding their first mtb race. Not all of them are sandbaggers.

    Hopefully you didn't finish last, so at least one other guy can complain about you sandbagging him. I can hear him now: "Damned triathlete and adventure racers should be racing expert or world cup...."

  94. #94
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    Consider racing Sport

    Quote Originally Posted by tmccrohon
    or am I just that slow. I am a long time rider, beginning racer. I am a 33 year old fit triathlete and adventure racer. Last year I started to mountain bike race. I had been doing it for about ten years recreationally. I joined a team and they advised me to enter as a begginner. I could always upgrade, but you can't go back.
    I trained and trained, but come race season I got smoked by the other beginners. Maybe one season wasn't enough time but man, some of these "begginners were inhuman. They were beating me by nine or more minutes in a 16 mile race. I know at 6' 192 pounds i'm not exactly built to race, but something feels wrong.
    Long story short...Am I be sandbagged to death or is a larger guy like myself destined to get the doors blown off by 145, 155 , and 165 pound guys.?

    Help........Tim from massachusetts
    Beginner races are sprints. You have go out from the start and not let up. Whereas Sport you can work into a pace due to the longer lenght. But at the same time Sport is when racers start being serious.

  95. #95
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    Don't put so much emphasis on.....

    [QUOTE=gonzostrike]1) 2) He's a serious rider who is making a serious point about riding. MTB racing is silly because there are no real categories as long as Beginner is open to everyone. Yet Beginner is supposed to be where someone gets a "taste" of racing. Anyone who's ever raced Beginner for the purpose of sampling racing, yet has encountered one of the numerous sandbaggers populating the Beginner class, is likely to tell you he/she found that racing "just isn't for me."


    Beginner class. It is the first stepping stone for most, a place to "hide out" for others. Typical quote of the Sandbagging Beginner, "I only wanted to do 2 laps anyway". So sad.

    I used Beginner class to learn how to race. Pass, start, run, pace, patience. I never won and moved on to Sport.

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    Congrats to USA

    Congrats to USA on their win in the last men's Norba XC race!! It's been 3 years since the American xc racing talent pool has put a man on the top of a Norba podium, so it was good to see them back atop their own turf.

  97. #97
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    Hmmm...

    Quote Originally Posted by J.D.
    I never said I didn't like it, I just said that amateur racing is a joke. Jokes are a source of amusement to me.

    I never told anyone that they were wasting their money either. If they want to throw money at it, that's their decision, I'm not their banker or financial advisor.

    Opinions are like backsides, everyone has one and in the USA, one is entitled to their own. Isn't it great?
    This opinion sounds like it comes from one who has attempted racing and found it way too difficult. The dissappointed youngster quit midway up one of the climbs on the first lap shouting, "#@$% this %#@$"!! He also hurled his bicycle in anger. When he returned to the parking lot, he made numerous excuses as to his failure. "My shifters weren't shifting, my brakes weren't braking, I'm sick......" He proceeded home to his waiting Mommy who comforted him with an orange cream-sicle.

  98. #98
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    thank you!

    Quote Originally Posted by hugh088
    I did a race in Conn. this fall. It was the first race I had done in 5 years. I came in second, I was talking to the wife of the who won guy and she said it was his first MTB race. He was a tri-racer. We finished 5+ minutes ahead of the field as I recall. While checking the posted results I overhead some of the other guys bitc*ing about the winners sandbagging and should move up to sport. I assume sandbagging means spending time on both my raod and MTB bikes. I think you'll find that if you put in the miles sandbaggers are not much an issue.
    Chris
    i was beginning to wonder when winning a mtb race automatically qualified you as a sandbagger. winning does not make someone a sandbagger. consistently racing below your level does. never confuse the two.

    rt
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  99. #99
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    no worries...

    im gonna race at sea otter this year (first timer too, beg 19-24) and im only 115 pounds, 5'8, and im slow as crap. im the typical beg, damn posers


    >Ankur
    Team X-poser is back for 2006-

    WTB; 1.25 inch tow rack in SoCal

    >Ankur<

  100. #100
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    I thought sandbagging was strictly a guys thing.

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    Okay, let me pose a question to you guys. I've been racing on and off for over 10 years. Used to race Sport back in the early/ mid 90s-when I had more time to train.

    Since then, I do train, but it is inconsitent at best. I have decent bike handling skills, but not great. I usually do 3 or 4 Beginner races per summer and I finish somewhere in the top 50%-sometimes higher and sometimes lower, depending on how much I've been riding. I go extended periods of time (i.e. 6 months to a year or so) with no riding at all. I'll get burnt on riding and switch to running or weight lifting.

    I do the races for the atmosphere, to get out of town for a couple of days-most of the races I do are in Big Bear, CA-and to get a bit of an adreleline rush. I don't do it to get on the podium. I don't mind being "herded." I don't mind forking over the entry fees. I just get a kick out of doing it. But not enough of one to train more extensively-at least at this point in my life (just finishing up back to back Master's degress while working full time).

    Sure, I've done quite a few races over the years, but I simply feel more comfortable with the Beginner class -again, due to my inconsistent training. And it's not like I'm out there getting on the podium or placing top 5 at the expense of people really new to racing.

    I feel like I'm sort of in a middle ground area. What are your thought?

    Thanks,
    Craig T
    Last edited by Craig T; 03-25-2004 at 10:09 AM.

  102. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craig T
    I feel like I'm sort of in a middle ground area. What are your thought?

    Thanks,
    Craig T
    You can take 100 true beginners (never raced before) and throw them in a race and you'll still end up with half the group crying "sandbagger"! The whiners will simply change their definition of sandbagger to fit the scenario.

  103. #103
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    Hmmmm .... some of you guys are way too uptight. Race, or don't race. Enjoy it, or not. The Rest of the World doesn't owe you a top 10 finish. D.
    You be you. I'll be riding.

  104. #104

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    Quote Originally Posted by Duncan!
    Hmmmm .... some of you guys are way too uptight. Race, or don't race. Enjoy it, or not. The Rest of the World doesn't owe you a top 10 finish. D.

    Good point.

    Craig T

  105. #105

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    Thanks for the warm wishes. We've finally moved those sandbagging Canadian and Europeans to some other Super Double Secret Probation Black Ops World Domination Class!

  106. #106

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    Wow sandbaggers must be everywhere. I have always raced clydesdale, but since I am barely over 200 lb's most of the time I have considered moving to sport. I remember the first race I entered several years ago, when the official called for the first beginner class to line up I saw most of them on $3000 bikes and dressed in full roadie lycra. hmmm some of them were even wearing sponsor jerseys. I thought, surely these people are not beginners??? I came back to racing last fall and it's still the same, if not worse. I can't imagine someone actually displaying a trophy that they won in a beginner class unless they are a BEGINNER (look it up in the dictionary, sandbaggers). Just the name alone should shame some into moving up. I also have checked times, the top beginner times will usually be very near the top sport times.

    If anyone from NORBA reads this thread, maybe you should listen, and understand how many people (the "true" beginners) will never return after enterng a race they have no chance of ever winning. How is our sport going to grow if nothing is done to change the image of racing, and make it an event that new riders will want to return to?

  107. #107

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    Ethics of Racing

    I am a novice racer and just raced in my first race this season today. I move myself up to sport because I know I can handle it. What I found out today is that many of the teams are placing people in lower catagories just so they can have team bragging rights. Oveall I had a pretty bad taste of racing after today. I would have won the begineer race but I was very happy with my top 1/3 showing in sport.

    Also, I showed up a day early and camped out and met up with the sponsor and helped a little with the set up. While setting up many of the exper/pro men where riding the trail and never offered any help but made a complaint on how the start was set or about the payout. I guess they are just too good to help out. Then there was the "begineer racer" today bragging about his $3500 bike set-up. If you are spending that much on a bike you are not a beginner.

    My advice, race to have fun and make sure you call the sandbaggers out and let them know your dissapproval.

  108. #108
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    man o man...

    let this thread die! I know I am contributing to its length but jeeesh. I think the horse is not only dead but buried and decomposed. Well, since I have your attention....

    To those who bag on racing: If you recall, the original post was regarding the "sandbager population." So, you who don't race need not reply.

    To those who whine because of the sandbagers: yep they're out there. Certainly there are a few on this board. Just train harder.

    To those sandbagers: Good for you. You've reached the podium in the "BEGINNER" class. Now you can tell your friends you were the best of the "least experienced." Get some balls and move up.

    To the those who insist on bickering over who's right/wrong: It's obvious you need to get out and go for an epic ride.

    That's all!

    ss-toom

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