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  1. #1
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    Is it worth racing SS if...

    you have NEVER entered any mtn bike event before??? I really don't have the slightest clue how I compare to other mountain cyclist. I have only been SSing for about 300 miles and love it, but I am not sure if racing is my thing. I mainly ride by myself and enjoy the simplicity of SSing, the quiet outdoors (now that there is no gears or shocks to pollute my ears), the tougher workout and smile that won't leave my face after a day of SSing. BUT, I have a slight competitive urge to feed... I looked at the previous times for the SS catagory I would be entering, and it looks like I'd be in the bottom 25% with my current times (13 people entered SS catagory last year). And school will not permit much time to train. Any thoughts/experiences would be appreciated. THANKS, CK
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by cavitykilla
    you have NEVER entered any mtn bike event before??? I really don't have the slightest clue how I compare to other mountain cyclist. I have only been SSing for about 300 miles and love it, but I am not sure if racing is my thing. I mainly ride by myself and enjoy the simplicity of SSing, the quiet outdoors (now that there is no gears or shocks to pollute my ears), the tougher workout and smile that won't leave my face after a day of SSing. BUT, I have a slight competitive urge to feed... I looked at the previous times for the SS catagory I would be entering, and it looks like I'd be in the bottom 25% with my current times (13 people entered SS catagory last year). And school will not permit much time to train. Any thoughts/experiences would be appreciated. THANKS, CK
    what have you got to lose? go for it and have fun. i am in the same boat as you and I plan on just entering races for fun.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by cavitykilla
    you have NEVER entered any mtn bike event before??? I really don't have the slightest clue how I compare to other mountain cyclist. I have only been SSing for about 300 miles and love it, but I am not sure if racing is my thing. I mainly ride by myself and enjoy the simplicity of SSing, the quiet outdoors (now that there is no gears or shocks to pollute my ears), the tougher workout and smile that won't leave my face after a day of SSing. BUT, I have a slight competitive urge to feed... I looked at the previous times for the SS catagory I would be entering, and it looks like I'd be in the bottom 25% with my current times (13 people entered SS catagory last year). And school will not permit much time to train. Any thoughts/experiences would be appreciated. THANKS, CK
    How about entering in the beginner category for your age group, but racing with your SS?

  4. #4
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    sandbag...

    beginner times were really fairly slow, and I wouldn't wanna piss anyone off by riding a SS. I have never raced and don't quite know how all this passing stuff goes down(I'd be ready to kick some arse if someone ran me off the trail or cause me to crash) which is why I was thinking of entering the SS catagory; less than 20 racers. I just can't decide if its worth the time and money when I could wait one day and ride in the peace and quiet.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by cavitykilla
    beginner times were really fairly slow, and I wouldn't wanna piss anyone off by riding a SS. I have never raced and don't quite know how all this passing stuff goes down(I'd be ready to kick some arse if someone ran me off the trail or cause me to crash) which is why I was thinking of entering the SS catagory; less than 20 racers. I just can't decide if its worth the time and money when I could wait one day and ride in the peace and quiet.

    Doesn't sound like sandbagging, if you've never raced before then you wouldn't be bagging by racing in the beginner category, regardless of your bike choice. Keep in mind that it can be frustrating climbing behind people with gears, and I'm sure that it'll be much more difficult to maintain your momentum behind beginners with gears. I'd suggest racing with the ssers, if you're not results oriented, you'd probably have a much bettter experience.

    scott

  6. #6
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    Who cares how well you do to start. The point is this will let you know if you like to race. Don't focus on the results. Just think of all the potential friends are there to ride with.
    Quote Originally Posted by cavitykilla
    you have NEVER entered any mtn bike event before??? I really don't have the slightest clue how I compare to other mountain cyclist. I have only been SSing for about 300 miles and love it, but I am not sure if racing is my thing. I mainly ride by myself and enjoy the simplicity of SSing, the quiet outdoors (now that there is no gears or shocks to pollute my ears), the tougher workout and smile that won't leave my face after a day of SSing. BUT, I have a slight competitive urge to feed... I looked at the previous times for the SS catagory I would be entering, and it looks like I'd be in the bottom 25% with my current times (13 people entered SS catagory last year). And school will not permit much time to train. Any thoughts/experiences would be appreciated. THANKS, CK

  7. #7
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    Stop giving it so much thought, just show up sign into the biginner class and when time to race comes enjoy the looks of the other racers looking at your bike wondering were your shifters are.

    I did 1 race this year on the beginner class and that was what happened to me, I got all this strange looks on the starting line until someone said outloud "it's a singlespeed". I finished 4th from 10 and felt good about the effort.

    Go and enjoy the experience.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by cavitykilla
    beginner times were really fairly slow, and I wouldn't wanna piss anyone off by riding a SS. I have never raced and don't quite know how all this passing stuff goes down(I'd be ready to kick some arse if someone ran me off the trail or cause me to crash) which is why I was thinking of entering the SS catagory; less than 20 racers. I just can't decide if its worth the time and money when I could wait one day and ride in the peace and quiet.
    Since you're never raced you qualify as a beginner, especially if you don't know how to pass without a fist fight.

    Say you are too strong for that category. Wouldn't it be fun to get on top of the podium for your first race? What could stoke your racing fire more? I want pics of you winning.

  9. #9
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    ... and if we just ... Race in the SS catagory

    Quote Originally Posted by cavitykilla
    you have NEVER entered any mtn bike event before??? I really don't have the slightest clue how I compare to other mountain cyclist. I have only been SSing for about 300 miles and love it, but I am not sure if racing is my thing. I mainly ride by myself and enjoy the simplicity of SSing, the quiet outdoors (now that there is no gears or shocks to pollute my ears), the tougher workout and smile that won't leave my face after a day of SSing. BUT, I have a slight competitive urge to feed... I looked at the previous times for the SS catagory I would be entering, and it looks like I'd be in the bottom 25% with my current times (13 people entered SS catagory last year). And school will not permit much time to train. Any thoughts/experiences would be appreciated. THANKS, CK
    I say race in the SS catagory. That's what I did when I started racing cyclocross. I don't think that racing the beginer catagory is worth it, the race is usually a lap or more shorter. I thought about the time and some money that I had put in to race and decided that I had to ride in the SS catagory, 45min VS 30min in a cross race.
    Its not like the whole SS class is going to be sitting down on their 3rd beer when you cross the finish line and point and laugh and call you a loser, I haven't seen that happen. Most of your comp should be nice guys out to have a fun time just like you. I predict that you'll make at least a friend or two and enjoy yourself.
    Also when looking at finish times for a race remember that the distance to time was done at a RACE pace for the participants. It's hard to predict your own race pace for a given distance without being in a race, adreniline, comp, etc hard to factor in. You can probably go faster then what you are predicting based on training rides.

  10. #10
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    The real question for you is "Is it worth racing?" If so, then sure, it's worth racing ss.

    I feel the opposite when it came to my last race. I would not have raced it with gears.

    Since it's your first race, you are a beginner. Don't worry about sandbagging, worry about having fun and enjoying yourself.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by cavitykilla
    beginner times were really fairly slow, and I wouldn't wanna piss anyone off by riding a SS. I have never raced and don't quite know how all this passing stuff goes down(I'd be ready to kick some arse if someone ran me off the trail or cause me to crash) which is why I was thinking of entering the SS catagory; less than 20 racers. I just can't decide if its worth the time and money when I could wait one day and ride in the peace and quiet.
    First, looking at times doesn't mean anything unless you see the course. A flat and fast 15 mile race will have much different times than a course that is hilly and technical.

    Second, if you haven't raced before, try beginner and learn how to ride with a bunch of other riders on the trail that you need to pass and they need to pass you.

    Third, just because there are less than 20 riders racing in the SS category doesn't mean they are the only ones on the trail. I race in a very large race series and we start in age group waves. So, even though there may be 25 SS racers, there are still 200+ racers on the course at the same time. And that's just for the sport race.

    Fourth, people race SS bike in other categories. One of the top five elite riders (pro, semi-pro, and expert) in our series raced a SS. He's fast as hell.

  12. #12
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    Good job! Go for it!!

    Quote Originally Posted by cavitykilla
    you have NEVER entered any mtn bike event before??? I really don't have the slightest clue how I compare to other mountain cyclist. I have only been SSing for about 300 miles and love it, but I am not sure if racing is my thing. I mainly ride by myself and enjoy the simplicity of SSing, the quiet outdoors (now that there is no gears or shocks to pollute my ears), the tougher workout and smile that won't leave my face after a day of SSing. BUT, I have a slight competitive urge to feed... I looked at the previous times for the SS catagory I would be entering, and it looks like I'd be in the bottom 25% with my current times (13 people entered SS catagory last year). And school will not permit much time to train. Any thoughts/experiences would be appreciated. THANKS, CK
    I've only entered two races in the last seven months the last one being this past Saturday and I finished last each time but I was a good experience (well, with the exception of this past Saturday, I bonked big time) There is really no way to compare your abilities until you enter a race. It'll push you physically and mentally way more than riding solo and ultimately improve your biking skills.

    If you can, do a pre-ride of the course, you might have to make some adjustments to your gearing. The wrong choice in gear, even 1 tooth, can make your racing experience miserable or a blast.

    Even though we all want to finish first, if you find yourself falling too far off the pace, just try to have fun and gain knowledge for the next race. It's definetly a good experience just being out there with other enthusiasts.

  13. #13
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    I'll be racing SS.

    Thanks for all the insight guys. I got in with a group this weekend for a 12 hour race in Tsali, so I will actually get some exposure to race etiquette. Anyone else gonna be there??? From what I have heard the Tsali course will be somewhat similar to the one I will be racing in early June (Oak Mountain in Birmingham, AL). I am taking my geared bike this weekend only because I don't want to hold the team up. Also, I decided to register in the SS catagory in June mainly because they race an entire 17 mile lap whereas beginners cut things a bit short; I'm too cheap to pay for 75% of a race Is there a stardard protocol for the order in which catagories begin a race? (i.e. pros, expert, sport, beginner then SS) I am excited as hell about this weekend, should be a blast!!!
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by cavitykilla
    Is there a stardard protocol for the order in which catagories begin a race? (i.e. pros, expert, sport, beginner then SS) I am excited as hell about this weekend, should be a blast!!!

    Start order is determined by the race director. Good luck, race hard.

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    Stay cool

    Man stay calm,mtb racing is all about havin some fun and meeting new friends to ride with
    don't get pissed about gettin passed....Your gonna get passed and your gonna do some passing yourself...

    With that being said let me pass you on a little tip..Get yourself some curved barends (they don't get caught on things like straight ones) they are the most awesome things in the world for gently nugging other riders out of your way in mass starts and crowded single track.... Have fun--JJ

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by cavitykilla
    Thanks for all the insight guys. I got in with a group this weekend for a 12 hour race in Tsali, so I will actually get some exposure to race etiquette. Anyone else gonna be there??? From what I have heard the Tsali course will be somewhat similar to the one I will be racing in early June (Oak Mountain in Birmingham, AL). I am taking my geared bike this weekend only because I don't want to hold the team up. Also, I decided to register in the SS catagory in June mainly because they race an entire 17 mile lap whereas beginners cut things a bit short; I'm too cheap to pay for 75% of a race Is there a stardard protocol for the order in which catagories begin a race? (i.e. pros, expert, sport, beginner then SS) I am excited as hell about this weekend, should be a blast!!!
    i'll be at tsali racing the 6 hr solo category....with gears. was planning on bringing the ss along but decided to leave it at home for the weekend.

    not to burst your bubble but, tsali is nothing like oak mtn except for the fact that they both have trails on them. tsali is super smooth and fast while oak mtn is rocky and technical. i'd race my ss at tsali long before i'd take it to oak mtn.

    good luck tomorrow! it's going to be a muddy one.

    rt

    ps - as for your question about race order: ss category will go off at 9:52am 1 minute after sport men 25-29 and 2 minutes before sport ment 30-34. the organizers of this race are punctual and you will go off at the time they have on the flyer. go here for the flyer. you can also get more info about the race here
    already out on the course will be all pro and expert men & women.
    Last edited by *rt*; 05-20-2005 at 01:32 PM.
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  17. #17
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    Hey CK, make sure and tell us how you did! Good luck.

    Jim

  18. #18
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    My $.02; don't race w/ gearies...

    Quote Originally Posted by Nat
    How about entering in the beginner category for your age group, but racing with your SS?
    ..until you have a few races under your belt. There are strengths and weaknesses to both styles of riding. Generally you need to change your normal SS riding style to match the gearies or you'll just piss everyone off. I've raced gearies and done well but it takes a few races to get used to it. On the other hand, race like you vote; early and often .

    Good Luck and have fun, 1G1G, Brad

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by *rt*
    i'll be at tsali racing the 6 hr solo category....with gears. was planning on bringing the ss along but decided to leave it at home for the weekend.

    WHAT?!?!?!?!

    you burst my bubble...

    wooglin, I think that you should bust out that stick and take care of that derailler.....

    scott

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by aka brad
    ..until you have a few races under your belt. There are strengths and weaknesses to both styles of riding. Generally you need to change your normal SS riding style to match the gearies or you'll just piss everyone off. I've raced gearies and done well but it takes a few races to get used to it. On the other hand, race like you vote; early and often .

    Good Luck and have fun, 1G1G, Brad
    In every race I've done, the SS'ers and the gearies all end up mixed together on the course regardless of how they're grouped on paper.

  21. #21
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    12hr of Tsali was a blast...

    The race was course awesome!!! Can't wait to ride the rest of the loops in Tsali, it looks like the perfect place for a rigid SS. Our team had a great time and a great showing as it was a first time race for 3/4 of us. We met some cool folks and got to drink a few beers afterwards, good times. The course was Tsali's right loop and part of the left (13mi); it was really muddy the first few laps but dried out and sped up considerably as the hours past. We actually had the lead in our catagory for a bit but ended up placing fifth in the coed. It was kinda tough racing on a trail that I had never ridden before, I wasted a ton of energy my first lap but smoothed things out a bit after that. I was amazed at some of the 12hr solo guys. Some dread lock guy kicked everyones butt in the solo catagory. Only ran into 2 guys racing but never saw how they finished. Anyways, thanks for the advise. I'll be at many more race events to come (I love the mind set I got into once the race started. It makes you push yourself so much harder than when you're out on a spin alone.)
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by cavitykilla
    The race was course awesome!!! Can't wait to ride the rest of the loops in Tsali, it looks like the perfect place for a rigid SS. Our team had a great time and a great showing as it was a first time race for 3/4 of us. We met some cool folks and got to drink a few beers afterwards, good times. The course was Tsali's right loop and part of the left (13mi); it was really muddy the first few laps but dried out and sped up considerably as the hours past. We actually had the lead in our catagory for a bit but ended up placing fifth in the coed. It was kinda tough racing on a trail that I had never ridden before, I wasted a ton of energy my first lap but smoothed things out a bit after that. I was amazed at some of the 12hr solo guys. Some dread lock guy kicked everyones butt in the solo catagory. Only ran into 2 guys racing but never saw how they finished. Anyways, thanks for the advise. I'll be at many more race events to come (I love the mind set I got into once the race started. It makes you push yourself so much harder than when you're out on a spin alone.)
    did you race with Sarah on your team?

    oh, and that "dread lock guy" is Tinker Juarez.

    rt
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by *rt*
    did you race with Sarah on your team?
    rt
    Yep, that was me. I'm a good friend and riding buddy with her younger brother, Adam. We all ate lunch together later Sunday (I was sitting next to Sarahon your side of the table). I think I am gonna be able to get into a couple of more races in the upcoming months. Are you coming to B-ham in June? I'm gonna try and squeze that one in. We are also looking at going to Athens for Southern Lights if we can pick up one of those guys from that Smoky Mountain Bike Shop. Congrats again on the finish last weekend, CK
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by cavitykilla
    Yep, that was me. I'm a good friend and riding buddy with her younger brother, Adam. We all ate lunch together later Sunday (I was sitting next to Sarahon your side of the table). I think I am gonna be able to get into a couple of more races in the upcoming months. Are you coming to B-ham in June? I'm gonna try and squeze that one in. We are also looking at going to Athens for Southern Lights if we can pick up one of those guys from that Smoky Mountain Bike Shop. Congrats again on the finish last weekend, CK
    ah! now i know who you are! nice job on your first race. glad you brought the geared bike? did you guys get out for a ride on sunday? we ended up doing about an hour on the road at a snails pace.

    yup, i'll be at Bump in June. it's a great course and a really fun race. looking forward to it. i DNF'ed last year after i flatted twice in about 500 yards. grrr. hopefully i'll have better luck this year. that will be a tough course on your ss so be prepared!

    i know a bunch of people doing s'ern lights and briefly considered doing it as a co-ed team with some friends but i think that is the only weekend in June that i am not either away or racing so i think i will be staying put at home.

    thanks and congrats to you guys as well!

    rt
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by *rt*
    oh, and that "dread lock guy" is Tinker Juarez.

    rt
    Can't Tinker find a day job? Even Ned and Tomac hung it up ... eventually.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caffeine Powered
    Can't Tinker find a day job? Even Ned and Tomac hung it up ... eventually.

    Ned still races.

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