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BotanyBay said:
It's the same everywhere. So what you're telling me is that rather than race with younger guys in a lower racing category, masters racers would choose to not race at all? From what I've seen and experienced, many of the masters events are speed-competitive with the 1-5 racing categories, so what exactly do they fear?

Or is it that you want them to be able to race multiple events? How about "putting their all" into the one race they do ride, or perhaps we can return to the era of races that are longer than 30 minutes (plus one lap)?

Myself, I don't even want to bother training all year to ride criteriums that are just 15 miles long (at best). They've shortened the events over the years to accommodate the ridiculous number of masters categories. Even more ridiculous is that a 48 year-old masters racer will enter his 45+, 40+ and 35+ events, and do three 10-mile criteriums back-to-back. How about a REALLY GOOD 25-30 mile event? The current evolution is stupid and caters to the idiotic whims of masters racers. So yes, if you're entering 3 criteriums in a single day, yes, you suck.
OK, you're not a fan of masters racing, I get that. You either can't or don't choose to do it. So you know what? You shouldn't do it. I am not interested softball but I don't go around saying that everyone who plays in an adult softball league sucks and should either sit home on the couch or play in double A baseball.
I believe a lot of masters wouldn't show up if their only option was risking a broken hip while hanging on like grim death to a bunch of wanna be pro cat 4s with no job or family concerns and all day to train.
What you see as clinging to youth others may see as having fun while staying fit beyond middle age.
Maybe the mistake comes in still calling the product "Bike Racing" maybe it should be called "Industrial Park Cycling". Admittedly it is a different sport, but it exists because people will pay to do it, and it works for race promotors in the form it has evolved into. You don't like it, don't show up.
The "pro master" is a different story, but really they are only about 10-20% of the field. For the rest it is good clean fun without having to deal with being put at risk by some 20 year old kid with no experience and a sense of immortality not yet dulled by reality.
By the way, I myself didn't make it to a single industrial pk crit this past season. I was too busy and anyway have always prefered longer races.:D
 
Oct 25, 2010
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acoggan said:
Sorry, but logically it is not.
During the time period where we could get 80-100 juniors, it was still not uncommon for some promoters to not even offer a junior event. They'd lump us in with the Cat3s, and I actually enjoyed that. It was always fun to kick their asses up a climb. What I hated was the PITA to gain upgrade points for when I turned 18. Since I was trying to make the national team (my goal), I wanted to post results against guys like McKinley and McCarthy, not winning Cat 3 events, so I tended to stick with the juniors. My district rep was inconsistent with how he upgraded people.

I kind of drew a big distinction between "juniordom" and "seniordom". Still do. As juniors, we are still knucklehead kids and when we turn senior, it is our coming-of-age. That 18 year-old threshold goes way beyond cycling. Society puts a big dividing line between juveniles and adults. So I'm comfortable maintaining that boundary. But if only 5 juniors show up, I have no problem with lumping them into the Cat3/4 race. I consider juniors racing to be the equal of doing cross-country or playing football in high school.

Womens? We'll talk when there's more than 300 women in the nation who are dead serious about treating bike racing seriously.

But after we turn 18/19 (whatever makes you an Espoir now), we're adults. To answer your question, no, I don't think we need an U-23 championship. Nor do we need masters world champs. Wanna be world champ? Be world champ, or learn to play chess really well.
 
Oct 25, 2010
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Hugh Januss said:
OK, you're not a fan of masters racing, I get that. You either can't or don't choose to do it. So you know what? You shouldn't do it. I am not interested softball but I don't go around saying that everyone who plays in an adult softball league sucks and should either sit home on the couch or play in double A baseball.
I believe a lot of masters wouldn't show up if their only option was risking a broken hip while hanging on like grim death to a bunch of wanna be pro cat 4s with no job or family concerns and all day to train.
What you see as clinging to youth others may see as having fun while staying fit beyond middle age.
Maybe the mistake comes in still calling the product "Bike Racing" maybe it should be called "Industrial Park Cycling". Admittedly it is a different sport, but it exists because people will pay to do it, and it works for race promotors in the form it has evolved into. You don't like it, don't show up.
The "pro master" is a different story, but really they are only about 10-20% of the field. For the rest it is good clean fun without having to deal with being put at risk by some 20 year old kid with no experience and a sense of immortality not yet dulled by reality.
By the way, I myself didn't make it to a single industrial pk crit this past season. I was too busy and anyway have always prefered longer races.:D
I think the "Cat4 death trap" you describe is pure hyperbole. So race Cat3. But even Cat3's crash a lot. And so do Cat1s and 2s. And so do masters.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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BotanyBay said:
During the time period where we could get 80-100 juniors, it was still not uncommon for some promoters to not even offer a junior event. They'd lump us in with the Cat3s, and I actually enjoyed that. It was always fun to kick their asses up a climb. What I hated was the PITA to gain upgrade points for when I turned 18. Since I was trying to make the national team (my goal), I wanted to post results against guys like McKinley and McCarthy, not winning Cat 3 events, so I tended to stick with the juniors. My district rep was inconsistent with how he upgraded people.

I kind of drew a big distinction between "juniordom" and "seniordom". Still do. As juniors, we are still knucklehead kids and when we turn senior, it is our coming-of-age. That 18 year-old threshold goes way beyond cycling. Society puts a big dividing line between juveniles and adults. So I'm comfortable maintaining that boundary. But if only 5 juniors show up, I have no problem with lumping them into the Cat3/4 race. I consider juniors racing to be the equal of doing cross-country or playing football in high school.

Womens? We'll talk when there's more than 300 women in the nation who are dead serious about treating bike racing seriously.
But after we turn 18/19 (whatever makes you an Espoir now), we're adults. To answer your question, no, I don't think we need an U-23 championship. Nor do we need masters world champs. Wanna be world champ? Be world champ, or learn to play chess really well.
So I'm confused...you seem to be saying you do believe that having separate races for individuals who differ in age or sex is appropriate, but only if there are enough such competitors to justify it. Logically, how do you reconcile that with your stance against masters racing??
 
Oct 25, 2010
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acoggan said:
So I'm confused...you seem to be saying you do believe that having separate races for individuals who differ in age or sex is appropriate, but only if there are enough such competitors to justify it. Logically, how do you reconcile that with your stance against masters racing??
I reconcile it by having a different view of juniors compared to adults, versus adults compared to other adults. It has less to do with ability than it has to do with age-appropriateness. Kids should be given this period of time to "play together". Masters and 25 year-olds are not that much different.

Seniors (masters ARE seniors) always have an opportunity to race. Juniors often have few options now. So they should be given an opportunity to race against more than just 3 other kids.
 
Oct 29, 2010
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Hugh Januss said:
I believe a lot of masters wouldn't show up if their only option was risking a broken hip while hanging on like grim death to a bunch of wanna be pro cat 4s with no job or family concerns and all day to train.
Maybe Masters should be divided into smaller categories:

Masters A: full-time job; married; 2 or more kids with good grades
Masters B: part-timers or freelancers; steady relationship with non-cyclist; single child or kids with passing grades
Masters C: unemployed; single or bitter divorcee; kids call rider by first name / in criminal justice system
 
Mar 18, 2009
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BotanyBay said:
I reconcile it by having a different view of juniors compared to adults, versus adults compared to other adults. It has less to do with ability than it has to do with age-appropriateness. Kids should be given this period of time to "play together". Masters and 25 year-olds are not that much different.
So you believe that adults of similar age shouldn't be allowed to "play together"?

BotanyBay said:
Seniors (masters ARE seniors) always have an opportunity to race. Juniors often have few options now.
So how do you reconcile this position with your apparent lack of support for women's racing?
 
Oct 25, 2010
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acoggan said:
So you believe that adults of similar age shouldn't be allowed to "play together"?
No. I believe they should be forced to play together. As should the adults of dissimilar age.



acoggan said:
So how do you reconcile this position with your apparent lack of support for women's racing?
I don't have a lack of support for women's racing. Women do.
 
Oct 25, 2010
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Hugh Januss said:
You can think that all you want, but it doesn't jibe with reality.
I've never noticed an actual trend. My impression was that overconfident Cat3's had the highest crash rate, but that was during my days.
 
BotanyBay said:
I've never noticed an actual trend. My impression was that overconfident Cat3's had the highest crash rate, but that was during my days.
It may be splitting hairs between those two groups. But there is a much healthier (as far as I am concerned) attitude in most masters fields that any injury that causes me to miss work the next day is a very bad thing and should be avoided at all cost, even to the extent of loosing a couple positions at the finish line. This line of thought would be out of place in a Pro 1-2 field, and rightfully so.
 
Aug 3, 2009
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Hugh Januss said:
It may be splitting hairs between those two groups. But there is a much healthier (as far as I am concerned) attitude in most masters fields that any injury that causes me to miss work the next day is a very bad thing and should be avoided at all cost, even to the extent of loosing a couple positions at the finish line. This line of thought would be out of place in a Pro 1-2 field, and rightfully so.
While I appreciate the opinion, and don't disagree with it entirely, I also don't think it's entirely true.

I've done 35+, 45+ and Pro 1-2 races on the same day on many occasions, and have had plenty of opportunities to see how many of my peers alter their approach to racing depending on category.

While the majority of riders in the masters categories share this healthy respect you speak of, because the masters events are age and not ability-graded, the potential that an individual riding outside of his fitness level or, more often, racing ability will find himself in the wrong place at the wrong time is significantly higher in a masters race. This extends from the gun to the final sprint.

If I race the Pro 1-2 event, the lowest common denominator re: skill and experience I have to worry about is a Cat 2; an individual who has (hopefully) demonstrated through the experience necessary to cat-up (through results and not completing a minimum number of races) that he can handle his bike.

In a 45+ masters race, there is nothing preventing that 46 year old Cat 5 from the local bike trail or mtb/tri club from jumping in with at least a modicum of fitness and zero pack racing experience (especially around here in So-Cal where plenty of guys are fit as horses but dumb as them as well). THAT is the guy I fear more than anyone else.

We ALL know at least one or two guys with the same story: "I've always wanted to race, but now that I have more time and I can race with guys my age, I think I'll get a license this year".


PS, all horse lovers I mean no disrespect to our equine friends.
 
Oct 25, 2010
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MacRoadie said:
We ALL know at least one or two guys with the same story: "I've always wanted to race, but now that I have more time and I can race with guys my age, I think I'll get a license this year".
I've met MANY people who would say "I'll get my license in X years when I turn 35 (or 40)." I tell them that Masters racing is no slower than the Cat5s, but they seem determined to only duke it out with the fellow baby boomers.

The other people I despise are the "sandbagging" masters. Those who actually show-up and ride the Cat 1-2 race as their "primary" goal, but they're also happy to snag primes and a top-3 placing in their respective masters event(s) (meaning they'll ride more than one masters race). If you're serious about the 1-2 event, then ride it for all you're worth, dude. Don't sandbag with athletes less able than you.
 
Aug 3, 2009
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BotanyBay said:
The other people I despise are the "sandbagging" masters. Those who actually show-up and ride the Cat 1-2 race as their "primary" goal, but they're also happy to snag primes and a top-3 placing in their respective masters event(s) (meaning they'll ride more than one masters race). If you're serious about the 1-2 event, then ride it for all you're worth, dude. Don't sandbag with athletes less able than you.
Bingo. That's the other bookend to masters racing.
 
Jun 22, 2009
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water finds it's own level

BotanyBay said:
I believe they should be forced to play together. As should the adults of dissimilar age.
i'm not sure if you realize this but race organization isn't exactly a cash cow. an organizer has some flexibility when grouping categories and deciding which age groups to focus on. they have to strategize how best to offer what cyclists in their surrounding area will want to participate in so that they can draw out as much participation (ie $$$) as possible. this freedom encourages a greater number of events for all ages (a good thing). suggesting that race organizers ignore demographics is unsustainable, naive, and may have unintended consequences like fewer opportunities for ALL to race. the masters racer who enters multiple events and forks over multiple entry fees is a VERY good thing for an event that is struggling to survive from year to year of which there are many. are you saying they should ignore demand and be willing to absorb losses because of YOUR value judgement? good luck with that. :rolleyes:

EDIT: it might be worth noting i've been racing approx 10 years and at 31 i have NEVER participated in an age-grouped cycling event. also, i think the old guy in the championship jersey with the thousand yard stare looks cool.
 
Oct 6, 2009
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lean said:
<snip>

EDIT: it might be worth noting i've been racing approx 10 years and at 31 i have NEVER participated in an age-grouped cycling event. also, i think the old guy in the championship jersey with the thousand yard stare looks cool.
That's because the old guy is a legend. Finished 6th in the 1984 Olympics RR. Has been racing forever, and never stopped.
 
Beech Mtn said:
That's because the old guy is a legend. Finished 6th in the 1984 Olympics RR. Has been racing forever, and never stopped.
That particular old guy will make you kids hurt in the cat 1-2 race after doing 2 masters races. He is however, not that good at the 'do you have a house and a 401K?' race.:cool:
 
It's so funny to watch you American guys freak out, dissing each other. Try to race in Europe and prepare get smoked by riders one or two categories lower. Even our seniors are faster than most of your cat 1s.

:D

(and my daddy beats your daddy as well)
 
Aug 13, 2009
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Mr.38&#37 said:
It's so funny to watch you American guys freak out, dissing each other. Try to race in Europe and prepare get smoked by riders one or two categories lower. Even our seniors are faster than most of your cat 1s.

:D

(and my daddy beats your daddy as well)
Is that why Turbo keeps smoking the Worlds? Fuller keeps winning the TT...Cal was 4th last year? multiple wins and podiums. You get the idea
 
Aug 3, 2009
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Mr.38% said:
It's so funny to watch you American guys freak out, dissing each other. Try to race in Europe and prepare get smoked by riders one or two categories lower. Even our seniors are faster than most of your cat 1s.

:D

(and my daddy beats your daddy as well)
Wow, I thought the "European riders are much faster than Americans" argument went out right about the time Jock Boyer retired.

I guess we'll keep on dreaming of a real American presence in the European peloton, but since those guys have to start in our apparently much slower domestic ranks, that day may never come...
 

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