If only there was a 5th Cat

First race tonight. Thanks everyone, it's been lovely.

by Dave Atkinson   July 29, 2014  

bcc jersey

So. Here we are then, after saying I'd do it over a year ago and spending a year yoyo-ing between fitness and bed-boundness as my back repeatedly fell apart, I'm two-and-a-bit hours away from my first ever road bicycle race. Not counting TTs. Forty minutes plus one lap, Odd Down circuit. Cat 4s only.

Will I win? No. In the points? No. Stay on? Probably not. Even setting my sights at a pass rather than a fail is hopelessly optimistic. I've just spent a week in France eating croissants and generally not cycling at all. Let's call it tapering, if you like. Whatever, I'm not at my peak. Which isn't a very high peak anyway. I've not had masses of experience of riding in a group, and very little at anything like race pace. I don't even have a suitable race bike to call my own right now, so I've dragged one out of the road.cc shed. I picked a cheap one so I'd look okay hanging off the back.

So why do it at all? Well, because I want to do it, and I aspire to get better at it. And I've seen friends start on the same road, and improve, and move up. And I want that too. But to move up, you need to start. So. I start. Wish me luck. I need it.

17 user comments

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There is a 5th Cat, its called a sportive Wink

have a great time!

Racer 074 for the 2014 Transcontinental Race; 2,000 miles from London to Istanbul.

http://themartincox.co.uk/2014/03/racer-074-transcontinental-race-2014/

posted by themartincox [383 posts]
29th July 2014 - 15:58

167 Likes

All the very best Dave. Don't break a leg... or a clavicle, or an elbow... ! Just try and stay with the surges (it'll probably go like the clappers at the start and settle down on a circuit) and work your butt off to stay well within the head of the bunch.

PS been such a while since I raced in a bunch of any kind I would be Schrodinger's Cat Wink

posted by IHphoto [112 posts]
29th July 2014 - 15:59

152 Likes

G'luck, I'm looking forward to it more than my races Smile

Jez Ash's picture

posted by Jez Ash [154 posts]
29th July 2014 - 16:05

158 Likes

story of my life. go kick some ass.

posted by balint.hamvas [5 posts]
29th July 2014 - 18:51

148 Likes

For some, it's the path, not the goal Big Grin

posted by ronin [164 posts]
30th July 2014 - 6:39

149 Likes

Come on then, how did it go? (and well done for getting stuck in, I am also going to need to take the plunge)

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3476 posts]
30th July 2014 - 7:09

150 Likes

Did my first last night.
First 15mins up in the bunch, probably a little too far back, going around 110% to stay there at times, then reality kicked in and around 5 of us go chucked out the back.
Stuck at it and finished, need to train harder!

glynr36's picture

posted by glynr36 [509 posts]
30th July 2014 - 8:19

151 Likes

The psychological barriers can be the biggest enemy, with me anyway. Just remember that not every rider thats there is super fit, and that when you are suffering so is everyone else, it's easy to think they are all fine and you are dying.
Also there is no better training than actually racing, you will never go as hard in training.

posted by lolol [130 posts]
30th July 2014 - 8:34

148 Likes

lolol wrote:
The psychological barriers can be the biggest enemy, with me anyway. Just remember that not every rider thats there is super fit, and that when you are suffering so is everyone else, it's easy to think they are all fine and you are dying.
Also there is no better training than actually racing, you will never go as hard in training.

A few of the guys I was talking to after confirmed both of those, I'm back there next week for the next in the series there!

glynr36's picture

posted by glynr36 [509 posts]
30th July 2014 - 8:52

144 Likes

how did it go? well, i got spanked. but i kind of expected that, so no dramas. stayed in for half a dozen laps and then the elastic broke. persevered in a group of three for most of the rest of the race but in the end i got spat out of that too. it was 35 mins + 3 laps and i got lapped just before the 35 mins was up so i bowed out and watched the final three. Ed from the Bath Uni team took a fine second place.

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7506 posts]
30th July 2014 - 8:54

151 Likes

Congrats on having the courage to give it a go.

I've been meaning to give it a try and have used all manner of handy excuses to avoid actually doing it. Soon I will MTFU and get out there.

2013 Focus Cayo Evo --- 2013 Boardman CX Team

IngloriousLou's picture

posted by IngloriousLou [136 posts]
30th July 2014 - 9:57

150 Likes

Well done Dave! You'll do better next time. Bash some hard intervals in the meantime!

posted by IHphoto [112 posts]
31st July 2014 - 10:50

144 Likes

I'm planning to have a go later this year. Good to hear from others in the same boat.

I think some of the comments on here are really useful - thanks for your collective wisdom!

posted by BikeBud [116 posts]
31st July 2014 - 11:46

144 Likes

themartincox wrote:
There is a 5th Cat, its called a sportive Wink

Actually, its called silly commuter racing!

zanf's picture

posted by zanf [604 posts]
31st July 2014 - 12:15

148 Likes

I am a cat6 racer, I say racer it's more eating cakes and drinking beer.

meursault's picture

posted by meursault [20 posts]
3rd August 2014 - 4:37

145 Likes

Its good to read about everyones first experiences of racing and it seems they are all pretty much the same. My first race was a road race Cat4/3/2, turned out the only cat 4's were my buddy and me needless to say we got a good kicking but it opened my eyes to how good the quick guys really are, and just because you got some top tens on Strava doesn't mean your fast. Must have another try soon.

boffo's picture

posted by boffo [34 posts]
8th August 2014 - 20:13

110 Likes

So that's why you volunteered to help with our Hill Climb.
Hinton Hill certainly won't take as long as a road race.
Did anyone mention that all the prizes in the Bath CC Hill Climb include a cake? There's also a family catagory and a nobbly tyres prize. Entries on line www.cyclingtimetrials.org.uk/Events-List

Aileen

posted by Aileen [12 posts]
19th August 2014 - 22:22

3 Likes