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Being a Cat 5 Sucks

Old 04-23-11, 08:33 PM
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kj5423
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Being a Cat 5 Sucks

payout: $500, 10 places. cat 5 get medals and baked goods.

cat 1/2: 90 miles Cat 3: 68 miles Cat 4: 52 miles Cat 5: 15 miles

all categories (besides category 5) are up for overall points awards




i've had it with this! cat 5s are bike racers too!
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Old 04-23-11, 09:10 PM
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You're a Cat 5 in Iowa and they gave you cupcakes and something shiny for racing your bicycle.

These are your salad days.
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Old 04-23-11, 09:40 PM
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Wow, 15 miles. I'd be pretty upset about the lack of race too. Cat 5 over here are treated just like the 4s. In fact, I'm not sure if there are any plain ole 5 races.

The trinkets I wouldn't mind as much, less reason for people to do something really stupid I passed an ambulance on the way to tend to a crash in my race today, payout was only merchandise too (Cat 4).
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Old 04-23-11, 11:18 PM
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The only reason I wanted to upgrade from the 5's was because they always had the 5s race early in the morning (~sunrise), and 4's were always midday or afternoon. Luckily most of our road race distances were comparable, maybe 10-15 miles shorter.
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Old 04-23-11, 11:21 PM
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complain more, then upgrade, then you'll have something entirely new to complain about.
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Old 04-24-11, 06:59 AM
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As a first time racer in my 40's, I have enjoyed the CAT5 races. I have placed in 3/5 with the other 2 places 8th and 10th in some big fields. It has been good practice for strategy and handling, I could alos enter into masters and take a chance at money (although these guys around here are beasts!). Work hard, place often, and move up!
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Old 04-24-11, 07:50 AM
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The 4 field here is huge so I'm actually enjoying the 5 & 45+ while I can. I just try to learn something and there's plenty to learn. 4 will come soon enough. GL
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Old 04-24-11, 09:05 AM
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Apparently they treat cat-5s differently where you are.
http://www.spokanerocketvelo.com/ind...=69&Itemid=115
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Old 04-24-11, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Debusama View Post
Apparently they treat cat-5s differently where you are.
http://www.spokanerocketvelo.com/ind...=69&Itemid=115
Combining the 4/5's with the 40+ masters seems a little cruel.
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Old 04-24-11, 09:44 AM
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Wait. You're saying you got cookies for winning in the 5? Now I feel ripped off.
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Old 04-24-11, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Creatre View Post
The only reason I wanted to upgrade from the 5's was because they always had the 5s race early in the morning (~sunrise), and 4's were always midday or afternoon. Luckily most of our road race distances were comparable, maybe 10-15 miles shorter.
+100

The Dana Point grand prix is 25 mins only for the 4/5s. To pay 30+ for that short of a race is robbery. But I paid anyway.
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Old 04-24-11, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by BrainInAJar View Post
Wait. You're saying you got cookies for winning in the 5? Now I feel ripped off.
lol. you know the more i think about this, the more awesome it does sound.

cookies for riding bikes....is it possible to never upgrade to the 4s?
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Old 04-24-11, 12:16 PM
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I think I'm going to miss the CAT 5, racing the criteriums with mentors, not having to worry about the final sprint, complaining how about that one sketchy rider...the list goes on. I promised my Junior teammates one more road race with them, then after the rest of May I'll no longer race the 5's unless there's an Elite 4/5 race.
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Old 04-24-11, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by kj5423 View Post
cat 1/2: 90 miles Cat 3: 68 miles Cat 4: 52 miles Cat 5: 15 miles

i've had it with this! cat 5s are bike racers too!
You need to make it out to the Rouge-Roubaix next March. Cat 1 race is 102 miles. Cat 5 race is 102 miles. Shoot, the gran fondo is 102 miles. They just use different start times. You'll definitely quit yer beyotchin'.
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Old 04-24-11, 01:11 PM
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IMO the goal of any rider in Cat 5 should be to upgrade asap, full stop. That's why you're automatically upgraded after a certain number of starts, regardless of your results. And it's the reason why you are also never allowed to downgrade yourself to Cat 5. You're in it to get out of it.

Now where's my cupcake?
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Old 04-24-11, 02:05 PM
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You can also do the Everest Challenge as a cat 5: 100 miles and 15,000' of climbing on the first day, 75 and 14,000 on the second, same as all the other fields. In fact cat 5 is often the largest field, because many of the riders only do a few races a year. I did it as my first race when I came back as a 5. (I didn't bother to petition to my previous category because it was only cat 4 and I figured that after 15 years off I could use some practice and instruction, and many NorCal races have Master 45s 4/5 fields so I'd be in the same field anyhow)

The point of cat 5 is to have smaller safer fields for beginning racers and allow the beginning racers to learn a bit about racing safely before they are unleashed into 100-strong cat 4 fields containing aggressive and experienced riders. I started racing in the 80s before cat 5. Back then cat 4 was a crash-fest. You had brand new riders mixed up with guys who'd been racing for a couple years, and riders who still thought that they could be the next Greg Lemond if they took enough chances. It's safer now- the 4s are still the same but keeping guys who have never raced out of the mix makes it more predictable.

There is no mandatory upgrade from 5 to 4. You have to ask for it. If you're not comfortable mixing it up in the larger cat 4 fields then stay a 5 for a while.
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Old 04-24-11, 02:11 PM
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15 miles is a little short though. They might as well have had you do the race on beach cruisers....that would have been sweet.
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Old 04-24-11, 02:22 PM
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I started racing in March and I've only had 1 race (out of 8) that offered a 5-only race. All the others were mixed 4/5's. In the one Cat 5 race, I could concentrate more on bike skills and tactics because the pace was noticably slower than the 4/5 fields. I would have liked a little more of that.

I'll have my 10 starts in a couple weeks and I guess I'll be upgrading, but I'll still be riding in the same field. I might take a try at some 3/4 races just for grins, but I'm thinking the 4/5's is where I'll be for a while, still have a lot to learn. At least I'll be able to talk about those "sketchy 5's" once I've got my upgrade.

Oh, and I'd be elated to win a cookie, cupcake, pie, etc. in any race.
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Old 04-24-11, 09:05 PM
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How about the ABR sanctioned Memorial Day Masters races...CAT 5 on Saturday and Sunday are 5 laps of a .6 mile course!
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Old 04-25-11, 05:51 AM
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as to whether you can stay a cat 5 forever: you can.

A quick perusal of the results page from our local event this weekend (there were two cat 5 races) reveals several USAC numbers that are rather old. The oldest being a six-digit number starting with 161---. I think that would go back to the late 90s perhaps.
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Old 04-25-11, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by 7bmwm3gtr View Post
complaining how about that one sketchy rider..
This doesn't stop after you leave the 5s.

And I agree that the best thing about moving up is the starting times.

Lastly, Cat 5s also serve as the profit center for race organizers. The fields tend to be pretty large and because there is no pay out, it allows the promoter to pay more to higher level cats or cover other race costs.
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Old 04-25-11, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Debusama View Post
Apparently they treat cat-5s differently where you are.
http://www.spokanerocketvelo.com/ind...=69&Itemid=115
Must be Eastern Washington.

http://ssvr.weebly.com/vance-creek-road-race.html

To the OP, yeah a 15 mile race does seem a little short. The advantage of and spirit of Cat5 is to build experience. IMO, a 15 mile race affords you a 30 minute sprint w/no real peloton dynamics or use of strategy, shame on the organizers.

The only limitations that 5s have here are the limitation to a field of 50 for safety. When more than 50 riders have registered they have created a second race to load balance and accomodate. The 4s and 5s run the same course and distance here, only difference like I mentioned is the field size...Pretty cool really...

In the mid-season upgrades, the successful (fast) 5s who got their 10 mass starts in, are now finishing high in the 4s and receiving upgrade points to the 3s.
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Old 04-25-11, 02:10 PM
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Sounds a lot like it's a road race for everyone but the Cat 5s, and the Cat 5s are doing a half hour crit. Not a terrible thing, really. Or, maybe it really does suck and that's all there is to it. I wouldn't pay for a 15 mile road race.

Perhaps it's a typo?
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Old 04-25-11, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by kindablue View Post
Wow, 15 miles. I'd be pretty upset about the lack of race too. Cat 5 over here are treated just like the 4s. In fact, I'm not sure if there are any plain ole 5 races.

The trinkets I wouldn't mind as much, less reason for people to do something really stupid I passed an ambulance on the way to tend to a crash in my race today, payout was only merchandise too (Cat 4).
This is because in Colorado under ACA rules, there are only 4 categories, and you do not get automatically upgraded.
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Old 04-26-11, 09:44 AM
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Stupid question of the day: Under US Cycling rules once you hit Cat4, how long does one have to be out of racing to be demoted back to Cat5?
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