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Should I quit racing?

Old 04-09-19, 09:46 PM
  #76  
UmneyDurak
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Have you tried zwift?
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Old 04-09-19, 10:35 PM
  #77  
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Originally Posted by UmneyDurak View Post
Have you tried zwift?
You shut up
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Old 04-10-19, 06:33 AM
  #78  
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I guess I'm weird then. I don't mind training just to see what I can do. Doesn't have to be one my one of my pitiful low number of two races per year. It's just more fun to be fast. I can see and experience more on a ride (or a run) being faster or more capable.

How is a 1 mile jog around the same block any fun? Now if I can run a 10k no problem and venture out further or into parks/trails more.....more opportunity. Same on the bike. If a metric century is nothing, all sorts of local possibilities open up.

A new PR on a 1.5mi hilly neighborhood loop, same loop but as a 10mi route, PR's on the TT bike, hit up the mountains again sometime for some climb PR's, repeat a fondo for a PR on finish time, beat 2 hours on a duathlon, bag a top 10 on a really legit local segment.........etc....

I can entertain myself plenty.

In the car world of tuning imports, you learn real quick you will NEVER be the fastest. Both money and time input. Money to the car and time at the track. You get content with smaller goals or other fun targets instead.

That 1.8 4-cylinder was never going to make 800whp, but I got it close to 500whp on 93 octane.

Same with me on the bike. I won't ever be a P/1/2 racer, but I can certainly work towards breaking 22min for a 10mi TT, then 21.5. I'll likely never see 20min or less.

But, I've gotta try to break 23min first. I've broken 24.
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Old 04-10-19, 09:31 AM
  #79  
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^ if you are hitting PRs that's one thing. I hit all my PRs within a year of starting.

Also riding a hundred on saturday isn't a big deal. It takes very little training to do that compared to race training. Just ride a half decent amount for a month and give yourself enough time before the sun sets. Training for racing is like 10x harder.
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Old 04-10-19, 10:37 AM
  #80  
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Originally Posted by aaronmcd View Post
^ if you are hitting PRs that's one thing. I hit all my PRs within a year of starting.

Also riding a hundred on saturday isn't a big deal. It takes very little training to do that compared to race training. Just ride a half decent amount for a month and give yourself enough time before the sun sets. Training for racing is like 10x harder.
When I first started riding, I would do something like 1000 miles before August 100 mile century ride (hotter than hell). And doing 20mph average for that was my big achievement. Now resuming riding again years later, and getting racing scene (cat 3). I'm 100x more fit and fast than I was back then. The difference between your good rec rider vs. racer is quite large. It takes a lot of work to increase FTP from 220w to 300w.
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Old 04-10-19, 10:57 AM
  #81  
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Not for nothing Aaron but if all of your PRs were set in your first year of riding and you've been following your own plan, isn't that an argument in favor of being coached? If you ever choose to jump back in might be something to consider.
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Old 04-10-19, 12:13 PM
  #82  
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Originally Posted by TheKillerPenguin View Post
Not for nothing Aaron but if all of your PRs were set in your first year of riding and you've been following your own plan, isn't that an argument in favor of being coached? If you ever choose to jump back in might be something to consider.
Ha yeah maybe, but idk if I could trust a coach. Unless maybe I interview them with questions like, "what do you think of short cranks?" Lol. Or "can you get more aero on a TT bike vs a road bike setup in the same position down to the last mm? If so, how come physics breaks down?" Or, "why are my glutes weak af?"
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Old 08-27-19, 01:36 PM
  #83  
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Interesting to find myself back on here looking at this thread. Struggling myself with this same question but coming at it from a different perspective. My last few seasons have been objectively great, but subjectively I am struggling with the fact that I am just sitting at the peak of what I can do physically and being mentally stressed from running a team for a number of years. It just feels like something's gotta give. I basically just melted down after getting dropped in a crit I didn't really care about from a goals perspective, didn't even fail physically just tactically made a blunder and I just lashed out unnecessarily at others. I guess for me it is knowing that I am at the limit of what I can do with the genetics I have, the time I have and the age I am. I could maybe accomplish more if I cut out other things, but I have a career, a new relationship and I still love to ride my bike.

I think I worry most about becoming something I hate because I keep pushing myself to be the best I can be. I think there is a point for all of us that will make us question why we race, and it isn't always because you are pack foddering, sometimes you just don't see what else you can aspire to or push yourself to be.
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Old 08-27-19, 02:37 PM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by dz_nuzz View Post
Interesting to find myself back on here looking at this thread. Struggling myself with this same question but coming at it from a different perspective. My last few seasons have been objectively great, but subjectively I am struggling with the fact that I am just sitting at the peak of what I can do physically and being mentally stressed from running a team for a number of years. It just feels like something's gotta give. I basically just melted down after getting dropped in a crit I didn't really care about from a goals perspective, didn't even fail physically just tactically made a blunder and I just lashed out unnecessarily at others. I guess for me it is knowing that I am at the limit of what I can do with the genetics I have, the time I have and the age I am. I could maybe accomplish more if I cut out other things, but I have a career, a new relationship and I still love to ride my bike.

I think I worry most about becoming something I hate because I keep pushing myself to be the best I can be. I think there is a point for all of us that will make us question why we race, and it isn't always because you are pack foddering, sometimes you just don't see what else you can aspire to or push yourself to be.
I too ran my team for a number of years. But many years before that, a friend once commented that teams ruin cycling.

I think there is a lot of truth to that.

Since handing off the team, I've been a lot more relaxed. I don't necessarily agree with all the decisions made by the new leadership, but it's no longer my responsibility. Maybe it's time to ride and race without the team?
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Old 08-27-19, 03:37 PM
  #85  
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Or try a different discipline too? Maybe some CX, TT, track or XC MTB. As they said in the Shining "All road and no play makes Jack a dull boy" or something like that.
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Old 08-27-19, 04:06 PM
  #86  
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I think you did some CX last year, did you find it fun? Maybe going further in that direction could be a refreshing change. I've never been all that good in any style of racing, but I find CX racing way less frustrating than road races and crits. We have a ton of super fun events (including MRC CX on 10/13, please come!) and for me I get to have my racing fun in the fall and just try and enjoy the summer riding without any major agendas.
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Old 08-28-19, 09:39 AM
  #87  
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@topflightpro I don't know if I agree with that sentiment. I like running a team, it has brought me purpose, and the feeling of building something. Seeing it transform from just me and two friends to a domestic elite team (no matter how incredibly ****ty we are) and build a community really has left me with an overall positive experience. What I am struggling with is the saying "You either die a hero or live to see yourself become a villain". I feel myself at that point in the leadership of the team and I just can't let that happen. I have been the one who has gotten the sponsors, stepped in when the kit order needed someone to just make decisions, manage the legal paperwork, etc. It is too much on top of trying to also be one of the Cat 1s on the team and get results.
@TMonk and @hubcyclist : I have tried CX and MTB (and I may even race CX a bit more this year) but I really can't come to love them like I love road. Understand I am not burnt out with road riding, the opposite almost. I want to ride more but the stress of racing is finally causing me to snap. CX races have never gone well for me and they brought out this side of me far faster than road ever did. I don't need to immerse myself in more race stress.

P.S. I can't promise I will show to the MRC CX race but I will certainly try.
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Old 08-28-19, 10:31 AM
  #88  
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Originally Posted by dz_nuzz View Post
Interesting to find myself back on here looking at this thread. Struggling myself with this same question but coming at it from a different perspective. My last few seasons have been objectively great, but subjectively I am struggling with the fact that I am just sitting at the peak of what I can do physically and being mentally stressed from running a team for a number of years. It just feels like something's gotta give. I basically just melted down after getting dropped in a crit I didn't really care about from a goals perspective, didn't even fail physically just tactically made a blunder and I just lashed out unnecessarily at others. I guess for me it is knowing that I am at the limit of what I can do with the genetics I have, the time I have and the age I am. I could maybe accomplish more if I cut out other things, but I have a career, a new relationship and I still love to ride my bike.

I think I worry most about becoming something I hate because I keep pushing myself to be the best I can be. I think there is a point for all of us that will make us question why we race, and it isn't always because you are pack foddering, sometimes you just don't see what else you can aspire to or push yourself to be.
I know you (like @Ygduf) are a high volume rider; so your 'investment' in the sport is greater than most of us, and from my experience stalking racers locally and online only about 10% that put in that kind of work or so stick it out for more than a few years. Most hit a wall with their improvements no matter what work is put in. Like @aaronmcd (who put in huge miles as well) your time investment has put you at the wall of your genetic limits (or within a few small percentages) and you know what you are and that's what you'll be. That genetic limit may elite, but its still a limit. Maybe its, 'I'm faster than everyone in the region but Bob and Larry' but its still frustrating, especially if Bob and Larry are in every race you're in (or Justin and Cory here in SCNCA).

I don't know what the answer is, and USA Cycling doesn't know the answer because riders washing out has been an unfixable issue for them. The sport is designed to cater to the top 5% and there are ways to fix it, but with that 5% being the most invested they run USAC, lobby the promoters, etc.

I wish I had an answer for you other than maybe taking a support role, only focusing on 2 races next year, or just a year off racing altogether (and run the team from the sidelines) but I don't think that's the answer.
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Old 08-28-19, 10:38 AM
  #89  
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Originally Posted by furiousferret View Post
The sport is designed to cater to the top 5% and there are ways to fix it, but with that 5% being the most invested they run USAC, lobby the promoters, etc.
Good sentence.

I've always wanted to see this said, but don't have enough experience in any of it to put the coherent thought together.
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Old 08-28-19, 10:38 AM
  #90  
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On a long enough time line everyone who participates in most any sport quits. Some fit it in again as an extreme hobby/ obsession. With very few exceptions everyone comes up against their limits. It's great to take a hobby seriously. I've built my life around my 'hobbies.' But at some point family/jobs/other hobbies take precedence. It's just the way it is. Evaluate what's best for you. And don't spend a lot of time in mental self-flagellation. Far better riders than either you or I (or anyone else) have had the epiphany that enough is enough and needed to move on to other things.
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Old 08-28-19, 11:52 AM
  #91  
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Most people it seems don't stay in racing long-term. I'm in season #3 , and I see tons of turnover. I'm wondering if I'm doing better not so much because I am better, but because the scene is getting worse. Tons of turnover in the Cat 3 and lower level.

I especially admire the guys who stay at it year after year despite never being on the podium, and actually never even sniffing it. They just enjoy the process.
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Old 08-28-19, 02:46 PM
  #92  
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Originally Posted by furiousferret View Post
I know you (like @Ygduf) are a high volume rider; so your 'investment' in the sport is greater than most of us, and from my experience stalking racers locally and online only about 10% that put in that kind of work or so stick it out for more than a few years. Most hit a wall with their improvements no matter what work is put in. Like @aaronmcd (who put in huge miles as well) your time investment has put you at the wall of your genetic limits (or within a few small percentages) and you know what you are and that's what you'll be. That genetic limit may elite, but its still a limit. Maybe its, 'I'm faster than everyone in the region but Bob and Larry' but its still frustrating, especially if Bob and Larry are in every race you're in (or Justin and Cory here in SCNCA).

I don't know what the answer is, and USA Cycling doesn't know the answer because riders washing out has been an unfixable issue for them. The sport is designed to cater to the top 5% and there are ways to fix it, but with that 5% being the most invested they run USAC, lobby the promoters, etc.

I wish I had an answer for you other than maybe taking a support role, only focusing on 2 races next year, or just a year off racing altogether (and run the team from the sidelines) but I don't think that's the answer.
Race more p12, roll the dice and be happy when your teammates win. I'd still race every weekend if life allowed for it. Once you put kids into the equation though, spending 10 hours on a race day and being exhausted the rest of the day is a big deal.
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Old 09-02-19, 11:19 AM
  #93  
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I just hit year 10 racing. Although this year, I raced only a small fraction of previous years and was done by mid-April.

I simply realized I absolutely had grown to hate riding and training. Stopped racing and started focusing on bike commuting to work and started to enjoy the miles for the first time in many years.

Looking back at the last 10 years, my only regret is that the year I started racing was the year my first kid was born... then quickly two more came... timing sucked! Never really got to see how I could do with some real volume training. 4 hours a week of training is tough to be truly competitive in P123 and 35+ racing. After a while of finishing 12th/45 you ask yourself if the bodily risk is worth it anymore.


TL;DR - agree with other posters and if you want to continue riding, find a niche you love - maybe it's CX, TTs, MTB or whatever stokes the passion. If you come back to racing... or not... it will be for the right reasons if you do. If the gym or running or something else if calling, don't look back.
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Old 09-10-19, 02:25 PM
  #94  
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I'll add my two cents

I'm late to this thread, but it seems worthwhile to add my two cents. I built up a very nice carbon frame for the purpose of really giving Masters 40+ racing a go this year, after contemplating a comeback for some time. I raced back in the late 1980s as a junior and saw some success, also in the 1990s into the early 2000s as a Cat. 3. Family, career and other pursuits took me away from it, but I really missed it.

I STILL miss it. I will always miss it. But I think I miss the idea of it more than the actual suffering and danger involved. I also built up a really nice vintage Italian frame last year, that I raced on in the 1990s, and just going out and rolling around on that thing is in some ways far more enjoyable than racing. I think maybe we need to come to terms with the following fact: perhaps one of the pinnacle achievements in life well lived are those when we could finish top 10 at some big bike races or just plain finish a hard crit. I even stepped on the podium a few times and won a race. I went to Junior Nationals in my teens. I was also a bit of a tortured young man when I was bike racing at my best.

I've found a lot more peace in my 40s and you can't put a price on that.
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Old 09-11-19, 02:50 PM
  #95  
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Spoiler alert, I didn't race. I trained for a few months, but I had lost a lot of fitness and progress was really really slow, and I started hating it again. I discovered it really is NOT possible to build strength in the gym and race-worthy speed on the bike at the same time. I'm not even riding except for a few miles around town on errands and the occasional social ride. I now have time to hike, explore the city, relax, lift, or work on my side gigs on weekends. My bikes are a few months past due for a full tune up. I watched Giro di SF and it looked hella fun. I keep saying I'll give it another shot in 2021 with 25-30 lbs more muscle than last time I raced lol.
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Old 09-12-19, 06:28 AM
  #96  
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Aaron, I think you might like track sprinting. The current philosophy around it is that track sprinters are power lifters who sometimes ride bikes. Given you inclination to lifting - and you seem to be able to lift quite a bit - it might be a good fit.

Plus, there are quite a few really top-notch masters track sprinters in your area.
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Old 09-12-19, 07:04 AM
  #97  
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Young guys train really hard, do well, move up to Cat 1. Then they realize that there is a limit to how far they can go in the sport. Time demands are significant. Peers are moving onward and upward with their education and careers. Increasingly it seems career concerns outweigh bike concerns. So they stop racing. Then they hit about 35-40 years old. Time demands are significant, they realize there's also so far they can go in their career. Increasingly, it feels like quality of life is more important than career. Gets back on bike. Gets fitter. Starts racing.
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