4th cat races

Talk about your races - Time Trials, Road Races or Cyclocross.
sjmclean

4th cat races

Postby sjmclean » Sun May 20, 2012 20:55 pm

Good evening.

I have been cycling for some time and have a relatively high level of fitness. I have taken part in some charity races etc and now after yesterday I would like to step up and try something more official. I was looking for some advice on how to get started and what the standard is like at the lower cat's.
cheers

User avatar
ugo.santalucia
Posts: 18006
Joined: Thu Apr 17, 2008 10:39 am

Re: 4th cat races

Postby ugo.santalucia » Mon May 21, 2012 06:10 am

Get yourself a BC racing licence and have a go... best thing is to try

DavidJB
Posts: 1721
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2011 07:38 am

Re: 4th cat races

Postby DavidJB » Mon May 21, 2012 07:31 am

Please, please, please join a road club and ride in a group for a few months before racing. The last thing 4th cats need is another rider that doesn't know how to ride in a group. After you've done this, apply for a licence and enter a race. The standard is harder than you would expect from the bottom level of racing but you wont know if you're 'fit enough' until you race.

greeny12
Posts: 739
Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2008 16:00 pm
Contact:

Re: 4th cat races

Postby greeny12 » Mon May 21, 2012 08:16 am

DavidJB wrote:Please, please, please join a road club and ride in a group for a few months before racing. The last thing 4th cats need is another rider that doesn't know how to ride in a group. After you've done this, apply for a licence and enter a race. The standard is harder than you would expect from the bottom level of racing but you wont know if you're 'fit enough' until you race.


Cannot endorse this comment strongly enough!

Bunch riding is a whole different ball game to anything else you've done on a bike; it took me months to get comfortable on a club run, let alone once I started racing. Crashes are part of the game, unfortunately, but so many could be avoided if people changed direction smoothly instead of jerking across and just had more awareness of what is going on around them.

For a few more pearls of 'wisdom' feel free to have a look at this: http://cyclingapprentice.com/2011/11/11 ... le-racers/
My cycle racing blog: http://cyclingapprentice.wordpress.com/

If you live in or near Sussex, check this out:
http://ontherivet.ning.com/

User avatar
amaferanga
Posts: 6595
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2004 16:44 pm

Re: 4th cat races

Postby amaferanga » Mon May 21, 2012 08:52 am

But riding in a bunch on a friendly club run is very different to riding in a bunch in a race where everyone thinks they can win as they come into the final straight for the obligatory 4th Cat gallop....
More problems but still living....

sjmclean

Re: 4th cat races

Postby sjmclean » Mon May 21, 2012 09:59 am

I have spent time riding in a bunch like you suggest. Im going to apply for the BC racing licence, this month. Any other advice?

User avatar
CakeLovinBeast
Posts: 287
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 08:58 am
Contact:

Re: 4th cat races

Postby CakeLovinBeast » Mon May 21, 2012 10:03 am

As others have said, you'll need a licence first of all, which means that you'll need BC membership too. The lowest level of BC membership you can hold a full licence on is Silver (you can get a provisional licence with Bronze membership, but you can't accumulate points, and you may have to pay for a day licence at events). You can often get subsidised BC membership (in your first year) through your club, if you're a member of one. A full race licence will cost an additional £36 (I think) on top of that.

Beyond that, it's easy to overthink things. I only started racing in the spring this year and I went through the whole, "Am I good/fast/skillful enough?", dilemma in my head for weeks beforehand. Ultimately the best way to find out is to turn up and have a go. I turned up with no expectations: Obviously I *wanted* to do well, but I was more keen to see how things work in the bunch, to ride as safely as possible and if I ended up being shelled out the back on the first lap and finishing last, I knew it wasn't going stop me from trying again. I was pleasantly surprised, and managed to finish in the bunch, though I was never really competing for points. Bunch riding is a necessary skill to have, but as already mentioned, there is a definite difference between club bunch riding and 4th cat bunch riding. Practising your cornering skills will also stand you in good stead.
Twitter: @FunkyMrMagic

DavidJB
Posts: 1721
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2011 07:38 am

Re: 4th cat races

Postby DavidJB » Mon May 21, 2012 11:38 am

sjmclean wrote:I have spent time riding in a bunch like you suggest. Im going to apply for the BC racing licence, this month. Any other advice?


Just have a go lad. Don't go expecting to win. You won't, you'll get dropped or get excited and blow your onions too early. Use your first few races to get accustomed to the pack and prepare to hear some offensive language ;)

User avatar
MikeWW
Posts: 684
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 09:53 am
Contact:

Re: 4th cat races

Postby MikeWW » Mon May 21, 2012 11:45 am

Good luck- I am sure you will enjoy it
Typically the 3rd 4th cat races will average 24-25 mph. The important thing to bear in mid though is that the actual pace will vary between say 18 and 35 mph. So try and position yourself in the front part of the bunch and be prepared to dig in as the speed increases. Also always look to be moving forward or you will end up at the back of the bunch very easily

sportbilly1976
Posts: 511
Joined: Thu Nov 06, 2008 01:51 am

Re: 4th cat races

Postby sportbilly1976 » Mon May 21, 2012 11:57 am

MikeWW wrote: Also always look to be moving forward or you will end up at the back of the bunch very easily


...you can't emphasise how important this bit is....frequent small(ish) efforts will help prevent you making very large and ultimately self-defeating big efforts if you end up and the back as the pace increases.

Tom Dean
Posts: 1650
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2011 08:08 am

Re: 4th cat races

Postby Tom Dean » Mon May 21, 2012 12:32 pm

sportbilly1976 wrote:
MikeWW wrote: Also always look to be moving forward or you will end up at the back of the bunch very easily


...you can't emphasise how important this bit is....frequent small(ish) efforts will help prevent you making very large and ultimately self-defeating big efforts if you end up and the back as the pace increases.


Poor advice for first timers IMO. Get a feel for riding in the bunch first. No wonder there are so many crashes when all the inexperienced riders are fighting to sit in tenth place all race long.

okgo
Posts: 3707
Joined: Sat Oct 31, 2009 14:13 pm
Contact:

Re: 4th cat races

Postby okgo » Mon May 21, 2012 14:08 pm

Unless your club put on a skills type day, then really riding in a club run is totally different to the real thing. I was lucky in that our club put on a skills days at Hillingdon two weeks before my first race, at Hillingdon, which I happened to win (nothing to do with race-craft though, I've learned a bit more of that since). So if you really are up to it then just stick it for a few laps and ride away near the end to avoid the bunch sprint :)

OR more sensibly, just roll around and see how you feel. Most of the crashes on small closed circuits happen near the last lap or so as people have more legs than they have spacial awareness.
Blog on my first and now second season of proper riding/racing - www.firstseasonracing.com

JamesFree
Posts: 642
Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 11:06 am

Re: 4th cat races

Postby JamesFree » Mon May 21, 2012 21:43 pm

For my first few races I'm just planning to sit near the back and get a feel how things work in these races before I start risking crash by going for the sprint in my first race. Though if I find myself well positioned I will find it very hard not to have a dig at the end :) Roll on the 2nd!

mamba80
Posts: 2407
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 13:06 pm

Re: 4th cat races

Postby mamba80 » Tue May 22, 2012 08:37 am

[quote="Tom Dean] Poor advice for first timers IMO. Get a feel for riding in the bunch first. No wonder there are so many crashes when all the inexperienced riders are fighting to sit in tenth place all race long.[/quote]

Couldnt agree more, it takes time and skill to ride safely in a bunch.

okgo
Posts: 3707
Joined: Sat Oct 31, 2009 14:13 pm
Contact:

Re: 4th cat races

Postby okgo » Tue May 22, 2012 09:04 am

Don't sit at the back if you feel strong. What's the point? I can assure you that most people in a 4th cat race no matter how long they have been riding won't be that safe just because of the other idiots about. If you're strong enough then go for a long one. Its safe, and gets you out of the melee in one race.
Blog on my first and now second season of proper riding/racing - www.firstseasonracing.com

JamesFree
Posts: 642
Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 11:06 am

Re: 4th cat races

Postby JamesFree » Tue May 22, 2012 09:16 am

okgo wrote:Don't sit at the back if you feel strong. What's the point? I can assure you that most people in a 4th cat race no matter how long they have been riding won't be that safe just because of the other idiots about. If you're strong enough then go for a long one. Its safe, and gets you out of the melee in one race.


Will I be able to get on the circuit for a few laps to check it out before the race ?

okgo
Posts: 3707
Joined: Sat Oct 31, 2009 14:13 pm
Contact:

Re: 4th cat races

Postby okgo » Tue May 22, 2012 09:24 am

At Hillingdon, as long as you're early there's usually time for a good few practice laps yes. Guess the same can be said of Hog Hill and Palace...
Blog on my first and now second season of proper riding/racing - www.firstseasonracing.com

DavidJB
Posts: 1721
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2011 07:38 am

Re: 4th cat races

Postby DavidJB » Tue May 22, 2012 09:33 am

JamesFree wrote:
okgo wrote:Don't sit at the back if you feel strong. What's the point? I can assure you that most people in a 4th cat race no matter how long they have been riding won't be that safe just because of the other idiots about. If you're strong enough then go for a long one. Its safe, and gets you out of the melee in one race.


Will I be able to get on the circuit for a few laps to check it out before the race ?


Depends mate. Most races have a junior race before the 4th cat races so you can't go out obviously.

JamesFree
Posts: 642
Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 11:06 am

Re: 4th cat races

Postby JamesFree » Tue May 22, 2012 11:00 am

Just checked the BC website for Hillingdon that day and seems like the 4th's are the first on, so will arrive with plenty of time to spare to have a little practice on the track.

User avatar
CakeLovinBeast
Posts: 287
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 08:58 am
Contact:

Re: 4th cat races

Postby CakeLovinBeast » Tue May 22, 2012 12:17 pm

It's also worth mentioning that if anybody is looking to get into racing, and there are any BC "Go Race" events near you, then they're well worth checking out. You don't need a licence, you don't need to be a club member and because there are no points on offer, it tends to mean that the field is reduced in size and better mannered. There are still crashes and don't think that the level of skill will be any lower, but it's certainly worth investigating if you have the opportunity.
Twitter: @FunkyMrMagic


Return to “Amateur Race”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests