20th, The new first place

Another Reader submitted entry by Chris B.

Colorado racing is some of the hardest racing in the country and IMO Colorado 35+ is probably the most bad ass set of riders in the country so sometimes for the working man just making the break is the win, hear Chris B's side of the story...


Cross season is upon us and much to my disappointment the 35+-3’s category is not there. Like a lot of riders I did well in the 4’s and moved up only to be introduced to the back of the bus. After 2 seasons of being beaten down in the 3’s I openly embraced the 35+-3’s as the saving grace to my racing season. I find myself in that no mans land where I don’t want to train like you need to for the 3’s and can’t go back to the 4’s. I’m over 35 and have family and interest outside of cycling that occupy my time as well. With no cat 35+-3’s for Cross this year and the 3’s going off too late for those who have other obligations (family, the list your wife has you working on, soccer games, etc.. ) 35+ Open is the only option. I predict that 35+ Open will expand this year to include the “Baby Boomers” of cycling. I have not been racing for 20 years, don’t have gobs of natural talent or the ability to fake my way to a top 5 in this category, I’m not alone. Once you clear out the “elite” in the 35+ Open, likely the top 20, you get to the “Other” group of which I’m a proud member. If you see me out there this season sprinting it out for 20th place you’ll know that I’m going for the “Win”.

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10 Comments

Yep...

Very true...

Let your Board Members know that you and lot of other people would like this next year. Also, let them know that you would like to see the 35+ 3s stay on the Road side. Some 35+ 1-2 clubs are not happy that they don't have a full field of 35+ 3s to beat every week and are pushing to get rid of the 35+ 3s.

More 35+ 3s have jobs, family and a life outside of cycling. Most 35+ 3s are very happy racing against other 35+ 3s. It's more relaxed without all the type-A racers.

if u cant hack it in the

if u cant hack it in the regular 3's go back to the 4s..its ridiculous when there are 35+ 45+3's in addition to the regular 3s....my friend who is a 4 didnt even have a category to race in the other week bc there was no reg cat 4 field due to you guys.....seriously it lowers the overall prize purse and upgrade pts..not to mention results in some wacky start times trying to fit all the masters cats in. whats the point in having like 15 of u guys do your own thing...out east they dont have all these masters cats....last time i checked uscf and aca dont have a 35+ 45+ cat 3 etc license its just a reg cat 3 license. plenty of guys in the 3s have jobs etc too...

Think about it from the

Think about it from the promotion side of things, does the quality of the event decrease when the promoter has to spread resources across so many categories because every rider wants to ride with riders that are at the exact same fitness level?

I agree

I understand that it's frustrating to race in a field that has a very wide range of ability levels, especially when you look around an know that on your best day you'll finish in the bottom 25% of the field(I'm one of those people BTW). But making more, small, "equal" fields puts a huge strain on promoters, and frankly, threatens the stability of our racing calender.

On one hand, training and improving my place in races is very important to me, but I'm also pumped to be able to race every weekend in Colorado. If race promoters are forced to send off groups of 20 most of the day, I don't see it being a sustainable business model. . . unless you want to pay $50-$55 per crit/cross race. I love local 45-minute races, but when I start to see 50+ dollars, I'm saving my race fees for trips to the mountains for some mountain bike/camping weekends. (more bang for the buck)

I really don't see the problem in cross. Finishing mid field and racing the guy in front of you is fun for me no matter what. As far as road racing. . . well, road racing is freakin' hard. Getting dropped most weekends is a tough pill to swallow.

But bottom line, if a category is introduced, and 20-ish people are showing up, that category should be offered fewer times during the season to see if the numbers go up for those few races. If they don't go up significantly, the category should be pulled completely. Can't please everyone.

20th the new first place

What if they limit 35+-3's to Road and Cross events (no crits). This would not be an added burden on the promoters then. For Cross the 35+ go off at 9:45, 35+-3's could head out 30 seconds later. It's going to happen this way anyways during the race why not make it official? Same for Road Races, has us leave 1 minute after the 35+. Crits it is a burden as you can't have multiple groups so maybe the 35+-3's don't race Crit's. I can hear the complaining now but there has to be a compromise some where.

But crit numbers seem to be

But crit numbers seem to be up this year...
Most 35+ 3s crits had around 50 racers.
We have so many crits that people, outside of the 1-2s, will only race 1 a weekend. I'm not going to pay $30-$40 to do a crit that I will be dropped and pulled 15 minutes into it. (Why I didn't do N. Boulder Park Crit or Niwot)
State Masters Crit - 35+ Open - All but one in the top 30 where 1-2s. Definitly showed a reason for a seperate 35+ 3s group at that race.

Yep, can't please everyone. Promoters/Clubs are free not to be BAR/BAT...

Bubba Billy Bob, are you

Bubba Billy Bob, are you really Stephen from Swift? You sure sound a lot like him and you must race 35 3's :-)

Great, no cat. 3's in the top 20, or what ever, at Prospect. That makes perfect sense. It was the state crit championships and all the 35 Plus Cat. 3 did that separate race. Right?

What about all the races where 3's got top 10? Heck a 3 got 3rd at HART.

??

Please list the "35+ 1-2 clubs" that are unhappy about the absence of cat 3s in the 35+ Open races. It almost sounds like something you just invented, so it will be really convincing when you supply some detail. Thanks.

Do you know anyone racing 35

Do you know anyone racing 35 Open? All of them have jobs too and the large majority of them have kids. You are intitled to your opinions, but don't make crap up.

There are Type A guys at all levels. You make it sound liek 35 3's is a friendly group ride where everyone signs songs and waits when a guy gets dropped. It is still a race & everyone wants to win. I watched the finish at Kopp and the guy who won yelled out "F--C Yeah", as he crossed the line. The 4 familes I was with were really impressed, but you are glad no one is Type A in there?

I am not saying this catagory has no merit, but the only people who want it are the ones racing it. You guys are like goldi locks, you want a catagory that is not too hard, or too easy, and on average less than 30 of you are racing in it. None of your RR's drew more than 26 guys and took riders out of 35 open. That is a lose/lose if you ask me. While at the same time juniors have gotten to race less? As someone said cat. 4 has been shut out? Less time for women?