more on the question of the classes...
earlier this week I got some gentle pokes from a dcmtb team mate about my racing in the Clydesdale Class
at times I can be thin skinned... even with my thick belly
the joke was in front of the whole team rather than one on one
I have been teased enough on this
teasing face to face is different than being teased in front of a group
I got angry at the attack
I got defensive
I got ugly... which is not far off from my default setting
I am sorry for my over reaction... but I do not think my team mate/friend knew what she was talking about
never have I thought that a Clydesdale needs to get out of the Clydesdale Class because they are too fast
I have accused some racers of being too light to race Clydesdale
but never have I accused anyone of being too fast
in fact... I have asked other fast big guys to join the Clydesdale Class in an effort to aid in bringing respect and competition to the class
let me see if I can get some thoughts out...
check out this MORE Forum started by Doug: Clydesdales are not Fat Beginners
(MORE: Mid-Atlantic Off Road Enthusiasts)
The Question of the Classes:
in a standard mountain bike race the classes are self selective
the basic breakdown begins with beginner, sport, and expert/pro
then there is the split by sex; male, female, and sometimes trans gender
then there are some fringe categories; single speed, age categories (ie 35+), and Clydesdale (200+ pounds)
most everyone starts as a beginner
your performance in your first race may direct you to another class
beginner is for beginners...
maybe not beginner riders... but at least beginner racers
true beginner riders do not need to be racing
if a person never moves up to sport... I suspect they will not continue racing
beginner is a stepping stone... there is not much to boast about in being the Series Champion
this rule of bumping up should go well for roadies transitioning to mountain who start in sport... as a beginner... if you are dominating the beginner class you should bump up to sportCAT UP IF YOU ARE FAST
YES CAT UP!
I am a dog person... I have very little love for the CAT
this would extend to the older racers new to racing as well as the larger racers new to racing...
start with beginner rather than the specific classes
there should not be a beginner class for Single Speeds or Clydesdales
the distances of these classes should be at the Sport level
the competition for these classes should be equal or greater than the top level Sport racers
if you are new to racing try the beginner class...
the course tends to be shorter and more fitting to those new to racing
if you destroy the competitors in your class... hang your head in shame... grab your prizes... and bump up to the next class
but what about those dominant in the fringe categories? should the winning Clydesdale race Expert? should the winning Men's Vet 35+ bump up to Expert? should the winning Single Speed racer move to the Expert Class?
it is hard to say
as the classes are self selecting...
it is up to the racer
perhaps it is an issue of the gap between the leader and the second place finisher should determine that
landing in first does not mean to move to a different class
in most races it is a battle between the top five
when I race Clydesdale it is always a race between the top
it is good to have a fast racer in the lead setting the pace and raising the bar
but... if they are untouchable... they should consider being in a more competitive class
there are some other things that should apply to the class self selection process...
how often do you ride? what do you ride? how expensive is your bicycle? how many bikes do you own? how long have you been riding? do you use a heart rate monitor? do you use a power tap? do you have a coach?
I personally believe that there should be some humility with the selection of gear
as cyclocross season approaches we will certainly see lots of gucci pit bikes in the C Class
someone needs to come in last... someone needs to come in first
there are not enough classes that everyone can be a winner