Quantcast

5150dhbiker

Turbo Monkey
Nov 5, 2007
1,201
0
Santa Barbara, CA
Well, time for my yearly rant on why I'm getting over racing DH.

It's too expensive.
Unlike moto, it's one shot.
You screw up once it's over.
It's TIMED
USA Cycling SUCKS!!

Ok, mostly the last part but ya...I'm getting over racing Dh and for sure moving on to racking MX instead. 3 years of racing "pro" for DH and after the MSC race in Keystone it's over for me. I raced Angel Fire this weekend (just got home yesterday) and am beyond angry with myself once again. All I seem to do is crash. Like usual I had a perfect few days of practice with no crashes and felt really quick (kept up with some really really fast guys). Well my race run rolls around after qualifying (crashed in that at the finish) and I screw up my line in the beginning...then a couple hundred feet later I crash really hard. Gotta get x-rays on my wrist tomorrow because I can barely type and it's really swollen and bruised.

Anyways, here's a good video of my failure and why I'm over it. I'd rather race a sport where you can make mistakes and still have tons of time to try to make it up...and see your competition.

 

MikeD

Leader and Demogogue of the Ridemonkey Satinists
Oct 26, 2001
10,296
319
chez moi
I always found the practice of paying money to ride less in a day on the mountain to be counter-productive. Not to mention I'm slow.
 

jonKranked

Press Button, Receive Stupid
Nov 10, 2005
58,236
6,281
media blackout
why racing doesn't suck:

-seeing all your friends

-making new friends

-riding bikes with all your friends

-drinking post race beers with friends

-cowbells
 

Jim Mac

MAKE ENDURO GREAT AGAIN
May 21, 2004
6,364
281
the middle east of NY
Ask yourself this: what am I trying to get out of racing? Are you looking for full time sponsorship, adulation, skill development, mental (sports psychology) development, fun?

If you turned pro, it seems a bit different potentially form the rest of us as there is more pressure to succeed. Why did you turn pro? What are your goals? What are your backup plans if you don't reach those goals?

As I reflect on almost hit 45, I obviously have a different path. I saw DH racing as a way to get better at riding, and thus far it's paid off in dividends. But that was because my goal was fairly simple. I ride a lot faster and more aggressively because I've built up some skills and neural development. I see racing almost the same way I see a "school test", especially now that I'm back to school in an MBA program: cram some info, connect the dots then try it out at full(ish) speed. Lastly to cross compare: I did a lot of freeriding prior to racing, and I did not get as much out of it as to when I had to commit to a race course. Again, that's just me.
 

BeerMe

Monkey
Apr 18, 2008
139
0
FOCO NOCO
Hey I know the camera guy that helped you pick yourself up. His name is Seth Beckton and he does some incredible photography. I'll have to hit him up to check out your crash sequence.
 

stumpjump

Monkey
Sep 14, 2007
674
0
DC
Ive learned for technique racing this those I didn't know, then I ever have riding with my friends.
 

stevew

unique white person
Sep 21, 2001
32,267
3,089
so when you discover you suck at moto cross.....can you just reuse this thread?

:D
 

Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
37,066
3,937
Sleazattle
Why I prefer endurance races: Pretty good bang for the buck. You can ****-up a few times, stop and piss or even take a quick picture or two with little effect on your outcome. 99.9999% of the time the best rider wins, not the rider with the best luck or equipment. You always spend a lot more time riding your bike than driving to the event.
 

Jim Mac

MAKE ENDURO GREAT AGAIN
May 21, 2004
6,364
281
the middle east of NY
Why I prefer endurance races: Pretty good bang for the buck. You can ****-up a few times, stop and piss or even take a quick picture or two with little effect on your outcome. 99.9999% of the time the best rider wins, not the rider with the best luck or equipment. You always spend a lot more time riding your bike than driving to the event.
The only bone I would pick with this is that DH racing gives you two days of lift riding. I usually ride more on race weekends than I would during the week, let alone driving - but this also comes from location, living close to many lift accessed mtns plus my general lack of time during the week (see 4 year old at home wanting to ride with daddy while demanding that I work on my bikes less in order to do aforementioned rides with him).
 

dante

Unabomber
Feb 13, 2004
8,814
8
looking for classic NE singletrack
Oh my god, consequences? A timed run with no reset button? A discipline focused on skill as well as opposed to pure fitness? What a barbaric "sport"!

1) If you're "making mistakes", you're riding outside of your skill level. Stop riding at 105% of your ability and tune it down to 95-98%. The ability to string together a clean run against the clock is what's important, not gambling on a 50/50 shot (more like 5/95) of going big or going home.

2) Using racing to become a better rider. The clock forces you to go faster than you would otherwise, forcing you to become a better and more skilled bike rider.

3) Relax. Unless this is your day job (I hope not) remember that this is all for fun and to push ourselves, not to win international recognition.

4) Remember that you're faster on a DH bike than 99.99999999% of the people in this world, the vast majority of whom wouldn't even walk that course, let alone ride it on a bike.

5) Have fun. If you're not having fun racing, don't do it and just ride, or focus on something else. It's not the end of the world, and if you're happier *not* racing, then by all means just relax and have fun on your DH bike.
 

5150dhbiker

Turbo Monkey
Nov 5, 2007
1,201
0
Santa Barbara, CA
Hey I know the camera guy that helped you pick yourself up. His name is Seth Beckton and he does some incredible photography. I'll have to hit him up to check out your crash sequence.
Sweet, let me know if he got any good shots of that!

Only reason I race Pro was because USAC made me move up. I tried downgrading this year because I did not want to spend $150 on a license since I was only racing two races (Angel Fire and later Keystone).
 

AngryMetalsmith

Business is good, thanks for asking
Jun 4, 2006
14,890
2,585
I have no idea where I am
Sweet, let me know if he got any good shots of that!

Only reason I race Pro was because USAC made me move up. I tried downgrading this year because I did not want to spend $150 on a license since I was only racing two races (Angel Fire and later Keystone).
Wait, you started a whiny thread about racing pro and you're only doing two events ? :think:

suck it up princess
 

jonKranked

Press Button, Receive Stupid
Nov 10, 2005
58,236
6,281
media blackout
Only reason I race Pro was because USAC made me move up. I tried downgrading this year because I did not want to spend $150 on a license since I was only racing two races (Angel Fire and later Keystone).
why did they make you move up? were you just killing in Cat1? (also, what's your age group?)

USAC rules don't have any set guidelines for forced Pro up/down grades (they do have requirements for petition upgrades). They do reserve the right to up/down grade racers to/from Pro class at their discretion (Section 1D6 of the USAC rulebook).
 

nelsonjm

Monkey
Feb 16, 2007
710
1
Columbia, MD
Sorry you got hurt :(

I watched the video and don't quite understand what happened. It looks like you went off a ~3ft drop, and landed a little hard but that alone doesn't seem like it would break your wrist, especially given you were able to ride it off to the side of the trail.

Is it because you were holding onto the handlebars with your palms bent up at the time? What got you into that position?


Healing vibes at any rate.
 

TreeSaw

Mama Monkey
Oct 30, 2003
16,673
446
Dancin' over rocks n' roots!
Why I prefer endurance races: Pretty good bang for the buck. You can ****-up a few times, stop and piss or even take a quick picture or two with little effect on your outcome. 99.9999% of the time the best rider wins, not the rider with the best luck or equipment. You always spend a lot more time riding your bike than driving to the event.
:stupid:
 

BurlyShirley

Rex Grossman Will Rise Again
Jul 4, 2002
19,184
12
TN
Sorry you got hurt :(

I watched the video and don't quite understand what happened. It looks like you went off a ~3ft drop, and landed a little hard but that alone doesn't seem like it would break your wrist, especially given you were able to ride it off to the side of the trail.

Is it because you were holding onto the handlebars with your palms bent up at the time? What got you into that position?
Ha ha .... here come the internet pros to critique your style. :rofl:
 

stevew

unique white person
Sep 21, 2001
32,267
3,089
so which is cheaper...downhill....moto cross....or flying planes?

and you're bitching about which?
 
Oct 30, 2006
142
1
Sorry you got hurt :(

I watched the video and don't quite understand what happened. It looks like you went off a ~3ft drop, and landed a little hard but that alone doesn't seem like it would break your wrist, especially given you were able to ride it off to the side of the trail.

Is it because you were holding onto the handlebars with your palms bent up at the time? What got you into that position?


Healing vibes at any rate.
What you can not see is that he went off a drop in solid rocks to land in solid rocks covered with flour like dust. That top section was a beeotch.

Sorry for your injury. sh1t happens, blew my shock in practice. Damn you angel fire.
 

Jrod155

Chimp
Nov 4, 2010
17
0
way less likely to break your femur/tear your acl/twist your foot off on a DH bike compared to a MX
 

Full Trucker

Frikkin newb!!!
Feb 26, 2003
6,080
1,862
[303]
What's your USAC #? We'd like to check out your results to validate your skill level...





....or call you out if you're full of it. :thumb:
Raced the Chile Challenge, in Pro class, did horrible, and hails from Santa Barbara. Shouldn't be too difficult to sort out, eh? ;)
 

5150dhbiker

Turbo Monkey
Nov 5, 2007
1,201
0
Santa Barbara, CA
Raced the Chile Challenge, in Pro class, did horrible, and hails from Santa Barbara. Shouldn't be too difficult to sort out, eh? ;)
Haha, very true!

Ok well let me sort this whole thing out. Yeas ago at national events if I my bike did not break I was on the podium in expert for almost two years of racing. Well, I upgraded to semi-pro right after I finished that series (dropped down to 3rd overall because of a DNF in Deer Valley that year). Anyways, turns out the next year is when they got rid of semi-pro and just did Cat 1 and Pro. They told me I could either go to Cat 1 or race pro. Well...not thinking that Cat 1 would be as fast as it is now I thought (why the hell would I have upgraded to semi-pro just to race expert again) so ya....I told them I'd give pro a shot.

I'm not going to lie, I don't belong in that class anymore especially since I don't do any training or anything and it's honestly taken the fun out of racing.
 

Big J

Monkey
Jul 18, 2005
422
0
Chicago
why racing doesn't suck:

-seeing all your friends

-making new friends

-riding bikes with all your friends

-drinking post race beers with friends

-cowbells
+1 on the "COWBELLS".

Oh, yea and the "BEER".

....the two most important things in DH racing, cowbells and beer.

J

btw...if you're burned out take a break...
 

jonKranked

Press Button, Receive Stupid
Nov 10, 2005
58,236
6,281
media blackout
Haha, very true!

Ok well let me sort this whole thing out. Yeas ago at national events if I my bike did not break I was on the podium in expert for almost two years of racing. Well, I upgraded to semi-pro right after I finished that series (dropped down to 3rd overall because of a DNF in Deer Valley that year). Anyways, turns out the next year is when they got rid of semi-pro and just did Cat 1 and Pro. They told me I could either go to Cat 1 or race pro. Well...not thinking that Cat 1 would be as fast as it is now I thought (why the hell would I have upgraded to semi-pro just to race expert again) so ya....I told them I'd give pro a shot.

I'm not going to lie, I don't belong in that class anymore especially since I don't do any training or anything and it's honestly taken the fun out of racing.
and USAC didn't approve your downgrade?
 

Full Trucker

Frikkin newb!!!
Feb 26, 2003
6,080
1,862
[303]
Nope. I sent two requests and both got denied. They said that "even though your results were for expert and not Cat. 1 before you upgraded it still shows that you would be competative in pro, therefore we can not downgrade you at this time."
So I was bustin' your balls a bit before, hope you didn't take offense. Seeing as everyone else is jumping on the "giving you sh!t" bandwagon, I'll take the other road as I was in a similar situation coming in to this season. After 7-8 years of getting SHELLED in Expert/Cat 1, I finally faced the music and put in for a downgrade. I just raced my first event as a Cat 2, and so far I'm stoked. I really liked all the dudes I was racing with in Cat 1, and still ride with most of 'em as much as I can. Heck, I can usually keep up pretty good when there ain't a clock ticking. Turns out I really like all the dudes in Cat 2 as well, and when you're competitive in your class things are a lot moar funner.

I've always felt that things would shake out a bit since USAC eliminated semi-pro, but that it would take a few years for people to get over it and just figure out where they should be racing. Well, this is the 3rd year since, and the classes are starting to get to where they should be. The thing is, Cat 1 is way faster than Expert ever was, Cat 2 is a fair bit faster than Sport was, and Cat 3 is still for the Beginner racer.

My advice is to try for that downgrade again... and when (if) you apply for it with USAC, remind them (forcibly if you must) that their whole friggin' justifcation/reason for eliminating semi-pro was to stiffen the requirements to get into the Pro class, and therefore strengthen the overal Pro field and make it more competitive. If you're back of the pack, you ain't even pack fill, and are doing squat to make the Pro field more competitive. And at the end of the day, they're a business. Let 'em know that racing Pro sucks balls for you, and you'd rather not race than to race in Pro and be miserable. Not only do they make money on your membership dues, but promoters pay USAC a "per rider" fee at every USAC event, for insurance, sanctioning, whatever. You racing at USAC sanctioned events is a source of revenue for them, make sure they know that.

If all that doesn't work, then sit it out a year. When you come back you should be able to go into Cat 1, if IIRC from the USAC rulebook.