Dummies Guide to choosing your Race Category

The choice of category has generated much debate over the years.

Here is a quick, funny and  informative guide to help you make that choice.

You are a Pro if you race for money, have a contract with a team, your bike was given to you by a manufacturer, OR YOU SIMPLY WANNA PLAY WITH THE BIG BOYS AND GIRLS!!

You are an Expert if you’ve been riding for years…as in many years…like 10+ years AND/OR you’ve been racing for a few years.  Some of you may have only been mountain biking for a few years yet you jumped right into the racing scene.  If that’s you, you shave your legs, don’t own any baggy shorts (or own mostly spandex), don’t consider it a “real ride” when you do wear baggy shorts, race for a team, and/or think about your riding, nutrition and weight (of both your body and bike) pretty much all the time, then you are probably Expert.  In short, you are a stud but Pro is a bridge too far!

Does this need to be explained?  Singlespeed cycling is its own sport!  Hopefully you’ll show up in cut-off Dickies, flannel shirt cut-off at the shoulder, an AC/DC T Shirt underneath, Lamb Chop sideburns and Fu Man Chu ‘stache!  That’s the guys of course!  Ladies are welcome no matter the attire although spandex is preferred!

What is a Sport racer?  Ahhh, the subject of many a group ride and coffee clutch!  To quote my little buddy Evan, “if you have to ask what category you should be in you are probably Sport”! Sport racers are Lady and Gentleman Racers, the true essence of mountain biking.  Sport racers have full-time jobs, families and obligations that take priority over training full-time.  I know many of you Experts out there are saying, “Wait that’s me!”.  Remember, the length of time you’ve been riding/racing really determines your ability.  Sport racers have only just started racing…many have only just started riding.  Sport racers may, or may not, shave their legs.  Sport racers enjoy riding with friends, in baggy shorts, and stopping to enjoy the views.  Sport racers may have a team affiliation but probably don’t even know what that means!  Here’s a good one…if you race Sport and are in the top third of the results I can pretty much predict that you would be top half in the Expert category for your age.  Ya know what that makes you?  Yup…you guessed it… A SANDBAGGER!  Choose well my friends!

The smart play is to be on a Team IF you want part of your 4th of July for other activities…such as…watching the kids while your other half races, getting to a BBQ hosted by friends, or you just don’t wanna be all blown up at the end of the day!

One thing’s for sure…If there’s even a remote doubt in your mind that you can’t finish the 50 solo then seriously consider forming a team!

By Jeff (Westy) Westcott, Maverick Sports Promotion / Firecracker 50