Yg, I think you were a 4 when I started participating in this forum. I remember a long thread back then about somebody being hesitant to upgrade out of the 4s. I don't think that person was you, though I'm sure whoever it was would probably be embarrassed to re-read the conversation now. But I do sort of recall you saying that you didn't have any particular aspirations to continue upgrading.
Isn't it funny how things change. Step by step, hey I won a race, maybe I should be racing with the 3s, maybe I could actually get my 2 someday, maybe in 5 years I'll cobble together enough points to be a 1... and now here you are.
I bet it will be a relief to race without getting agitated about trying to remember how many of the guys up the road are 2s vs 3s, or trying to count the spots ahead of you in a field sprint and hoping it's less than whatever the magic number is for that field size, and so on. I hope it's a lot of fun. Congratulations.
For sure. I thought when I started I would just do a few races/year for fun. Took me 2 years to go 5->4, doing just that. In the 4s, it was moderately more competitive and I did maybe 14 races that year and won a big local race in a awesome 60-mile solo move. Upgraded to 3s and immediately broke a clavicle in my first 3s race.
Took that end of season off, and then another year of 13-15 races to get most of the points from 3->2. Changed teams to have guys to race with and pretty quickly got the points, upgraded to 2s at this time last year.
When I upgraded to 2s and was racing then only p12 I figured I was done with points. Literally never thought I'd get another top-10. Then in my first p12 race, a crazy-hard 108 mile slog in heat over terrible pavement, I finished 14th of ~50 or something. Discovered over the next 10-15 races that I could ride with the p12 fields, but I had a lot to learn. A TON to learn.
I started racing crits because the 1/2 crits were allegedly faster and more endurance-based than the rest/pop/rest/pop c4 and c3 crits. Struggled a lot in the first crits because of pack fear, handling, and just unfamiliarity. Jumped into the deep end, so to speak. Thankfully, in one of the first races I let the fear get the best of me and I just attacked. Was solo for like 10 laps, won "most aggressive racer" award, some primes, and figured out what I could do that would lead to success, even in short/easy crit races.
After that, I felt like I should be winning a lot. I know I'm stong, and I like to think I'm smart, so what's the problem, right? Well, I had no experience. I took 2nd to a guy, looked him up and he'd been c2 for 2 years when I bought my first bike as an adult. I started racing as much as I could, tempted by the "so close" feeling that I get when I don't do as well as I feel like I should. Rinse and repeat that for ~30 races as a c2 last year and probably ~25 as a 2 so far this year and what do you know... that experience gap is dwindling and I make fewer mistakes. I also am much better at riding my bike now in close quarters, where just about everything is decided.
I still can't win a sprint and have more 4-5-6th place finished than I do 1-2-3, but I won a 0-pt Districts RR, a p12 RR, this most recent c2 rr, and have a lot of 1-2-3pt results from losing break sprints. I can't sprint. I can't climb with the fastest, but I can hang-the-****-on with the best of them.
And when you're done hanging on and everyone lets up? Go again. TS gave the best racing advice ever in this forum: "don't go when it's easy, go when it's hard."