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hi all, I am returning to riding after taking a little over a year off riding sport bikes and I have good legs but the heart of an under developed hamster. I am looking for suggestions as to whether it is better to race and really suck this year or take the winter training to come back for more positive results next year. Your thoughts are appreciated.

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Isn't racing also training? Do it!

Unless there is a reason other than you have give ... race.  If you have good legs the rest will come.  Stay at the pointy end as long as you can in each race and enjoy ...

I agree with the others to race. If the legs are good racing would be the best way to get the heart going again.

Race but don't put any pressure on yourself for results. You could do what Craig said about trying to stay upfront as long as you can or try the opposite approach. Try starting in the back row and see how many guys you can pick off. For me mentally I'd rather be passing dudes than starting too fast and then get dropped, even if my final placing would be the same.

After a race or two you'll know how you stack up against your field and can adjust your strategy.
Thanks guys I am 90% convinced to try it. I am afraid most of my contact with the "pointy end" is when they lap me lol so I may try the back row strategy.
Thanks again!
I would race as well. Also if you are racing once a week that leaves 3 other days for training, 3 hard weeks one easier week thru the season, you can also gauge your season by how your placing improves through the season. Also you will build your handling skills, Good luck and have fun.
Thanks David, easy week meaning still riding but low intensity I presume?
Yes lower intensity gives you a chance to recover and adapt, a great book I'd Chris carmichaels time crunched cyclist for training, the newest edition even has a CX training program. Well worth the 15 bucks,

Race - I'm in a similar situation, just started biking and getting in shape recently and got dragged into CX by some more serious friends. Did my first two races ever the last two weekends, finished 52nd and 61st. It's humbling to finish so far back, but it's also motivation and a whole lot of fun. There are people of all levels to race with, close competition for "not last" is still close competition!

Yeah I guess you're right. Sounds like not only did you survive "humbling" results but that you also don't regret doing it. A little humility probably wouldn't hurt me either haha. Thanks

RACE NOW.  You might not be able to in the future and you will look back at this as a missed opportunity. 

I race in Portland cross crusade series and the average race in my group Masters C 35 + will have 200 to 240 starters. By lap 2 you have no idea where you are in the pack anyhow, you race against those near you, staying ahead of the guy trying to pass and picking off the guys in front, Also CX is much about handling and transitions on and off the bike, you can make up a ton of time with skills, no mistakes can add 10 or more spots in the average field.


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