one of my goals this year is to join a team how should I go about this? I've approached 2 and was pretty muched snubed is it because I'm a noob? then how come I see other beginners in team kits? is it a who you know deal if so that blows for me as I live in a rural town and am the only person I know training and racing!
here's an idea andrew cx mag should start a team it wouldn't cost anything if you sold the kits and cost and it could be open membership provided members agreed to follow a code of conduct (so a-holes could be delt with) imangine racers showing up at events nationwide sporting your logo/colors great advertising I bet!
You should check out HUP United. I believe that CX Mag did an article on them. It's a nation wide team. The only thing is, you have to know someone to join. I'm not a member but they always seem to have a strong showing at local 'cross races.
Another place to look is your local bike shop. A lot of bike shops sponsor a team that is open to pretty much anyone who is willing to pay the dues and buy a jersey. This may not be an option for you though, since you live in a rural area.
I think a lot of guys race in kits that match their team affiliation on their USCF licenses. Strictly speaking, promoters give USCF teams "discounts' for registering and non-affiliated riders pay full price, which is supposed to be $5-$15 more than the posted entry fee. Since everyone seems to belong to a club or team, this is rarely enforced. If you bought your racing license and didn't affiliate yourself with a team then thats probably why you're finding yourself caught out.
Now, the question becomes why you want to associate with people you don't know. I'd wait and find people you like before signing up for a team. Really (especially in 'cross) the "team" thing is really who you drink beer with. Tactics are minimal in 'cross. Go hard. Throw up. Go hard again. Elite guys join teams because the sponsors pay for races, bikes, clothing, travel and food. For everyone else, just find some guys you like and see what the deal is.
That being said, we'll be selling skinsuits and jerseys next July or August at which point you can ride "for" us. ;)
I would find one of the beginners in a team kit and ask them about there team. Hopefully they are at least willing to help grow the sport at the base rather than just at the top.
I know that I found a great team here (Calgary, Alberta) that really supports the cat 5 level of racers and this year we are going to have more than 30 cat 5 and since our team is sponsoring a cross race as well at a couple of road races then it is going to help bring more people into the sport
thanks for all the input guys!
to gary I have looked at hup and I belive you have to be invited by them, but I will talk to my local shop the next time I'm over( 134 miles away ) there as they put on the main series in bend or and that's where ill be racing.
to Echappe equipment the reason I want to join a team is for the social aspect! it was fun racing and hanging out and talking to passers by but as a team member I would have people to hang out with and maybe get help/pointers from. thank you very much for the invite but for the reasons above I'm looking localy( where I race ) but if you would notify me when your kits go on sale if I haven't found what I'm looking for I will absolutly buy/join/ride for you again thanks the invite means a ton!
It is best to first meet the people on the team before joining up... our club is more or less HUP-style in that you do need to meet a few of the guys or at least get a good rec from at least one of the members.
That said, maybe race another year w/o a team, and then try and hook up with who ever you find yourself racing against the most. the cool thing about cross teams is that it isn't really a team sport and if you are always racing a team mate - on top of the field - it helps build that "team" feeling. or at least gives you a bit more than following your crossresults.com ranking when you are constantly trying to beat the same team mate week in and week out.
There are a few grassroots programs out there to join often. Ridley, Alan, to name a couple from the past. They often welcome new members but the cost of joining the team generally is buying one of their frames and kit packages, but the kits often look really pro and the deals on the bikes are pretty solid.
I've heard maybe some rumors of a Grammo Grassroots team starting up. That might be something to look at, ya can email me if you want more info (gewilli at gmail) i don't have much but i can pass on what I do have.
Take your time finding a team. Go on road rides with the club/team. There isn't a more social cycling venue than a weekend club/team road ride.
You were snubbed by a bike club/team? Sounds like a road club. Or a Mountain Bike Club (hahaha)! I shouldn't say, since I'm not a member, but I think it's true that you need to be invited to join HUP UNITED. That would entail finding some of those guys, riding with them, getting to know them, and drinking some beer with them. We've got a few of them in our area and they're a good bunch. Well some of them anyway. The big joy of joining a club is buying new kits every year because they change sponsors, names, designs ... it's just great!
If you can't find a club, who needs them? Start your own and check out one of uniform outfits. They can make you a one-off outfit and you can be AN ARMY OF ONE!
thanks for the ideas. we indeed do want to have a kit, but not really for team purposes although we'd be honored to have folks wearing it in training or races. jake has a cool design already, we just gotta find the funds to get it made.
but i agree with most folks - find some folks that you'll enjoy hanging out with, and that will give you some pointers too.
sorry to hear that two teams snubbed you - while it's not the goal of every team to help grow the sport, it sure helps.
one suggestion - hang out at a popular bar or cafe reading your CXM in print, and I'm sure soon you'll have a bunch of folks who will want to join you.
thanks for the reply and the bar idea I promise I'll try it next time I visit bend! I'm afraid if I did it here I'd get jumped by the 4-H club! LOL!
if I had a dollar for every time someone said ' you payed how much for that bike? It aint even got a motor!' then I'd have another really nice race bike.
134 miles!? I thought I had it bad growing up 35 miles away. I know and fell your pain, dude. I had a similar experience Mt, bike racing in the late '90s. But then I was snubbed by the "local" shops because I was on a Huffy. However, at the time there were plenty of people who did not have a team affiliation and I had people I got to know and looked forward to seeing each weekend. Then when I went to VA with the Navy I joined a team through a guy who worked in my building. It was the wrong team for me. There was a club in the area that I ended up hanging with most of the time at the group rides. By the end I was more of an outsider than when I started. So picking a team is important. I really do understand the whole "you paid how much?" speal all too well, and you have my sympathy. Hang in there. I would definitely look up the shop that puts on the CX race, or give them a call. If they are cool and into you joining the club then they are. If they cop an attitude, then look else where if you can. And definitely, for people's safety, keep the CX mags out of site. Otherwise people's heads might explode from the perfect sense a CX bikes makes. You know the whole efficient road bikeish bike that can take a beating off road too, and be used as a commuter or touring bike. It'd be too much for'em.
Where are you located? You can ride for some national clubs - Colavita, CycleSmart will let you buy there kit and race it (Adam Myerson's company), Deathrow Velo, are some. If you want a local team then show the guys that you are serious, race and keep bugging them. The other option is to start your own team,.