Saturday, January 07, 2006

To 3 or not to 3....

....that is the question - the one that is going through my head this early in the racing season. I was a Junior racer during the 1980s, basically spending my entire adolescence riding a bicycle - road riding/racing, mountain biking, commuting, cyclocrossing, working on bicycles, learning everything I could about cycling, racing and its history. When I finished with the Juniors after six years, the USCF was kind enough to grant me a direct upgrade to Category 3 based upon my experience in the Juniors - bypassing Cat. 4s altogether(which, at that time, was equivalent to Category 5). At that point in time, I really didn't race much. The last time I actually entered a sanctioned race was in 1991.

Since that time, I've renewed my USCF license a half a dozen times through the years - and I am still in the USCF database as a Category 3. The problem is, it is now years later....I am going to be 38 years old next month....and I feel it might be a good idea to downgrade to the Cat. 4s - and race Masters 35+ 4/5s......and Category 4. I have people telling me all the time though that I should just go ahead and race 3s - no problems getting into races, less sketchiness in races, more experienced riders, and I would have the opportunity to race in the Masters 35+ 1/2/3s.

Well, the 3s sound okay - not great, but okay. But racing in the Masters 35+ 1/2/3s is like asking me to race with the friggin' pro peloton! The guys from this team, this team and this team would just hand me my butt in a paper bag. Maybe it's better......maybe not. Do I downgrade to the 4s and just race the Masters 35+ 4/5(and taking my chance in getting in to the entry lottery at every race), or do I just take advantage of this get-out-of-jail-for-free card that the USCF has given me with the 3s license??? Decisions, decisions.

What would YOU do????