I Feel Faster Already.

If I learned anything from my experiences racing in SoCal, it's that I never, ever want to be in a Cat 5 criterium again.
  
Problem is, I only have two finishes and a clinic on my USAC license, and you need ten points to upgrade. Based on my current rate of progress, I would be 70 by the time I made it to Cat 4. We don't have reciprocity with USAC, but I contacted the regional coordinator to see if there was a way to speed up the process. She was very nice, and responded that all I had to do was submit my race resume, which is basically just like a regular resume. All of the highlights are emphasized and all of the screw-ups are swept under the rug.
  
I had to search hard for the older stuff, which is a shame because that's when I was actually winning. However, eventually I had a series of race results that gave the impression of a somewhat decent cyclist that was steadily working his way up the ranks, instead of an old, tired man who can barely make the pedals go around anymore.
  
They bought it. Within a couple days I was a newly-minted Cat 4 roadie. 
  
Cat 4s are infinitely better than Cat 5s, because they have those ten whole races under their belts. The real reason I wanted the upgrade is to give myself the option of racing Masters 45+. A lot of USAC races don't allow Cat 5s to race Masters. Masters races are usually longer than Cat 4/5 races. There's also the part about being beat up by naturally testosterone-fueled 20-year-olds. Of course the trade-off is I'll be beat up by unnaturally testosterone-fueled 50-year-olds. At least I'll have the choice.
  
I'm debating doing a stage race or two in the Lower 48 next year. Give myself something to work towards during the long, dark winter, since the Tour of Fairbanks will probably never return to its glory days. I need to pick races with weak fields of feeble old men and not a lot of climbing. 
  
I have my work cut out for me, but as an experienced Cat 4, I think I can handle it.

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