Planning a season without the schedule announced

The local race org (MBRA - Michigan) has not announced either their road or mountain bike race schedule for 2020 yet. As I am new to the area and don’t have a great idea about which races I’ll want to target, etc. The plan builder feature has me thinking about how to incorporate all of these event into a plan without insight into the events. How would you go about building your season and timing the phases if you don’t know what races there will be until later?

I have already started training and am about to finish wk5 of SSB1 and have a season kinda laid out but now I am wondering if there is a better way to do it with limited knowledge of the future.

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Good general question but I happen to have some specifics for you - The MBRA’s annual meeting is this Sunday and that’s where the various race directors work out the tentative schedule. So, you should have a basic picture of the road season next week.

FWiW Michigan’s road calendar is usually pretty similar year to year so in the meantime you can look at last year’s schedule. The only big change i am aware of is the Detroit Cycling Championship crit - our one national calendar race - had been in late July but rumor has it its moving to mid June.

Thanks! I saw the meeting notice on their website but wasn’t sure when a tentative (or actual) schedule might come out.
So the dates I can base on last year for now, but do you (or anyone else) have any advice on how to choose an A race when you don’t have experience in the area or the races? I was leaning toward just arbitrarily choosing one that was partway through the season and just seeing how it goes. This is also only my second season of racing and am a pretty new CAT 4 so I may just be overthinking this and it won’t really matter much in the end.

As for choosing an A race, first off if you’re serious about racing bikes, you’ll have lots of races and several of them will be A races. Personally, while using TR over the winter gets you ready to race, once the racing season starts, you have to free lance your own plan to keep a good edge when needed during the season. They don’t have a stock plan for “race every weekend.” A 26 week process to get ready for only one race, then start over, is not how bike racing gets done.

I’m sure there is a more scientific way to do it but I just plan things out so I’m in the specialty phase by late May, That gets me through races in June, then it usually works out there is a couple weeks in July where you can regroup than tool up for racing in August. Once June hits I start operating on my own mini plans lasting a couple weeks as the season plays out.

As for what races to focus on, pick ones that look fun and fit your schedule. Also take a serious look at the regular training races if you’re close to one (Waterford in the Detroit area and Grattan near Grand Rapids). That’s a great way to get experience and you them for training too.


Thanks a lot! This gives me a bunch to think about. I’m in Ann Arbor so not super far from Waterford. That was actually my first bike race ever in July '18 and I got dropped like a rock about 5 laps into what is probably still the fastest race I’ve done yet (avg 24 mph even with being dropped and soloing for about 40 min).

The Ann Arbor Velo Club puts on a popular spring training race series that usually starts the first Sunday in April. You could get 10 races in by the end of May if you double up :wink:

I’ve seen those and plan to do them! Luckily I don’t need 10 races as I already did that in the spring and I’m now a 4.

this is always tough. I’d just shoot for a weekend in April and then again in June and hope for the best; get two solid clusters in there and rip some legs off

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I feel your pain on the difficulty scheduling. Several of my races were denied by Xterra – some are changing, some are closing. Many of us are waiting on what races are doing. Hard to plan a season when what you have done previously is in doubt.

Tough spot – at least you have the ability to look at last year’s schedule and start some rough planning.