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Road bike Racing in Yorkshire.

Tino4444Tino4444 Posts: 281
edited February 2009 in Pro race
Hi all,

I am wanting set myself a target with my cycling training to give me something to get my fitness levels up for.

I am considering entering some road races this year but would not know what kind of races to enter or what kind of level I would need to be at before entering!

I currently have a hybrid which I am averaging 17MPH on over 30 mile distances, but in the next few weeks I am trading this in for a road bike so am hoping to get a bit faster!

Has anyone got any suggestions as to any organised road races in the Yorkshire area?

What kind of average MPH should I be looking at before attemting one?

Any advice would be greatfully recieved.

Tino.
Speciallized Allez 09...great bike shame about the wheels!!

Posts

  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    For races in Yorkshire, look at British Cycling's Event Calendar for the .................. err, Yorkshire region.

    You need to look for entry-level races - "Go Race", Reg C, C+ or Reg B. Don't bother with Reg A' s for now as you'll just get a kicking. As a new racer, you'll be a 4th Cat by the way.

    It's almost impossible to say "if you can ride at X mph for Y miles you'll be ok" as your average speed on the road will vary with wind, terrain, road conditions, traffic conditions etc. Besides, it's not average speed per se that is necessary, more the ability to ride fast for short periods as people attack off the front and the race speed varies up and down.

    What I will say is that even at entry level, road racing is surprisingly tough and it's almost certain you'll struggle to stay in the bunch in your first races. You will learn from your mistakes each time, and learn how to ride in the bunch using as little energy as possible.

    I think the best thing you can do is join a local club, learn how to ride in a bunch with them and the best training methods that will help you progress.
  • kouroukourou Posts: 40
    I'm not from Yorkshire so cannot help there, but your best bet would be to try a closed circuit race first, rather than one on public roads. You'll have enough to think about without potholes and traffic too...

    Go take a look at the Events Calendar on the British Cycling website - you can search by location, road racing and the other useful ones for you will be classification (look for Go Race) category (look for 4th cat).

    4th cat is meant to be entry level, but your first time out you'll probably find it surprisingly hard going (but still doable, and you shouldn't expect not to get dropped in your first race, even if you should nevertheless try and avoid it). Go Race events have no points on offer (4th cat usually has 10 for a win down to 1 for 10th, with 10 points in a year elevating you to 3rd cat), and therefore attract a weaker less experienced field - just what you want!

    Looks like there aren't many Go Race events oop North for some reason, so you may need to go for 4th cat. You can get a day licence if you're not sure whether you'll like it - or BC membership with a bronze racing licence to save you money - its free if you are a member of a club and will allow you to ride most entry level races. When you think you are challenging for top ten, get yourself a sliver membership with licence which entitles you to score points.

    The other thing you should do is find a club - going racing with others is much more fun, and motivational. Don't be afraid to to try more than one until you find one which takes part in the events you want to do, and involves people you'll get on with... If you do race, see which local clubs are there in force.

    A club is also useful for racing as rides will teach you to ride in a group - the quickest way to get dropped in a race is not having the confidence to shelter close behind another wheel.

    Training-wise you should aim for distances up to perhaps 25% more than the length of the races themselves - they won't be that long at that level on a circuit - maybe just 20-30km (if we were talking longer races then maybe 10-15% more). And it'll be over in 45-60 minutes. You'll find you'll ride harder in the race in any case than you do in training, but try and keep up a pace over 25km/h, and add some intervals at say 35km/h. Its better however that you get stuck in and race (so long as your expectations are not too high), rather than wait until you think you are fast enough to win :-) It takes most people a good few races to start scoring points unless you are lucky enough to find an event with a small field.

    When you get there, don't be intimidated by shaved legs (unnecessary in your first race, and arguably thereafter...) or expensive bikes (they might improve and motivate that rider, but its still about fitness) and try and ride in the front half of the bunch - hanging off the back means you end up working harder, as the bunch concertinas when going around corners. If you do start to see a gap in front of you, dig deep, then deeper, to close it, as once you lose more than a few bike lengths it can be very hard to get back on (perhaps less of a problem in Go Race). If you find youself on your own, try and bridge up to the next guy and share the work, or failing that, falling back to someone behind you to work together can sometimes counter-intuitively help, rather than facing that headwind on your own...

    Good luck!

    Find a club (Go Ride - different to Go Race - clubs will suit you if you're under 16 I think):
    http://www.britishcycling.org.uk/web/si ... Finder.asp

    Join BC:
    http://www.britishcycling.org.uk/web/si ... p_home.asp

    Find a race:
    http://www.britishcycling.org.uk/web/si ... future.asp
  • Tino4444Tino4444 Posts: 281
    Thanks very much for your advice thats much appreciated.
    Speciallized Allez 09...great bike shame about the wheels!!
  • Tom ButcherTom Butcher Posts: 7,137
    I'd find your local chain gang or training ride and have a go at that - you'll meet local riders and find out a bit about what the clubs are like before choosing which one to join. You don't normally have to be a member of a club to ride a chain gang. As with racing don't but put off if you get dropped by the chain gang - they are often as hard or harder than entry level races in terms of fitness - though racing will demand more in the way of tactics, bike handling, confidence etc. If you aren't sure what to do in a group then don't be afraid to let others know that - they should give you some tips and it'll also be a heads up for them to give you a bit more room - you don't want to cause a crash first time out.

    it's a hard life if you don't weaken.
  • acorn_useracorn_user Posts: 1,137
    Main thing to watch out for is changes in pace, not the overall pace. You'll keep up fine in a pack. The problem is when someone attacks hard, repeatedly. That tires you out if you are not used to it. So try and do some intervals to get yourself a bit more used to it.
  • YorkmanYorkman Posts: 290
    Yorkshire is a big place - can you be a bit more specific as to whereabouts you are based?
  • The east yorkshire road race league is great, i did some of my 1st races last year and it was well organized, its around beverley area.
    On the british cycling website
  • The east yorkshire road race league is great, i did some of my 1st races last year and it was well organized, its around beverley area.
    On the british cycling website
  • The east yorkshire road race league is great, i did some of my 1st races last year and it was well organized, its around beverley area.
    On the british cycling website
  • The east yorkshire road race league is great, i did some of my 1st races last year and it was well organized, its around beverley area.
    On the british cycling website.
  • The east yorkshire road race league is great, i did some of my 1st races last year and it was well organized, its around beverley area.
    On the british cycling website.
  • The east yorkshire road race league is great, i did some of my 1st races last year and it was well organized, its around beverley area.
    On the british cycling website.
  • The east yorkshire road race league is great, i did some of my 1st races last year and it was well organized, its around beverley area.
    On the british cycling website.
  • The east yorkshire road race league is great, i did some of my 1st races last year and it was well organized, its around beverley area.
    On the british cycling website.
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