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how do i start amateur racing

bobbyl001bobbyl001 Posts: 17
edited October 2012 in Amateur race
i really want to start racing around the north west/preston. I have no idea how to get involved. I have been doing sportives such as the fred (7hrs 30mins) and the lakeland loop for the past 3 years. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
thanks
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Posts

  • DavidJBDavidJB Posts: 2,019
    bobbyl001 wrote:
    i really want to start racing around the north west/preston. I have no idea how to get involved. I have been doing sportives such as the fred (7hrs 30mins) and the lakeland loop for the past 3 years. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    thanks

    Step 1. Get a BC silver membership and a race licence (You'll want to wait till November? now so you can get one for next year)
    http://www.britishcycling.org.uk/member ... membership

    Step 2. Attempt to use British Cyclings awful website to find races near you (you'll be a 4th cat).
    https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/events

    Step 3. Turn up with your bike, sign on and race..
    fat-cyclist-in-lycra.jpg

    Step 4. Profit!
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,038
    As above... one thing to bear in mind that the vast majority of those you may race against will be members of a BC affiliated club.
    Possibly close to you is the Salt Ayre track in Lancaster.... there may be a winter series.. it's not open road racing but on a closed circuit but can be a good intro.
    However, you can use the close season to up your fitness levels from Sportive grade :wink:
  • HerbsmanHerbsman Posts: 2,029
    DavidJB wrote:
    bobbyl001 wrote:
    i really want to start racing around the north west/preston. I have no idea how to get involved. I have been doing sportives such as the fred (7hrs 30mins) and the lakeland loop for the past 3 years. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    thanks

    Step 1. Get a BC silver membership and a race licence (You'll want to wait till November? now so you can get one for next year)
    http://www.britishcycling.org.uk/member ... membership

    Step 2. Attempt to use British Cyclings awful website to find races near you (you'll be a 4th cat).
    https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/events

    Step 3. Turn up with your bike, sign on and race..
    fat-cyclist-in-lycra.jpg

    Step 4. Profit!
    Step 1 should be to join your local cycling club!
    CAPTAIN BUCKFAST'S CYCLING TIPS - GUARANTEED TO WORK! 1 OUT OF 10 RACING CYCLISTS AGREE!
  • joey54321joey54321 Posts: 1,297
    Agreed,

    step 1: Join club and get used to riding in bunches going 22-25mph.
    step 2/3 : Join BC Silver member + race license
    step 4: try finding a closed road event that you can learn how to ride in a bunch.
  • DavidJBDavidJB Posts: 2,019
    Step 5....PROFIT?
  • sub55sub55 Posts: 1,025
    time trial
    constantly reavalueating the situation and altering the perceived parameters accordingly
  • Me too... was just googling this and guessing its you! Shall we join a club then???
  • You don't have to be a member of a club to race though do you?

    Racing interested me for a bit, but joining a club doesn't.
  • joey54321joey54321 Posts: 1,297
    No, it depends how you value your safety, the safety of the 10 guys immdediately around you, the value of your bike and of all theres that you could easily damage by not having experience of cycling in groups and speed...and it's a skill that has to be learnt, and that can't be learnt by doing sportives.
  • RichjRichj Posts: 240
    Sharpy_lad wrote:
    You don't have to be a member of a club to race though do you?

    Racing interested me for a bit, but joining a club doesn't.

    no you don't have to be a member of club, you can race as unattached.

    At amateur level though most races are organised by "clubs" and I'd encourage and recommend people to join a club to support this. As someone said on another post, "with a cycling club you get out of it what you put in"
  • thegibdogthegibdog Posts: 2,106
    Plenty of clubs in and around Preston such as Preston CC, Preston Wheelers, Ribble Valley CRC for you to try out over the winter. In the spring they'll be running club time trials and I'd have thought the Preston Arena crits http://www.cdnw.org/uclan_crits.html will be on again next year.

    Edit: they may have some hill climbs you can race in the next month or so too.
  • Richj wrote:
    Sharpy_lad wrote:
    You don't have to be a member of a club to race though do you?

    Racing interested me for a bit, but joining a club doesn't.

    no you don't have to be a member of club, you can race as unattached.

    At amateur level though most races are organised by "clubs" and I'd encourage and recommend people to join a club to support this. As someone said on another post, "with a cycling club you get out of it what you put in"

    Wouldn't paying on the line be enough in that regard?

    I do understand the point made by others though regarding experience of riding at close quarters to others, but I've seen enough local racing over the last few years that it really is common sense for the majority. For the lads in the pack they can be heard having a bit of a laugh, the lasses on the other hand can be heard sharing a few expletives :lol:

    It looks good fun, I think the first aim is to stick with the group as long as possible, build from there!
  • thanks for all the advice much appreciated. gonna give it a go.
  • hammeritehammerite Posts: 3,408
    Sharpy_lad wrote:

    Wouldn't paying on the line be enough in that regard?

    I do understand the point made by others though regarding experience of riding at close quarters to others, but I've seen enough local racing over the last few years that it really is common sense for the majority. For the lads in the pack they can be heard having a bit of a laugh, the lasses on the other hand can be heard sharing a few expletives :lol:

    It looks good fun, I think the first aim is to stick with the group as long as possible, build from there!

    Not sure what you mean about paying on the line being enough?

    Being a member of a club has other benefits. Lots of races are oversubscribed nowadays, an organiser is much more likely to accept an entry from someone who is a club member and has a track record of racing (traceable on the BC website), than someone who isn't a member of a club.

    You'd probably be fine getting a ride EOL or being unattached for a circuit race. If you want to race on the road there are usually a few more restrictions (size of the field allowed to race being the main one), so being a member of a club helps.
  • RichjRichj Posts: 240
    Sharpy_lad wrote:
    Richj wrote:
    Sharpy_lad wrote:
    You don't have to be a member of a club to race though do you?

    Racing interested me for a bit, but joining a club doesn't.

    no you don't have to be a member of club, you can race as unattached.

    At amateur level though most races are organised by "clubs" and I'd encourage and recommend people to join a club to support this. As someone said on another post, "with a cycling club you get out of it what you put in"

    Wouldn't paying on the line be enough in that regard?

    I do understand the point made by others though regarding experience of riding at close quarters to others, but I've seen enough local racing over the last few years that it really is common sense for the majority. For the lads in the pack they can be heard having a bit of a laugh, the lasses on the other hand can be heard sharing a few expletives :lol:

    It looks good fun, I think the first aim is to stick with the group as long as possible, build from there!

    I was more pointing out the need for volunteers and organisers to make the events happen and these, generally speaking come from clubs.

    If you are reffering to EOL being more than pre-entering, this is a fee that applies to everyone not just unattached riders so it doesn't really compensate for not being a member as it's not about the money.
  • Doesn't the race organisers get the race entry fees?
  • jibberjimjibberjim Posts: 2,810
    Sharpy_lad wrote:
    Doesn't the race organisers get the race entry fees?

    Yes - they have to pass on a lot of those to BC and the Region and to pay the expenses of the NEG guys and the First Aiders and the Commissaires and all the other expenses of the race. Even if the profit went to the organiser (it generally goes back in prizes or to club funds or something of course if there is one) it would be significantly less than working for minimum wage for the time it takes.
    Jibbering Sports Stuff: http://jibbering.com/sports/
  • jibberjim wrote:
    Sharpy_lad wrote:
    Doesn't the race organisers get the race entry fees?

    Yes - they have to pass on a lot of those to BC and the Region and to pay the expenses of the NEG guys and the First Aiders and the Commissaires and all the other expenses of the race. Even if the profit went to the organiser (it generally goes back in prizes or to club funds or something of course if there is one) it would be significantly less than working for minimum wage for the time it takes.

    This ^^^^
    If everyone took the attitude of I'll just enter races as an independent. Guess what would happen.
  • hammeritehammerite Posts: 3,408
    Without wanting to give away the highly confidential details of a races finances :wink: the race I organised cleared just short of £100, which goes to the club.

    It's certainly going to be no way to invest time/money if you want to make a living out of it!

    And if you did want to try then I'm guessing your marshals would want paying too, so your costs would be much higher.
  • Step 1 - start going to a chaingang or fast training bunch.
    Scottish and British...and a bit French
  • bobbyl001 wrote:
    i really want to start racing around the north west/preston. I have no idea how to get involved. I have been doing sportives such as the fred (7hrs 30mins) and the lakeland loop for the past 3 years. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    thanks


    that is the North Division, so join a local north club that is affiliated to the local CDNW Road Race and Crit League and that thats all you need, you will then have access to the RR road league and three crit off road circuits, these club members get preference into the CDNW events and cheaper too as their club is affiliated to the league.
    If your not in a club, you will race as Private and have no team mates or people to guide and advise you on racing and training, if you want to TT only, think you can only be a private member of CTT for one year, not sure, need to look it up, after than need to be in a club.
    You need some proper training suited toward racing, there is a monumental difference between riding steady for 7.5 hrs and riding at 20-30mph for a couple of hours in a RR or Crit.
    Team4Luke supports Cardiac Risk in the Young
  • ProssPross Posts: 31,634
    Sharpy_lad wrote:
    Richj wrote:
    Sharpy_lad wrote:
    You don't have to be a member of a club to race though do you?

    Racing interested me for a bit, but joining a club doesn't.

    no you don't have to be a member of club, you can race as unattached.

    At amateur level though most races are organised by "clubs" and I'd encourage and recommend people to join a club to support this. As someone said on another post, "with a cycling club you get out of it what you put in"

    Wouldn't paying on the line be enough in that regard?
    I do understand the point made by others though regarding experience of riding at close quarters to others, but I've seen enough local racing over the last few years that it really is common sense for the majority. For the lads in the pack they can be heard having a bit of a laugh, the lasses on the other hand can be heard sharing a few expletives :lol:

    It looks good fun, I think the first aim is to stick with the group as long as possible, build from there!


    Well it would be but if everyone took the attitude that they didn't want to join a club and help organise races then there wouldn't be any races left for everyone to take part in. Unfortunately it is an attitude that is becoming more common though and certainly in my area there are far less races on the road than there were 20 years ago (it's far easier to host a race on a motor circuit or similar where less volunteers are required). It's not like sportives where you can make a decent enough amount of money to run them through a company.

    I really don't understand the attitude of not wanting to join a club, it doesn't mean you always have to ride with them but you have the option to do so when you wish. Most clubs will put on midweek club time trials in the summer, they'll run chain gangs for faster riding in groups as well as normal club runs and you will usually be able to get subsidised kit and, in some cases, discounts at a sponsoring bike shop. In my club's case I get all this for £15 per year!
  • HerbsmanHerbsman Posts: 2,029
    Well said.
    CAPTAIN BUCKFAST'S CYCLING TIPS - GUARANTEED TO WORK! 1 OUT OF 10 RACING CYCLISTS AGREE!
  • symosymo Posts: 1,743
    So when in November do I have to get my Silver membership?
    +++++++++++++++++++++
    we are the proud, the few, Descendents.

    Panama - finally putting a nail in the economic theory of the trickle down effect.
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Your BC membership runs for 12 months whereas your race licence is for the calendar year. You can ride many 4th cat circuit races without a license, but you cannot get points (i.e. move up categories).
    As others have said, you are unlikely to gain the bike handling skills nor the fitness without doing some fast rides with more experienced club riders to fairly equip yourself for racing.
    Finally, somehow expecting someone else to volunteer their time and effort to organise races for little return is what's killing the number of races in this country.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • greeny12greeny12 Posts: 759
    Monty Dog wrote:
    Your BC membership runs for 12 months whereas your race licence is for the calendar year.

    Which is true, but worth adding that for reasons best known to themselves BC makes the "points year" run from December 1 to November 30.

    Totally agree on the club-related comments, by the way. I think the attitude about attending vs organising races comes from the sportive world that is many folks' (including mine) entry point for competitive cycling. Most sportives are run for profit so nobody feels selfish about just rolling up and starting. Races - as I now know - are a thankless and profit-less task!!!
    My cycle racing blog: http://cyclingapprentice.wordpress.com/

    If you live in or near Sussex, check this out:
    http://ontherivet.ning.com/
  • symosymo Posts: 1,743
    SO if I gor my Silver membership on the 29Nov2012 and license on the same that covers me for the year?

    Also how soon do I have to reregister afterward to keep which ever cat i reach?
    +++++++++++++++++++++
    we are the proud, the few, Descendents.

    Panama - finally putting a nail in the economic theory of the trickle down effect.
  • Firstly,
    If you have ambitions of racing andare anything like the vast majority of wannabe racers..... You already know best. You have the £8,000 carbon dream machine, all the kit, SRM's, Oval rings, more download devices than you can handle.
    You know how to ride 17 abreast on a public road without consideration of other road users... hell just give it a go...


    No seriously we're glad you've asked because quite often people dont and simply rock up to races like the above example without knowing how to ride in a safe manner at around 25mph in a group of 80 riders all pent up with legs full of Maltrodextrin.

    There was one race in the NW this year where someone who had set a team up had 3 of their 4 riders disqualified for dangerous riding. All of the riders were in only their 2nd event and lacked Nouse, Fitness, Race Craft and basic road safety. We never saw too much of them again, the 4th rider went from 3rd cat to 1st cat and moved clubs.

    The best bet is to join a club. Find out who the racing members are. Go out with them, let them assess whether or not you have both the fitness and skills to race learn from them and their experiences. You may be drawn into a tranche of the sport you'd not even considered . Asking on a website like this i s poor substitute for the rich depth of experience, judgment and knowledge you will find at any good community club with a decent history. Take a bit out - put a bit back in, help out with their events and you'll see whats needed to keep the grass roots racing on the roads.
  • Most people replying to this thread seem to know all the benfeits of joining a club and why someone should not just turn up to a race they should seek assistance from experienced riders, which clubs generally have plenty of.

    Can anyone tell me why someone new to a sport thinks it is best to just turn up at a competition and enter without any of the assistance a club would give? Do they think reading a forum and various magazines and web pages will give them all they need :?:

    We have had lots of new riders turn up on our training rides and club runs this year, who clearly need the help and guidance of a club. If many of these turned up to a race without any guidance there would be mayhem.

    As a club we promote both road races and a sportive and the sportive makes around 10 to 20 times the profit the road race does. Races are promoted for the good of the sport, sportives are promoted to generate income to put back into the sport. (Or they are promoted by companies to make profit)
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