Forum home Road cycling forum Road beginners

How do I get involved?

Jimbob3007Jimbob3007 Posts: 4
edited June 2013 in Road beginners
Hi guys,

I am new to the forum but not that new to cycling. I have been riding a road bike since the jolly old age of 7, (im now 16, 17 this july) and have been meaning to race for a while now but due to my commitment to exams etc i haven't really had the time to fully commit myself as much as I'd want to, to get to the point of fitness is feel comfortable entering a race.
But I've recently been traing a lot harder, roughy 100/150 miles a week, in the hope of some getting into some racing experience, but I have no idea where to start.? Would appreciate any advice.

Thanks in advance! :D:)

Posts

  • mrbrightsidemrbrightside Posts: 214
    At a guess you local club, even Sunday rides will give you an indication of ability.
  • danlikesbikesdanlikesbikes Posts: 3,898
    Look at the British Cycling website for a start - http://www.britishcycling.org.uk it gives lots of info on the different options open to you plus advice on where to find clubs local to you.

    Would suggest getting out on a group ride to see how you find it & gauge your fitness levels, but as lost will say its more about technical knowledge & ability to ride well in a group over out and out fitness on their own.

    If you let people know where are are based them am sure we can come up with some suggestions on local clubs or groups for you to get out with.
    Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    It's virtually impossible to develop the group riding and handling skills needed for racing on your own, never mind the neccessary speed and fitness to cope with racing. Join a local club and take it from there.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • cyco2cyco2 Posts: 593
    edited June 2013
    There are several types of bike racing so a good way to start is to do some 10 mile time trials. This is a good way to compare your performance with other riders before spending your money on a BC Racing Licence. Get to know what other riders of your age are doing and how they perform in Road Races. Try and get on training rides with them because you may find the speed they can climb, because of their experience of Road Racing, is astonishing. Don't be put off with your weaknesses at this stage they indicate where you need to improve. So, work at it.
    ...................................................................................................

    If you want to be a strong rider you have to do strong things.
    However if you train like a cart horse you'll race like one.
  • markos1963markos1963 Posts: 3,724
    cyco2 wrote:
    There are several types of bike racing so a good way to start is to do some 10 mile time trials. This is a good way to compare your performance with other riders before spending your money on a BC Racing Licence. Get to know what other riders of your age are doing and how they perform in Road Races. Try and get on training rides with them because you may find the speed they can climb, because of their experience of Road Racing, is astonishing. Don't be put of with your weaknesses at this stage they indicate where you need to improve. So, work at it.

    Would tend to agree as it is a cheap way into the sport but don't forget you need to join a club to do this.
  • GwenyGweny Posts: 38
    I'm the same age, but have only been riding road for (almost) a year. I'm thinking about starting to race as well (although going with the women to start!). Subsequently I've done a bit of research, but am no expert, so I apologize if any of this info is wrong.

    Deffo get out with a club. The medium club ride that I put off joining for ages was actually well within my ability. For instance, I thought because I suffered on hills I was slow- then I discovered everyone suffers and I wasn't too slow after all due to being fairly light! Personally I'm going to try and go out more regularly with some faster peeps/cat 4s to see how long I can last!

    Posting in the "Amateur race"/doing some searching there is probably the best bet. The training advice you'd get is probably to try chain gangs/faster group rides with others who are racing (cat 4) to see if you can keep up. Just to get group riding experience though, go out with less fast groups to start with. The one thing that most find crucial is to join a club.

    There are 2 ways to go about entering a race:
    1) Get a racing licence. It is £14 for our age, £7 after 1st July, so not terrible. It does have to be renewed every calendar year.
    However, you'd also need British Cycling membership, at £25.00 or £48.00 for silver or gold respectively. This lasts 12 months. With this licence you can accumulate points.

    2) You can get a "day licence" (think it's £5 for adults) with a Bronze (£15) membership. However, you won't get points if you end up getting placed (though most people's aim is just to try and hang on to the bunch at first!).

    If you end up racing 4 or more races after 1st July, the 1st option is actually cheaper, assuming a Silver membership and that the day licence is £5 even for juniors.

    You have the option to get a day licence with Silver and Gold too, but you can't buy a full licence with Bronze.
    You'd need to pay for the actual race entry too with either. This can vary, and tbh, I'm not sure if being a junior in a cat 4 reduces it. From a limited search, they can be £10-£15.

    You'd need junior gears (apparently they are very strict with them). These would mean a max of 7.93m. Using a 52-14 gives the biggest possible gear under these rules. If you've got a compact with a 50 ring, you will still need a 14 as the biggest sprocket, but you'd get less close to the gear limit. Race officials will do a "roll out test", (seeing how far one pedal rotation moves the bike) as tyres can alter the "true" distance moved with the biggest gear. As I understand it, you can get a sprocket "locked off" so you don't need to buy a new cassette, although it does give you 1 less gear to chose obviously.

    I'm no expert by any means, but have been looking into it as I said, so I hope that helps.
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,585
    At a guess you local club, even Sunday rides will give you an indication of ability.


    +1 to this. Local clubs can point you in the right direction and they usually know all about races and rides in the area. Most likely someone will sort of take you under their wing and get you more involved in these local or regional events. Good luck.
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