Step 9 – Start Racing


The reason you started cycling may have been to participate in races or even just as a social jaunt around the suburbs. However, chances are you will be innocently lured by competitive friends or even interesting sounding race adverts that now have you lining up and ready to go.road biking race

There are a couple of types of races that you can take part in and you need to determine which type of race appeals to you.

Time trials are a format of racing that definitely is not for those who like the more social side of racing. This moderately popular form of racing sees each rider leave at predetermined intervals and pits man and machine against the clock. Naturally the fastest time over this short course discipline wins.

Another short course cycling discipline is criterium racing where riders do laps around a course for a period of time plus one lap so the amount of laps is not predetermined. Many crit’s consist of the format one hour plus one lap and if the field is big enough the last rider over the line on each lap is disqualified and leaves the course.

The more popular discipline in road cycling is your standard road racing mass participation events and smaller league or fun rides.

Mass participation races have been popular for many years and are growing in popularity as the year on year increase in entries shows. Races such as the Dragon Ride in Wales, Maratona dles Dolomites in Italy, South Africa’s Cape Argus Cycle and numerous races in France draw thousands of riders and hoards of spectators. These races are longer in distance and cover between 100 to 200 kilometers.

Tour de France bicycle raceIf riding with thousands of cyclists doesn’t appeal to you there are many other smaller fun rides and races which take place around the world every weekend, the cycling authority in each country and local cities will be able to supply you with a list of their events.

A more relaxed and very social type of racing which is not really a race at all is a tour. Many tours are well organized events that span over multiple days and while there is no prize money most tours acknowledge the fastest rider and all finishers.

You might still be wondering what all this race hype is all about and if there are any good reasons to race or even just participate casually.

A little bit of healthy competition never hurt anyone. A challenge set by a friend, family or even colleagues will keep you motivated to train longer and harder and get the important win over your buddy.

A ride around the “burbs” can be great fun and relaxing but maybe you are looking for a little bit more and racing is fast, exciting and will load you with adrenaline. Many cyclists are addicted to the vibe and atmosphere on race day.

No matter your race format of choice, distance and reason for racing you are sure to have a load of fun on race day.

Enjoy the ride.

Step 8 – Cycling Etiquette
Step 10 – Train for a Race

29 Responses to “Step 9 – Start Racing”

  1. Pedro G.

    Oct 26. 2014

    I started off as a casual weekend warrior and now participate at a league level in my age, was not my intention but it just happened.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Egor H

    Oct 28. 2014

    Love the sport of road racing, many people that watch from the sidelines don’t appreciate the strategy or dynamics or racing. So much fun.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Javier Sorm

    Oct 29. 2014

    Not my scene at all unfortunately, I did a few fun rides and it didn’t grab me.

    Reply to this comment
  4. james

    Nov 15. 2014

    Do I need anything extra to start racing?

    Reply to this comment
    • Tim

      Aug 14. 2015

      Your wits and a sense of humor. You should have everything else already.

      Reply to this comment
  5. Gary

    Nov 16. 2014

    I participated in a fun ride recently and was terrified, I got stuck in a group of around 40 riders and tried to work my way out which took forever. I managed to get to the back and it was even worse as the group surged and went and surged and went. Not my idea of fun at all.

    Reply to this comment
  6. David

    Dec 18. 2014

    I have so much fun when racing, there is adrenaline, competitiveness and a bunch of people that take themselves too seriously

    Reply to this comment
  7. Akim Cook

    Dec 24. 2014

    Best thing I ever did was to start racing. It drove me to train harder and ride longer. Love the sport.

    Reply to this comment
  8. Robert

    Jan 21. 2015

    Can you please give some training advice for a race?

    Reply to this comment
  9. Jason B

    Jan 26. 2015

    Participating in races is how I determine where I am going to travel to, I choose a well known race in a country and then plan my holidays around it. I have taken part in some awesome races and met a ton of great people.

    Reply to this comment
  10. Graig

    Feb 05. 2015

    How do you find out about races and enter?

    Reply to this comment
    • Tim

      Aug 14. 2015

      Most race organizers will advertise races in local community publications and just about all have an online flyer and entry system. Do a search on google for cycle races in your area or if you can’t find anything pop into your local bike shop and ask them.

      Reply to this comment
  11. Donnell

    Feb 13. 2015

    Much like your article read I used an annual cycle event in my town as a personal challenge, that was 6 months ago and I have since completed another 8 races, I am hooked.

    Reply to this comment
  12. Joseph

    Mar 08. 2015

    I use races as a bit of family time, we all go and ride short or kiddies rides together. Great bonding time and the little ones love it and see the benefit of healthy lifestyle without it seeming like a chore.

    Reply to this comment
  13. Tate L.

    Apr 12. 2015

    I am addicted to the race morning nerves and adrenaline 😉

    Reply to this comment
  14. James

    Apr 24. 2015

    I tried the criterium racing recently and failed miserably, the racing is so fast and intense. Great workout though.

    Reply to this comment
  15. Mike

    May 08. 2015

    Okay you have convinced me to try a race, I entered a fun ride in a few weeks time and will see how it goes. Thanks for all the advice.

    Reply to this comment
  16. George C.

    May 09. 2015

    Is there a general goal that I can use as a goal within the race?

    Reply to this comment
    • Tim

      Aug 14. 2015

      The route difficulty in each race will be different so it is hard to benchmark all races, if you have access to the previous year’s results you could use these to see what the average speed was. Remember that weather conditions will also play a part in the race results.

      Reply to this comment
  17. Franny S

    May 31. 2015

    I have referred your site to several new cyclists at my club, your articles are proving to be extremely helpful to newcomers to the sport. A fantastic resource.

    Reply to this comment
  18. Pebrook C

    Aug 05. 2015

    Why are races that early in the morning? I really can’t get myself up to ride a bike that early.

    Reply to this comment
    • Tim

      Aug 14. 2015

      Ha-ha, yes they are early but they are done so for safety reasons, there is a lot less traffic on the roads.

      Reply to this comment

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