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So, you’ve got the miles in, done the training and now you want to have a go at some racing but don’t know where to start?? There are plenty of “racers” in the club who will help you out but here is a quick guide to some of the practical aspects of racing and how to enter.
In many ways Time Trials (TTs) are the ideal way to start testing yourself. Usually run over a set distance (10, 25, 50 or 100 miles) on a set course it is you against the clock. Riders set off alone at one minute intervals and are timed over the course – courses are generally run on public roads and are well marshalled so that there is little chance of getting lost.
There are 2 types of events – club events and open events. As a racing member of Bury Clarion you can enter both open and club events.
Club events are generally less formal and do not require pre entry – you turn up, sign on, pay your entry fee (typically £3 or £4) and are given a start time and a number to pin on your kit. Typically these run on weekday evenings from April to September and due to daylight restrictions are usually over 10 miles, with the occasional 25 miler when the days are longest. There is a wide mix of abilities and experience in these events and in many ways they are ideal for beginners – although there will be riders in full TT kit, there will also be beginners on standard road bikes who will be equally welcome. Bury Clarion uses the Southport CC 10 mile TT on Thursday evenings for its season long 10s competition. Southport TT
Open events are more formal events that require pre entry – usually 2 weeks prior to the event. A start sheet is sent out a week or so before the event. These events are usually run at weekends and details of these events are advertised on the CTT (cycling time trials) web site CTT
Road Races are run on public highways, usually several laps of a 6 to 8 mile circuit on quiet roads.
Circuit Races are run on purpose built cycling circuits, usually a 1 to 2 miles in distance with no traffic to worry about. Circuit races are generally run over a set time – e.g. 60 minutes plus 3 laps.
In order to race in these bunch races, generally you have to have a licence from the organising body. The majority are run under the rules of British Cycling and you can get your licence on line Race licence and also enter most events on line Racing Calendar. New adult licence holders are given a 4th category licence and enter races against riders of a similar ability – if you do well in these races you will gain licence points (unlike your driving licence these are good points!) and move up to a 3rd Category, success as a 3rd cat means you move up to a 2nd cat, then 1st cat, then elite level! Juniors race against others in the same or very similar age category.
For those over 40 the LVRC organises various road and circuit races LVRC
TLI also organises road and circuit races TLI – the racing categories in both TLI and LVRC are based on age rather than ability.
Remember being at school and being forced to do all those cross country runs during winter? Well, cyclocross is basically cross country on a bike. Cyclocross