I want to go racing

Home Forum Bike Forum I want to go racing

Viewing 45 posts - 1 through 45 (of 61 total)
  • I want to go racing
  • mtbmatt
    Member

    Join BC, get a racing licence, enter 4th cat only crit races.

    karlwoof
    Member

    Do some local crits (ideally 4th cat only). start at the front as most circuits are super tight and moving up is hard.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    Don’t take your best bike if you have a choice, 4th cat races are generally carnage! 3/4/J/W ones are marginally faster, but far safer!

    jonba
    Member

    It is quite possible to race and not crash badly. The vast majority of the bunch in any race finish on their bikes unharmed. Don’t go into a race with a kamikaze attitude that crashing is inevitable.

    You get your licence from British cycling. I think Silver membership includes a temporary race licence that allows you to race but you will not accumulate points. You can buy the racing licence seperately. It is worth doing as by the time you have a few points it will probably be too late to get the licence and get promoted. Cost around £75 all in from memory.

    It is nice to be in a club so there are familiar faces in the bunch and before and after the races. You can race as a 4th cat unattached in plain kit (no big logos or replica stuff). The other advantage of a club is the local chaingang. It is often a good way to get a race intense workout and practice race craft. In the NE we have the blind which has everything from 4ths through to 1sts and semi pros. It is probably harder than most of the 3/4 races.

    Enter races suited to you. Look through the BC calender and target events. I can only help if you tell what kind of rider you are and if you live in the NE. If you are crap on hills then don’t enter the really hilly races. Routes can normally be found on Strava these days.

    Enter a few early on, don’t wait till June. You can get fit racing and it will teach you tactics and race craft. In March and April it is fairly relaxed as everone finds their feet after winter. Come June everybody has trained and got serious.

    Road races are (in my opinion) harder than short circuits and crits. I prefer them and find them safer with less dodgy riding. However, you get a fair few 4th Cat crits that are good if you are starting out as more people will be at your level. My 3rd race was a 2/3/4 classic (The Sloan Trophy) It was 70 miles @23mph and it rained for the 3 hours. I was strong enough to finish but not many 4th cats did.

    3/4s are full of ringers – people who have dropped down from higher levels or who take part in other disciplines so don’t have points on the road. I rode one 3/4 with a guy who is a sponsored cx rider ranked in the top 10 in the UK. He was quite strong.

    Do some training. Get used to riding for 1 hour flat out with regular sprints if you are going to do crits. Get used to 40-50miles hard if you are focusing on road races.

    BC now has some race smart videos that are quite good.

    mtbmatt
    Member

    Do some local crits (ideally 4th cat only). start at the front as most circuits are super tight and moving up is hard.

    If you ever want to be good at road/crit racing then moving through a bunch is a vital skill, so stick yourself at the back instead and use it as practice 🙂

    mrblobby
    Member

    Where part of the country are you?

    Premier Icon lunge
    Subscriber

    Thanks all. I’m Midlands based but don’t mind travelling an hour or 3 to get to somewhere interesting. As a rider I’m pretty strong tapping out a good pace on rolling terrain and am OK up hills, though being 6’4″ and not a light weight means I’ll never be a proper climber. Sprints and pace changes are things I intend to work on over the winter as I understand this will happen and I need to be able to react to it.

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    I want to as well… but I’m still a LONG way from considering it viable yet.

    Taking a generic say 30 mile route, some hills, flats, etc, what sort of speed would a soloist need to be getting on an average day to then go cat4 and not be a complete embarrassment ?

    This may be a good start for you as I have entered my first ever race The Great Orme Race albeit the masters race 3 laps but bound to be pretty intense but a nice 6.5 mile circuit on closed road.

    Premier Icon lunge
    Subscriber

    Never raced before and I have decided I’d like to enter some next year on the road. I know I’ll be a 4th cat rider, I know I will crash and I know it will hurt. Bar this, I know nothing.

    Can someone give me a rough guide (or indeed point me in the direction of such a thing) on things like licenses, where to enter, which races to aim at/avoid, that kind of thing. If it matters, I’m not a member of a club and don’t particularly want to join one. I have however been a member before so am aware of the joys of bunch riding and the politics thereof.

    Premier Icon lunge
    Subscriber

    weeksy, that is a very good question, I too would be keen to hear that answer!.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    It is quite possible to race and not crash badly. The vast majority of the bunch in any race finish on their bikes unharmed. Don’t go into a race with a kamikaze attitude that crashing is inevitable.

    Of course it is, but the problem with road racing (unlike MTB racing for example) is that you can be the most cautious, sensible rider out there, but if there’s another kamikaze rider who’s never ridden in a bunch and suddenly decides they want the wheel that you’re riding on… you’re going down, like it or not!

    Re speed: it’s difficult to say, you can shelter in the bunch and it’s not that hard – but you need the race craft. I got dropped from my first couple of 3/4 races, until I learned what was going on and put myself in the right place. You need to keep thinking you’re moving up to stay in the same place in the bunch. Try and stay put and you’ll find yourself right at the back, any accelerations are magnified and you’ll be trying harder than you need to just to keep up.

    Taking a generic say 30 mile route, some hills, flats, etc, what sort of speed would a soloist need to be getting on an average day to then go cat4 and not be a complete embarrassment ?

    I think 20 mph would do you. Average speed for Cat 4 would be somewhere like 24-26, but you have the benefit of being in a nice drafty bunch then.

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    I think 20 mph would do you. Average speed for Cat 4 would be somewhere like 24-26, but you have the benefit of being in a nice drafty bunch then

    That’s the sort of figure I was expecting… just 3mph average to find then 🙂

    Premier Icon lunge
    Subscriber

    20mph? Wow, OK, that is a touch quicker than I was expecting for Cat 4. have a 37 mile, 1700 ft elevation ride home from work that I do in 2 hours dead if I’m pushing on. Am I even in the ball park?

    20mph? Wow, OK, that is a touch quicker than I was expecting for Cat 4. have a 37 mile, 1700 ft elevation ride home from work that I do in 2 hours dead if I’m pushing on. Am I even in the ball park?

    18.5mph? You aren’t far off, cutting tohe route to 30miles should buy you 0.5 of a mph.

    Some permanent tracks are available for practice which would be worth looking into.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    It just isn’t as clear cut as that too. If nothing else, most 4th cat races are on very flat crit courses, so being a lithe climber with a low power output isn’t usually as advantageous as being a really strong roleur.

    I got a few podium finishes in 3/4 crits and I reckon 20mph would be the upper end of what I could do on a solo 30 mile ride (and faster than I would generally actually ride), but I had a reasonable sprint.

    It just isn’t as clear cut as that too. If nothing else, most 4th cat races are on very flat crit courses, so being a lithe climber with a low power output isn’t usually as advantageous as being a really strong roleur.

    Very good point there.

    Worth devising a flat-ish route to test yourself on.

    Maybe worth throwing the occasional break/sprint/acceleration/moment of excitement in every 2-3 mins as well.

    Premier Icon gary
    Subscriber

    20mph? Wow, OK, that is a touch quicker than I was expecting for Cat 4.

    Sounds a bit high to me – I can hang in the bunch in a cat 3 race (as long as its flat) and I don’t think I’ve ever logged a 20mph average for a solo ride of any distance! Positioning, confidence in a group, getting out of corners cleanly, etc. are far more likely to be factors in you getting dropped than out and out speed.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    Worth devising a flat-ish route to test yourself on.

    Still think that’s worthless, just do a race. Worst that happens is that you go out of the back and you’re £10 down on the day.

    Unless you plan a solo break thrashing yourself around a flat circuit isn’t going to be a race simulation.

    crosshair
    Member

    So what races are available to have a go at in the next 12months within 1h of Newbury/Reading then??

    Haze
    Member

    Lunge, if you’re Midlands based then take a look at theMamil Winter Series held at Stourport.

    I rode 3 of the 4 last year, first time. Haven’t done any since (broken bike, unrelated to the racing) but may well sign up for these again to get started for a full year.

    4th Cat is last on the day, depending on how the others have ran over the time slot will be something like 30 or 40 mins plus 5 laps.

    If you can average 18/19mph solo on the road you’ll manage the 22 or so that they were doing last time, just need to be able to keep it going for the best part of an hour.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    So what races are available to have a go at in the next 12months within 1h of Newbury/Reading then??

    Loads! You’re a bit late this year, although there are winter races at Hillingdon.

    There’s a summer wednesday night series at Eelmore, near Fleet, there’s stuff at Dunsfold, near Cranleigh (admittedly pushing your hour).

    Have a look on the BC calendar, there are far more road races than MTB.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    Edit: wrong thread!

    TiRed
    Member

    My intro to racing

    Loads! You’re a bit late this year, although there are winter races at Hillingdon.

    Never too late for Hillingdon. You can apply for BC membership and license online, then enter this Saturday’s 3/4 race at 1PM. There are three more in the series. Then Points Grabbers, then the Winter Series starts. Eelmore is a little closer and probably a little less competitive. The 4th cats will be getting desperate for those last few points to make it to 3rd, so the races will be harder than the start of the season.

    If you want to race Hillingdon, drop me a line, I try and race there most weeks.

    g123456
    Member

    If your happy in a group.and can follow wheels then you’ll be fine. Try not to drop to the back.

    crosshair
    Member

    Hmmm- I got my provisional license through the post this week 😀
    Never ridden in a bunch though….

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    Hmmm- I got my provisional license through the post this week
    Never ridden in a bunch though….

    You kept that quiet !

    You dark horse you.

    You can practice sitting on my wheel… if you don’t die of boredom.

    crosshair
    Member

    I wanted it for CX not this 😉

    mrblobby
    Member

    So what races are available to have a go at in the next 12months within 1h of Newbury/Reading then??

    Castle Combe do a series on the circuit there, though they have finished for the year. There’s also the Oxfordshire Road Racing League, but again finished for the season. I’ll probably be doing a few of these next year and am in Newbury.

    Premier Icon gary
    Subscriber

    So what races are available to have a go at in the next 12months within 1h of Newbury/Reading then??

    As others have said, not so much this year, but in addition to the above:

    There are circuit races on the MoD base at Ludgershall nr Andover. Usually there is a weekend winter and weekday summer series but there was no winter series this year, not sure about 2015

    Circuit races at Thruxton – typically a couple of weekends earlier in the year and then a summer evening series

    VC Venta and Sotonia have run crits in the Park and Ride car park outside Winchester.

    Winchester city centre criterium is a fun one off in August.

    mtbtomo
    Member

    Seemed to me that early season, a lot of 4th cat races are crazy fast as there are a lot of super keen people who are keen to move up. It only takes 12 points to move up, so 2 or 3 results in the points should do it.

    As the season moves on, it seemed that those who were going to move up had already done so, and the races were easier. The two races where I clocked points to move up to 3rd cat, the pace was pedestrian – almost no more than warm up pace even when on the front, and no one wanted to take it on.

    You cannot underestimate the importance of just racing. The accelerations are fierce. Nothing in training will replicate the need to sprint as hard – to stay with the bunch.

    And as above, some of the “interesting” town centre crits 3/4s are full of ringers such as elite level mountain bikers who just don’t do too many road races.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    Elite mountain bikers always used to get 2nd cat licences by default (and higher if you asked). Dunno if they still do.

    mtbmatt
    Member

    They don’t.
    I have cat 3 on the road. I do very little road racing though, 1-2 a year max.

    I wouldn’t say elite MTBers are ringers though, its a different type of racing, especially if you are smaller.
    I guess it comes down to experience. I don’t see myself as a cat 2 roadie. Even if I raced all season I’d struggle to get enough points to go from 3 to 2.

    mtbtomo
    Member

    Yeah, but surely they have a higher level of fitness to start with?

    mtbmatt
    Member

    road racing isn’t all about fitness. Obviously fitness is important, but its different to XC MTB.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    Which comes neatly back to the point that it’s not just what speed you can ride at to make you a contender!

    mtbtomo
    Member

    Its covering the sudden surges in acceleration that I struggle with – like out of hairpin bends.

    Maybe I’m not prepared to inflict the pain on myself thats needed when the acceleration happens??! It seems I only ever record a max heart rate in the high 170’s – which if I’m 35 and the typical rough calculation is (220 – age) seems a bit low. Thats in race sprints, on the turbo, on the open road, wherever. Perhaps I need to try harder!

    oldgit
    Member

    njee20 agree on all, especially that last comment.
    mtbtomo try going to the front often, big mistake to think you actually have to go fast all the time. What I’m saying is if things aren’t suiting you, you can get out there and control things a little.
    If there are parts of a course that don’t suit me, I work to get to them first so I’m not already at the back if I go backwards?

    oldgit
    Member

    Its covering the sudden surges in acceleration that I struggle with – like out of hairpin bends.

    I wouldn’t mind betting that this is down to tactics/position rather than fitness.

    kcr
    Member

    I’m not a member of a club and don’t particularly want to join one. I have however been a member before so am aware of the joys of bunch riding and the politics thereof

    It sounds like you might have been in the wrong club. Joining a good club will give you access to lots of first hand advice, coaching information, and opportunities to train for road racing. It will also give you the opportunity to help out. Road racing only takes place because of the efforts of unpaid volunteers.

    crosshair
    Member

    I’m getting more intrigued now. Only way is to try I suppose. I can see how being near the front before corners can help but I just can’t imagine everyone else saying “oh sorry, yes, by all means go in front here” so then surely, with everyone vying for the front for their favourite or least favourite bit it all just degenerates into a flat out race???

Viewing 45 posts - 1 through 45 (of 61 total)

The topic ‘I want to go racing’ is closed to new replies.