How do I start racing?
Getting started in racing is easier than you think. In fact its simple.
Besides your equipment all you need to do is find and show up at a race and pay the entry fee. New bike racers are always welcome.
You can, but dont need to, attend a learn to race clinic
Don't be scared of the racer lingo. If you are a man you will be in the Category 5 (or mixed 4/5) race. Women start as Category 4 racers. This is just the name for the beginner categories. (You move up in categories based on specific criteria
. But don't worry about that for your first race. Just go have fun.) There are also "master's" races based on age at many events.
The Idaho race calendar
is a good place to start and find a race. There are links to race flyers that give
details as to location, time, cost, categories, race distances, etc. Many of the clubs maintain a copy of the calendar on their website.
It is good to have some
group riding experience before you attempt your first mass-start race.
Many of the local bike clubs
offer group rides where you can meet some other racers and develop basic group riding skills. You can get some basic initial tips on riding in a group here
and some here
Here is an entire Website devoted to New Bike Racers
(A hat tip to our friends at the Minnesota Cycling Federation.)
And here is some information from our neighbors at the Utah Cycling Association
some is specific to the UCA but most applies to everybody.
Another good source of information are our local bike shops.
They'll most likely have information on races and most sponsor
one or more of the local clubs.
You should review the USACycling rulebook
prior to your first race.
Important Notes For that First Race
- A racing license is required you can buy a one-day or an annual license. (How do I obtain a license?)
- You MUST wear your helmet while on your bike.
- Sleeveless jerseys are not allowed
- NO aero bars are allowed unless its a time trial.
More information is at USACycling