Racing for the first time?
If you are racing for the first time here’s a quick guide to the racing:
If you want to race regularly you can get British Cycling membership and a Race Licence. In fact, you’ll need BC membership to race in most events anyway, but it’s available for free as long as you are a member of a cycling club and haven’t been a BC member before. More info at the BC website – www.britishcycling.org.uk
For kids, work out which age category you fall into. It is worked out by your age on the 1st of January of the year of the event.
Under 12 year olds ride any bike in good working order provided it has brakes.Many older kids will ride road bikes with light cross tread on the tyres. Slick tyres are not really suitable as they lack grip and can slip on the grass.
Over 12’s and adults ride a fixed wheel bike – no brakes, and a fixed gear so the bike can’t freewheel. They will need to have tyres with grip as slicks aren’t allowed to be used for grass track. Light cyclo-cross tyres are best. The league can arrange to borrow a limited number of bikes to lend to newcomers on a first come basis.
Recommended gearing for an adult is a 48 front chainring with a 17 tooth back sprocket and Under 14’s a 48 front and an 18 rear.It is down to personal choice so this is just a guide. It is best to have a couple of different chainrings, one tooth different to change depending on how hard the track is.
On the day of the race make sure you have everything you’ll need: Food, Drinks, Change of clothing, Umbrella, Coat/jacket, Cash, Racing licence (if you have one), Bike, Helmet (you can’t race without one), Gloves, Shoes, Spare inner tubes
On the Day!
There are a number of things you need to do on arrival, the first time it can be a bit complicated:
The first thing you need to do is to register for the league and then sign-on at the cricket pavilion. There is a one off registration fee to pay annually to join the league before you can race. There is a limit to the number of riders who can join the league at any one time and if we are full, we reserve the right to operate a waiting list.
When you sign on you will need to enter your details on the correct sheet for your age group (see above), also you’ll have to pay the entry fee, and you’ll receive a number which is to be pinned to the back of your jersey. If you are a club member, you specify this on the entry sheet with the name of the club.
You will also pay for a day licence if you don’t have a valid BC racing licence. This is to ensure that you are properly registered and insured for the event. If you do have a licence the organisers will retain your licence until after the race, don’t forget to collect it when you return your number.
The signing on officials will check your licence or get your parent/guardian to fill out a Parental Consent Form and will take your cash then issue the number that you signed against on the sheet.
When you pin on your numbers make sure that it is the one you signed on for (numbers can get swapped if you are in a group), that it is pinned on using safety pins at the base of your back over the pockets on your cycling top. The numbers should be pinned on to the lower back. Ask another rider or marshal to check the position if you are not sure.
Make sure you know where the start line for your race is and when your race will begin. Listen for announcements about the next race and keep an eye on the starters, they will call the next group forward.
You will be given two handicap marks for certain races,this tells you where to start and a marshal will help you find it the first couple of times. These may change depending on how fast you ride. Keep checking the list posted on the cricket pavilion.
Make sure you drink plenty leading up to the race. When your race is called, gather near the start and follow the guidance of the marshals, the previous race will most likely be still going, so stay clear of the track and any exits as directed by the marshals.
If it’s a cool/wet day (cycle racing is a year-round sport) it’s a good idea to keep warm by wearing your jacket/coat until just before going to the start line. A parent or coach can come with you to the start, but must not assist you on the course once the race has started.
Once the race has started, just enjoy it! The line judges will let you know how many laps to go and when you’ve finished. Listen to their instructions.
When it’s finished, gather where instructed until the marshals take you safely off the course and then enjoy the congratulations of your proud family and fellow riders! Just don’t ask the judges questions when there is a race in progress or they might miss some riders.
Finally – Enjoy