With the Tour de Yorkshire fast approaching, there’s no better time to get on a bike. Road racing is one the oldest forms of cycle sport, and from multi-stage racing to circuit racing, there’s sure to be a type to suit you.
So how do you get into it?
A Race to Suit You
With any road race, you’ll need endurance, bike handling skills and tactical know-how. These are all things that you can cultivate through practice and experience. Endurance builds up over time with training and racing, as do bike handling skills. The tactical know-how is a bit more difficult, and doesn’t often come naturally. Instead it comes with thought and analysis of races.
There is a range of different road racing categories, from time trialling to multi-stage racing, and from youth to senior races, with a ability level ranging from 4th category to elite.
The bike is, of course, a very important part of cycling. When you’re looking at bikes, they should be all about the speed. Look for ultra lightweight frames made of steel, aluminium or carbon fibre, like these ones from Fat Birds.
Perhaps you’ve decided to start road racing because you love bike riding, or maybe because you want to get fit. However, if you can’t spend two to three hours on a bike without crying then you need to get up to that standard. You should be able to spend hours in that saddle. If you can’t, then this is something you should work towards before you start racing.
Join Group Rides
Investigate locally for group rides that you can participate in. they might be hosted by bike shops or just enthusiasts. Take a look at these tips and guides for group riding as it can be scary at first.
Beginner groups may be able to help with group riding skills, and will make it easy for you to progress to faster groups when you want a good work out.
Club groups usually enter races under the club name, and will offer clothing options for the team members, so it’s a great way to begin road racing.
Don’t Forget to Rest
It can be easy to get so caught up in the excitement that you’ll train all the time. However, to get the most out of your body and what it can do, then you’ll have to let yourself rest. You should schedule rest days as well as recovery weeks, when the amount of training is significantly lessened. This is essential if you want your body to adapt to the training and get stronger.