Bike Racing can be intimidating at first, and many people aren’t sure how to even start.  Here are the steps we recommend you take to break into the exciting world of bike racing:

  1. Identify the type of race or event you want to do

Consider what type of riding you like to do, or what you want to try. Each type of bike has a multitude of sports – road bikes alone have criteriums, road races, time trials, hill climbs, and more. Maybe Cyclocross or Mountain Biking is more your thing.  Once you know what type of riding you’re most interested in, you should…

  1. Find your local support system

If you’re interested in the nitty-gritty, or learn better with hands-on experience, consider joining one of UCA’s Teams/Clubs.  They have the ins and outs of everything bike racing in our area. Teams typically host group rides and offer loads of know-how. After you’ve gathered info on the local scene and found people to train with, you’re ready to…

  1. Pick an event (or a few)

Check out our calendar of sanctioned local races and events. If you’re looking for an event outside of our area USA Cycling sanctions nearly 3,000 competitive and non-competitive cycling events each year in the United States. Go to usacycling.org and use the “Find Events” tool. But before you can toe the start line, you’ll need to…

  1. Purchase a racing license

To purchase a license and learn about the numerous benefits of an annual membership, visit the Race License Page at usacycling.org. Now that you’re official, it’s time to…

  1. Get your gear together

You have a race in mind, so now it’s time to make sure your gear is sorted. Make sure to pay attention to the weather and dress, hydrate, and protect yourself from the sun appropriately. As you gain race experience, you’ll learn more about the tools you want in your toolkit, your personal nutritional needs, and “nice to have’s.”

Making sure your equipment is up to the rigors of racing is a very important aspect of racing and often one of the more overlooked areas for new racers. The last thing you want is to have a mechanical during a race due to something that could’ve been easily spotted and fixed. In criteriums, you’ll get a free lap if you get a flat tire, but usually not within the last 3 to 5 laps of the race, but won’t get a free lap if you have a mechanical that resulted from something that could’ve been caught before the race. It’s a good idea to have your trusted local bike shop or mechanic do a once-over on your bike at least a week before your race. Be sure to check everything from your helmet to the cleats on your shoes to ensure nothing is cracked or on the verge of breaking.


*some content courtesy of USA Cycling