Q: Where's my membership / license?
A: You will normally apply for membership directly to British Cycling,
stating you are member of Reading CC. The membership and license
is then sent to the Road Race Secretary, who will check that the
applicant is current member of the club. Allow up to a month for
Q: Where can I find out about events?
A: British cycling run events for all categories, including senior
(elite,1,2,3,4), veterans, women, and juniors. Most open events
are listed in the national magazine "Cycling Weekly"
and on the British Cycling web site at http://www.bcf.uk.com/calendar/2004/calendar_contents.shtml.
The Surrey League runs a full program of races across the season,
though this requires separate membership. See http://www.surreyleague.co.uk/calendar.htm.
For veterans (40+) there is the League of Veteran Racing Cyclists
(LVRC, see http://www.lvrc.org). This is popular not only because
there any many age related races, but also a lower cost of race
entry and license There are also races under The League International
Q: I am new to Racing. What do I do?
A: Those people new to racing don't worry! Yes it'll be tough but
everyone else finds it tough too and in terms of pace, fourth cat
races are generally like fast club runs that don't wait for people
who cant keep up! and are an excellent way to accelerate your form.
All you need is your bike, your spanky new kit and a helmet. You
will also need a license which is primarily an insurance thing.
Q: What kind of racing licences are there?
A: For BC races, you'll need to take out membership of British Cycling
at Silver or Gold level (£32 or £58 respectively for
2004), which gives you a provisional license and entitles you to
purchase a full race annual license (an additional £30 for
2004). This looks like an awful lot of money to shell out if
you are not sure whether you are cut out for road racing or not.
Alternatively you can buy a day license (£12) from the race
organiser at the event. For Juniors (16-18), racing licenses cost
£12. All members
aged 16 and under who sign the parental consent on the membership
will receive a full racing licence free of charge. LVRC and TLI
races have their own membership and license arrangements.
Q: What competition can I enter with a provisional
A: Mountain Bike events up to National level in some categories.
(Check with race organiser), Specially designated Road events (closed
circuits only), Cyclo-Cross local and regional events, Specially
designated Track events, All cycle speedway events, BMX local events.
Q: I want to enter events on the open road; can I do so with
a provisional racing licence?
A: No. You will need to take out either a day licence on the day
of the event or take out a full racing licence. (A FULL Racing Licence
can only be obtained from the British Cycling membership dept and
requires either a Silver or Gold membership.) Day licence £10
for members, and for non members £12.
Q: What does a full racing licence give me access to?
A: All British Cycling open road and track events, as well as National
BMX, Cyclo-Cross events and the British Cycling National Mountain
Bike series. A full licence also entitles you to Ability categories,
Points for upgrading, National rankings, National series standing
points and a UCI licence number, enabling you to take part in International
events. For more FAQ's go to http://www.bcf.uk.com/membership/2003/faq.shtml
Q: How do I enter a race?
A: Again designed to be as straight forward as possible. The race
has a published organiser and telephone number, address and sometimes
e-mail address and you send him a standard form along with the race
entry fee usually between £6 and £12. Or you
can do what is known as entry on the line or e.o.l.. If you enter
on the line, you just turn up on the day fill in the form and pay
but be warned!! races do have a maximum number of entrants so call
the organiser the day before and get there early to avoid disappointment.
Entry form from the BCF website: http://www.bcf.uk.com/events/entry_forms.html
Q: What happens on the day?
A: You arrive at the race HQ, usually a village hall, football club
or school and sign on. Signing on is simple, just find the organisers
desk and sign next to your name to show your there! You will then
be given a race number that you attach to your jersey using safety
pins that are provided. Get your bike and self ready have a gentle
warm up and go the HQ at the allotted time and listen to the brief.
The brief is usually the Commissaire (the person in charge on the
road), briefly highlighting the course and reminding you not to
drive into hedges each other or oncoming traffic! Immediately after
the brief the race usually gets ready to start with everyone milling
about near the start. If the race is on a road circuit there will
probably be a Lead car which serves to warn other road users of
the races impending arrival and the Commissaire and Assistant Commissaire.
There may also be motorbike marshals. You will see the motorbike
guys passing you at various time during the race and they may position
themselves at dangerous junctions to stop cars and horses, cats,
dogs and anything else that might be a problem. They generally do
a good job but have no power to stop car driving morons intent on
causing death and destruction so keep your eyes open. The Commissaire
or Assistant who can be on a motorbike will also caution riders
behaving irresponsibly in relation to crossing the centre of the
road or other infringements and can disqualify you. On closed circuits
like Hillingdon there are no cars or motor-bikes.
Q: What if I'm dropped?
A: If you're dropped you can choose to ride round the circuit on
your own or in a small group of other unfortunate riders or you
can call it a day and head back to the HQ car and go home, let someone
know you have packed. Everyone is dropped occasionally but when
the race is going through a short fast period try and hang on because
it will soon slow again for everybody to get there breath back and
you will not the only one finding it tough! Races at Hillingdon
will allow you to have a lap out and then rejoin because the aim
is to have some fun but you won't then qualify for final placing
prizes or promotion points.
Q: What about energy drink or water?
A: Whatever you get on with, many of the fourth cat races will last
less than 2 hours and most of us can get by on a normal bottle of
energy drink. Longer races will need 2 bottles or more.
Q: What if I puncture?
A: Tough, the race is over for you, unless there is a support vehicle
and they have a set of your wheels so if you have a spare set take
em with you, but basically make sure you're tires aren't threadbare
and are pumped up. If you do puncture, raise one arm if possible,
shout puncture and slowly role to a halt
Q: The thought of Road Racing makes me nervous.
A: Everybody feels nervous and apprehensive in the first few races
its normal, after all its a totally new experience just feel your
way through your first few races and don't feel too disappointed
if you don't win every race just yet! Riding at high speed in a
closely packed bunch can be unnerving at first and at times unpleasant,
just keep your eyes open and keep your line going round corners
and don't break suddenly and you'll find yourself flying. Modern
tires are surprisingly difficult to push off line on a good road
surface, just have faith. But still take care in wet and slippery
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