Thinking of racing? Here's what's required

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  • After learning a couple of things I didn’t know whilst at BC HQ yesterday I thought it might be useful to post some info for those thinking of taking up racing.

    Most cycle racing in the UK is run under British Cycling regulations, this includes: Road, track, criteriums (circuit racing on road bikes), grass track, Cycle Speedway, Mountain biking (all disciplines) and BMX. The general exception is Time Trials (includes Hill Climbs) which fall under CTT (Cycling Time Trials)

    British Cycling

    • BC have three membership levels, Bronze, Silver and Gold in general you will need Silver or Gold to race plus a race license (there are exceptions.…keep reading) details here:


    Membership benefits: http://new.britishcycling.org.uk/members­hip/article/mem--Membership---the-full-d­etails-0

    Membership prices: http://new.britishcycling.org.uk/members­hip/article/mem-Membership-Prices-0

    License prices: http://new.britishcycling.org.uk/members­hip/article/mem-Racing-Licence-Prices-0

    • BC membership runs for 12 months from the date of application, however a BC race license runs for every calendar year.

    • Generally if you wish to race in a BC race you are required to have a BC race license. If you are not a member (or a bronze member) you can purchase a day license at the event for £5.00 this is not possible at major events (if you intend to race more than once or twice this gets expensive….refunds aren’t given if you purchase a full license!)…guess what? there are exceptions.

    • Go-Race events are intended for novices to cycling, you do not require a license or BC membership, you get no BC ranking points and there is no prize money, in reality you would only race a few of these before making your decision to take it more seriously or not.

    • BIG NEWS: If you have BC silver membership you do not have to pay for a day license (at events where they are allowed) and you can have as many day licenses as you want throughout the year! I learnt this yesterday, this means with Silver membership you could race all Herne Hill track leagues and open events and all the Crystal Palace circuit races and most of Hog Hill races without ever buying a license…..you do not get BC ranking points however.

    Cyclo-Cross

    Run under BC rules ‘cross is even easier to take part in, excepting major events you only need to be a BC member to race, you can even be a Bronze member with no license. If you are not a BC member you can ride on a day license, for ‘cross they are only £3.00

    You do not need a cross bike to race cross, excepting major events you can race on an MTB and the rules state any bike is permitted, but I guess it has to be roadworthy and comply with usual brake requirement for road bikes.

    Clubs

    Note: You can join BC without being a member of a cycling club (private member), however you may have difficulty entering time trials if you are not a member of a club affiliated to CTT.

    Suggested London clubs:

    Rollapaluza CC : http://www.rollapaluza.cc (lot's of forum members and based at Herne Hill)
    VCL (Velo Club de Londres) : http://www.vcl.org.uk (great for youth and based at Herne Hill)
    Brixton: http://www.brixtoncycles.co.uk/club.html­
    Phoenix : http://www.londonphoenix.co.uk/
    Dynamo : http://www.londondynamo.co.uk/
    Dulwich Paragon : http://www.dulwichparagon.com/
    CS Grupetto (invitation only?): http://www.grupetto.co.uk/
    **
    CTT (time Trialling)**

    If you want to ride in time trials (and hill climbs) you do not have to be a member of CTT, but your club does, most clubs affiliate to CTT.

    Some events, like the Catford hill climb are starting to introduce categories for non-club affiliated riders.

    Leagues:

    Surrey League

    Organise tons of road races, best way to join is make sure your club is affiliated then join yourself, it is possible to join indvidually but they request that you assist in the promotion of at least two events
    Membership costs: £20 senior men, £10 senior ladies, £10 juniors or £5
    Website: http://www.surreyleague.co.uk/

    SERRL

    Another league with loads of road racing and plenty of events at Hog Hill (Redbridge cycle circuit) easier to join than the Surrey League and cheaper too at a tenner.
    Website: http://www.serrl.co.uk/

    ** Crystal Palace Circuits**

    Criterium racing on Tuesday evenings from the last week in April 'til the end of August, entry on the day only, youths at 6.45pm handicapped adult race at 7.30pm. Not sure of entry fee or whether a league fee is charged. more info: http://www.londoncyclesport.com/News/Eve­nt_News/Crystal_Palace_Circuits_2009.htm­l

    Herne Hill Track League

    Every Wednesday from early May ‘til end of August. A fiver to register for the league, then £8 per event (£6 for juniors, £3 for youths)

    Welwyn Track League

    Fridays, full details to follow.
    **
    London Cross League**

    Runs from beginning of September to mid February with over 20 cyclo-cross races: http://www.londonxleague.co.uk/

    Other Racing:

    BC and CTT do not control all racing, just most of it, there are other associations such as “The League International” who organise racing based on age categories.

    There are also other events that run independently from the National federations for example:

    Beastway : Hugely popular MTB series at Hog Hill , recommended! http://www.cycleweb.co.uk/beastway/serie­s2009/
    SSUK : UK single speed MTB champs
    Rollapaluza : Roller racing

    Equipment

    Helmets

    Hard shell helmets conforming to the relevant British Standard are required for all races held under BC rules
    Helmets are not required for senior riders in CTT events

    Road racing

    There a re loads of rules but the basics are: a road bike with freewheel, two brakes and drop handlebars, aero bars are not allowed. Bike checks are rare but your bike should be in roadworthy condition and be able to pass a bike check if it occurs. There are gear restrictions for youth and junior riders.

    Track racing

    Fixed wheel bike with drop handlebars with bar tape of full grips, foot retention (clipless pedals or clips and straps), no brakes, no outsticking parts (unused brake levers, bottle cages, quick release levers etc) must have bar plugs. Certain indoor tracks with steep banking have rules about BB height and crank length, also, do not ride Michelin tyres on wooden tracks!

    Time Trialling (CTT)

    As road bike, aero bars are allowed. Fixed wheel bikes are also allowed, must have a front brake.

    Hope I've covered most things for London area riders, feel free to add.

  • in this case CTT does not mean "Centre to Top"!

  • cheers for that, useful info.

    I really need to get my BC licence sorted for the Hillingdon Race Day.

  • No mention of a bike.....

  • Hope I've covered most things for London area riders, feel free to add.

    From my experience with the Dynamos you pretty much have everything covered. I started on day licenses down at Crystal Palace and went to a Silver membership.

    There's not actually much you need to have in place to race, but the above does cover it from the process side of things.

    It might be an idea to extend this to cover what you need in terms of equipment, where the requirements are stored (just link to them) and stuff like that. But when you join BC you find most of that stuff on their site anyway.

  • Will extend OP to include eqpt.....I find the BC site pretty daunting, too much info, which is why I tried to distill it above.

  • When do the rollapaluza do training/club rides?

    Cheers

  • Great post.

  • Beastway and London cross league added to OP.

  • You forgot to mention a thirst for blood and the will to win.

    Excellent info though. Thanks you.

  • You forgot to mention a thirst for blood and the will to win.

    Excellent info though. Thanks you.

    For some it's just about the taking part.....

  • Track racing

    Fixed wheel bike with drop handlebars, foot retention (clipless pedals or clips and straps), no brakes, no outsticking parts (unused brake levers, bottle cages, quick release levers etc) must have bar plugs. Certain indoor tracks with steep banking have rules about BB height and crank length, also, do not ride Michelin tyres on wooden tracks!

    Don't you have to have your bars wrapped, or gripped as well?

  • yeah, forgot that hipsters neglect this, they must get very cold pinkies in winter!

  • Thanks Winston. I have been struggling to understand the licenses types on the BC website.
    I want to race next year at HH. A silver membership will be ok, then, yay!

  • Nice work Winston.

    Anyone have any more info about the Tuesday Night Crit racing up at Crystal Palace?

  • nice post winsty

  • Good work, I'll return in two years time when I'm race-fit!

  • Some Palace info added

  • When do the rollapaluza do training/club rides?

    Cheers

    rides are organised on our forum: www.rollapaluza.cc/forum last winter we had pretty regular weekend rides and we're hoping to do the same this year....

  • No mention of a bike.....

    haha

  • Great post.

    yeah cheers for the info!

  • Clubs

    Suggested London clubs:

    Rollapaluza CC : http://www.rollapaluza.cc (lot's of forum members and based at Herne Hill. Smartest jerseys in town)
    VCL (Velo Club de Londres) : http://www.vcl.org.uk (great for youth and based at Herne Hill)
    Brixton: http://www.brixtoncycles.co.uk/club.html­
    Phoenix : http://www.londonphoenix.co.uk/
    Dynamo : http://www.londondynamo.co.uk/ (great for arrogant City types on very expensive carbon bikes)
    CS Grupetto (invitation only?): http://www.grupetto.co.uk/ (second smartest jerseys in town)

    Fixed

  • I'm sure they're got some charming members but I seem to get that impression about Dynamo too.

  • Cheers for the info.

  • another good club, not mentioned are:
    http://www.dulwichparagon.com/
    pretty welcoming and organise some good regular rides, regular rides and events.

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Thinking of racing? Here's what's required

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