Interested in the sport side of cycling?

1:14 am Unknown 0 Comments

At some stage recreational road riders think about dabbling with the sport of cycling. I was asked to present on this subject on panel at a forum in Perth and I thought I'd share my notes so you can gain an insight from my perspective.

From recreation to sport
You know the benefits of cycling, what does pinning a number on mean?

* For me it's about setting a goal (Does the course interest you, would you like to complete a tour, mastering a tough crit track, or set a PB on a TT course).
* It makes every session on the bike relevant and working towards a goal. I have limited time outside of work/family.
* I want to achieve something outside of work/family time and in competing this hits the target of personal satisfaction and achievement.

Making the step from cycling for recreation to competition?
* Find events that suit you (Age based, terrain, race type - eg: criterium).
* Read up on the basics of racing and Race Rules (eg: no crossing the middle line, pin your number on low and visible to the officials, take your license to all events as they can use them as leverage for timing transponders, no drafting in an individual Time Trial).
* Watch videos and read up on race craft (how to use the teams and groups on the road to your benefit in a scratch race, find out course wind/conditions).
* Up-skill with essentials – criterium corners, TT start ramp, getting a bottle from a car, bunny hopping, using the car convoy in a race safely.
* Race etiquette - eg: don't sprint for more than 10th place or overlap wheels.

Criterium Cornering

Why women should race/Motivators?
* Achievement
* Be awesome role models to other women and girls
* It's a great support network and strong camaraderie. Racing women are so encouraging of each other
* The options to travel to unique places and seeing the nature and surrounds
* Teamwork aspect
* Hard work pays off (what you put into it- training, organisation, gear)

Camaraderie, hard work and teamwork wins races

Major barriers to women’s racing and how they can be overcome:
* Recognition in races. Events must have women’s prizes for races held.
* Perception from others that women shouldn’t race or be competitive.
* Women’s events don't matter or are not equal to the men’s races or not competitive enough to showcase.
* Biggest barrier is the lack of entry numbers

Different levels of racing- club, state and national:
* Age (junior, senior open, masters) vs Ability (A, B, C) race groupings.
* Each state has road, TT, and criterium championships.
* Other race events are held around Australia and New Zealand: Masters Games, Oceania championships.
* You don’t need to qualify to enter the Australian National Road Championships (Road race, TT, criterium), however you will typically be racing against elite trade team riders.

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