If you have recently been inspired to try road racing and you are new to the sport, a reasonable question is… “Where and how do I get started?”
Here are 10 top tips to get you started RACING today!
- Fitness. Most people come to road racing from a sheer love of bike riding. You need to be comfortable on your bike. You need to learn to ride your bike for long hours. This can be accomplished with 45-60 minute rides during the week and longer (90-120 minute or longer) rides on the weekends.
- Group Rides. Group rides are a fantastic way to learn how to race… and it does make it more social and fun! Investigate local group rides and find some options for you. Most bike shops and bike clubs sponsor group rides.If they have a beginner group with a leader that helps with skills, this is a great way to get introduced to group racing. The structure also allows you to ride faster with groups when you want a tough workout or ride with the not-as-fast groups when you want to take it easier.More: High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) for is a must if you want to be competitive! Keep this in mind. If you need a coach, use Plan 7 Coaching!
- Find a Mentor or Coach. It is really helpful to have an experienced racer take you under his or her wing. Having someone to help you learn the ropes significantly decreases your learning curve.
- Watch Bike Racing. Go to a bike race and ask questions. Catch a bike race on television or on the Internet. Good commentators help you learn about bike racing skills and tactics.
- Read about Bike Racing. Lots of great books out – you can also find some great blogs! Do your homework and immerse yourself as much as possible.
- USA Cycling. Find out what group you would be in. USA Cycling has lots of great information for you to learn from.
- What Kind of Race? Do you like rides or races? They are two kinds of events! Think about what will motivate you to get going!
- Which Category? You will learn this fast! It also makes watching races fun. You can see what your competitors ride like when you look up race stats on your races.
- Learn About Rest. We all like to overtrain, but it is actually detrimental to you. Make sure you let your body catch up with your training.
- Go sign up for a race! You need to get a race on your calendar so you have something to shoot for. If you have a race you KNOW you will be doing you are much less likely to skip that training time!
Now get out there, get riding, and enjoy life behind bars!