I currently have a Southern Vets racing license form sitting in front of me.
Is that all that's needed (apart from stamina, fitness etc) to commence racing, any other licenses, insurance etc required.
Can anyone point to any web sites that help explain etiquette, rules etc to assist. Especially things to do and not to do. what sort of distances, avg speeds.
Sorry for the "dumb" questions, I'm been following most of the race threads, but everyone is kinda talking above my knowledge level on the subject.
Is there a "racing for dummies" book around
As they say in the classics, just do it.
After 20 years off the bike, I returned to cycling in 2004. After 3 months, I was hooked and bought a road bike. At the time I was being hassled about joining the Eastern Vets.
I wanted to, but kept putting it off week after week, feeling under prepared, and never quite ready. In the mean time, I did a couple of ATBs, which involved lots of training and pack riding, so I should've been more than prepared enough to take it on, but continued to hesitate at joining.
Then in January this year, I finally decided to pop down and have a look. I decided Southern would work better, as they (we) ride Sunday mornings, whereas Eastern ride Saturday afternoons.
I went to Casey fields, prepared just to watch, but took the bike (just incase).
I spoke to a few people, and they encouraged me to do a trial ride. They looked me up and down, asked how many km’s I do a month, and put me in F grade.
They seemed a relatively friendly bunch, there was a bit of advice thrown around, but essentially when getting started it was just about giving it a go. I spent my first race sitting in the pack, watching & observing.
I went back the following week, and this time participated a bit more, doing turns when I felt I could, and in the end, finished 3rd. I started doing a few extra kms a week, and within a month I was up to E grade. Nine months later, I’ve just gone up to C grade, and I’m totally hooked.
In terms of racing skills, and tactics, you can read a million books, but its not until you’re out there that you really learn. I’ve read quite a bit, and the ‘rules’ about how to attack the sprint. But a few weeks ago it came down to a one on one situation. There was a strong breeze from the right, and my opponent was in the middle of the road. Force of habit told me to pass on the right, because that’s what you do on Australian roads, so I did. I passed, and he then came back and pipped me on the post. It wasn’t until hours later, that I thought that because I had the option to pass on either side, I should’ve passed on the protected side. In reality, it may have made no difference, but it bugged me that I thought I was well researched and yet made a bad move which may have cost me a win. My opponent obviously also didn’t think about it either, otherwise he would’ve been in the left gutter forcing me to pass on the right. The moral of this long and boring story, don’t let your lack of knowledge about race craft stop you from having a go, otherwise you may never get there. And the best place to learn is on the track.
Of course, you need to know a bit about safety and riding in groups, but if you’ve spent any time on Beach Rd, or any other popular haunt, you should know enough to ride safe.