How to Race Bicycles

How to Race Bicycles
There are many different types of bicycle racing; road, track, mountain, cyclocross and endurance. These different types of races require specific bicycles and specific skill sets but they still have a lot in common. If something applies to a specific sort of bicycle racing it will be mentioned in the steps below.
 

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Things You’ll Need:
  • Bicycle
 
Step 1
Choose the style of race you're going to compete in. The easiest way to make this decision might be based on the type of bike you have. If you have a mountain bike, choose a mountain bike race or race as a beginner in cyclocross. If you have a road bike, sign up for a road event.
Step 2
Locate a race you'd like to compete in and sign up. Be sure to factor in whether they have a beginners category, the location, entrance fee and time needed to train. A bicycle race would be a great reason to take a vacation to a particular locale.
Step 3
Begin training for your race. Regardless of the type of race you'll be competing in you'll want to do some interval training. Interval training is a quick way to improve your speed and involves training at intervals of higher and lower intensity.
Step 4
Ride in groups in similar terrain as your race. For road racing, this means learn to ride in a tight pack or road riders so you get comfortable drafting other racers. For mountain bikers it means getting out on the trails with other riders to get used to the terrain and other cyclists. For track and cyclocross it may mean riding in a group practice or simply showing up to compete as a beginner just to try it out.
Step 5
Pace yourself on race day. Your pace will vary depending on the type of race. For century rider (100-mile road rides) it means maintaining a steady pace while for cyclocross it means maintaining a high intensity for a long period of time. Become familiar with the length of time so you know how to pace yourself.
Step 6
Hydrate and eat properly. Longer rides require eating on the bike whether that is energy bars, bananas or gel shots. Short rides don't require this but do require that you eat sensibly before the ride. Stay hydrated with electrolyte-replacement sports drinks for long rides and water for short rides. Begin hydrating before the race starts.
 

Article Written By Frances Hall

Frances Hall is a librarian and writing and women's and gender studies instructor. Hall has written for Her Active Life and Queercents and has been blogging since 2004. Hall holds a Master of Arts in library science from Dominican University and a Master of Arts in English/literature with a focus on feminist writing pedagogy, as well as a graduate certificate in women's and gender studies.

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