So, you are getting faster on your bike. When you started maybe you were averaging 8-10 mph on your longer rides, but now that that you have been training for STP, RSVP, Flying Wheels and similar events your average speed is getting closer to 15+ mph on longer rides and you are wondering what the next step is?
I finished STP in one day in 1985 with 10 friends from the UW and after that I was so hooked I started hanging out at bike shops and reading every bike article I could find. Racing seemed risky and way beyond my ability, so I was happy to just study it.
When I moved to Colorado after College, I began working at the Moots bike shop and they began taking me out after work to show me how to *really* ride. I learned how to race from those guys, and when the Steamboat Stage race came to town that Summer I was ready to try my first race.
In the NW there are many races, but these 3 are the best choices for new riders :
2. Pacific Raceways or Seward Park weekly races, SBRP*
3. Jerry Baker Velodrome
*Sprint Triathlon and Mountain Biking are other common ways people start racing, but they require a Mountain Bike or you have to like swimming and running.
Here is how to tell which is best for you:
-Do you ride with racer types or HPC on the road and keep pace with them? (#2 or 3 above)
-Do you have a mountain or cyclocross bike and like the dirt? (#1, the safest and best intro to racing that will also make you a better rider on the road)
-Do you exclusively ride the road and are in your first 3-5 years of riding? (#2)
-Do you have any friends racing and what kind of racing do they do? (pick that, instant support group)
There are clinics to help you learn each of these options, and there are always “beginner” categories for your first race in each one. We have a link to all of these on our website and would be happy to answer any questions you have about getting into racing. For those of us who have tried it, there is no better thrill and workout in the world!
*SBRP (Seattle USA Cycling Beginning Racer Program, a series of 5 clinics with mock racing to teach you how to get started racing or improve your skills on the bike in a safe and controlled environment. Held once in the Spring and again in the Summer). http://cycleu.com/seattle-usac-beginning-racer-program-sbrp/
Resources for racers in Washington State:
WSBA Washington State Bicycle Racing Association, full race schedule and “meet the team” rides to find a team:
Jerry Baker Velodrome in Marymoor, beginning racer clinics with bike supplied:
Wednesday Night Mountain Bike Racing Burien April – September http://nwmtbseries.com/
Seward Park Thursday night racing, beginners 5:30pm April – September http://www.sewardparkseries.com/
Pacific Raceways Tuesday night racing, Auburn, 7pm April – September
Cascade Bicycle Club:
Seattle Beginning Racer Clinics – Summer
Seattle USA Cycling Beginning Racer Program (SBRP)
Cycle University in conjunction with the WSBA (Washington State Bicycle Racing Association) and USAC (USA Cycling) are offering “Learn how to road race” clinics called Seattle USA Cycling Beginning Racer Program, SBRP. The goal is to help create a safer and larger NW peloton for Women, Men and Juniors and teach more people the joys of fast riding in a group or race environment.
Seattle USA Cycling Beginning Racer Program
What is SBRP: USA Cycling Clinics with practice races to teach riders how to race safe and get started right. Open to anyone wanting to learn how to race or improve their fast riding ability in a group. Category 4 & 5 Women, Juniors and Men wishing to improve or learn proper racing technique also receive points toward their next Category upgrade. Two upgrade points are available at each of these 5 unique clinics for a total of 10 upgrade points which last for 3 years. Category 4 riders can use up to 3 SBRP points toward their Category 3 upgrade. Riders can take any combination of these clinics but must attend all 3 elements of each clinic: pre-race drills, practice race and post race debrief. You can sign up for all 5 or any individual clinic of your choice.
#1: June 14th 5pm – 6:30pm Tuesday Pacific Raceways – Cycle U Kick off clinic. Main topic: Pack Skills, protecting your front wheel.
Details on directions to venue and if you want to sign up for the optional race after the clinic (more upgrade points available):
#2: June 23rd 4pm – 5:30pm Thursday Seward Park – Main topic: Cornering – Choosing and holding your line.
Details on directions to venue, riders may sign up for the race after the clinic (no additional upgrade points available at this race – non-USAC, points only available at the clinic) SEWARD PARK RACE INFO – CLICK HERE http://www.sewardparkseries.com/ Click Here for June 23rd Clinic
#4: July 7th 4pm – 5:30pm Thursday Seward Park – Main topic: Sprinting basics.
Details on directions to venue, riders may sign up for the race after the clinic (no additional upgrade points available at this race – non-USAC, points only available at the clinic) SEWARD PARK RACE INFO – CLICK HERE http://www.sewardparkseries.com/