Want to Race a bike? Here’s what you need to do.

I will admit that this information can be found in plenty of other places – however, I don’t feel the site would be complete without it. If you’d like to start racing, this is what to do in order to get to the start line.

1) Join British Cycling

Most races in the UK are run under BC rules and regulations. This means you need to be a member in order to compete. You’ll need at least a Sliver membership in order to obtain a full race license. There are other benefits to being a BC member. Click here to go to the membership page.

2) Apply for a Race License

An optional purchase when you apply for BC membership, be sure to select it. You can’t race without one. One important distinction to make is that between a provisional license and a full one; with provisional you can ride a race but won’t be eligible for any points should you finish high up enough. If you are already a silver or gold member, the license can be purchased separately at any time.

At the time of writing, a full license can be bought at half price from 1 July onwards. Your license will expire on 31st Dec regardless of when you purchased it, I’d advise getting one as early on in the year as possible for maximum value. You will need to renew your license annually.

3) Find & Enter events.

Races, especially those of the closed circuit variety, aren’t as widely advertised as some other Cycling events such as Sportives. Just go to the BC website and look in the events section – you’ll need to apply relevant filters (e.g. event type and distance away). Click here to take a look.

It’s cheaper and easier to enter races online (on the day entries are typically around 25% more expensive). Note that road races are often oversubscribed, making it a good idea to enter as early as possible. Once you’ve entered, you’ll be sent an email confirming your application to enter a race – followed by another one if your entry is accepted (with closed circuit races this is almost certain, with road races there is a chance you won’t get a ride).

You may also receive an email containing some additional event information – don’t make the mistake of ignoring these, they often contain useful details such as when sign-on closes and what time your race is due to start. Information received may differ from that on the BC website, it is worth cross checking. If there is a discrepancy, it can be a good idea to email the event organiser to confirm exact details.

4) Don’t forget…

You’ll need to bring your race license with you and present it at sign-on. It is also advisable to bring another form of ID (driving license accepted). More often than not, only your race license will be requested but you never know. Your license will be taken by the organisers before you race, remember to go and pick it up again once you’ve finished. I’ve lost count of the number of times when I have had to go back for mine after almost driving off – its very easily done.

For today, that is all. As always, hope this post has been of some use. Happy racing.

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