|Getting Started Guide|
|Wednesday, 12 March 2008 21:20|
Getting Started Guide
Joining a Club and getting a Licence
Getting started in competitive cycling is easy. To race you need to be a member of a Queensland cycling club and also have a Cycling Australia race licence. You can join a club and obtain a licence online through through the Cycling Australia Membership HQ or click the button below or alternatively contact our club secretary directly who can help you complete and application form and accept your affiliation fee.
Membership runs on the calendar year 1st Jan to 31st December, not from when you join. If you join between 1st July and 30 Sept you are eligible for a 6 month discount, and from Oct 1st can you join for the following year and get the last 3 months of the year free.
The fees above include the portion which goes towards our club which is $40 for a 12 month licence or $20 for a 6 month licence. Note however there is no club fee for juniors. If you join online there is a $5 discount bringing it down to $35. We ask club members to help out by volunteering their help once a year - when you complete your rostered club volunteer duty you will receive a $10 free race voucher.
To find your age category see this Age Categories table.
For other licencing fee information please visit the Cycling Queensland 2013 Membership Fees page, there are discounts available for Families, and members of BMXA,MTBA,and AUDAX as well as other licence categories that allow to to compete in time trials and grand fondos.
You may only race in the category for which you have joined Cycling Australia. Masters aged 30 and above can choose either a Masters or Elite Membership.
Membership fees cover joining Cycling Australia, compulsory insurance cover and the $30 club membership fee (which is waived for juniors 19 and under). Joining or renewing online is $5 cheaper. ($25 club membership instead of $30).
Cycling Australia will issue you with your plastic license card within 3-4 weeks, in the interim you can use the paper receipt (if you join online this will come via email). More information on membership can be found on the Cycling Queensland and Cycling Australia websites.
This Licence will allow you to race in any event conducted by an affiliated Cycling Australia club or in any Cycling Australia "Open" event on both Road and Track venues. Click this button to join HPRW and purchase a Cycling Australia licence.
Why join our Club?
If you are going to join a Club and get a Licence - why not become a member of Hamilton Pine Rivers Wheelers (HPRW)? We have the largest range of racing events on both open roads and closed courses of any Brisbane cycling club. We are the second oldest club in Queensland, forming in 1908 and our members ages range from 6 to 83. We are a friendly bunch, with an emphasis on fun.
In recent years we have greatly increased our effort to support Women's and Junior racing with a Women's series and regular Women's only handicap events, as well as a rapidly growing Juniors Racing Program. So, by joining our ranks you will be helping HPRW to continue to set the standard in Queensland.
Also, if you do not wish to be a competitor but would like to be involved, you could become an active member of the club as an Official in one of the many positions in the club. Should you wish to attain Commissaire status we will also support you to achieve that goal as well.
To join HPRW click the Join Now button above, contact our Secretary Wayne Wilson, or just turn up before one of our weekly races, allowing extra time to complete paperwork and introduce yourself.
Your first race!Once you have a full or temporary 3-ride licence you are all set to enter a race.
If you are new to cycle racing, it may seem a bit daunting, but we will introduce you to some of the competitors in your race, and 'buddy' you up with an experienced rider to help you out and give you a few tips to make it a safe and enjoyable experience. We have a wide range of races throughout the season, but most races are split into different grades from A grade through to E grade based on ability, with both men and women combined. Junior riders compete in their own seperate races until from 15 and up they move into racing with adults as their skills and performance reach the right level.
Club member Rob Oshlack's has provided some great safety tips in this Rider's Safety Briefing. Please have a read and ignore all references to Lance Armstrong :)
While every precaution is taken to ensure rider's safety including marshalls and first aid staff, Cycle racing does have some inherent dangers, so please read this before racing.
Which grade do I enter?Before entering a race, all new members should talk to our club handicapper who will endeavour to place you in the correct grade based on your experience and ability. This is for safety and to ensure a level field for races. Of course, once you start winning consistently in your grade, you’ll be required to go up. Conversely, if you keep getting dropped from the bunch, you may be able to drop a grade.
Types of Events
HPRW hold ‘club’ and occasionally ‘open’ races on almost every weekend. ‘Open’ races are higher level events organised by either HPRW or other cycling clubs. The races you can enter at these meetings are strictly in accordance with your racing licence (either an under 30 years Elite or an over 30 years Master) - see Racing Licences Explained.
Riders new to racing should start out at Club level events and gain experience before entering 'Open' events competing against riders from all over Queensland or interstate.
Criteriums - these are generally races around shorter circuits between 800m and 2.5km. The races are for a set time (between 40 and 60 min), plus 2 or 3 laps. Criteriums usually feature prizemoney for 1st, 2nd and 3rd, and also for a 'prime' (pronounced 'preem'), an intermediate sprint held sometime during the race.
One our our A Grade 'points' race style criteriums at Nundah. There is a sprint every lap for points.
Here is a list of all of our course locations with maps and elevation profiles.
Any standard racing bike is OK. The handlebars need to be standard ‘drop’ bars. ‘Tri-Bars’ are not allowed in normal criterium/road races, but are OK for time trials. The ends of the handlebars must be plugged to prevent injury during a collision. The latest, most expensive bikes are not essential! Remember, it’s the strength in your legs and your mental attitude that has the greatest bearing.
HPRW adults riders generally race in 6 grades, A, B, C1,C2, D and E. At your first event, the club handicapper will ‘check you out’ and make an assessment of your ability and advise a suitable starting grade. Please consult the handicapper before racing, rather than guessing what grade you should be in. Your grading will then be recorded on the Club Grading List.
Know Your Strengths
HPRW have different races that suit different riders. Criterium racing is very much a battle of tactics (drafting, breaking away, sprinting) while time trials are simple tests of endurance and strength. Novice riders quickly learn of the benefits of ‘drafting’ behind other riders. The reduced wind resistance can save up to 30% of your energy compared to cutting straight into the wind.
Athletes generally have either a slightly higher proportion of ‘slow twitch’ or ‘fast twitch’ muscle fibres. Those with a higher proportion of slow twitch muscles generally have a higher aerobic capacity (we’ll call them ‘stayers’). They can convert carbohydrates and oxygen into energy at a continually high, steady rate. These types of riders do well in time trials and road races/criteriums where they can ‘grind away’ into the wind, sometimes breaking away from the bunch and they generally try to ‘break the heart’ of less powerful, fast twitch muscle riders.
Riders who have a high aerobic capacity (slow twitch muscles) and also a high power to weight ratio, are better at climbing longer hills. Such skills can come in handy at some of the HPRW road race locations. While not in the category of the French Alps, a couple of the climbs in the Pine Dam and Somerset Dam circuits are reasonably long. Practice hill climbing and you’ll get better at it. There are a few places worth considering, such as Mt Mee and Mt Coot-tha. Mt Coot-tha has a 2.34km section on Sir Samuel Griffith Drive from the Simpson Falls turnoff to the top of the mountain near Channel 10. There are white painted lines at the start and finish. Keep accurate times over the section to check that your training is working. As a general guide, ‘A’ grade riders will complete it in 8-10 minutes, ‘B’ grade in 10-12 minutes, ‘C’ grade in 12-15 minutes and ‘D’ grade over 15 minutes.
The following are basic hints for beginners to become competitive racers in HPRW. Once you know your strengths (and weaknesses) you can start thinking about tactics before and during a race. Knowing the strengths of your competitors comes with experience.
Of course it’s not that hard to break away from a bunch if you really want to. But if you end up by yourself, it can be very difficult to maintain the same pace as the bunch behind you. However 3 or 4 riders who work together by sharing the lead may be able to achieve this, especially if there is a large number of sprinters in the following bunch (none of them may want to sprint to catch up). During a breakaway or a chase, riders won’t be too happy about someone sitting at the back of the bunch and not doing a turn at the front. The bottom line however, is that everyone is entitled to ‘ride their own race’.
Weekly emailsEach Tuesday HPRW produces a small e-mail to remind members of the next weekend's racing and training events. The service is open to anyone and you may elect to be removed from the mailing list at anytime. Your e-mail address will not be made public.
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