About Bicycle Racing
Whether you are a newbie to cycling or a weekend warrior wanting to try your legs at racing, you have options. Let us help point you in the right direction with information on how to get hooked up with local races. From nationally sanctioned USA Cycling events, to low-pressure local races formed by recreational riders for riders.
Please be aware that USA Cycling race licenses are sometimes needed, depending on the event. Any individual can obtain a license. For more information on racing licenses and USA Cycling membership, please visit: http://www.usacycling.org/
Joining a Race Team
Some people wonder, “Why do I need to join a race team?” The answer to that is simple. The more you dive into the thrill of racing, the more races you may start to attend, which can become costly. At the amateur level, riders are not in it for the money to be won, they are doing it for the love of sport. Entry fees can range from $35-$100 a race. Typically, the way a race team works is you first become a member. Next, you buy a team kit (matching cycling jersey and shorts), wear your team kit during every race, and collect some reimbursement/financial assistance for your race fees. Teammates provide support toward learning and comradery for training. Sometimes, you may even compete in races with your teammates. Depending on the race team’s budget, many additional benefits may be offered.
Race Teams We Sponsor
Founded in 1972, Queen City Wheels (QCW) is Cincinnati's first and largest racing club, sponsored by Montgomery Cyclery. QCW is an amateur race team that helps all members, in various disciplines, reach their competitive cycling goals. With over 70 members, QCW has riders of all levels, from Cat 4 to Cat 1 racers. The youth programs help teenagers and children find the joy in racing a bicycle, while the racing teams help support the developing rider and seasoned veteran alike. For more information, check out the QCW website: http://www.qcw.org
Road Bike Racing
Just as its name implies, the discipline of road cycling takes place on paved roadways. Considered to be the most traditional and popular form of bike racing, road cycling takes on many different forms. Cycling events contested on the road include time trials, road races, stage races, criteriums, omniums, team time trials, and circuit races. The Olympic Games feature two of these events: road race and time trial. Road races are team-oriented, mass-start events which typically feature a field of 150-180 riders. Teams are generally made up of eight to 10 riders, except at the Olympic Games where team sizes are limited to a maximum of five for men and four for women. Road races generally take place on public roads and can be point-to-point races or multiple circuits of a loop anywhere from 5 to 25 miles in length.
Mountain Bike Racing
Modern mountain biking got its start in the late 1970s in Northern California and today serves as a popular form of recreation, as well as competition. Like other disciplines of cycling, mountain biking encompasses many different formats, including cross-country, short track cross-country, ultra-endurance, downhill, dual slalom, four-cross, super D, enduro and observed trials.
One of the most spectator-friendly disciplines of competitive cycling, track racing seems to have something for everybody. The discipline is contested on a velodrome and features an interesting mix of sprint and endurance events in which athletes or teams compete in individual or mass-start races.
Track cycling’s sprint events include the sprint, team sprint, keirin, the 500-meter time trial, and the kilometer time trial. The endurance events are the individual pursuit, team pursuit, scratch race, points race, Madison, and the omnium.
Often referred to as the fastest-growing discipline of competitive cycling, cyclo-cross is a unique, non-Olympic discipline of cycling that can best be described as a cross between road cycling, mountain biking and steeplechase. Competitors race primarily on road bikes modified with skinny, knobby tires, disc brakes and slightly different geometry which allows for better clearance when passing over various obstacles.
Cyclo-cross races generally take place on a closed circuit in a park or other open land with competitors racing multiple laps. Since the cyclo-cross season generally takes place from September to February, races are often times plagued with adverse weather conditions such as snow, rain, wind, and mud – all of which add to the sport’s allure. Riders begin in mass-start fashion and must navigate through both paved and off-road terrain, often times dismounting their bikes to hurdle barriers, climb steep hills or stairs, or traverse other obstacles.
Bicycle Moto-Cross (BMX) Racing
Having made its Olympic debut at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, BMX is one of the most popular forms of competitive cycling in the United States. Athletes between the ages of five and 65 regularly compete on the national circuit. The fast-paced racing, tight turns, spectacular jumps and high risk make BMX racing an exciting spectator sport.
Supercross BMX is the format used at the Olympic Games. It’s relatively simple and leads to an eight-person winner-take-all dash down a steep start ramp, over jumps, and around tight turns, before a final sprint to the line. BMX competitions begin with one-lap time trials which are used for seeding purposes. Each rider completes two time trials and is given his or her seeding based on the fastest of the two runs. In the men’s competition, 32 riders compete in the seeding time trials. For the women, the seeding begins with 16. In the finals, there are no heats. A one race competition sees eight riders line up in the start gate. After the gate drops, the first person to cross the line is declared the winner.