Bike Racing 101
Where do I start?
You need a road bike. They are stiffer, lighter and more comfortable in an upright position. Plus, tri bikes are illegal in road races anyway.
What should I know before signing up for my first race?
Make sure you are competent and comfortable on your local group rides. The competency comes not only from the necessary endurance and power, but bike skills and pack etiquette as well. Drafting, cornering and situational awareness are all very important to being a safe and effective bike racer. Make smooth movements rather than quick ones and hold a constant line through a turn rather then sweeping through the width of the road as you can in a triathlon.
What are the best events for first-timers?
A time trial is an easy one, but that’s more like a triathlon than a bike race. Start with safe road races on courses that are less technical.
How do I “learn” to race?
Watch how an experienced rider navigates the peloton, the lines he takes, how he spends his energy and how he sets up for attacks or the finish.
Robbie Ventura is a former pro cyclist who spent four years on the U.S. Postal Service team. Nowadays, he and his world-class team provide training expertise for more than 300 endurance athletes through Vision Quest Coaching.