For the First Time Racer
“The Miracle isn’t that I finished, the miracle is that I had the courage to start!” – John Bingham
What is a Time Trial Race?
Racing in a time trial is fun and probably one of the safest ways to race a road bike. You are generally not near any other racers (in fact the rules do not allow “drafting”) except when one racer passes another on the course.
You ride your bike as you would on any street, stay to your right, and watch for traffic. Course marshals will direct you for all your turns, and will help control auto traffic so you can primarily concentrate on pedaling as fast as you can!
Europeans call the time trial the “Race of Truth” as it is a race in which the individual or a team race against the clock. Racers are separated by gender and age group and there is a “Retro” division in which no special aerodynamic equipment is allowed. After all racers have completed the course, then all the racers are ranked in their specific category.
Don’t be intimidated.
Don’t worry about entering a race wearing a plain jersey and riding a well-used road bike. There is surprisingly little correlation between a cyclist’s ability and his or her appearance, physical or otherwise. Everyone of all ages is out to just have fun and challenge themselves.
How do I get started?
Bicycle racing is open to all levels of ability.
If you own a road bike, you are just about set! You will need a CPSC Standard bicycle helmet (any bicycle helmet purchased since 1999 will qualify, however you really want one that is only a few years old and is in good condition for your own safety.) And that’s it for the basics!
Don’t worry about aero bars, TT bikes, and other special equipment to start out with. Enter a few races and decide for yourself what type of racing you enjoy best and what you are willing to invest to gain a few seconds during the race.
Racing does not have to be expensive or require a lot of special equipment to have fun.
Do I have to have a license to race?
To be able to race, you must have a USA Cycling (USAC) license and a Bicycle Racing Association of Colorado (BRAC) membership. The USAC license provides you with insurance in the event something does happen while you are racing, the cost of the recording keeping of all your races and helps promote bicycle racing in the U.S. Your BRAC membership helps promote racing in Colorado and helps pay for the recording and posting of your race times.
What does all this cost?
Your cost for racing the first time is only $20. This includes your entry fee, a one day USAC license, and one day BRAC membership.
For 2020, USAC is offering a novice racing license for $40.00 and you can apply $10 of your fee toward an annual USAC license, costing you only $30 for the rest of the year, and BRAC will waive the cost of membership for the rest of the year.
What should I bring to the race?
- Your road bike
- A helmet
- Sunglasses to protect your eyes
- Food and water (with protein and carbohydrates) for after your race
- A friend to cheer for you is always nice
What do I do next?
First, if you have questions, email us at [email protected]ling.org and we will do our best to answer your questions as soon a possible. If you would like to speak to one of us, then just tell us in your email, along with your phone number and when would be a good time for us to give you a call.
Next, complete the form below, (you must be pre-registered) providing us your name, contact information and which week you want to come. Then, just show up at the park! Come early (4:00 PM) if you can, but if you can’t any time between 4:00 and 5;30 PM would work.
Come to the registration table behind the Smoky Hill parking area, and just tell one of the volunteers there that you are a first-time racer and would like the “First Timer Deal”. They will have you do a little paperwork, collect your $20 and give you a bib (it’s your racing number so the starter and the timer at the finish line know who you are). They will help you pin your bib to your shirt or jersey, tell you what your start time is, and point you to the start line. You just need to be at the start line at least three minutes before your start time.
There will be a start marshal there, and tell that person you are a first-timer, and that person will let you know what you need to do to start.
It’s that simple!