So you have been riding for a while now and you have contested a few sprints in your favorite group ride. Maybe you even raced in a citizen/ Cat 5 race and enjoyed it.
Now you are asking yourself am I ready to be competitive? If you are asking yourself this type of question then you are at the very least ready to do some research.
Oh yeah, one more thing! Prime time for recruiting has passed. Do not wait till next spring to join a team it will be almost impossible to find one. Teams are starting to order uniforms now so get busy and read the rest of the post.
I was recently asked by a local athlete where do I start? This person knows that I race and manages a team but not everyone knows where to begin. In the USA there are several governing bodies in competitive cycling. Some of these organizations are regional, national or event specific. Based on the type of racing you want to do you must select a governing group. Since this blog covers road racing I will be informing you the reader where to find helpful information as it pertains to USA Cycling.
If you are not sure if there is a local team that supports new racers then check the USA Cycling Directory here: http://www.usacycling.org/clubs/
If you aren’t having much luck finding a team or even a club contact your region’s representative. They can be found here: http://www.usacycling.org/states/new/
While cycling is growing as a sport in the USA you may find that the nearest team to you is to far from your home. Do not despair you have still have options.
- You can join a nationally marketed team.
- You can bite the bullet and travel to meet up with a long distance team.
- You could move. I know people who have done this.
- You can start your own team!
You wont be disappointed in joining a team I promise. When I took a look around I could not find a team that I could travel to the practices on a regular basis. I was pretty dismayed as I had been racing as a citizen by myself and it became obvious that there was safety in numbers. A friend of mine was getting ready to start a new bike shop in the community we live in and so we decided a club and team were in order. There are a few things you have to do to start your own team and you USA Cycling local contact can you fill you in on it. Starting the team has been one the more challenging volunteer efforts of mine but it has also been one of the most rewarding things I have done. If you do not feel that you are a very organized individual then I would highly suggest not starting your own team.
Good luck with your search and I hope the 2010 race season is everything you think it will be!