The heart of many ‘traditional’ cycling clubs is the Sunday club run, especially in the off season when we have at least two separate runs. More ………
Road Racing is done in a group and the winner is the first rider over the finish line.
- Courses can be on a closed circuit or the open road with a total race distance between 30 and 120 miles.
- Riders are categorised by ability, ranging from ‘elite’ (mostly professional), through first, second, third and fourth category, for both men and women.
- Most races are conducted in ability groups; eg. 1st and 2nd cat. or 3rd, 4th and vets, etc.
Our newer members are encouraged to start their bunch racing at the Redbridge Cycle Centre, where there are many opportunities to gain experience of this demanding form of cycle racing.
Finsbury Park CC has been actively involved in road racing since the early days of the sport and our successes span the years from 1928 when Jack Lauterwasser Wikipedia, won Olympic team bronze AND silver medals, to the present day with Sid Lovatt and Vince Freeley, winners of National Veterans championships.
If you are attracted by the thrills (and possible spills) of road racing, ‘The Park’ is the ideal starting point.
The governing body is British Cycling.
There is also an independent veterans organisation for those who are 40 years plus, managed by ‘The League of Veteran Racing Cyclists.
Time Trials are races, against the clock, over a known distance or course. The winner is the rider who completes the test in the shortest time.
Finsbury Park CC knows all there is to know about time trialing, having been a strong supporter of this discipline for more than 100 years when racing on the highway was considered to be ‘riding furiously’ and was banned by law. Races were held in secret and led to the development of arcane rules and regulations; some of which persist to the present day.
- Bicycles, tricycles, tandems and tandem tricycles are all catered for.
- Most time trials are for single machines, but there are also categories for teams of two, three and four.
Our members compete in time trials during every week of the season and have an exhaustive knowledge of local courses and those further afield. New members are given advice and guidance on selecting and entering races so that they can get the maximum enjoyment from the sport. Club riders often enter the same events so that mutual support is available.
We promote three ‘open’ events; a 10 mile ‘hilly’, and two TT’s on fast courses, one at twenty five miles and the other at fifty miles. Both fast events attract the best riders in the country and are considered by many to be targets for the national ‘Best all Rounder” competitions.
The club organizes a series of time trials, primarily for members, but open to newcomers. Ten mile events are scheduled at two week intervals in the summer and three races at twenty five miles are on the programme. At the end of the season we have a hill climb.
‘The Park’ is the ideal club for those looking for an introduction to this most traditional form of cycle racing.
The governing body is ‘Cycling Time Trials’. (CTT).
Track Racing takes place on a short, oval shaped, track or velodrome that can be either in the open air or indoors.
- The ends of the track are usually steeply banked and the straights less so.
- There are competitions for solo riders, teams and bunch racing.
- The track bike is a specialist machine without brakes.
- It has a single ‘fixed’ gear that is also used to slow down when required.
Finsbury Park CC recommend track racing as a valuable addition to the main disciplines as it develops good bike control and a supple pedalling action. We support the Welwyn Track League, run on Friday evenings during the summer and encourage our members to take advantage of the Monday evening training sessions.
During the off season we arrange ‘training’ sessions at Newport Velodrome, South Wales.
Track racing is fast and furious, and not for the faint hearted. It has the advantage that competitions are usually of short duration and riders can race in several events in the same session.
The road racer, in particular, should spend some time on the track as many events require short, intensive bursts of activity. These constant intervals followed by periods of recovery are invaluable training for bunch racing.
The governing body is ‘British Cycling’.
Cyclo cross in the UK is an off season or winter activity where competitors race off road in ability groups.
- Races are usually held on circuits of a mile or so, including mud, sand, steep climbs and descents, water hazards and jumps. Sometimes it is faster to shoulder the bicycle and run with it.
- Keen cyclo cross riders will have a purpose built machine with extra wheel clearances and specialist brakes; but any machine may be used.
- Mountain bikes are often seen in cyclo cross events and some meetings have races just for mountain bikes.
- Some riders are dedicated to the discipline but most competitors are there to keep fit during the winter and have a lot of fun.
Cyclo cross is highly recommended as a winter activity. It is excellent for keeping fit and exerting muscle groups that may be neglected during the summer.
The governing body is ‘British Cycling’.
A Randonee in France (Audax in the UK) is a non-competitive ride on quiet roads over a defined route. It is not a race; the objective is just to complete your planned distance within a reasonable time.
Finsbury Park CC goes to France on several weekends during the year to take part in Randonees. We may travel as bike carrying foot passengers on the cross channel ferries or via car and the ‘Chunnel’ to enjoy the benefits of a couple of days of good food and wine. These breaks are great for re-charging the batteries during the racing season and getting in some quality mileage.
Randonees in Northern France are very popular with British riders who often make up more than 50% of an event.
Riders collect a ‘brevet’ card at the start of the ride and have it stamped at nominated control points en route and at the finish.
The most common events are between 100 and 200km. But distances as low as 40km or as high as 800km (and more) are available.
There are very strict rules governing the use of lights and mudguards for the longer rides.
The governing body in the UK is Audax UK.