Cycling is a great sport which is growing popularity in the UK and elsewhere. There are six main disciplines of cycling and each of these has further subdivisions. Events are usually split up by gender and age, in the case of juniors. Within each discipline beginners can usually find competition that is of an appropriate distance for their level of experience and fitness.
Most people are familiar with cycle road racing from famous event such as the Tour de France. Road racing is a test of stamina, overall fitness as well being a tactical battle. Riders often work in teams and being able to tuck in behind the cyclist in front – so that wind resistance is lessened – is a key skill to acquire. Club level cyclists can expect races that vary from about 50 kilometres to three times that amount.
This discipline takes place on a specialist track with two tightly banked U-turns. Outdoor tracks are usually made of concrete whilst indoor ones are wooden. Races vary in length and the bicycles tend to differ from road ones because they have few, or no, gears and they often lack spokes in their wheels.
This sport is for the sprinters. Races usually last less than a minute and are held on outdoor courses. Cycle speedway events are usually held by competing cycle racing clubs with riders paired up against one another.
This discipline has races that are made over twisting and turning courses with jumps and obstacles. BMX bikes have smaller wheels than road racers and a good start is essential in the relatively short races that need a high degree of skill to navigate successfully.
This sport has specialist bikes built for rough ground. Downhill and cross-county events are popular. Mountain biking encompasses both short races and endurance ones. Mountain bikers need plenty of safety kit as falls are quite common place.
This cycling sport is a great one for mass participation. Expect a large event with many competitors that will traverse grassy ground and sometimes muddy puddles. Races usually occur on a playing field over a relatively short course which must be lapped many times. Sometimes obstacles are put in the way of riders to that they must dismount.