When bicycles first appeared, people immediately wanted to test how fast they could go by racing them. History holds the first recorded bicycle race was held on May 31, 1868, at the Parc de Saint-Cloud, in Paris. The race was 1.2 km, about ¾ of a mile, and the winner was an Englishman named James Moore. He rode a wooden bicycle with iron tires. A lot has changed since 1868, and today people continue to race bicycles in all sorts of ways.
To compete in a race you will need to be licensed by the USA Cycling. If you want to just try out bike racing you can purchase a one-day license just for an event. If this is your first time, you will need to create an account – then it’s off to the races.
Race Event Calendar
The USA Cycling website provides a search list of permitted cyclocross, road, mountain bike and track events held across the country. Once you find an event you are interested in, you can select it, review the details and register. Virginia race events and clubs can also be found on the Virginia Cycling Association (VCA) website. VCA coordinates competitive cycling events and promotes the Virginia’s champions – Best All-Around rider (BAR) and Omnium Series. Virginia’s Bar champion is awarded to the rider with the most cumulative points from designated BAR races in each category throughout the season. Omnium champions are awarded to the one rider in each category with the most cumulative points in the four events; Virginia State Criterium, Virginia State Road Race, Virginia State Time Trial (40K) and the Virginia State Hill Climb Championship.
Bicycling is definitely something that you can do alone as there are solo cycling events like time trials, hill climbs and track races, but often road racing requires a team to succeed. Even though only one rider wins the race, it is difficult for one rider to do it on their own. Teams provide support before a race in the form of organized training rides, access to training camps, reimbursement for race fees and the emotional support and encouragement of being part of the team. During the race, teams provide support by using tactics to place their best riders in contention to win the event. To find a race/velo club follow the link for a current list of active USA Cycling clubs in Virginia.