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Advice For Your First Cycling Race

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Posted by Cags R under Cycling on 9 May 2012 at 7:00 AM

Cycling is becoming an increasingly popular sport and there are thousands of cycling Challenges on site, but what should you do when taking the step from a casual rider to your first race?
We've got some great cyclists on the site so here are some tips gathered up from the likes of James Y, Rose K, Nathanial I, oh and a couple from the world number one Victoria Pendleton!

Bike Set Up

The right bike set up will make your ride easier, safer and all the more enjoyable so make sure you're comfortable in you're comfortable in your saddle.
Saddle height: adjust the seat so that there is a small bend in your knee when the pedal is at the bottom dead centre of the revolution
Handle bar height: aim to have a 90 degree angle between your torso and your arms when riding. Depending on what bike you are riding you will be able to change your hip angle to increase speed and decrease your wind-resistance; this is which racing bikes have drop handle bars.

Check out these guidelines if you want to learn more about the ergonomics of cycling and if in doubt any good bike shop will help you out with setting up your bike properly.

Training for your first event

Check out Victoria Pendleton's recommended 6 week training guide which is adaptable for different experience levels!

Know your route: even if your event isn't local to you be sure to check out the route beforehand. You'll need to train as close to the distance as possible and try to find similar hills to train on too!
Practise signaling and riding in a group: if it's your first event then you may find the idea of cycling in a large group intimidating; in her Q&A Victoria Pendleton recommends training in groups and learning your rules of the road - if you know what you're supposed to be doing then you will be able to read other riders' movements easier too.
Wear the right kit: ok so you're apprehensive about donning the lycra for the first time but it's practical, high-vis and so long as you're on your bike it is totally socially acceptable to wear in public! Padded shorts are also highly recommended for your comfort in the saddle.

Event Day

On the event day all you need to do is enjoy yourself, take in the atmosphere and pedal your socks off! Remember that your first race is your opportunity to set your first PB and so is really your starting point to racing. 

Good luck wishes go out to all competitors in Cycletta Bedfordshire this weekend!

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