Getting to Racing
Racing is a great way to practice the bike skills you will learn at the MSW training sessions. Throughout the Spring / Summer months there are a lot of different youth races from beginners to the more experienced racers.
To race you will need:
- A British Cycling race licence. Why? Click here. This comes with your British Cycling membership depending on which type of membership you choose. We recommend the SILVER membership. See here for info on types of membership. The race licence is a FREE add on for all riders under the age of 16. The membership is also FREE if it is your first one and you are a member of MSW. Click here for more info.
- If you want to try it first or forget your licence you can pay for a day membership at events.
- A safe bike. For most kids races any safe bike will do but obviously a road bike for a tarmac race and and a MTB for a mountain bike race would be preferable (you wouldn’t be able to use a road bike). Check race regulations. Ensure Gears Restrictions are met for each age group. Youth Gear Restrictions
- A helmet.
- Motivation. Important one this and often overlooked. Your kids need to want to race. They may be very good at it, they may get lapped and they should find enjoyment and/or a determination to improve whichever happens. Pressure to succeed is not motivating and can remove enjoyment.
Other helpful things
- Train! Race winners and top ten finishers don’t win by accident. They are motivated to go faster and train their bodies to cope with the demands of racing.
- Don’t be put off by everyone else looking like they know what they’re doing. Be there for you and have a good time.
- Cheering! They probably won’t hear or care for your advice on the way round but will get a boost from hearing their name and a cheer. And a big well done if they finish, win or walk back with a puncture throwing their bike on the ground……
- Supportive expectations. You shouldn’t expect your child to go and win nor talk them down to feeling like they’ve got no chance. A realistic, positive discussion on what to expect (Have they been training? Is this their first time? What do they want out of it? How do they feel? Give it your best shot!) can be helpful, based around enjoyment and taking something good from the experience. Team Sky and GB don’t try and win but rather they do what is needed to go as fast as possible and winning is merely a rewarding product of that if it all falls into place.
There are many races throughout the country but the ideal starting place is on the Shrewsbury Sports Village Cycle Track, the club host Youth races throughout the Spring and Summer.
In addition to this there are regional races held throughout the Midlands at various circuits including Stourport, Lichfield and Solihull. National Events and even International Events are also held during the summer in Ireland and Holland specifically for youth riders.