Racing

Wheelers take part in and organise cycle races throughout the year across most disciplines including time trials, road racing and cyclo-cross.

Find out more about:

Time Trials

A time trial (TT) is a race against the clock either individually or as part of a team.

Riders are usually set off at one minute intervals and ride as fast as they can over a set distance or time. Most courses are pretty flat, but there are also some hilly (sporting) courses. The most common distances are 10 and 25 miles, but you can also race over 50 and 100 miles and even 12 and 24 hours!

Crawley Wheelers have a very strong time trial team competing for individual and team wins at most local events. We encourage riders of all abilities to take part in TT races. 

Getting Started

Whatever type of time trial you are entering, club or open, you must be a member of a club that is affiliated to Cycling Time Trials (which the Crawley Wheelers are). Being a BCF or CTC member does not generally qualify you to ride time trials unless your BCF Division or CTC District Association is affiliated to CTT.

Entry to Club events is usually just “entry on the line” on the day of the event. You will be required to sign a Club Entry Form, and if you’re under 18, you must show the organiser a Parental Consent Form.

Entry to an open event, on the other hand, must be by an official CTT Entry Form, with a closing date that is usually just under two weeks before the event. If the event is over-subscribed, the fastest entrants (assessed on their qualifying times for the relevant distance over the last three seasons) will be accepted, unless otherwise specified. If you are under 18, your parents must sign the Parental Consent Form.

Once your entry has been accepted, you will receive a start sheet a few days before the event giving details of the course, prizes and your starting time. After the race you will receive a result sheet showing where you finished and confirming your official time.

Competitions

There are three club competitions within the TT racing calendar with the winners receiving an award at the annual club awards evening. 

Evening Points Competition Points are awarded for the Evening 10 Mile Time Trial that takes place on Thursdays G10/59 from May – August. Meet to sign on by 7.30pm latest at Faygate station with first rider off at 7.45pm. Free to club members. The points range from 30 for winning down to 1 point and the trophy is awarded for the member that has the most points at the end of the season.

All Members Cup  There are eight races for the AMC and these are all open TT’s that consist of distances inc 10, 25, 50 & 100 miles. The races are entered two weeks in advance and are on a variety of different course in and around Sussex. 11 points are awarded for winning down to 1 point. 

Club Events Competition This competition is all the non evening 10’s and the odd distance TT’s the club has and this includes the 14, 21.7, 2-up Team Time Trial, 41.59, and the New Years Day 10. 30 points for winning down to 1 point.

What's Needed?

The Bicycle – You can use a time trial bike or road bike (with time trial bars should you wish). There are some restrictions regarding the equipment that you can use. Brake levers must be positioned so that you can get to them quickly from your normal riding position. Triathlon bars with forearm supports may be used. You can use a solid disc wheel at the rear of your bike, but not on the front. Deep-rimed wheels and composite spoked wheels (e.g. tri-spokes) may be used in either or both positions. Under no circumstances may streamlining devices be used.

Clothing and Advertising – Time triallists usually wear either a short-sleeved racing jersey and cycling shorts, or an equivalent one-piece suit (Skinsuit). Sleeveless tops are not permitted. The wearing of a hard-shell helmet is recommended for all, and is compulsory for juniors.

Whether you are allowed to carry advertising logos depends on the type of event, and on your club. In a club race it’s simple: you can carry any advertising you want. However, in an open event you can carry advertising only if you are a member of a CTT-registered sponsored club, or you are a member of a UCI-registered professional team.

Manufacturers’ logos on their products are fine.

Road Racing

We are fortunate in the South East that we have the busiest domestic road race calendar in England. Throughout the spring and summer months, if a rider chooses to, you can pretty much race every night of the week.

Here is what it's all about...

The majority of road racing in our area is organised as part of a league. The Surrey Road Race League is the biggest and most successful racing league in the country and, if that wasn’t enough, we also have the South Eastern Road Race League right on our doorstep.

There are also a number of open road races and town centre circuit races during the season. We also have three excellent purpose-built road race circuits that are closed to traffic, all within an hour’s drive of Crawley at Cyclopark in Kent, Redbridge Cycle Centre in East London and Hillingdon in West London.

Useful Links

Getting Started

All cyclists taking part in road races have to have a racing licence which is obtained through British Cycling. As a condition of membership with Crawley Wheelers we do ask that all members join a third party organisation for the purposes of insurance. Therefore, if you are thinking of road racing, it makes financial sense to become a member of British Cycling as membership will include third party insurance.

Joining as a Silver or Gold member will allow you to obtain a free provisional racing licence. This is a great way to get started as it allows you to try out a few races without having to pay for a full licence. If you wish to continue racing or feel from the start that road racing is for you, then a full racing licence can be purchased through British Cycling with your membership. Once you have your full licence, you are then able to start collecting points for every race where you finish in the top 10. All riders starting for the first time start at the introductory 4th category level and once you have obtained 10 points in one season you are promoted to 3rd category level.

Leagues

As a member of Crawley Wheelers you will be part of a club that is affiliated to both the Surrey League and the South Eastern Road Race League. This means that, for an annual fee, you can join the leagues and get race entries at discounted rates. Surrey League members also collect league points for every race they finish and more if you finish in the top 10 or 15 places. At the end of the season all riders’ points are accumulated together to form a cash prize.

What's Needed?

There are many types of events that fall under the road category, from racing on purpose built circuits to those out on the open highways.

To participate in a road race you will need:

  • A British Cycling Race Licence
  • A Road bike - there are specific technical regulations but most normal bikes will fine
  • Clubkit

Crawley Wheelers are accredited to all major local leagues.  Novice riders may need to partake in qualifying training sessions to be able to participate in some events.  If youre interested in racing we can point you in the right direction!

Cyclo-cross

Cyclo-cross or just ‘cross’ is bike racing on a combo of tarmac, grass, trails, basically anywhere and can include steep hills, stairs and obstacles, which require riders to dismount and carry their bike and then quickly remount.

It’s generally an Autumn/Winter sport with the main season starting in early September continuing through till mid-February.

The Crawley Wheelers have a strong cross team which features national championship medallists and Sussex League Champions. Riders regularly taking part in the London Cross League, National Trophy Series and National Champs. We also host the annual LCCA Team Championships each year and for the first time in 2018, a round of the National Trophy.

Cross is a huge sport over in Belguim and the Netherlands with huge crowds turning out to watch the best riders in the world whilst necking Belgian beer and chomping on frites. 

Here is what it's all about:

Getting Started

The cross season starts in September (apart from the summer series) and ends in February. 

The club runs some member training sessions during the summer to practice basic skills to help you get race ready and enjoy yourself.

Most races are multiple laps round a course and are between 30 mins to an 1 hour. Race length depends on which category you are in. 

The courses vary but most you can ride round with the occasional dismount to carry or push your bike. For more information, contact the clubs Cyclo-Cross Secretary 

Leagues

The main league that the Crawley Wheelers participate in is London and South East Cyclocross League (LCCA). More info here.

Here is the cyclo-cross event calendar.

British cycling organise a series of National events called the National Trophy, these events are country wide and attract the top riders from across the country. For the first time in 2018, the Crawley Wheelers hosted a National Trophy event at the South of England Showground, Ardingly. We are pleased to be hosted the event again in November 2019. 

 

The 2020 National Trophy Championship will be held in Shrewsbury.

What's Needed?

To race cyclo-cross you will need:

  • A bike with off road tyres - cyclo-cross or MTB 
  • Helmet
  • Your normal cycle gear will do but remember that this is a winter sport and hands and feet can get a tad cold
  • The Crawley Wheelers are a familiar face at races and known for being loud supporters so you'll need your best cheers and banter

For local events a day licence can be bought. FOC if you have a British Cycling racing licence

While no special experience is necessary it is always helpful if you can ride a bike on mud and varying surfaces. The club runs some skills sessions during the summer where experience riders and novices can all learn something new.

On race day, if you are new to cross it is better to start at the back and it wont be long before you are overtaking other riders.