LFCC Cycle Disciplines
At Leicester Forest cycle club "LFCC" we take part in a wide range of cycle disciplines, from leisure cycling to full out racing.
Here are some of the types of cycling that our members take part in, and a few details on what they are all about:
Leisure riding has and always will be at the heart & the main focus of Leicester Forest Cycle Club.
From weekend Club Rides, midweek group gatherings, warm summer rides, cold winters rides of all paces, distanes, ages & types of cycles are regularly enjoyed by the majority of Club members. Our members rack up and enjoy cycling 1000s & 1000s of miles each and every week.
An Audax is a cycling sport in which participants attempt to cycle long distances within a pre-defined time limit. Audax is a non-competitive sport: success in an event is measured by its completion. Audax's are long-distance self-guided ride with check points that you have to visit in a given time limit. It isn't as scary as it sounds when you understand that the limit tends to be based on an average of around 15km/h (less than 10 mph).
LFCC organise our own Audax events such as the famous "The Rutland and Beyond Audax, Leicester Circle and Inner Circle Audax & Another Slice of Rutland" Take a look at our main Audax page for further information.
- Audax UK - Audax United Kingdom is the internationally recognised long-distance cycling association in the UK.
We have quite a few riders who take part in road races of various levels and distances. Recently LFCC has organised its own road race, and a lot of racers race at Mallory Park which is a local motor race circuit that provides traffic free racing on a nice smooth road surface www.malloryparkrrleague.co.uk
Mallory Park hosts a range of races during the summer such as Youth Competition, Womans, Vets & Senior 2/3/4 cat event racing.
- British Cycling - The nation's largest cycling organisation
- LVRC - The League of Veteran Racing Cyclists
- British Cycling Rankings Explained
- EMRRL - East Midlands Road Race League
MTB - Mountain Biking
The club has many riders who participate in mountain bike events all over the country.
Great venues for casual riding along specific mtb trails within an hours drive of Leicester include HICKS LODGE, SHERWOOD PINES, and CANNOCK CHASE. There of lots of off road sportives throughout the year where participants cycle a pre described route, usually with 2 or 3 distance options, members often post details of such events on the LFCC Facebook page, but BRITISH CYCLING website will have details of most forthcoming in the events.
Many member also race mountain bikes, although around Leicester all the events will be cross country races rather than down hill which require more mountainous terrain. If you have never raced a mountain bike we are lucky to be on the doorstep of GEORGE HALL CYCLES in Market Harborough who proprietor has been Organising grass roots cross country mtb racing for many years. Called FRIDAY NIGHT SUMMER SERIES "FNSS" Races are held most weeks throughout the summer within 45 minutes drive of Market Harborough. Being of only one hour duration and on non technical courses they are great way to start racing. They are very friendly and not all intimidating.
We have members that participate in race’s of various lengths from one hour upwards including 24 hour endurance events, ridden solo, pairs or teams. Again details of events can be found at BRITISH CYCLING.
Hill Climbs are probably the simplest cycling event there is; you ride full gas up a hill against the clock and the fastest rider wins.
Every gram of weight counts and with no minimum weight limit in place garden shed science is in full effect.
Hacksawed bars, drilled seats and carefully choreographed pre-race poo-tines are all Hill Climb staples. No tactics, no holding back; go up till you throw up & just empty it until the cowbells stop ringing.
The club has lots of riders who participate in cyclocross events. Cyclocross races are events of up to an hour in duration, depending your age, held on off road courses of around a mile and a half in length. The terrain is comprised of grass, (or mud in winter) and single track often through woodland, there may be some gravel, short sections of tarmac and obstacles such as sand pits or hurdles to negotiate, clever use of the terrain is made and there will undoubtedly be short hills and banks to test your nerve, fitness, strength, and skill, without being too technical.
Average speeds are generally low, so even when it all goes wrong and you fall off its at very slow speeds and onto mud, so it never hurts. Cyclocross events are very friendly and inclusive, there’s plenty of encouragement from spectators, Marshall’s and fellow competitors. You ride at your own pace, and within a couple of laps no one seem to be able to tell who’s leading and who is last, as the range of abilities allows the field to quickly string out, with the fastest riders lapping the slower riders. All of the local leagues allow participants to ride on any bike that is safe, so if you don’t own a cx bike you can use a mountain bike. Only regional or national events place any restrictions.
LFCC hosts an event at Beaumont Leys park as part of the newly formed LEICESTERSHIRE CYCLO LEAGUE who promote a series of races within Leicestershire. Other leagues hosting events within a 50 mile radius include WEST MIDLANDS CX LEAGUE, NOTTS AND DERBY CX LEAGUE, CENTRAL CX LEAGUE, and LINCOLNSHIRE CX LEAGUE. Most cyclocross leagues offer their events between September and January, but there are various other one off races, sportives and summer leagues, that members participate in all year and across the country. BATTLE ON THE BEACH & HELL OF THE NORTH COTSWOLDS "HONC" are both examples of events with several LFCC members competing on both CX & MTB Bikes.
For further information on how to get involved and to enter events go to British Cycling.
Track riding is perhaps the purest form of cycling - in its simplest form, it's just you and your legs that do the talking. No brakes, no gears - Want to go faster? Better pedal harder then! Of course, you can complicate things greatly when you introduce other riders - take a look at Madison racing if you want to be totally bamboozled.
We are very lucky to be so close to a fantastic indoor velodrome up at Derby Arena. The track is Olympic standard distance - 250m of smooth pine. They offer a range of track sessions and racing to cater for all levels, and we have a number of regulars attending both informal training rides, Structured Quality Training sessions as well as their track leagues for juniors, seniors and vets.
If you've never ridden on a velodrome before, the first time can be a little daunting. The banking is 42° at its steepest, and can look almost vertical from the infield. Added to that, all track bikes are fixed wheel, so you must pedal all the time. If you forget, the momentum from the rear wheel and drivetrain will give you a not-so-subtle reminder, so you do have to concentrate on your first few sessions, but it's quickly mastered, and then you get this wonderful feeling of oneness with the bike that really has to be felt to be fully understood.
Track riding is great for fitness and overall cycling form. Even the endurance sessions are quite short by road standards, so you get good, sharp interval sessions - sprinting even more so. Couple that with vastly improved cadence and "souplesse" (smoothness of your pedal stroke) and you'll feel the benefits across all your other cycling disciplines. As you progress through the accreditation levels you will increase your bike handling skills, and situational awareness, particularly when riding in close proximity to other riders - perfect skills to boost your confidence and competence in group rides, chaingangs, and will certainly give you an edge in road races and crits away from the velodrome.
If you've never ridden the track before, but are keen, then take a look at Derby Arena's webpage for further information on both their taster sessions, and the accreditation pathway (essentially coached sessions to get every rider up to a good level of competency to keep everyone safe)
We're also looking into booking our own sessions to introduce people to the track, and if we get enough interest, we can look to expand to put on our own regular coached sessions as well. If you'd like to talk to some of our track riding members, just ask away in the Facebook group!
Time TRIALLING - TT's
Time Trialling - The Race of Truth - You vs. The Clock, and nowhere to hide, especially from the dreaded head wind!
Most races are over a fixed distance (10, 25, 50 or 100 miles) or fixed time - 12 or 24 hours (yes, really!), and whilst the vast majority of events are individuals, there are specialist events for pairs and teams of four (2-up and 4-up respectively) to really test your riding!
Here at LFCC we have a proud history of time trialling, or "testing" as it's sometime known. There are events up and down the country, with the majority of cycling clubs promoting a series of club time trials on summer evenings, one can find your weeknights booking up quite quickly with a series of 10 mile races, and then open events on the weekend. Don't be intimidated by the picture on the left though - many riders use their regular road bikes, and just look to improve their times week on week. There's absolutely no pressure to buy all the expensive kit (though as cyclists we rarely need an excuse to buy more kit) - time trialling is a wonderfully accessible entry point to competitive cycling.
We put on 6 Club 10 mile Time Trials each summer, on the A10/11 course up and down the A46 near Seagrave. These are well attended, both by LFCC riders and guests from a range of other clubs, making for a fun and friendly atmosphere. Club members are also eligible for our Time Trial Trophy, with a rider's best four times being used.
We also promote a number of Open time trials - these are publicised nationally on the Cycling Time Trials website, and attract some very fast testers. This year, as well as an Open 10 mile and Open 25 mile, we have the honour of promoting the National 50 mile time trial, which will attract the very best the country has to offer.
Endurance racing/Bike Packing
Bike packing involves travelling by bike with all the equipment you need to support yourself for a multi-day event or tour.
Travelling light to cover more ground than possible on a traditional touring bike.
Races across countries and whole continents provide challenges for cyclists that want to push themselves in this new way of using a bike.
LFCC riders have competed in the Transcontinental Race (Pan-Europe), Indian Pacific Wheel Race (Australia) and TransAtlantic Way race (Ireland) in recent years.