Doing more Racing to get better at Racing

BBC February Meeting Minutes 2.19.2024
February 20, 2024
BBC March Meeting Minutes 3.18.2024
March 22, 2024

Planning out your racing year

As the season gets started, many of you who are newer to bike racing but coming from other sports know one thing very well: planning out your season and designating which race or races are you “A” level priority events.  If you’re coming from running or triathlon, this is pretty simple: Let’s say it’s December/January, you’re starting your training, and your A level event is the Buffalo Marathon at the end of May.  You map out that you have 150 or so days until your priority event, you plan out your training blocks, you get faster, you get better at holding your target pace in training.  Then you put it all together on race day.  Triathlon?  If you’re going big and targeting an Ironman in August, you backtrack, plan out your training, and hit your target pacing.  In both sports, you should also have some “B” level races along the way, races that you may use for training or races that you have a better shot at winning compared to your priority races.  Maybe on your way to that Ironman, you do the Summer Sizzler or CassadagaMan triathlons here locally.


Lower priority events are important in cycling

In cycling, having a lot of non-priority races on your calendar is actually key to your development in the sport.  While you can replicate the demands of a marathon run in training, it is quite difficult to replicate the demands of bike racing with training alone.  Training is super important for developing endurance, threshold, VO2Max, and sprint power and repeatability, but only racing itself can teach you about high-speed cornering, drafting in the pace line, how and when to attack, and learning the tactical dynamics of the field you’re racing in.


Why every training race is an opportunity

Being a student of this sport means taking every opportunity you can to get into a race environment to keep practicing those skills.  There are three main components of bike racing: the training, the piloting skills (cornering, drafting, holding a line, making split-second decisions), and the tactics (how and when to attack, feeling out if and when the breakaway might stick or if it will be a bunch sprint).  Doing other races in the lead up to your “A” races will make your A race go that much better.  You’ll know more about racing dynamics, and the races will expose you to more possible tactical situations and race outcomes.


How the BBC can help

Check out the BBC’s own Max Schneider and his YouTube channel “Bald Bearded Bicyclist” to see how over his first 3 years with the club, he has become a real student of the sport and learns from every race to apply those tactical situations to future races.


Practice, practice, practice is exactly what the BBC is here for!  Our Sunday Series Club Races and our Thursday Night Fireball Series are the perfect avenues to get in those practice races, practice being in different tactical situations, and build up your cornering and pack surfing skills.  The more you do, the better prepared you’ll be for your priority “A” race.


Here of course are some local suggestions for your A Race!




Buffalo Bicycling
Buffalo Bicycling
The Buffalo Bicycling Club was incorporated on April 6th, 1973. We are dedicated to the promotion and development of bicycle racing in Western New York.

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