General Club FAQ's
1What types of races does the BBC host?
The BBC primarily focuses on road and criterium racing in WNY from April - September. These races range from instructor led skills clinics, club training races, gravel and USAC sanctioned races. The club also acts as an ancillary support for local cyclocross races. We also have a core group of members who participate in track racing.
2Do I have to marshal at the races?
While it is not mandatory, it is strongly encouraged. For the club to run safe races we need volunteers to work in areas from registration, directing riders at turns, and lead/follow vehicles. You can have a friend stand in for your marshaling assignment too!
3Where are the races?
The BBC hosts races in the WNY region, from Lockport down to East Arcade and anywhere in-between. We are always willing to explore new course ideas so if you have any suggestions, please reach out.
Riding & Racing
1I'm nervous about my first race. Can you help?
Sure. Depending on the time of year, you may be able to join a clinic that is being offered. Or ask about our mentorship program where we pair you with an experienced member of the club to give new riders advice and direction.
2What type of training and coaching does the BBC offer?
The BBC has a mentorship system where riders with years of experience riding and racing provide mentorship to newer less experienced riders. In the past, the mentorship program has included weekly group rides, criterium racing clinics, and cyclocross skills clinics. Members have access to discounted coaching from certified instructors.
3Do I have to buy a jersey?
Nope, you can show up in a t-shirt and shorts! But have you seen those new BBC jerseys? You'd look great in one of those so check out our shop today!
4I'm new to group riding and racing, what do I need to know?
GROUP RIDE BASICS – Pull through without surging. – If two of you are peeling off the front of a double pace line, try to do so when there’s a gap in traffic. – Rotating pace line: When you’re at the front and someone is pulling past you, say “yes” to let them know they can safely slot in front of you (without chopping your wheel). Say “last” when you’re in last position to the person coming back from the front of the pace line. Elbow flick tells someone when to come through AND which side to come through. – Hold your line in corners. – If you want to stand up (out of the saddle), do so smoothly and learn to not throw your bike back (that means no freewheeling, esp. on a hill). This is harder than it sounds. – give the person ahead of you on a climb a little more room to stand up. – respect the yellow line and switch to single file when impeding traffic. – When at the front you’re responsible for pointing out significant road problems to the group — if you see a dangerous hole, say “hole” (middle, left, right). Cars coming from front: “car up”. Car wanting to pass: “car back”. – brake less, especially in a pace line. Learn the art of feathering your brakes. Keep a high cadence—85+rpm. – follow the wheel in front and do not overlap. – if it’s a no drop ride, we always reassemble at top of major climbs. If it’s a drop ride, know the route. – You’re responsible for the person behind you. If someone punctures or is dropped, get to the front and inform the front rider — by default the group always waits/assists. – change clothes as soon as you can post-ride #saddlesores. – hydrate and fuel regularly during your effort (budget 1 bottle per hour). – remember you’re repping the club whenever you’re wearing the kit. For more detail/explanation, watch GCN’s How To videos or read about etiquette here (thanks to the Morning Glory Cycling Club).
5What else do I need to know before I start riding/racing with the BBC?
Here's some tips we found useful from a sister club: Park Training/Racing Protocols (http://www.kissenacycling.com/wp-content/uploads/Park-Riding-Protocol-1.pdf)and the How to Race Your Bike guide(http://www.kissenacycling.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/How-to-race-your-bike-v10.pdf).
1How do teams work in cycling?
During races, teams work together as a collective unit to improve their probability of winning. Teams will develop a race strategy that incorporates their various skills and responsibilities based on their strengths. Teammates that are not in the frame to win but are working to help a ‘leader’ are sometimes called ‘domestiques’. At the cat 4 / Novice level, ‘tactics’ can be difficult to execute for a variety of reasons, the most common being the broad spectrum of fitness in these fields. While a rider’s ability to contribute to the team’s goal may vary, at the very least, they are helping a teammate by NOT work against them. Therefore, to enhance your experience in amateur cycling, it may be better to view ‘teams’ as just a group of likeminded individuals that enjoy training, racing, and sharing each other’s company.
2Do I need to join a team to race bikes?
No, you can race solo. Riders not on teams are sometimes referred to as ‘unattached’ or 'unaffiliated'.
3What are the benefits of racing for a team?
At the cat 4 / Novice level, having supportive teammates when you are starting out can accelerate your fitness through group training, improve your race awareness, and providing a sense of comradery in sport while you are learning to race. In the high categories, riders’ fitness begins to even out. Therefore, to gain a competitive advantage in a race, teams will implement ‘team tactics’ to better their chances of winning.
4How do I join a team?
Every team has different requirements for joining. Anywhere from fully inclusive (anyone can join) to a professional model (requiring an application and contract). If you’re interested in joining a team, it’s best to first talk to the riders of that team to learn about the team’s culture. If you’re still interested after that, ask how you can join.
5Is the Buffalo Bicycling Club a team or club?
Both! We are an official USA Cycling club. We act as a cycling body that governs local races and affiliate teams within our club. Including the BBC team! With our long and rich history in WNY, we like to consider the BBC the HOME TEAM. We proudly put the city of Buffalo’s name on our kit too. Let’s go BUFF-A-LO!
6How do I join the Buffalo Bicycling Club team?
Good news, the home team wants you! We are a fully inclusive team. To join you would just need to buy a kit. We do ask that when riding and racing in the club kit you act as a good steward of the club. Abiding by the club’s bylaws and code of conduct. In short, Rule 43. If you are looking to get more involved with the club’s racing team, please email: [email protected].
7What are the other affiliated team within the club?
The following teams are affiliates of the BBC: 42 North Brewery, Bert’s Bikes & Fitness, Buffalo Bicycling Club, Campus WheelWorks, Independent Health, Kanberra p/b Five & 20, Llyod’s|Shickluna, Local Openers, Projekt, Tom’s Pro Bike, & WNYBRC|IDE.