Road & Circuit
What used to be aptly called 'Massed Start' racing is the most exciting form of competitive cycling. To be successful not only do you have to be fit, but you have to be experienced at riding in a bunch and know about the technique and tactics Involved. So for the novice the first few races represent a sharp learning curve.
To start off we will suggest races that can give you the necessary experience. However do not be disheartened if you find yourself tailed off at your first attempt. Soon you will get the hang of it. If you want to, we can also give you a training programme to help develop fitness.
Circuit races or criteriums ('crits') are a good proving ground to start off with and regular races are held at Crystal Palace; Hillingdon; Redbridge; Betteshanger and a new circuit close to the A2 at Dartford, these are all on ‘closed circuits’, free from any traffic. Criteriums by their nature are normally shorter/faster events
You can then graduate to the open road and initially ride in Kent or Surrey League events. Soon you will discover whether you have a natural ability which you can develop either as a sprinter, 'stayer' or climber. These events tend to be longer than 'crits' and are often where 'true roadmen' develop into good riders.
The Catford CC is affiliated to the governing body, British Cycling, under whose rules road and circuit races are run. To race you have to join B.C.and take out a racing licence. Initially you will hold a 4th category licence and can ride in races open to that category. When you gain the required number of places or 'points' you move up to 3rd cat., and so on until hopefully you achieve Elite status.
In the past the Catford have had some notable riders, for example, John Goodrum who was a elite rider winning races such as the Catford's own Brighton to London Road Race. Also Stephen Joseph, who as a junior represented Great Britain in the World Championships and was the only member of the team to finish, narrowly missing a high placing only because he unfortunately chose to sprint on the 'wrong' side of the finishing straight.