I will be moving to Brisbane at the start of next year and was wondering if anyone could give me a basic run down of the Brisbane racing scene? I haven't raced before but have been riding for a couple of years and am keen to start next year.
The book has not been written yet
Have a look at Cycling Queensland site for a list of clubs.
Google "Hamilton Pine Rivers Wheelers", and at their site, subscribe to their excellent weekly newsletter email.
Crits almost weekly at Murarrie and Nundah Saturdays, also every now and then at Lakeside.
New crit track at Ipswich, not sure on dates.
Crits also down on the Gold Coast at Nerang & Runaway Bay.
Someone else can fill you in on Sunshine Coast.
Plenty more going on, best thing to do is check the online calendars of clubs and you'll be aware of just about everything - HPRW, CATS...
If you end up in the Logan city area, Logan City Cycing Club have events at Crestmead most weekends, plus regular Saturday training rides.
Gold Coast has road races as well as the aforementioned crits.
You can pretty much find a club race somewhere every weekend if you want.
Yep, plenty of weekly racing.
HPRW at Nundah & Lakeside. Balmoral at Murarrie. Ipswich at, well, Ipswich. Logan at Crestmead. Lots of Gold Coast races a short drive down the highway...
You have to join a club to be able to race, but you can pretty much do all the races for all clubs (mostly) once you are a member of one club... (make sense?). Wait until you knwo where you are going to be living, & base your club choice on that - pick teh one that has the closest racing/club rides to you...
HPRW have a good mix of races through the winter season with crits at either Nundah or Lakeside, plus regular road races and TT's, all based on the Northside, so if you end up on the south side like me, then be prepared for some driving.
During summer they rotate between Lakeside and Nundah.
Upside to being on the s/s is that you're closer to the Logan and Gold Coast races.
Balmoral race every week, just crits though.
Gold Coast have a good mix of road and crit on three different circuits, Nerang being a tough bugger of a course...no wonder the coast riders are so good!
Logan isn't always on and the numbers are smaller than HPRW/Balmoral which could be a good thing if you are just getting into racing.
Ipswich use a road circuit at Wacol or out further at the facility used for motorsports.
There are other clubs around check out the Cycling Queensland website for the full list and more info.
Criteriums, criteriums, criteriums. Open road races are not well supported because people will be at a local criterium. Also you will find lots of criteriums, criteriums and also some criteriums.
Cannondale Supersix Evo
Fuji Norcom Straight
Fuji Track Elite
Sorry to resurrect an ancient thread that I started, but I have finally decided to commit and start racing in October (with a 2015 racing licence) and have a handful of questions.
1. Living in St Lucia I am close to a number of clubs, but do not mind traveling, can anybody recommend one of the brisbane based clubs or give an insight into the 'culture' of the clubs?
2. Which of the two criterium tracks would you recommend starting at (Nundah or Muzz)?
3. How does the grading process work for a new rider? I am somewhat petrified of being thrown in the deep end because I am young and in reasonable shape.
4. Any other key info I should know before I start?
Clubs are up to you. A CQ license will get you into any open club race. So you could be with Balmoral club and race in the weekend crit race scene in Townsville while on the family holiday The only thing that varies are the club only races eg club championships. HPRW tend that have the most options when it comes to a good mix of road racing/crits/tt/handicap/club races.
Start at Nundah. Alot safer than Muzz as its wider.
Grading varies. Some clubs will throw you into C grade while others will put you in B grade - depending on your age/fitness etc.
The thought of being thrown into B grade is terrifying, I've heard the average speed is more than 40kmh?
Most of my rides (solo or in a small group) would normally be between 27 and 31 kmh
Jack - post as you go if you don't mind... I'm not young or fit, but I am thinking about joining in next year. Would love to hear about the little things you find out along the way...
Nundah would be my choice of the two.
Loving my Merida's and working towards adding a Pinarello to the stable... Go go go...
That is a great idea. I think speaking to the handicapper and asking to be put in a lower grade so that I can concentrate on learning to race safely rather than potentially riding dangerously because I am on the limit/fatigued.
Adam Harrison is the main HPRW handicapper now afaik. Terry hasn't been around for about a year, but is missed. I think he used to be pretty good, in retrospect.
I agree Nundah track is safer for beginners, flatter, and less changes in surface and width. but it still has its dangers.
Before you race, I'd recommend you go down the track around 430pm Tue,Wed, or Thu. There's paceline training then, and it is good to learn how to draft and work in a group before doing it when everyone is in race mode.
Some pointers : (most of these maybe on HPRW's website now)
- always always ride straight and predictably. never steer violently, unless avoiding an imminent crash.
- accordingly, before changing line or veering to go around someone, do a shoulder check and be sure you have room to come out. you can even put your finger out to indicate. this highlights that you should practice looking around behind you to both sides while holding a straight line, and you should do it quickly. Guys have gone down when looking around and the pace in front slows temporarily.
- when moving through corners or curves, think of the riders around you, esp to the sides, and give them room to get around as well. Don't squeeze them into a corner.
- when drafting, never overlap your front wheel with someone else's rear wheel, apart from momentarily as indicated in the points below. If someone in front veers suddenly, they will hit your front wheel, and you will go down hard and most likely break bone/s.
- when drafting, always have an escape route planned if something happens in front...either be prepared to go to the left or right. don't automatically grab a handful of brake every time the pace slows or something happens in front.
- it's best to keep turning over your pedals (soft pedaling) when the pace changes. don't freewheel a lot.
- never sit up and slow down in a race until you are well past the finish line. the nature of racing is that you will have people drafting you.
- if you see someone riding in a way that is going to cause an issue, shout something sooner rather than later. a lot of people who have raced for a long time can still do silly things or lose concentration.
- if you are going to take a swig from your water bottle or otherwise do something distracting, be quick about it, and back off the wheel in front a bit. and be very very careful putting the bottle back in the cage. personally I don't drink during a race unless down the back after an effort.
- if you find yourself on the front of the pack, and want to come off, shoulder check to your left, and indicate iwth your right elbow for the guys behind to come through on your right (presuming you are racing clockwise).
- For your first 5-6 races, just hang down the back (but wheel sucking) for the first few laps, and watch what's happening in front. Then for the last two laps (when the 2 lap sign is held up), go down the back and don't try and race. Races get more aggressive and dangerous in the last two laps. even if you think you are strong and can contest the last 2 laps, if you fatigue or the pack lifts the pace, you will be in a precarious position with a lot of guys trying to get around you any way they can, and it can get real ugly.
- if you find yourself in a breakaway, share the lead with the others. best to do shorter turns (15-30 secs) until you know your threshold.
Jack11 - if you live in St Lucia, have a look at UQ Cycling Club. They are race-oriented, and they also have a lot of club-only races that will help you gain confidence for the open races.
Your CQ licence will let you race at Murarrie (Balmoral) and Nundah (HPRW) crits anyway (bar the very occasional club-only crits there).
As a general rule, when picking a club, have a look at where their training/bunch rides start/finish. If its local, that's obviously a big plus...
Abby (A Balmoral member, for the record...)
RE gradings, just turn up and tell them what grade you want to race in when you hand over the cash, you will be fine in C (AT) Nundah or crashville (Muzz).
I've never been graded for any club crits, just turn up and put yourself in the most appropriate. Open events of course you need official grading.
Thanks all for the replies and advice. I will make sure I keep you updated with my progress.
Planning on heading down to Nundah this saturday with a few mates to do some laps and interval work. What time does the track normally free up after the morning crits?
From memory you have to be a UQ grad to get into the club, could be wrong though.
HPRW is my club, Adam will sort you out details on the clubs we page, if Terry was still the handicapper he would have put you straight into B because your young and fit....Adam would probably put you into C and see how you go.
As I wrote earlier HPRW have a good mix of racing, we're about to move into summer which is Crits at either Nundah or Lakeside, and the twilight series.
Agree that Nundah is a safer track, Muzz is notorious for crashes and massive numbers.
The negative with HPRW is the kit is crap
Have you ever tried to get past Esme at Muzz...you can't rock up there and sign up for A, and Adam has cracked down on the self-promoting at Nundah as well
Thanks very much for the response. What is the average speed of a C grade crit at Nundah?
presuming no wind and a reasonable number
though the average speed doesn't signify much. any Joe can sit in a large pack at 40-45kph and soft pedal a lot. you get sucked along more than you can imagine (if you haven't been in a big pack before).
just make sure you never fall off the back!
imho, racing C2 (older guys) is harder because the numbers are lower, it tends to be a strung out single line rather than a bunch, therefore you don't get as much draft effect.
Yep, what he said!
Really depends on who turns up on the day and their plans for the race
I have no idea if I would be able to hold that pace, but I guess all I can do is work hard until the start of October and hope for the best
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