British Cycling recognises 6 cycling disciplines, namely: BMX, Cycle Speedway, Cyclo-Cross, MTB, Road, and Track. In addition, Road cycling can be broken down further to incorporate Sportives, Recreation, Go-Ride Racing, and Sky Ride.
Follow the links to each discipline to find out more about each, and what's happening in the North East Region.
BMX racing is an extremely exciting sport open to riders of all ages, making it great fun for all the family. Up to eight riders race, Moto-Cross-style, around a 300-400m track, with jumps, bump and berms (banked corners).
There are two different types of BMX race bike: the 20 inch (your everyday BMX bike with 20 inch wheels) and the 24 inch cruiser (a slightly bigger bike with 24 inch wheels). You don't need a top of the line race machine to start with, you just need one that can get you around the track and meet the basic requirements.
Who races BMX bikes?
Riders come from all areas and backgrounds, starting from four years of age and running up to forty plus. They race against riders of their own age or ability group. Families involved are usually interested in bikes, competitive sport and the physical and mental benefits of being active. It is common for the whole family to be involved with the parents acting as coaches, mechanics, chefs and cheer-leaders. This family angle turns race days into real Events!
Read More about BMX here
Locate your nearest BMX Track & Club
Use British Cycling's Club Finder to find out about BMX clubs in the North East.
Cycle Speedway is a unique branch of cycle sport.Races are short - usually four laps of an outdoor 70-90 metre circuit, lasting around 35-40 seconds - and physical contact is both legal and often necessary. Four riders contest a race, usually in pairs from opposing clubs.
Cycle Speedway Bikes are as simple as BMX or Track bikes - there are no gears, brakes, brackets, quick-release fittings, etc. Frames are often converted from mountain-bikes.
Who races Cycle Speedway?
Cycle Speedway is essentially a club sport, with inter-club matches within leagues the mainstay of the sport. Each match normally consists of between sixteen and twenty races!
Read More about Cycle Speedway here
Locate your nearest Club
Use British Cycling's Club Finder to find out about Cycle Speedway clubs in the North East.
Cyclo-Cross (often abbreviated to 'Cross) is generally an autumn and winter sport. Massed starts make for exciting races, usually no more than an hour in length - and shorter for juniors, women and veterans. There are usually free-to-enter races for younger riders. Racing season is September to January, altough there are some clubs running summer races.
Cyclo-Cross machines look very similar to road bikes, with dropped handlebars and thin tyres - however the latter have a knobbled-tread for grip, powerful brakes, low gears and better frame clearances to prevent clogging with mud, all of which adds up to make them easy to handle on the rough.
Who races Cyclo-Cross?
There are often separate races for younger riders (Under-12 and Youth of Under-16 categories, usually), usually with a reduced entry fee or no entry fee at all. For older riders (over-40) and women, races are often shorter. Even senior races rarely last more than an hour, so to taking part doesn't require a mammoth commitment to hours of training.
Read More about Cyclo-Cross here
Regional Race Calendar
There is a comprehensive calendar of racing during the racing season September to January see the regional Cycle Cross leagues website for details at http://cxne.org.uk/
Locate your nearest Club
Use British Cycling's Club Finder to find out about Cyclo-Cross clubs in the North East.
All Mountain Biking involves a mixture of fitness and machine control. Getting started is often simply a case of getting a basic mountain bike (a simple Cross-Country hardtail is ideal) and going out and exploring the local countryside. Downhill and 4-Cross are rough, tough, challenging disciplines, requiring nerve, fitness and great bike control and skill. Cross-County and Enduro/Marathon racing put the emphasis more on sheer physical fitness. All are compelling and rewarding.
Bikes are extremely light and often very technically advanced. There has been a move towards full suspension (suspension for both front and back wheels) in recent years, but for some courses and conditions a "hardtail" is still favoured by many competitors.
Who races MTB?
Cross-Country events usually have several races catering for a range of abilities and age groups and are an ideal environment in which to learn the bike handling and tactical skills necessary to succeed. Look out for Fun categories - there are also often categories for younger riders and age related categories for over-thirties.
Regional Racing dates can be found here.
Read More about MTB here
Locate your nearest Club
Use British Cycling's Club Finder to find out about MTB clubs in the North East.
Road Racing is massed-start cycle racing on roads or tarmac circuits. First rider over the finish line wins, with anything from twenty to almost 200 competitors, depending on the event. In the UK, events range from short Youth and Juvenile (under16) races of 40km or less, through club level events for adults of between 40km and 100km, to Elite-level one day races of 200km or more.
Who races on the Road?
Road Racing is categorised into different classifications of race, open to riders of differing age/ability categories. The majority of adult racing takes place on public roads, though there are an increasing number of circuit events, either on roads closed to other traffic or on specially constructed circuits. All under-16 racing takes place on traffic-free closed circuits. The region has a number closed road circuits Middlesbrough Cycle Circuit and Hetton County Park, hosting races for all abilities for details of the regions circuit races follow the link to calendar.
Read More about Road Racing here
Who organises races
Road races are generally organised by cycling clubs or teams, volunteers are the life blood of sport in the UK and cycling is no different. Without volunteers our sport could not exist, the contribution they make to the racing calendar cannot be underestimated, over the next few months we will be featuring a number af articles which will breakdown the process of organising a road race in the region.
Locate your nearest Club
Use British Cycling's Club Finder to find out about Road clubs in the North East.
Track racing takes place on short specially built tracks consisting of two tight, banked corners joined by two short straights. Tracks range hugely in length - outdoor tracks usually being longer and with shallower bankings - but Olympic and World Championship Track racing is generally held on indoor 250m wooden tracks. Many outdoor tracks are concrete or tarmac surfaced, and there is also grass track racing.
Track bikes are relatively simple, lacking the gears and brakes of their Road cousins. With bikes having a fixed wheel (forcing you to pedal continuously) the rider controls speed through pressure applied to the pedals.
Who races Track?
Britain's indoor tracks - Manchester, Newport (S.Wales) and Calshot (near Southampton) - all have regular public beginner or "taster" sessions where newcomers are taken through the necessary skills by a trained coach. These are fun, cheap and easy for virtually anyone over the age of 9 to take part in.
There are regular opportunities for younger members of Go Ride Clubs to access sessions at Manchester Velodrome.
Read More about Track here
Locate your nearest Track Club
Use British Cycling's Club Finder to find out about Track clubs in the North East.
Recreational cycling is anyone who rides for fun, fitness and adventure. It doesn't matter whether its going to the shops, travelling across town or across the country, taking a weekend ride with family and friends. British Cycling and Sky will be promoting Sky Ride at Stockton Festival - http://www.goskyride.com/Stockton-on-TeesSkyRide
Find out whats going on in the area - by search for recreational rides in the North East http://www.goskyride.com/middlesbrough or check out the Rider Finder at http://www.goskyride.com/ there is a ride for everyone.