Road and track cycle racing
Road racing is the oldest form of competitive cycling, and is well known for events such as the Tour de France. Races are run on roads or on closed circuits, using lightweight, drop-handlebar bikes.
The best way to get involved in road racing is to join your local club, which can be found through the British Cycling website. Its normally a good idea to get used to riding in a group before entering races.
If you want to see how it is done, there are several professional races which visit London:
- Following on from the Olympic Road Race, the RideLondon-Surrey Classic is a one-day race which loops out into the surrey hills before finishing in central London.
- The Tour of Britain frequently visits London - check the website for this year's route
- The London Nocturne is an annual circuit race around Smithfield market, run in the dark!
- The Tour de France will be starting in the UK in 2014, with a stage finishing in London on July 7th.
Track cycling includes a range of different events - from sprints to longer endurance events such as the scratch race.
Racing is held on specially constructed banked tracks or velodromes for track bicycles, which are brakeless, single fixed-geared versions of road bikes, with ultra-light tyres and frames, and clipless pedals.
Track cycling is governed by British Cycling, which has a list of events. Herne Hill velodrome also runs introductory sessions for those starting out on the track.
From 4th March 2014, Londoners will also have access to the Olympic velodrome at the Lee Valley velodrome - where you can also book introductory sessions.
If you want to watch the pros in action, try the Revolution series - which will be coming to Lee Valley on the 14th/15th March.
Cycling makes up one-third of this rapidly growing sport, which enjoys considerable cross-over with traditional road cycling.
Triathlon is an endurance sports event, consisting of swimming, cycling and running over various distances, with events lasting from around one hour, up to eight or nine.