Hi Nicholas, as a guide to how good the club is, just ask the president or official the same question you posted here. If you receive a friendly reply then ask them all you need to know- if not then find another club. This may seem a bit harsh but clubs should be doing all they can to attract members.
Also find out when clubs have their training rides, and join in, you will find some one who will help you, just keep asking. If you join the training ride you could plan to leave at a set distance/ time ( this is if you are new to cycling and not able to make the distance of the training ride).
In every club there is some one who will guide you through training and racing etiquette.
As a basic guide try to ride straight, an even pace and try not to brake hard in a pack- practice these in the training ride and watch the experienced riders, their lines, how they talk( but not their swearing).
Hope this helps, if not post back OK.
Although I'm a soon to be Aussie, I can tell you what we teach new cyclists over in my country:
1> Practise riding in a bunch as much as possible. Bunch riding skills are very important.
2> Do not to sit at the front of the bunch if you are not prepared to do your fair share of work i.e lead the bunch when your turn comes up.
3> Try not to sit right at the back of the bunch. These are usually the weaker riders which lose the bunch as the ride progresses. This is also were most of the falls take place.
4> Try and sit in the middle towards the side of the bunch if you are new to cycling or if you are not prepared to do some work. Remember that some bunches will shrug you off if they feel you are just there for the ride, so try and find a group that is willing to pick you up and drag you along.
5> If you feel that the group is moving along too fast for you, slowly move towards the outside of the bunch, ease off your pace and let the group carry on. Wait for a next group to come by and join them.
6> If you feel the group is too slow, slowly move towards the outside of the bunch and sit there and wait for a faster bunch to come by. Don't just jump in when the faster group draws up alongside your slower moving group. Wait for the group just to pass, accelerate away from your group and catch the faster bunch ahead, then work yourself up into the bunch.
7> Maintain a steady pace in the bunch. Don't surge faster, slower, faster. If someone ahead of you is unable to maintain the pace, either pass or carefully find yourself a different spot in the bunch.
8> If you are new to cycling, NEVER let your front wheel overlap the back wheel of the bike in front of you. Follow the virtual track of the wheel in front of you between half a metre to a metre or so. Once you become more confident and comfortable riding in a bunch, you can alter your following distance accordingly.
9> When approaching and passing a fellow cyclist that seems unaware of you, a firm "Hold your line!" is enough to make them aware of your intentions. Don't make a scene or be un-neccessarily rude or abbusive.
10> Cyclists use many hand signals to warn or inform other cyclists of danger etc. Ask and learn about these signals. Pointing to a pot-hole or fallen water bottle etc. warns others behind you. Slapping your left or right bum cheek warns about a slower cyclist/s up ahead.
Concentarte and keep your eyes open for signals.
10> If you want to move over, don't just assume that others will know of your intentions. A quick look to the left or right, a signal making those around you aware of your move, and then a safe move to where-ever you want to go.
11> If someone falls in the bunch, NEVER look around! You'll be next! Maintain your pace. Don't brake un-neccessarily. If it's someone you are riding with or you feel you need to stop and offer assistance, maintain your pace and slowly make your way to the outside of the bunch, then break off safely.
12> Don't make a scene of drinking water by indicating that you are about to take a sip. Move your hand along the shortest route to your bottle, remove, take a drink and back to the bottle cage. Practise this during training rides at speed, keeping your eyes on the road. If your bottle falls, don't just brake dead. You know the rest...
13> Don't be a smart ass by making lewd remarks about someone else's bike, equipment, riding style, physic etc. This is not tolerated in our sport.
13> Train. Train. Train. This will make you a fitter and stronger rider capable of staying with the bunch (and maybe even an attack!).
14> Most important of all: DEVELOP THE CYCLIST'S SMILE AND HAVE FUN!!!
Hope these help for now. Let us know if there is anything else.
PS: Don't know what the cyclist's smile is? Easy: Pedal your way up to the top of the steepest climb during a race one day. Pull over to the side of the road and watch the other cyclists as they strain up the hill. You'll find that all of them have this peculiar SMILE on their faces. Friendly people, us cyclists!
Thanks sillystorm and v02 for the advice and andrea~ ahhahahah just cuase im new to racing dont mean im hopless lol actually im used to long distances up to 300k. But The Race speed is different
Thanks guys by the way im now in B grade and finished first out of all the b graders in the last race, a club handy cap
Though to win in A grade will be hard the top A graders is FAST very Fast Hed be as Good as Lance Armstrong hehehe well maybe not but hes way good he finished out of sight of all the other A graders i was told.
You'll also find that most of the old guys (40+) who have been there and done it, are a great souce of help for any up and commer. Most clubs boast an ex euro pro or the like
Sounds like you've been doing heaps of miles, once you get some speed in your legs you should be able to hold your own, as long as you feel comftable riding in a bunch.
Remember to win a race you need to cover two areas;
1) you need to be strong enough to make it to the end of the race.
2) you need to use your elbows and head (head is good for head butting also ) in the sprint.
;D Yep Its going ok. I came last last time though in B grade
i won the previouse one but that was a road race the one i lose was a crit. I realy need to practice the criteriums more as they are new to me.
The only problem is that there is not enough racing going on
as it is now basicaly on every 2 weeks for a bit :'(
Also for a not what is the top speed every acheived in a Velodrome?
heres a link to my clubs website. there are some cool pics in there. as you can see in the results page i got 1 2nd place win so far ;D ;D. The next race is a Time Trial. Hopfully ill be in good condition for it http://www.caboolturecyclingclub.com/