How would I pursue a career in cycling?

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by LetsGetDirty, May 18, 2013.

  1. LetsGetDirty

    LetsGetDirty New Member

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    Hello,

    I am 14 years old and last year my dad bought me a high-end road racing bike because my dad wanted to get me into cycling so we could go on our bikes together (I believe the bike is called a Cube Agree Pro Triple and it costs around £900-£1000). The thing is, apart from cycling across England together we hardly ever cycle at all (about once a week).

    I really want to make use of this bike and show my dad that I can do something with my life apart from playing video games. I want to take cycling up to the next level and ride competitively and go out to train everyday but how would I go about doing this?

    I want to become a good cyclist and hopefully get sponsored by a known cycling company. My inspiration is Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish who I would like to be when I am older.

    Can someone notify me about how to pursue my career in cycling.

    That's all... Thanks.
     
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  2. Sarabikechic

    Sarabikechic New Member

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    I don't want to discourage by any means with this disclaimer, but it is not easy to break out to be a consistent winner in any sport. It takes work, time and effort... sometimes even a coach or mentor. That said, you are at a good age to start working toward that end. Entering events is key to getting the feel for what you aim to pursue whether it is time trialing, criterium, trails etc. Everyone has a preference and a strong point but do not be sucked away from exploring each one before you decide what is your 'niche'.

    The best place to find like-minded riders to practice with is a local club or at events. More likely the club scene since they are intended to be social and approachable. They are often a mix of distance and racing pace riders with a chance to feel both at will.

    Eventually you may want to get a sponsor. Sponsors are not a necessity for lower level racing but it makes your finances a little easier if events are expensive(it can add up). To get one, you will want to take it like a business proposal since in essence it is. The sponsor, which is going to be a local shop or business at your level, will want to see if you are a good representative of their brand image. It does not mean winning constantly, but it does mean being a good sport and communicating well. Form those business relationships well at the entry level and they can step stone into much bigger ones nicely.
     
  3. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    Start by riding often, at least 4 days a week, for a couple hours each day. It takes a while to acclimate to riding the distances the pros ride. Ride with others either by finding some like minded friends or joining a local cycling club. Start racing locally. The club may even have weekly races. The current pros did just that, they trained hard, raced locally then started winning locally. Then they trained harder and raced bigger races, they started winning those. A combination of hard work and genetics is what will decide ones success or not. Worry about the sponsors once you have moved through a few categories in the amateurs, are doing well in races, and are still enjoying what you are doing.

    Find out what kind of rider you are and what type of racing you can exploit to your benefit. Are you a sprinter, a climber, a time trialist? This question usually only gets answered after a year or two of local racing in the amateur ranks. Read as many books on the subject as you can. Some good ones: 'Joe Friel's Training Bible', and for fiction reading: 'The Rider', and 'Dog in a Hat' are two good books about racing. Many others too.

    If you really wanted to take your racing to the next level after a year or two of entry level racing in the amateurs think about a coach. Racing is tough busines and not for everyone. But there are also many careers in cycling that can be facilitated by nothing other than a genuine interest in riding and/or racing. There are bike tours organized by people, there are support folks like soigners, race photogs and race journalists, retail specialists (I have a friend who was mad about racing but after a couple of seasons he discovered he was not that interested in the assosciated suffering... he now owns two bike shops in my area). There are coaches, race promoters, mechanics, etc. and the list goes on. The key to doing well at something is to legitimately enjoy it but sometimes that is not enough. There are a few hundred "world class" pro cyclists. Think about how many tens of thousands of kids have this dream, and even with hard training and some early success don't make the cut. Not to burst your bubble but think about a pro contract after you have won your first amateur race. Even winning an entry level race is no easy thing to do.

    I think if your dad sees you riding the bike often and extracting pleasure from it that will be quite a big reward for him by itself. Btw nothing wrong with some video games either. I play quite a bit of Call of Duty after longer harder rides wearing my compression tights to assist recovery. Play (train) hard, rest hard.

    But if you plan to find a career in competitive cycling, you must race. And the sooner the better. It's great to have sports icons to follow, but instead of being the next Bradley Wiggins or Mark Cavendish, maybe you can be the next <insert your own name here>.
     
  4. vspa

    vspa Active Member

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    I guess England isn't the best sunny weather ever, so you need the correct apparel to face cold and rain and an indoor trainer for when you just cannot go out. A track/velodrome is the best option to learn the ropes of cycling from a young age, i strongly encourage that, if there's one reasonably near you to attend a couploe of times a week, do this for yourself, that is the best way to succeed, if it isn't your sport of choice then find another one, no problem, you can always thank your dad for encouraging you and for making you such a nice bike gift !
     
  5. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    Here we go again. Find a development club in your part of the world, find out what they do and do it with them, and get really good at it.
     
  6. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    "Find a development club in your part of the world, find out what they do and do it with them, and get really good at it."

    Bang!

    One sentence worth of perfect advice.
     
  7. AmericanFlyer

    AmericanFlyer New Member

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    I am 16 and I ride 20 to 30 miles a day , Is this enough ?
     
  8. vspa

    vspa Active Member

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    you could stretch it gradually but don't forget that junior cyclists (up to 18 years old) have limits in gears and in work load, the reason for this is for your own benefit so that in the future you can handle and train more and more, i would keep doing those distances and add eventually longer rides on the weekend, background is important because if you came into competitve cycling in your early teens, 10 or 12 years old then you could handle more training and races in comparison to having ride by yourself until this point, there are no fix rules though, some people madurate earlier and some later in terms of cycling performance, but don't worry because you are definately in time,
     
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