Arctic Bicycle Club Road Racing FAQ
1. Entering a Race
• At a minimum, show up at the staging area at least 1 hour before the race start time with money, a bike, and a helmet.
• Sign-up will end 30 minutes before the race starts so that the race directors can complete the start list and start the race on-time.
• Please pre-register online as this will help in generating start lists for time trials.
o For adults, race fees will be $20 online or $28 race-day.
o Juniors under the age of 18 with a valid membership race free.
• You will need to be an ABC member to race, please sign-up here as at race registration may not be available
• Once you sign the race waiver and select your race category you are all set to race.
It’s the policy of the ABC – Road Race division – NO REFUNDS! Planning and developing an athletic event that ensures adequate support and supplies for participants is difficult. We rely on the registration information to provide us with an accurate participant count. Because this is vital to the success of our events, there will be no refunds once a registration has been processed.
At the first race you enter you will receive a number that will carry your race number for the season. No matter how long you have been racing here or how familiar your jersey may be, it is your responsibility to make your race numbers clearly visible to the race directors if you expect to get the correct finish time or position. If you lose your number a new one can be acquired for a $5 fee.
Helmets are mandatory at all ABC Road Division events. This applies any time you are on the road, be it racing, warming-up or after the race. For racers under the age of 16 it is the law within the Municipality of Anchorage. Failure to wear your helmet will be an instant disqualification.
5. Race Divisions – Men & Women
This is the most competitive category. If you know the USCF category system, this is the “Cat 1, 2, and 3” category. There is no age limitation in this category. This category is intended for the experienced, fit racer who has completed several road racing events, and knows how to ride in a pack, understands a pace line, and is generally familiar with the USA Cycling road racing rules and etiquette. This category is not just for the ultra-fit cyclist. If you don’t know when it’s appropriate to let off the gas when another racer has a mechanical, how to hold your line in a corner, or keep a line during a sprint, this probably isn’t the category for you. Races in this category will be the most challenging (longest) of all the divisions.
This is the “middle of the road” category. This would be the “Cat 4” division in USCF lingo. There is no age limitation in this category. This category is intended for the racer who has done a few (or many) races, and generally knows road racing etiquette, but is not comfortable racing in the Open category. These races will generally be shorter than races in the Open category, but longer than the Novice category. This is the category for racers who are not novice racers, but are not ready to make the jump to the Open category. However, we discourage fit, experienced racers from “sandbagging” in this category when you should really be racing in the Open category. You know who you are!
This is the place for everyone new to the sport of road bike racing, no experience is necessary. This would be the “Cat 5” category in the USCF. There is no age limitation in this category. This is where you will have a chance to race with other novice racers, and learn how to race. Races in this category will be the shortest of all the races. We encourage newer racers to enter this category until you feel comfortable handling your bike in a racing situation, understand the basics of road racing etiquette, and are ready to move up to the Intermediate or Open division. This is also a good place for the casual racer, regardless of experience, who doesn’t care about results and just wants to race with other novice racers and perhaps help them learn about bike racing.
Masters 45+ and 60+ :
The Masters categories are always the most debated of the categories. Trying to find that “perfect” age cutoff that will encourage racers to come out and race, but keep “Open” racers where they belong – in the Open category – is tricky. The age dynamics of our club changes from year to year, and we do our best to create age categories to fit the Masters racers who come out to race. We have two age categories – Masters 45+ and 60+. You must be at least 45 years of age (for 45+) or 60 years of age (for 60+) on December 31 of the racing year to race in these categories – but there is no experience restriction. That means you can be a former Tour de France team leader, or have never ridden a bike before – if you meet the age requirement, you can race in one of these categories.
The Junior category is for any person 18 years of age or younger, regardless of ability. If you are an older junior (15+) with significant racing experience, you might think about racing with the Novice or Intermediate category. Use your best judgment to determine if you would fit in one of these other categories. The Junior category is primarily intended for younger racers, and provides them an opportunity to race with other racers of the same age. We will further “subdivide” this category into more groups, like 7 and under or 12 and under (just examples) if there is sufficient participation to justify more than one group. Juniors always race for free regardless of what category they race in. If you are a regular racer please speak with a race director to get you signed up on line for free registration.
6. Pack Rules
• Stages 5 Racer Rule: If a division during the first event of a stage race has less than 5 racers signed up it will be combined with a comparable division and those racers will race as one division for the remainder of the stages.
• Divisions with fewer than 10 participants during a road race may be merged.
• Once a race is underway, packs must not merge. Individual riders cannot break away and use a pack from a different division to their advantage.
7. Criterium Rules
• Crit Dropped Rule: If a rider gets dropped and lapped by the lead pack that rider is not allowed to draft with anyone that is lapping them. The rider may continue for the remainder of the time but needs to use caution especially during prime laps and may be pulled during the final bell lap.
• 5 Racer Rule: If a division has at least 5 men and 5 women we will allow the men and women to race independently on the same course separated by a 30 second gap. If the group is separated drafting is only allowed with the gender you started with.
•Men and women results will be separated even if they race together.
8. Yellow Line Rule
For safety in all events, the yellow line is a boundary that should not be crossed. No advantage should be gained in a Time Trial or Hill Climb by cutting corners and crossing the yellow line. In Road Races and Criteriums you cannot cross the yellow line to advance your position in the pack, even if you are trying to cover an attack or sprint on the last lap. Our races are staged on open roads, some with blind corners or humps, and always the potential for oncoming traffic on the other side of the yellow line. So, while the temptation during a race may be to jump across the yellow line just for a few seconds – don‘t do it. If you are stuck at the back, that’s racing. Be patient, work your way to the front and next time don’t get caught out. Failure to observe the yellow line rule is grounds for disqualification at the race director’s discretion.
9. Time Trials mean No Drafting
Time trials are often the least intimidating format of road racing to get started in. The most important rule for newcomers and experienced riders alike is to avoid drafting other riders. Always ride to the right to allow faster riders to pass on the left, and as a rule allow a 10 bike length gap to a rider ahead of you.
10. Free Laps
Criteriums are the one event where you can get a free lap for mechanical reasons, up until the last 5 minutes of the race. If you do need to swap a wheel in a Crit, you have 1 lap to do so and then reintegrate back into the pack you were with before. You cannot use the mechanical to advance your position in the race. Free laps are not available in road races where you are at the mercy of fate or the generosity of follow racers.
This is bike racing and accidents do happen. If you are new to pack riding, know your limits and learn from more experienced racers. If there is an accident, we do not generally have medical support at our races. If an accident does occur we rely on the division involved to exhibit good sportsmanship and neutralize their race until the well being of each racer is assured.
12. Contact Us
•Race Director – John Dehaven 907-519-9361
•Chairman – Justin Neff 907-830-3511
•Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
13. Have Fun
Most important of all, most racers take part to have fun and stay healthy. Enjoy the competition but be safe taking part. If you have never raced before but always wanted to try, this a great place to start. For a Moose Run Time Trial all you really need is a functional bike with gears. Try it once and before you know it you’ll be wandering in to your Local Bike Shop looking for an edge in the Tour of Anchorage.