A Glossary of Cycling Events: Road, Off-Road, and Track Racing

A Glossary of Cycling Events: Road, Off-Road, and Track Racing

Cycling events are divided into three categories: road race, off-road event (track), and track event (off). There are many types of cycling events.

They include; criteriums, time trials, stage races, national championships, international competitions etc. Some of these types have their own rules or regulations. Other kinds do not require any kind of registration or other formalities.

The main difference between the different types of cycling events is the type of equipment used during each one. For example, road races usually use bicycles with fixed gear systems while time trials use bicycles with freewheel systems.

Time trials are usually held on flat terrain whereas criteriums and stage races are generally held in mountainous areas. Most of them are open to all participants irrespective of age, gender, or skill level.

There are various types of courses which may vary from a relatively short distance to a long distance. These range from flat, fast roads to rolling hills and even mountain trails.

All these types of course offer opportunities for riders to go faster than others.

Track events involve teams riding at speeds up to 30 km/h (18 mph) on tracks designed for such purposes. Track events are usually held under controlled conditions where only professionals participate in them.

These events are unusual because all riders ride the same bicycles and they ride on the same track.

A Glossary of Cycling Events: Road, Off-Road, and Track Racing - Image

A glossary of road racing is as follows:

Air drag: Air drag occurs when a rider is moving forward at a high speed. Air drag can be reduced in two ways; by minimizing frontal area or by drafting.

Bidon: A bidon is a bottle, usually made of plastic, that contains a quantity of liquid (usually around one litre). It is carried by riders in races and used to take drinks from during a race or in training.

Breakaway: A breakaway occurs when a number of riders are able to escape the main group and ride ahead of it. A breakaway rarely lasts for long because teams with riders in the breakaway will usually exert a lot of effort to bring their riders back before they get too far ahead, however there are some notable exceptions like the Tour De France.

Sources & references used in this article:

Off-road mountain biking: A profile of participants and their recreation setting and experience preferences by GR Cessford – 1995 – doc.govt.nz

Gender differences in acute mountain bike racing injuries by RL Kronisch, RP Pfeiffer, TK Chow… – Clinical Journal of Sport …, 2002 – journals.lww.com

Physiological characteristics of nationally competitive female road cyclists and demands of competition by DT Martin, B McLean, C Trewin, H Lee, J Victor… – Sports Medicine, 2001 – Springer

Injury and illness among athletes during a multi-day elite cycling road race by S Yanturali, O Canacik, E Karsli… – The Physician and …, 2015 – Taylor & Francis

Relationship between anaerobic cycling tests and mountain bike cross-country performance by A Inoue, AS Sá Filho, FCM Mello… – The Journal of Strength …, 2012 – journals.lww.com