scratch = all riders off equal terms ie they start in a bunch together and only race people in that bunch. These races are usually graded on ability.
Handicap = riders start off different terms, eg some get a headstart (usually in time, but sometimes in distance) and everyone is racing everyone else. So you again start with people of roughly your ability, but you have slower people in front and faster people behind, all racing for the same finishline.
To enter the races - get a license or permit and give it a go! (permits only for smaller races). There's heaps of racing on this winter, Road, track, cyclocross, time trials...
Cheers, I will try to do the next one. It sounds like fun, I do love a bit of competition!! Though I never expect to win. :)
How do I get graded the first time?
Your grade depends on how fast you are (or look).
David Ladd guesses based on reports from your peers if you've never raced before.
The biggest hurdle is doing your first race. If you wait until you think you are fast enough you'll probably never enter, just do it. There will always be someone faster, and someone slower, but the gradings and handicaps give every rider something to aim at. Best of all, it is so much fun.
+1 and don't expect to win. Because not many people do :-) especially when new!
Hey, don't put him off... I did manage a 3rd in my 1st race!
This will be my 1st graded race as all of the races I did last towards the middle end of last year were handicapped races. I am nervous finding out on the day which grade I have been placed, please hope its either D or E grade
See you there... I haven't done a graded road race since this race last year. Too much track and CX not enough time for road races. And hills. What are they? I am in for a slaying :-)
E grade??? No hope....you belong in with the Ds at the very least
C mate.. up there wih me!
What a race, quite chuffed with top 10 finish, at least 8th out of 23 riders in D grade but results won't be known for a few days, during second and third laps I lead the breakaway solo and legs just couldn't get me to the final 300m sprint on the third lap, a good learning curve for my 1st ever graded race.