To race in a British Cycling (The main governing body for racing in the UK). sanction event, you need to be a member of the British Cycling and own a British Cycling license. This is quite new and involved changes as part of a restructuring of the membership system. There are now three different types of memberships available; Bronze, Silver and Gold. Memberships and full racing licenses remain separate entities.
The British Cycling encourages everyone to take out membership and license in advance of competing. You can only obtain the membership by applying direct to the British Cycling in Manchester (tel: ). Or online at: http://www.britishcycling.org.uk/membership/join.shtml
All membership packages (Gold, Silver, and Bronze) only provide a "provisional license" to race on closed circuits. If you want to race in all events, you need a full license. Unless you are under 16 (who are only allowed to race on closed circuits), whereby the license is free. A full racing license costs as follows:
Senior riders: £30.00
Replaces the Associate membership package. It is the cheapest option at only £11.50 per year. To get this, you also need take out a Bronze membership license. This makes you a private member of the British Cycling Federation.
Membership of a club is an option that you can take out on top of your membership to the British Cycling Federation and that cost will vary depending on the club. There are many advantages to being a club. Once you join a club, you will need to return your full license to the British Cycling with a cheque for £3 to cover administration costs. This is so the name of your club can be placed on your license, something that is required when racing in British Cycling sanctioned events.
You can race on closed circuits like the Milton Keynes Bowl, Hillingdon, Eastway and Goodwood. It also entitles you to race in cyclo cross, MTB, BMX and other types of events not held on the open road.
You can only acquire a full racing license with Silver and Gold membership packages. However, bronze members can upgrade. The British Cycling will simply deduct the cost of the Bronze membership, and adjust the cost to the number of months you have left of your membership.
The only insurance cover bronze members get is that which comes under the event insurance when they race a British Cycling sanctioned event on a closed circuit. In other words, you will be covered when riding in any British Cycling sanctioned event for which you are entitled to ride.
To race you need a hard shell helmet that conforms to a recognised standard such as SNELL or ANSI. Ask your bike shop for details. You can also, as a novice or fourth category rider wear clothing with or with out advertising on it (plain or trade team jerseys for example). Private members, 3rd category and above have to wear plain clothing and club members, the club colour.
The cost of this membership is as follows:
Senior Men and Women (over 19): £32.00
Junior (Over 16 but under 19): £21.50
Youth (Under 16): £11.50
Under 12: £6
This level of membership entitles you to 12 months membership to the British Cycling and a membership card, the British Cycling glossy magazine (published every two months), third party liability insurance, legal advice and support, personal accident insurance (while racing in British Cycling sanctioned events) plus a provisional racing license.
The "silver" Racing License: This entitles you to race on closed circuits. It also entitles you to race in cyclo cross and other types of events not held on the open road. The bottom line for this one is that for racing, you have the same entitlement as bronze members but you have third party liability insurance, legal advice and support plus discounts on products and services.
The cost of this membership is as follows:
- Senior Men and Women (Over 19): £50
- Junior (Over 16 but under 19): £35.00
- Youth (Under 16): £23
- Under 12: £17.50
This level of membership entitles you to 12 months membership to the British Cycling and a membership card, the British Cycling glossy magazine (published every two months), third party liability insurance, legal advice and support, personal accident insurance while cycling in the UK at any time, the British Cycling's Handbook (Racing Calendar, list of clubs and lots more information) plus the provisional racing licence.
The bottom line for this one is that for racing, you have the same entitlement as the Silver membership but you have personal accident insurance while riding in the UK at any time and the handbook, (value £5.00).