What is a Masters Cyclist?
Hello masters cyclists, in this post I’m going to answer a question I get quite often. What is a Masters Cyclist and who would be considered a Masters Cyclist?
Masters cycling is bike racing organized by age group, generally open to athletes 35 years or older. Because most masters athletes have day jobs, families, and external obligations, masters races tend to be safer and less chaotic than category-based racing. That’s not to say that masters races aren’t fast, challenging, or hotly contested—in fact, masters races are some of the most exciting and impressive of all amateur cycling events.
And while lots of masters athletes are experienced competitors, the term doesn’t exclusively apply to racers. Many masters cyclists are comparative newcomers to the sport, drawn to the camaraderie, challenge, and health benefits of riding a bike with no intention of organized competition.
Masters cycling training program
What is a masters cycling training program? It should be tailored to the individual’s fitness level, goals, and available time. However, here is a general guideline for a weekly training program:
- Endurance rides: Aim for at least 2-3 endurance rides per week. These should be steady-state rides at a moderate intensity that allow you to build your aerobic base. Try to increase the duration of these rides over time to build endurance.
- Interval training: Incorporate 1-2 interval training sessions per week. These sessions involve high-intensity efforts followed by periods of rest or low-intensity recovery. Examples include hill repeats, sprint intervals, and tempo rides. The goal of interval training is to improve your lactate threshold and increase your overall speed and power output.
- Strength training: Incorporate strength training exercises into your routine. Cycling-specific strength training can help improve your power output and reduce the risk of injury. Examples include squats, lunges, and deadlifts.
- Recovery: Rest is essential for recovery and performance. Be sure to incorporate rest days into your training program and take time to stretch and foam roll after each workout.
- Group rides: Join a local cycling club or find a group of cyclists to ride with regularly. Group rides can be a great way to push yourself and improve your fitness while also providing a social and motivational aspect to your training.
Remember, it’s important for masters cyclists to listen to their body and adjust their training program accordingly. Be sure to fuel properly before and after workouts, stay hydrated, and get adequate rest to optimize your performance and recovery.
For more on training for masters cyclists, click here to read my ultimate training guide for masters cyclists
Masters Cycling age categories
Cycling Masters age categories are typically divided into five-year increments, and the age at which a rider becomes eligible for Masters racing may vary slightly depending on the specific race category and organization.
The following are the most common age categories for Masters cyclists:
- 35-39 years
- 40-44 years
- 45-49 years
- 50-54 years
- 55-59 years
- 60-64 years
- 65-69 years
- 70-74 years
- 75+ years
Each age group typically competes against riders of the same age, although some races may combine age groups depending on the number of participants. The purpose of the age categories is to provide a fair competition environment for Masters cyclists, allowing them to compete against riders of similar age and fitness level. Masters racing can be a great way for older riders to continue to compete in cycling events and stay active in the sport.
Masters cycling events in 2023
If you’re interested in racing, there are a large number of event categories masters cyclists can compete in. My recommendation is to start out with low-key events in your geographic area in the beginner category.
The course for a masters cycling road race can vary in distance and terrain, depending on the event. Some courses may be relatively flat, while others may include challenging climbs or technical descents. The distance of the race can also vary, ranging from shorter criterium-style races to longer distance road races.
During the race, cyclists will typically ride in a pack, or peloton, in order to conserve energy and increase their drafting efficiency. Cyclists will often take turns at the front of the pack, or “pulling,” in order to share the workload and maintain a high pace.
Here is a line to Wikipedia for more on Road Racing
A masters cycling cyclocross event is a type of off-road cycling race that combines elements of road cycling, mountain biking, and cross-country running. It typically involves multiple laps of a short course that includes obstacles such as barriers, steep climbs, and technical descents.
The course for a masters cycling cyclocross event can vary in length and difficulty, with races ranging from 30 minutes to an hour in duration. Courses often include a mix of terrain, including grass, dirt, mud, and pavement. Obstacles on the course require riders to dismount and carry their bikes over barriers or run up steep inclines before remounting and continuing the race.
Cyclists in a masters cycling cyclocross event start in a mass start format and are sorted into categories based on age and skill level. Throughout the race, riders will battle to maintain position in the pack and navigate the challenging terrain and obstacles as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Cyclocross events are known for their festive atmosphere, with spectators often cheering riders on as they navigate the course. Some events may also include food and drink vendors, live music, and other forms of entertainment.
The winner of a masters cycling cyclocross event is typically the first rider to cross the finish line at the end of the final lap. Winners may be awarded a prize or trophy, and top finishers in each category may also receive recognition or prizes.
Masters cycling cyclocross events provide an opportunity for riders to test their skills and fitness in a challenging and exciting off-road environment, while also enjoying the camaraderie and social atmosphere of the cycling community.
Here is a line to Wikipedia for more on Cyclocross Racing
A masters cycling mountain bike race is a competitive event where experienced cyclists who are over a certain age (usually 30-40 years old) compete against each other on challenging off-road terrain. The race course is designed to test the technical skills, endurance, and agility of the riders as they navigate through steep climbs, rocky descents, tight turns, and other obstacles.
The race usually starts with a mass start, where all the riders begin at the same time and try to get to the finish line as quickly as possible. The race may have several laps or stages, each with different terrain and challenges, which the riders must complete within a certain time limit. The winner is determined by the rider who completes the race in the shortest time.
To participate in a masters cycling mountain bike race, riders need to have a high level of fitness, technical skills, and experience in mountain biking. They also need to have the appropriate equipment, including a mountain bike with suitable suspension, tires, and brakes, as well as protective gear such as a helmet, gloves, and pads.
Masters cycling mountain bike races are popular among competitive mountain bikers who want to test their skills against other experienced riders and push themselves to their limits. They offer a thrilling and challenging experience for both the riders and the spectators, as they witness the athletes’ speed, agility, and determination in a natural and rugged environment.
Here is a link to Wikipedia for more on Mountain Bike Racing
A masters cycling gravel race is a competitive event where experienced cyclists who are over a certain age (usually 30-40 years old) compete against each other on unpaved gravel roads. The race course is designed to test the endurance, bike handling skills, and mental toughness of the riders as they navigate through challenging terrain that may include steep climbs, loose gravel, and rough descents.
The race usually starts with a mass start, where all the riders begin at the same time and try to get to the finish line as quickly as possible. The race may have several stages or laps, each with different terrain and challenges, which the riders must complete within a certain time limit. The winner is determined by the rider who completes the race in the shortest time.
To participate in a masters cycling gravel race, riders need to have a high level of fitness, technical skills, and experience in cycling on rough terrain. They also need to have the appropriate equipment, including a gravel bike with wide tires, suitable gearing, and hydraulic disc brakes, as well as protective gear such as a helmet, gloves, and pads.
Masters cycling gravel races are becoming increasingly popular among competitive cyclists who want to test their skills on challenging and unpredictable terrain. They offer a unique and exciting experience for both the riders and the spectators, as they witness the athletes’ strength, speed, and determination in a rugged and natural environment. Moreover, many of these races are held in scenic locations, giving riders an opportunity to explore beautiful landscapes and connect with nature.
Here is a link to Wikipedia for more on Gravel Racing
What is a Masters Cyclists – Conclusion
I’ve been active in the world of Masters Cycling for many years and it has had a super positive on all areas of my life. Just Google Masters Cycling Events Near me.