Each year as part of CRCA’s coaching and development program the club hosts a Women’s Clinic designed to introduce women to the club and bicycle racing.  Many of the City’s elite racers have been introduced to the sport via the Women’s clinic, including current pro cyclist and national time trial champion Evelyn Stevens.  For more on Evelyn’s story see this Bicycling article.


Coach Tara Gives Final Instructions


Not sure how or where to start?  Women from various sub-teams of the Century Road Club Association, New York City’s road racing club, are presenting a three-lap simulated race in Central Park. Experienced women racers will ride with the field, providing instruction, assistance and advice.  Many local racers started their careers at this clinic—you can too!  CRCA Coach Tara Parsons will be on hand to coach this year’s clinic.  See her race report from last year’s clinic.


All Clinic registrants are invited to attend a women’s only Coaching Session on the evening of Wednesday, 4/16 @ 6:45PM in the north end of Central Park.  Click through the link above for more details.  This is a good opportunity to ease any pre-clinic jitters.

Please note that if you are not a CRCA member and do not have a USAC license, you can still RSVP for this special coaching session, but you will not be covered under USAC insurance in the event of accident or injury.  Please print and bring the USAC release form which is accessible on the event page, but for Clinic Registrants only, you do not need to have a USAC license or CRCA jersey.


Nervous? On the fence? Clinic instructors will ease your jitters at a Pre-Clinic Information Session on Thursday, April 17th @ 8PM @ Bicycle Habitat, 250 Lafayette St (Soho).  Meet women of the CRCA who will tell you how they got started racing and answer any questions you may have about the clinic, CRCA or racing in general.  Please RSVP here – respond that you’re “attending”!


Date: Saturday, April 19, 2014
Cost: $25
Where: Rambles Shed Parking Lot (@ East 79th Street and East Park Drive), Central Park, NYC
Sign-in: 5:30 AM (Pre-registered riders must sign in by 5:50AM or their spots may be given away to those on the waitlist)

Pre-race talk: 6:00 AM
Race: 6:20 AM
Post-Race Analysis to follow including Q&A and prizes
Registration: via Bikereg

Optional post-clinic ride with CRCA ladies to follow.

Women's Clinic Start Line

Women’s Clinic Start Line


All registration must be completed via Bikereg.  There is no day of registration – you must register in advance on Bikereg.  A USAC license is required to race. One day licenses will be available at sign-in for new racers.


On the day of the race the Clinic will meet at the Rambles parking lot on East Drive at 79th Street (just north of Cat’s Paw hill).  You will see a registration table for the Women’s Clinic.  No cars will be permitted to enter the park drive.


Do I have to wear a helmet?

Do I have to ride a road bike?
No.  But most people do race on road bikes with clipless pedals (e.g., the ones you click cleats into).  

Can I just use my triathlon or time trial bike?
No Aerobars allowed (even clip-on ones)!

What should I wear?
Check the forecast and dress appropriately for early morning temperatures.  No sleeveless jerseys.  You will be able to leave a small bag at the start, though we are not responsible for misplaced or stolen items.  Wear gloves (long or short-fingered)!

What should I eat for breakfast?
Eat what you normally would before a good workout.  Probably not the best time to try that new spicy ethnic joint the night before…  Give your body some time to digest and don’t forget, it’s about 3.5 laps or 21 miles.

Should I bring water or food for the race?
You should bring at least one full water bottle, but 2 would be better so that you have something to drink after the race as well.  You may leave one bottle at the start if you like.  Most people do not eat during the race, but something for post-race recovery would be great! Saddlebags should be removed for the race.

How do I know if I will be fast enough?
This Clinic is meant to be introductory and we welcome riders of all levels.  That being said, the front group (the leaders) typically average 19-20mph or more, but don’t forget, riding in a group is much less effort than riding solo!  Also, don’t let the fear of getting dropped prevent you from giving it a try.  We’ve all been there and there will be varying groups of participants and rolling marshals who will be there to complete the race with you.

Will someone explain the race format to me?
Yes! We will have CRCA Coach Tara Parsons on hand to give a few safety and race format tips to everyone before the start of the race, so get there early!  There will also be experienced racers in CRCA sub-team kits who will ride alongside you to help guide you during the race.

Does the racing start right at the gun?
No. We will be “neutralized” or riding at a mellow pace behind the race moto until the top of Harlem Hill, at which point the race will begin.

Do I need to have a USAC license or be a CRCA member?
No.  We will have one-day licenses available and non-CRCA members are welcome (though we hope you join!).

How do I join a team? What is CRCA all about? How do I get fast?  What kind of training do I need to commit to for racing? What are all these “Categories” I keep hearing about?
All of these questions and more will be answered at the Information Session on April 17th at Bicycle Habitat.  You will also have an opportunity to meet many women who currently race for CRCA subteams.  Even if you do not plan to race, you should still come to the Info Session!


Email: communications[at]crca.net


CRCA has an extensive coaching program that is available to CRCA members throughout the year at no additional charge. For more information on the Club’s  coaching sessions, including the 2013 coaching schedule, please click here.

For additional information on CRCA & Racing Safety please click here.


Participants in the Women’s Clinic are encouraged to explore the club’s various other women’s racing activities, which include the Women’s Cat 4 Development Series presented by Rockstar Games/Signature Cycles and an expanded Coaching program, including women-only sessions.  Join CRCA to take advantage of all the amazing coaching, racing and other resources the club has to offer!