Whether you’re Greg Callaghan, Colin Ross or Paddy Last, if you’re thinking about racing your mountain bike this year then you might want to consider getting yourself a licence from Cycling Ireland.
Now don’t be stressing, it’s not like doing your driving test, the pass rate is pretty much guaranteed upon filling out a few simple forms.
Why do I need a Cycling Ireland licence?
In order to be properly insured when taking part in a competition or a non-competitive event like a sportive, your licence takes care of this once processed through Cycling Ireland.
As the National Governing Body for cycling in the four provinces of Ireland, Cycling Ireland handle all the hassle of boring, legal paperwork for the 450-plus clubs and some 28,000 members affiliated.
Applying for your annual licence is a relatively painless affair whether you decide to do it through your local club or go direct to Cycling Ireland’s online licensing system.
There are three types of membership options to go for — Competitive, Leisure or Supporter.
Naturally, Competitive is for those keen to go racing, whereas if you’re more focused on sportive-style road cycling then a Leisure membership (licence) is for you. Supporter is exactly that, a supporting role/member of Cycling Ireland.
What’s a Competitive Membership?
Getting down to business, a Competitive Membership is broken into two options: Limited Competition (LC) and Full Competition.
Limited Competition covers you to “go racing” off-road — all mountain biking — time-trials, hill climbs, club racing and club leagues plus bicycle-polo and artistic cycling (yeah, we’re gonna have to Google the latter two too).
Adult costs are €80/£72 for club members or €110/£99 for non-members. Ulster applications have an additional €11/£10 charge as the provincial fee is per member not club.
A Full Competition licence covers all of the above too, but the additional extra is that it allows you to compete in open road races.
Pro and elite riders slot into A+, A1 and A2 categories, while the majority of members are A3 or A4 — if it’s your first Full Competition licence then A4 is mandatory.
Full Competition licences are a bit more pricey too at €135/£122 for adult club members and €165/£152 for un-attached members. Also note one-off Event licences are no longer applicable to Open Road Racing.
Competitive licences run for the calendar year from January to December.
What’s a Leisure Membership?
If you don’t fancy racing but still want to take part in sportives (non-competitive events) then opt for the Leisure Membership.
This option also covers you out training or taking part in club spins, with personal accident and third party liability insurance built in.
It works out at €50 for Leinster, Munster and Connacht members, or €56/£50 for Ulster members.
Leisure licences run for 12 months from the date of payment. Leisure members may register or renew a licence at any time of the year.
Why an Event Licence might be for you
Of course not all of us want to race all year and instead just want to squeeze in the odd outing here and there where time permits.
For that reason, you can take out a one-off Event Licence for competitions or sportive-style events.
Generally it’s an additional €10-€15 extra on top of the entry fee and can be swiftly done at the event during registration.
If you’re a student then flash that card because along with your Domino’s discount you can also get a massive 50 per cent off your Full Competition membership.
To avail of that offer have your Student ID card and a letter from your college/university confirming your attendance on a full time course to hand when signing up.
If you need more information on how to obtain you membership then contact your friendly local club or Cycling Ireland — they’ve also got a bunch of additional important information listed in the link below.