Who Are We?
Kissena Cycling Club was founded in 1963 by the “godfathers” of New York bike racing; Al Toefield and Pete Senia, with the belief that there should be a cycling club accessible to all New Yorkers. Al and Pete were also the driving force behind the creation of the Kissena velodrome in Queens. The club has produced many champions, most notably, George Hincapie. We’re Brooklyn based and promote two race series: the Lucarelli & Castaldi Cup in Prospect Park, and the Lucarelli & Castaldi Cup, Castelli Tuesday Night Series at Floyd Bennett Field. We’re fortunate to have local racing legend and Kissena alum Charlie Issendorf promoting and running these races with support from the club.
Although we’re Brooklyn based we have members citywide, you’ll find us at early morning training rides in Prospect and Central Park. We’re supported by Redbeard Bikes, Giant, Champsys, Skratch Labs and Stages. Our focus is on road racing, cyclocross, track and time-trials.
Who Can Join?
While we will accept any new member, it is important to understand that we are a bicycle racing club. You will have the best experience in Kissena if you:
- Own and are comfortable riding a standard road or cyclocross or track bike with clipless pedals
- Have ridden your bike in groups
- Have ridden over 30 miles multiple times
- Know how do basic bicycle maintenance, like changing tires and tubes, cleaning and lubing chains, etc.
If you do not have experience with the things above, then it might be best for you to gain the experience and knowledge on your own or elsewhere and then consider joining.
Fill out this form and we’ll notify you of our next New Member Ride (if you don’t hear from us, check your social and spam folders).
Before racing in the Kissena jersey, all members must:
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Kissena has a strong presence in road races, criteriums and cyclocross races in and around New York City. Many of our riders travel to regional races and further afield—from Green Mountain Stage Race in Vermont, to Trooper Brinkerhoff 1 day series in Poughkeepsie, to KMC CX Fest in Rhode Island. We also have a core group of track racers racing at the Kissena Velodrome and a few members who enjoy hitting up mountain bike trails.
The founders of Kissena Cycling Club – Peter Sienna, Al Toefield and Lou Maltese – were instrumental in getting the Kissena Velodrome built back in 1963. Today the club is not directly involved with racing at the velodrome. We have a core group of members who race track and we have a yearly KCC “Road Bikes on the Track” day. Check out the Kissena Velodrome page for more info about the track.
Yes. All track races are open races. Please refer to the answer above for more info.
No. Although we occasionally co-promote events with CRCA, we are not a sub-team.
We do hope that members will volunteer to help with club activities (we’re a volunteer run club), but marshaling is not a requirement. For club run races we often ask for volunteers to work registration at Kissena races in exchange for free race entry.
Local races are at Prospect Park, Central Park, Kissena Velodrome and Floyd Bennett Field. We participate in a variety of other races around the region.
Sure. Depending on the time of year you may be able to join a clinic that is being offered or attend a ride with a mentor rider to get advice (see next question).
Kissena has a mentorship system where riders with years of experience riding and racing provide mentorship to newer less experienced riders. In the past, the mentorship program has included weekly group rides, coached Prospect Park morning workouts, criterium racing clinics, and cyclocross skills clinics. Members have access to a deeply discounted coaching from Tim Cusick of Velocious Endurance Coaching who has coached national and world championship athletes.
Yes, members are expected to race in current team uniforms (a.k.a. team kit).
GROUP RIDE BASICS
– Pull through without surging.
– If two of you are peeling off the front of a double pace line, try to do so when there’s a gap in traffic.
– Rotating pace line: When you’re at the front and someone is pulling past you, say “yes” to let them know they can safely slot in front of you (without chopping your wheel). Say “last” when you’re in last position to the person coming back from the front of the pace line. Elbow flick tells someone when to come through AND which side to come through.
– Hold your line in corners.
– If you want to stand up (out of the saddle), do so smoothly and learn to not throw your bike back (that means no freewheeling, esp. on a hill). This is harder than it sounds.
– give the person ahead of you on a climb a little more room to stand up.
– respect the yellow line and switch to single file when impeding traffic.
– When at the front you’re responsible for pointing out significant road problems to the group — if you see a dangerous hole, say “hole” (middle, left, right). Cars coming from front: “car up”. Car wanting to pass: “car back”.
– brake less, especially in a pace line. Learn the art of feathering your brakes. Keep a high cadence—85+rpm.
– follow the wheel in front and do not overlap.
– if it’s a no drop ride, we always reassemble at top of major climbs. If it’s a drop ride, know the route.
– You’re responsible for the person behind you. If someone punctures or is dropped, get to the front and inform the front rider — by default the group always waits/assists.
– change clothes as soon as you can post-ride #saddlesores.
– hydrate and fuel regularly during your effort (budget 1 bottle per hour).
– remember you’re repping the club whenever you’re wearing the kit.
For more detail/explanation, watch GCN’s How To videos or read about etiquette here (thanks to the Morning Glory Cycling Club).
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