Saddle Slang is sponsored by Rehook. Check out our tools, bike care and apparel



A type of cycling involving road bikes that compete in races.

Example usage: 'I'm training for a road racing event next month.'

Most used in: Europe, North America and Australia.

Most used by: Professional cyclists and competitive amateurs.

Popularity: 8/10

Comedy Value: 3/10

Also see: Time Trials, Criterium, Gran Fondo, Road Race,


What Is Road Racing?

Road racing is a type of competitive cycling event that typically takes place on paved roads. It is distinguished from other cycling disciplines like mountain biking, track cycling, and cyclocross, which take place on unpaved surfaces, on a track, or on a combination of both respectively.

In road racing, cyclists typically compete in mass-start races, where they ride in a large group. The goal is to be the first rider across the finish line, or the first to complete a certain number of laps. The most common road races are time trials, criteriums, road races, and stage races.

Time trials involve a single cyclist racing against the clock. Criteriums are races that take place on closed circuits, usually around a city center. Road races are typically longer races that cover a course of up to 200 kilometers. Stage races are multi-day events that involve a series of individual races.

Road racing is one of the most popular forms of competitive cycling. According to the Union Cycliste Internationale, the sport's governing body, there are over 1.2 million competitive cyclists in the world, with more than 80,000 active road racers.


The Origin of the Term 'Road Racing' in Cycling

The term 'road racing' in cycling first appeared in the early 20th century. It was first used in the United Kingdom in the late 1920s, and was used to describe a type of cycle race that was held on public roads. This was in contrast to track racing, which was held on velodromes.

The first known use of the term was in a newspaper article from the UK in 1926. The article was about a road race that had been held in London. It was reported that the race had been “the first of its kind in Britain”.

The term quickly spread throughout Europe, and by the 1930s it was being used in many countries. Road racing has since become a popular sport around the world, with events held in countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia, and Japan.

Today, road racing is one of the most popular forms of cycling, with events held in all corners of the globe. Professional road racing is a popular spectator sport, and races such as the Tour de France draw in millions of viewers each year.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

Saddle Slang

Find definitions for all of the technical terms, slang, and acronyms used in cycling. From the different types of bikes and their components, to training techniques, racing terminology and put downs, this dictionary has it all.

Talk the Talk
1 of 3